How to use POAPs and reinvent them for location-based marketing?

Published by
Benoit Hossay
Last update:
October 17, 2022

Introduction to POAPs

The popularity of POAPs has risen significantly amongst mainly crypto fanatics that visit web3 conferences all over the globe. For those of you who are not familiar with this acronym, POAP stand for Proof Of Attendance Protocol.

Basically, Proof-of-attendance (POAP) is a decentralized system that allows one to verify their attendance at an event - without the need for a third party. Proving your attendance can go beyond an event, it can be a webinar, an online or in-person course, a class in college, a visit to a location or a shop or any other type of attendance.

These proofs of attendance can also be used for locations in a specific region. One can imagine a city council implementing POAPs at multiple remarkable points-of-interest, or an orientation trail run where contestants must collect a POAP to validate their passage. As you understand, the use-cases are pretty much limitless and we often refer to POAP as the Foursquare of Web3.

Foursquare for Android Receives an Update with New UI

The problem with POAPs

At this moment, POAPs in the web3 world are managed by an eponym company offering a mobile app in which you can collect POAPs.

The POAPs are minted on the Ethereum blockchain under the form of a NFT and stored in the POAP application... And that's the biggest problem.

1/ why materialize as a token?

The big question here: why should a POAP be a token?

Tokens are primarily meant to :

  • be traded or exchanged
  • be transfered
  • store value

Trading or exchanging a token that proofs an attendance to an event does not make sense. People can be very proud that they once visited a music event or sports event etcera, but in the far majority of cases the personal memory is the value. A personal memory has no value to someone else.

Materializing tokens as a NFT is creating per essence wrong perceptions at the users side. They expect tokens to have value and increase in value, but how can you give value to a proof of attendance ?

The value is not in the proof of attendance itself but in the proof of your loyalty.

2/ The usage

Speaking for myself, I have attended many events and conferences where organisors were allowing guests a way to collect a POAP for the event.

People did collect the NFT, however, the painful reality is that the customer journey stops there.

From all POAPs collected I haven't seen a single usage or incentive that would increase my loyalty towards the brand or the event. At the end of the day, people realize that they now have a tokenised proof-of-attendance in an app but they have no clue what to do with it.

OK cool, but what can i do with this?

POAPs the Sayl way

At Sayl we decided to do things differently. We thoroughly studied POAPs and decided to rebuild a Proof Of Attendance Protocol from the ground up, leveraging the technology of our blockchain Hedera Hashgraph.

Our vision: collecting POAPs is the start of the customer journey, not the end

Collecting a POAP should trigger a journey that reinforces and reward guests for their loyalty.

A POAP is the perfect mechanic that fits into our loyalty platform and serves as gateway for all kind of interactions between businesses and their audience.

Also, POAPs are not tokens, they are technically speaking a cryptographic-immutable-timestamped proof that one has attended or visited something... nothing else.

The rest of the customer journey is not a POAP and will never be a POAP.

In Sayl, marketers can define collectible POAPs, we also refer to them as POAP Locations.

There are 3 ways to have guests collect POAP within Sayl :

1. By having people scan a QR code on premise

From within Sayl, as a marketer you can generate the QR code that the visitors can scan to collect the POAP.

This is useful when :

  • Unattended collection is needed
  • The users must collect from a very accurate spot
  • Collection without any organizational process is required
  • The user base is not familiar yet with the wallet and the technology

Use-cases :

  • Events
  • Hospitality : have guests collect their POAP when they come to your places
  • Places with sub-area's like Hotels or Clubs
  • Amusement & theme parks : Incentivize the visit of all the park's spots
  • Geo-caching, tourism, IRL games, treasure hunts, races, orientation courses : Drive guests to places and have them prove their passage
  • Parkings : Collect a POAP for every usage
  • Shops : Guests can collect a proof of their in-store passage

2. By having people scan a QR code in our SSM app.

Shop associates, stewards and waiters that use the Sayl Store Manager App can generate the collectible QR code on the spot, for their guests.

This is useful when :

  • The staff must be in control of the collection process
  • Interaction between the business and the guest / clients is part of the experience

Use-cases :

  • Restaurants : have the bartender propose clients to onboard them in their first POAP collection.
  • VIP areas of night club : make the POAP collection part of a premium experience
  • High-touch shops & retailers
  • ...

3. By having people "discover" the POAP in the Sayl Wallet.

Sayl Wallet users can open the wallet in a POAP-able location and provided they are at valid distance of the POAP, they can collect it.

This is useful when :

  • Unattended collection is needed
  • Location is important but does not need to be super accurate
  • Collection without any organizational process is required
  • It is a large area and disseminating QR codes is not possible
  • The user base is already familiar with the wallet

Use-cases :

  • Festivals : Guests can collect their POAP when they are in the boundaries of the festival site
  • Amusement & theme parks : General POAPs can be collected in the area of the park
  • Clubs & stadiums : Fans can collect their POAP for attending a game
  • ...

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