POAPs are used as a digital proof of a collector's attendance or participation in an event. As such, they can be used for anything where you might want to give exclusive access only to verifiable fans/community members.
Some of the most common use cases for this functionality of POAPs are:
Access to exclusive merchandise, such as:
Band merch for concert attendees only
Ability to purchase new/limited merchandise before the general public
Entrance to raffles and giveaways, such as at POAP.fun:
For a guide on setting up a POAP.fun Raffle, please see the article: How do I set up a POAP.fun Raffle?
Participation in polls, outreach surveys, voting/governance, etc.
For a guide on setting up a POAP.vote poll, please see the article: How Do I Set Up a POAP.vote Poll?
Access to exclusive future events, such as:
Community hangouts with verified community members only.
Discounts for repeat attendees, such as:
Attend a conference/concert multiple years in a row? Receive money off of your ticket price for the next events.
Free drinks/meals at venues, similar to a punch card.
Access to private Discord channels and chat groups
As a collector, keep an eye out for these opportunities as you collect more POAPs. Typically, if there is planned functionality/utility for a POAP like those mentioned above, you will be notified during the drop period.