Opt-in Rates at Events: Just How Many People Allow Location Services and Turn Bluetooth On?

Festival season is slowly coming to an end – it’s time to recap and most importantly start thinking about what to set up for next year. If you’re wondering just what you can do to boost app engagement and really understand how many people you would be able to reach with location-based marketing, keep reading for opt-ins at events.

Back in May, Plot Projects helped The Next Web up their app game for the 2017 edition of TNW Conference in Amsterdam. We jumped on that opportunity to collect some data and conduct a little experiment of our own, and here’s what we found.

Disclaimer: these results are based on one particular event and may vary from industry average rates.

Location opt-in rates

If you’re using location-based marketing relying on any or a mix of GPS, cellular or wifi triangulation, having users opt in for location services is a necessary prerequisite. If your user doesn’t opt in you cannot interact with them, so forget about personalizing notifications based on location, helping users navigate through your event, collecting location data or all the other cool things you could do with location based marketing during events to create a unique and engaging experience.

So how many people really opt in for location services when using event apps? Based on the data collected at TNW conference, the opt-in rate is rather similar on both Android and iOS, with 69% and 67% respectively. A small 6% of iOS users only opted in for location services ‘when using the app’, a permission that you would rather avoid for proximity marketing.

Learn here how to make sure your users grant you the ‘Always’ location permission.

Location Opt-in Rates at Events

Notifications opt-in rates

In addition, many of the use cases allowing you to engage users based on location involve notifications. If your users don’t opt in for notifications, your app is reduced to the status of silent observer, which is still useful but not optimal.

Well, we have good news for you. All TNW conference attendees using the Android app received notifications. Why is that? On Android you are opted-in by default, meaning you can’t install an app without allowing it to send you notifications. After installation you can go into settings and disable notifications, but that seldom happens.

What about iOS users? Our stats show that an impressive 84% of iOS users opted in for notifications. Altogether, there is room to reach out to a large amount of users regardless of their operating system of choice.

Notification Opt-in Rate Events


Bluetooth turn on rates

If you rely on beacons to any extent, Bluetooth turn on rates really matter since they use Bluetooth to interact with nearby users.

If your strategy is solely based on Geofencing, Bluetooth rates won’t impact your reach whatsoever.

Based on our experiment, 16% of TNW conference users had their Bluetooth turned on. Most likely, some users have it on at all times to connect to wireless speakers, headphone etc. But most people don’t tend to have Bluetooth turned on when out and about and this an important factor to keep in mind when using beacons.

iOS Bluetooth Rate

Bottom line

Now, what do those results mean for the industry? While this might slightly change with iOS 11, results are encouraging for those using or thinking of using location-based marketing and location intelligence at events. If, like we anticipate, these results translate to the rest of the event industry, then you have the opportunity to reach out to over ⅔ of your user base.

On the not so bright side, our results also show that beacon technology has limited reach for now – about 20% of your audience. We are not saying ‘stop using beacons’. What we are saying is you should, if it’s right for your use case, but use beacons in combination with other technologies such as geofencing that rely on location services rather than Bluetooth. This way you get the best of both worlds.

Now get out there and make your event an experience you users won’t forget!

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