BBC experiments with check-ins at festival

UK: Tangential to sports perhaps, but an interesting experiment nevertheless and one that could have implications for any venue looking to engage with an audience: at Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2011 this coming weekend, the BBC will test a new mobile feature that allows the audience to say “I’m here now” to their friends while watching their favourite artists throughout the day. The key thing, according to an article published on the BBC Radio Blog, is that they have to be present at a stage to check in.

“This is an experiment to help the BBC explore privacy issues around Check Ins and ask whether the technology can enhance our audiences’ experience of similar events,” writes Richard Morland – Senior Producer Social Media – A&M Interactive. “At the BBC I run a number of social media projects and we’ve been wanting to do something involving the audience at festivals and listeners at home for quite a while. The challenge I set myself here was to find a new and engaging way for the BBC to encourage users to share their festival experiences, good or bad, with the wider world.”

Morland confesses that the experiment was originally developed ‘on a beer mat’ at the end of last year. Participants with smartphones and Facebook accounts are able to share a number of things: which stage they’re at, who they’re listening to and what they think of the performance. This information is shared with friends via the user’s Facebook newsfeed (the BBC being assiduous in maintaining user privacy through the course of the trial) while users are also asked to verify their location by either checking their 3G cell or using their GPS location.

Easy to see how sports clubs in particular could drive this sort of thing forward. Morland promises an update on how the experiment went after the event, and you can read the full, original blog posting here:




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