Last week, I blogged about the basics of FourSquare. If you read that post you may be thinking that FourSquare sounds fun but wonder what application it really has for the conventions industry.
And really, I must admit that when I first started using the program, I thought "This has no value for my life." But as my friends and I started using it, it became entertaining to jockey for mayorships and badges, and it's really fun to get notifications about where my friends are hanging out so I can decide whether to join them.
Though its roots are in social networking, I think there is a real place for FourSquare at a convention and specifically on the tradeshow floor. Show managers could pre-populate the meeting facility with points of interest such as the internet café, association booth, bookstore and/or stage area. Exhibitors could create a FourSquare record for their booth, and advertise a special just for FourSquare users. Individual users could add tips about a specific location, telling other attendees what's cool there and who they enjoyed speaking with. And the possibility of badges is endless – what about badges for visiting 10, 25 or 50 exhibit booths or for checking in at specific locations?
There are, of course, technical considerations; the area must have decent cell phone density from a variety of carriers or wireless internet coverage. This may be a problem in some meeting facilities, especially if the meeting rooms or exhibit hall are underground. Pay special attention to cell phone coverage on your site visit if you are considering using any sort of GPS navigation platform.
It’s a brave new world out there in meeting technology. FourSqure is free – why not give it a try for your next meeting?