Probe Requests

probe response plot 1 - Probe RequestsRepublished from Cvent


Visual observation is the norm when it comes to finding out information and creating a better experience. However, mobile devices are making it easier for meeting planners to get more insight into what attendees are doing during conferences and events. How is this possible? Your mobile phone is constantly sending out signals asking for new Wi-Fi spots. These signals (also known as “probe requests”) have an identifier that is unique to each device. The Wi-Fi tower can find your mobile phone and see the past five Wi-Fi towers your mobile phone connected to. As you move, these Wi-Fi signals reveal location-based information.

How does this help meeting and event planners? If these signals are used correctly, an attendee can be triangulated in a defined area such as a trade show floor. In this example, the planner can capture three important facts:

1.  Where the attendee is spending the most time

2. What path the attendee takes during the conference

3. Which particular booth or advertisement works the best

Event planners can use Wi-Fi signals to ensure their attendees are having the best experience possible—similar to what some retail stores are doing for their shoppers.

Privacy concerns will most likely be raised as some people may not want to be tracked during a meeting or event. However, these systems are currently anonymous because they are following individual devices and not storing any information. In the long run, this may be a boon for the meeting planner in that they will be able to better create better layouts for conferences based on past individual experiences. Mobile tracking can also entice attendees to check-in at different areas to get coupons and prizes. This is the immediate benefit for the attendee; the long term benefit for the meeting planner is that they will be able to gather data and behavior so that future meetings and events can be uniquely tailored to each attendee.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.