Recently I attended a marketing conference in Boston, and of course while it was exciting and full of great speakers and networking opportunities I couldn't help from feeling like the event could have stepped up their technology game. First off the event's Wi-Fi connectivity was rather spotty and overall could have been better (but that's a different subject) and secondly, even though they were trying to enhance the experience with a custom event app it just felt like they didn't do all that they could have to take a great event and turn it into an extraordinary event. For example, they had a map service in the app, which was great considering the building was gigantic (I think I walked 10 miles a day) however, when you used it all it did was draw a line on a map from a pre-determined location to the next location. In other words you can see on a map a line from one room to another room, kind of helpful but not interactive and not contextual. What they could have done was placed beacons throughout the event and then paired them with the app to offer me wayfinding. This would have allowed me to navigate the event from wherever I was to wherever I wanted to go in a personalized "GPS" style experience. This would have wowed me number one, and number two been a lot more helpful. What this event failed to grasp fully was how they were interacting with their audience. Marketing and event messaging used to be just that, all about the messaging. Sure sometimes a push notification can be valuable, but most of the time if it is it's because you got lucky that it happened to be at the right time in the right place. There has to be a better way than just hoping to get lucky, there has to be a way to take your messaging and actually give it personalized context to your audience. Beacons paired with the right applications can provide attendees with meaningful connections and dynamic interactions with brands, sponsors, and each other. The emphasis has shifted from what you're saying to your audience to enhancing the event experience by adding real context.