Place: The Indoor Location Conference

Place logoHow much do you know about “indoor location”? I’ve written about it some and you probably are aware of Google and Bing’s venue mapping and indoor navigation efforts. But “indoor maps” isn’t even the half of it.

You probably also know that Apple bought WifiSLAM. What was that about?

In fact, indoor location and marketing may be the most important thing to happen to “location” since the advent of the mobile internet. To fully explain and explore that opportunity Opus Research has created Place: The Indoor Marketing Summit.

Our slogan is “from the last mile to the last aisle.” The event will feature a keynote from Google’s Don Dodge, who’s an enthusiastic proponent of indoor location. We’ll also feature, retailers, digital agencies, mobile ad networks and the technology companies that are helping build out the indoor location “ecosystem” (WiFi, Bluetooth, beacons, LED lighting).

The conference will be on October 8, 2013 in San Francisco. It will be totally unlike any other location-based or mobile marketing event you’ve attended. We’ll be talking about:

  • Consumer acceptance and adoption of indoor location and marketing
  • Online ad-tracking to the point of sale
  • “Google Analytics for the real world”
  • Microfencing: In-aisle targeting and brand conquesting
  • The role of indoor marketing in brand engagement and loyalty marketing
  • Privacy concerns and considerations with indoor location targeting

The event cuts across disciplines and, in one sense, represents the ultimate fulfillment of “online to offline” marketing. Indoor location will help mobile and even online marketers prove value and sales lift by showing store visits (see PlaceIQ, Placed). Companies like Facebook and 4Info are trying to bridge digital marketing with offline databases. That’s a discussion at this event.

Indoor location and marketing will help brands and retailers engage customers in stores and it will create new types of smartphone-enabled customer experiences that will (if done right) make “showrooming” mostly a thing of the past. ShopKick is the 1.0 version.

There’s also a “big data” element that will provide retailers and venue owners with unprecedented information about how, when and where consumers shop and interact in their stores and locations. It’s not really about luring people into stores will coupons, though offers will certainly be a part of the customer experience. It’s partly about brands “talking” to customers in specific areas of stores.

That kind of scenario will be part of a near-term second wave of indoor location. And it will tap into a huge pool of merchandising and co-op marketing dollars (more than $50 billion annually) that already exist. The brands have been trying to “talk” to consumers in grocery and retail stores for years with shelf placement, slotting fees, indoor signage and couponing.

This takes that brand-customer “conversation” to the next level.

Indoor location turns retailers into publishers and ad networks that can sell “virtual endcaps” and digital shelf space to brands on their apps. There are many interesting scenarios to explore. The event will be a mix of panels, presentations and case studies showing very concretely what’s already happening and how it works.

But isn’t this all very speculative? Not really.

Most malls, airports and large retail stores have WiFi infrastructure already. Other complementary indoor location systems that offer greater accuracy are being deployed as well. Imagine “brand conquesting” in stores or Google being able to show actual offline impact and sales lift from AdWords campaigns. It’s not that far off.

Indeed, every single mobile ad network will be working toward some version of store-level ad validation. The ability to show in-store traffic and sales lift from mobile campaigns will not only be “nice to have,” it will probably be mandatory by 2014. PlaceIQ, Placed and 4Info already have versions of this in market.

We’ve got most of the key companies lined up to speak but we also still have openings for interested speakers and sponsors. If you’d like to explore speaking or sponsoring opportunities let me know. We have a few committed sponsors but would love more.

We’ll be formally announcing speakers in the coming weeks. But you’ll hear from companies such as PlaceIQ, Meridian/Aruba, PointInside, Aisle411, Wireless Werx, ByteLight, Catalina Marketing, xAd, Swirl, Euclid Analytics, Wanderful Media, Placed and major retailers deploying indoor location.

You may have recently read about Nordstrom deciding not to continue its “experiment” with “indoor tracking.” The company was temporarily scared away by negative publicity. And there are definitely privacy issues here to be discussed. But all major retailers will be using indoor location for multiple reasons within 2 – 3 years.

If you want to register, you can do so here. The early bird rate is in effect until August 15. I hope you’ll attend to learn about how indoor location will impact and in fact “transform” retail and digital marketing (online and mobile).

This is the first event dedicated to indoor location and marketing. It will help you fully understand the opportunity (way beyond venue maps) and, I believe, will be well worth your time.

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8 Responses to “Place: The Indoor Location Conference”

  1. Marketing Day: June 27, 2013 says at

    […] ScreenwerkPlace: The Indoor Location Conference, Screenwerk […]

  2. Marketing Day: June 27, 2013 ,Vancouver Island, Canada says at

    […] ScreenwerkPlace: The Indoor Location Conference, Screenwerk […]

  3. pat lazure says at

    Well, geez.  This looks pretty cool.  Looking forward to attending. 

  4. Mark Goho says at

    Greg I don’t see anything in your description about Google Business Photos. It seems like if your theme is indoor marketing, the conference wouldn’t be complete without mention of the new service from Google that uses Street View technology to create virtual tours of the inside of businesses that sign up for the service. If you’d like, we can arrange someone to speak at the conference on the service and provide a great deal of information about why it’s so important!

  5. Greg says at

    We do have a discussion about venue mapping which could encompass interior photography.

  6. neal says at

    greg and OPUS – looks like a great event and a new angle on a local conference. 

    let me know if I can help/participate. 

  7. Greg says at

    Thanks Neal. It will be very interesting. Just made contact with someone at the FTC; so we’ll be including them in the discussion of consumer privacy and indoor marketing. 

  8. Greg says at

    We’re now trying to allocate the speakers and moderators. Will follow up. 

  9. ben allen says at

    Hey Greg, just came across these guys today, they seem like they’d be a great fit for your conference:

  10. Greg says at


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