Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is certainly nothing new; it’s been around for decades. Essentially, small computer chips and antennae contained within tags are used to store and transmit data, making it the ideal solution for location tracking and information gathering.
So, it’s not surprising the tech got its start by tracking cattle and monitoring product shipments as they moved across the globe. What used to be limited to livestock and global logistics, however, has evolved over time. RFID tech is now one of the most exciting implements in modern event planning.
Modern RFID Solutions
One of the most significant ways RFID technology has evolved is in size. The computer chips and antennae are now small enough to seamlessly fit in personal badges or event bracelets.
This means an event attendee can slip on a bracelet or affix a badge to a shirt and have access to all the powerful benefits of this tech. Event attendees aren’t the only beneficiaries, though. Event planners are also seeing revolutionary possibilities thanks to this seemingly simple tech.
RFID Benefits for Event Attendees
As an attendee, RFID bracelets facilitate a handful of experience-enhancing benefits. First and foremost, it significantly cuts down on how long attendees must wait in line. More than half of live event attendees cite long lines as one of the most frustrating and negative aspects of attending an event. With RFID bracelets, though, a scan gets a person through check-in and security quickly and efficiently. By cutting down on the amount of time people stand around waiting to enter the event, you greatly enhance perception and enjoyment from the onset.
RFID bracelets can also be linked to various payment accounts, meaning attendees can swipe their bracelets to buy food, drink, souvenirs, or any other event-specific items. Attendees no longer have to stress about keeping an eye on their wallets or purses while navigating a crowded event or finding an ATM to get cash.
The other major benefit relates to social integration. Photographers can easily scan a bracelet and then link relevant pictures to that attendee, making posting to various social platforms easier than ever. This is good for attendees, but it’s also great for event coordinators, who thrive on positive word of mouth via social media.
RFID Benefits for Event Planners
RFID technology doesn’t just benefit attendees; it also makes the professional lives of event planners significantly better.
Security, for example, is always a concern at large-scale events. RFID-based passes can control attendee access to certain areas, such as VIP sections, and it allows security members to perform real-time checks of visitor accreditation. Plus, this technology significantly reduces the likelihood of illegally reproduced, fraudulent passes.
The massive amount of tracking data also allows event coordinators to perform traffic pattern analysis, which reveals the most popular event features, identifies bottlenecks, and provides insight into venue layout deficiencies or successes.
As a particularly large incentive to incorporate this technology, several reports reveal that the speed and convenience of tapping to pay rather than dealing with cash or credit cards results in anywhere from 15 to 30 percent increased spend per person.
Events and Tech: Beyond RFID
RFID tech is just one modern innovation making its way into the world of event planning. Artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition software are also increasingly becoming a part of this landscape. Many companies today are tapping into the power of these technologies in order to enhance attendee or user experience at planned events. This includes EventsAIR, an event technology platform based out of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
“The way different technologies are starting to integrate and morph into one within the event planning space is something we’ve believed in from the start,” says Joe Ciliberto, global director of sales and marketing for EventsAIR. “Technology allows event planning companies today to be one-stop shops for all event-related needs.”