Top Long Beach Destinations Deploy Geofence For Visitors

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Parking Conference Uses Unique Mix of Proximity Based Messaging

This month, in conjunction with the California Public Parking Association conference in Long Beach, some of the City’s top destinations are deploying the latest proximity based messaging tool to welcome and engage conference attendees directly on their mobile devices.

Beginning November 13th and continuing through the following week, the California Public Parking Association (CPPA) will hold their annual conference in Long Beach. The Long Beach Airport, the Westin Hotel, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Rainbow Lagoon and the Laugh Factory – all information or conference module locations – will be reaching CPPA conference attendees directly on their mobile devices, whenever they are within range of these destinations. This is accomplished by deploying a geofence, or virtual perimeter, around these specific locations.

Proximity, or location-based messaging, primarily uses the GPS technology in smartphones and other mobile devices to deliver timely and relevant messages to target consumers with location-specific messaging, or advertising, right on their mobile devices, based on where they are at any given time.

The geofence technology aspect of the CPPA conference is being driven by Luis Maldonado, the City of Long Beach’s Parking Administrator and by ASTRALCOM Digital Business Solutions, in Lakewood, CA.

“Advancements in technology, like the geofence, can help visitors, residents and businesses connect with one another more easily. With the CPPA event, we’re using this messaging technology to demonstrate how it can help people navigate, find and use destinations within the City,” stated Maldonado.

In each of the geofence-enabled CPPA conference locations, attendees can be notified of the location-specific event information, on their mobile devices in real-time, based on their proximity to each destination.

Additionally, each enabled location can also offer conference attendees event or location-specific incentives to encourage admission and/or other consumer purchases. Each location-specific notice also includes links to the CPPA event website and the recently released Downtown Long Beach Interactive Parking Map located at http://www.tinyurl.com/DTLB-Parking.

According to Richard Bergér, VP E-Business at ASTRALCOM, “Conference attendees arriving at the Long Beach Airport will be greeted, on their mobile devices, once they are within the geofence. The message will include airport-specific information and directions to the conference location at the Westin.” Once at the Westin, for example, Bergér explains that conference attendees will be notified via their handhelds about conference meeting details and times, parking areas and other information relative to the conference and/or location. “It’s sort of like a geo-concierge for destinations within the City,” explained Bergér.

“Since the Long Beach Airport is a central hub for arriving visitors, it makes sense to greet and welcome them to Long Beach and provide useful information to help guests reach their destinations within the city. The geofence seems like it fits that purpose nicely,” said Mario Rodriguez, Director, Long Beach Airport.

Other destinations like the Laugh Factory and the Aquarium of the Pacific will be offering incentives or discounts at their venues via similar geofence notices.

"We think it's a good idea to welcome the CPPA conference attendees via the geofence because it's an opt-in, easy way to engage visitors who show an interest in the Aquarium and other local venues,” said Lisa Wagner, Sr. Advertising & Research Manager Aquarium of the Pacific.

Businesses and consumers are quickly adopting proximity-based messaging solutions because, for attendees like the CPPA, it delivers timely, relevant information. For businesses, it’s easy-to-implement and delivers a higher return on marketing investment than other mediums. For consumers, it provides engaging and incentivized experiences with businesses and locations they prefer. Ultimately, it enables consumers and local businesses to form even deeper relationships and more engaging experiences, in real-time.

“The Geofence is cutting edge technology that enhance guests' experiences as they will be able to connect with the hotel before they arrive. Once CPPA guests enter the geofence area, they are informed about the hotel and daily offers which helps to maximize their experience throughout the duration of their stay,” stated Marc Choplick, General Manager at the Westin.

The CPPA conference is a focused group of visitors that will allow ASTRALCOM to deploy this pilot project quickly and to easily measure its effectiveness. While ASTRALCOM will establish the geofence perimeters and create the messaging components, the promotion of the service will be done through the CPPA’s efforts and via the CPAA’s website and newsletter.

“We have different types of clients including real estate and restaurants that are using this same application to engage and involve their consumers,” stated Bergér. “Working with the City of Long Beach, these great destinations and the CPPA was a natural fit; given the context of the event locations, audience and available technology, it’s a nice step in the direction of fostering micro-economic stability,” added Bergér.

For more information about proximity based solutions, like the geofence, visit http://www.astralcom.com or http://www.astralcom.com/mobile.

During its 16 years, ASTRALCOM has helped the City of Long Beach with Internet-based conservation and business attraction efforts in the past, with projects like The Long Beach Water Department's website, The Stormwater Division and the Special Events Division’s first websites and economic development efforts like LongBeachCulture.org and TechBeach.net. ASTRALCOM has also helped many local companies with their e-business and marketing needs, like Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ, Long Beach Animal Hospital, Catalina Express, Hof’s Hut Restaurants, Pioneer Entertainment, KLON FM, Blair Commercial Real Estate, Inc., Long Beach Playhouse and many others.

About ASTRALCOM
ASTRALCOM Digital Business Solutions (http://www.astralcom.com) is a multiple award-winning digital business solution provider that creates and develops strategic Internet and e-business implementations using web development, mobile phone applications, e-commerce, search marketing, virtual world deployments, social intelligence messaging, customer experience management and business growth tactics.

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RICHARD BERGER
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