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"We’d like to think about products as destination solutions with wayfinding and positioning as the key functionalities"
A one-stop-shop for smart destination solutions, XPONIA is taking many forward-thinking venues like the ASCC to a new high, by helping meet the visitors’ desire to engage virtually on a digital level. At the forefront of the in-location positioning movement, XPONIA is changing the game in the destination management industry, empowering destination owners with its bespoke mobile apps. XPONIA’s solutions—from back-office systems through to the front-end applications—help clients fulfill the requirements for modern visitor experience.
Developing a holistic mobile app for museums and cultural heritage sites has been a starting point for XPONIA but by no means the endgame. Since its inception in 2016, XPONIA has taken a quantum leap in creating a complete digital solution and bespoke apps tailored to a client’s venue—be it convention centers, trade shows, amusement and leisure parks, airports, events, malls, or hospitals.
Historically, local guides/kiosks/ information booths provided visitors with the necessary information to move around a specific place, locate the resources available at a particular establishment, and arrive at the optimal route for a particular location. However, the dearth of personalization was always a significant hindrance for the wayfinders. XPONIA addressed this challenge head-on by developing and implementing wayfinding tools with the utility of mobile devices to serve as local guides within indoor and outdoor locations. Since then, XPONIA’s solutions have traversed a path of consistent growth, evolving from the early days of GPS-based maps to the current destination solutions.
“With an aim to solve complex problems at the confluence of edutainment and infotainment, we, at XPONIA, map entire indoor and outdoor spaces for customers to make personalized information available at the right time and the right place,” says Bianca Patkos, Co-founder and CEO of XPONIA.
XPONIA’s approach of employing modern-day smartphones to suffice a visitor’s need with the minimal resources available at a location is unarguably a pivotal milestone in the development of digital wayfinding solutions. Since this advancement, XPONIA developed a proprietary wayfinding and mapping framework by building a pedestal on its successful wayfinding initiatives. From digital wayfinding, micro-location, multimedia information, to augmented reality, virtual reality, gamification, and other engaging features, XPONIA’s smart and comprehensive destination solutions are focused on building value for the stakeholders, while also improving guest and visitor experience. “With wayfinding and positioning as key functionalities, our products can map the entire surroundings of an individual, and in turn, enhance the availability of information relevant to his location at the fingertips,” adds Karlheinz Koch, co-founder and chairman, XPONIA. To put things in perspective, Koch cites the example of a shopping mall, where visitors can be guided toward specific shops or food courts or cinema ticket counters through the digital wayfinding solution. In such scenarios, XPONIA’s unified, holistic, individually-tailored apps serve as a single source of information pertaining to visitor or shopper activities, encompassing indoor navigation, movie reservations, food ordering, and many more location-based functions. The company’s innovative multilingual solutions embed wayfinding into a virtual concierge with personalized recommendations.
XPONIA’s solutions form a ‘360-degree product’ that encompasses modular content management, data analytics and reporting, and user experience interfaces, in order to bring in the much-needed fluidity for information exchange. The portfolio can be diversified into intuitive mobile applications with maps and floor plans for indoor and outdoor locations. For example, it can be an event management application with relevant information tailored to participants, a conference and expo application that connects participants with exhibitors or a food and beverages management application that is designed specifically for a venue. Through these solutions, XPONIA boldly treads on the roads that other wayfinding solution providers steer away from. It delivers the kind of applications travelers would prefer using, content that engages users, and graphics or imagery that entice visitors.
XPONIA’s solution sets open up the technological doors to a multitude of functionalities
Based on XPONIA’s white-label solutions, clients obtain customized native apps that align with their branding standards, style, and requirements. XPONIA ensures that these intuitive and user-friendly branded applications run on the latest software versions and deliver up-to-date features and functionalities. Moreover, additional requests and needs are incorporated as and when required. The bespoke package from the company is beefed up with robust and proactive support services that enable seamless implementation and set up. Bianca refers to her company’s portfolio as “smart destination solutions” while highlighting its merits and advantages. “XPONIA’s solution set opens up the technological doors to a multitude of mapping functionalities. While interacting with a client, we build a flexible, modular system with two language structures for different ethnicities.
With such an approach, XPONIA ensures increased operational efficiencies, quicker customizations, and better cost-effectiveness. This has allowed the company to handcraft products for specific target audiences. For trade shows, conventions and events, XPONIA offers XEvent–a digital wayfinding solution to support orientation and on-floor navigation. This module provides matchmaking, customized tours, and recommendation functions, all the while delivering insightful analytics to the organizer of the event. Similarly, XShop targets shopping malls and retail operators, through which, visitors can arrive at their desired shopping outlet with the assistance of the digital wayfinder. The solution also customizes shopping lists prior to the shopper’s visit to the retail outlet. XPONIA also provides three more such modules— XTra, XPark, and XMus—for specialized markets such as airports, train stations, theme parks, resorts, hotels, zoos, museums, art galleries, and heritage sites. Each of these modules offers travelers directions and navigation to the relevant checkpoints during the course of their journey. The company also personalizes recommendations, notifications, and food and beverage selections for visitors depending on their current location. Case in point, XMus offers multimedia museum guides that are crafted to the linguistic preferences of visitors across various artistic venues. With such customizations, XPONIA upholds the preferences and requirements of the end-user, delivering memorable experiences that are both fun and informative.
Scalability and Market Expansion
Reaping the rewards of its product line, XPONIA aims to make cities in MENA, India, Asia, and Europe digitally agile, taking into consideration the demographic requirements of its clients in this region. The company aspires to make a segmented expansion, targeting specific prerequisites of resorts, trade shows, and events while also devising products for discrete avenues such as malls and museums. Such an expansion plan is supplemented with ‘multipliers’ that would market XPONIA’s white label solutions as an inherent product of their own solution set for ticketing operations, event management, and facility management. “As we partner with solution providers to address individual needs of the target audiences, our destination solutions empower us to leverage opportunities with in-house software developers and suppliers around the globe,” adds Koch. His words resonate with the company’s recent advancement of integrating BLE-Beacon technology through an indigenously-developed operating system for indoor navigation. By utilizing the sophistication of Bluetooth peripherals within the BLE-Beacon ecosystem, XPONIA delivers marketing and sales promotions directly to users based on their preferences relevant to the corresponding location. “While we collaborate with vendors and businesses to employ the benefits of such peripherals, XPONIA respects and encourages open dialogue to nurture an environment for honest and productive brainstorming. That’s the objective of our engagements with clients,” adds Bianca.
From an end user’s perspective, XPONIA’s solutions add an element of fun and curiosity to wayfinding all the while delivering them with a technological upper hand as they pursue their destinations. Going by the case of navigating within the ASCC, the materialization of a true digital wayfinding/destination ecosystem dawns upon the world, effectively providing travelers and tourists a reliable avenue for information exchange.