Brella’s Beacon Bonanza


Brella is driving event planning into the future, and we’re doing it with beacons! Meeting books now become obsolete—no more handouts, folded hotel maps, or printed presentations. With just a few of these devices placed strategically in a physical space, you can beam critical information to your attendees’ mobile devices instantly and paperlessly. Brella’s custom-made mobile app does the heavy lifting, communicating between the beacons, the content servers, and the hand-held devices.

Beacons are small, waterproof, battery-powered devices that you can slap on most any surface. When combined with a mobile app, beacons communicate with compatible tablets and mobile phones, notifying the user they are within their proximity. So if 30 people are in a breakout room, a beacon will notify the user of their presence, and immediately links the user to the event materials – like video, PDFs, or other digital pieces – offering the user a seamless and paperless experience.

In other words, event attendees get the right materials, at the right moment, in the right place. No confusion or paper required.

Brella’s first beacon app debuted at a mid-March international pharmaceutical meeting, sending updated session schedules and materials to event-goers’ phones and tablets. Our beacon app helped deliver PowerPoint presentations, videos, and interactive PDFs over the air. The 29 beacons we brought were visited a total of 3,977 times over the course of the week. Our technical wizards were on-hand to assist with the newness, and helped with tricky Russian-language iOS installations, among other things.


Brella built the mobile app from scratch with a clean, modern user interface. Features were carefully considered, and then speed-built in both iOS7+ and Android 4.3+. Direct access to the database backend and content management system (also Brella-built) allowed us to update documents in real time. Most attendees had never seen anything similar before.

“From the user perspective, immediate accessibility to dynamic content is exciting,” said Anthony Biondi, Brella’s Director of Development. “People at our event mentioned how great it was to not have to carry a bunch of paperwork around.”

Biondi went on to explain that while an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 beacons are currently being tested or put to use in the business world, Brella isn’t going to wait for the rest of the world to catch up. “While other companies are still getting their feet wet with testing, we have already put the technology to use in the real world.”