RFID for events

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): What It Is & Why It Matters

As events continue to become more and more integrated with technology, event planning specialists are able to avoid issues that have plagued events for years. Not only does this tech allow for less stress when it comes to hosting an event, but those in attendance will enjoy themselves more as well.

One of the latest technologies that you’ll start to see more of over the next few years is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). You may have even heard of this type of tech before, but maybe you’re not quite sure what to do with it. To help you decide if RFID technology is right for your next event, we’re going to dive into what exactly Radio Frequency Identification is, what problems it solve, and additional benefits it can provide.

RFID – The Ins and Outs

While ‘Radio Frequency Identification’ may sound complicated, it’s most likely a type of technology that you’ve used before. A key fob or hotel key uses this same type of tech to allow access into locked doors. RFID has been around for awhile, but we are starting to see this tech used in more consumer applications, especially at events.

RFID works through a small chip that is placed inside a wristband or card that can communicate with a scanner through a radio signal. Perhaps the best feature of RFID chips is that they can be detected when they are within the proximity of a scanner. Whereas with a barcode, it must be physically scanned, an RFID chip just needs to be within a certain distance to work. Typically, you’ll see RFID tech used in bracelets, which you can personalize to fit your brand and looks good on your attendees.

There are two types of devices that make-up an RFID system. There is the RFID reader, which is used to scan the RFID tag. Within the tag, there are two more parts. First, there is the chip, which stores and processes information. Second, there is the antenna, which communications with the radio signal from the reader.

Pretty simple, right? Well, this simple tech has immense possibilities in terms of what it can be used for.

Get People Inside Your Event Efficiently

This is especially relevant if the event will involve a line build up outside before the initial start. For example, think of a concert. By placing scanners near the entrance, the concert-goers can simply walk in through the gates as opposed to having to scan each and every individual ticket with a barcode. Not only will RFID tech help everyone in that line get in faster, but your attendees will appreciate the efficiency and speed in which they are able to get inside the actual event.

No Cash? No Problem

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go to an event and not have to worry about carrying money around for food, drinks, or merchandise? With RFID tech, you can allow attendees to sync their bracelet chips to a debit or credit card and have them pay simply by scanning the chip. Let your guests enjoy the event to the fullest and not worry about where their wallet is.

Data in Real Time

If you like optimizing your event, then you’ll love the information that RFID can give you in real time, such as where the most foot traffic is. If you notice that a lot of your attendees are at a merchandising booth, you can send more manpower over there to handle the excess sales.

Engage Your Attendees

Photobooths, interactive displays detailing products, scavenger hunts, and more. The possibilities are endless when it comes to how you can use RFID tech to engage your audience. A great example is the 2018 Ryder Cup in Scotland this year. As an initiative to promote physical activity, guests at the Ryder Cup received RFID wristbands that tracked how much ground they had covered during the tournament. To encourage movement, the event coordinators placed stations around the course where patrons could visit for a chance to win a prize.

Leave a Strong Impression on Your Guests

Let’s be honest, RFID tech is impressive. Your attendees will walk away with the impression that the company or organization that hosts the event is innovative and forward-thinking.

Allow Your Guests to Socialize Easier

One of the best aspects of an event is that it brings people together who have similar interests, visions, and goals. For professional events, it’s a great time for the attendees to network and meet new people. RFID technology can help your guests connect in real time, like the case of Tomorrowland music festival in Belgium. Prior to the event, festival-goers linked their RFID wristbands to their Facebook accounts. At the event, if two people near each other pressed the heart-shaped button on their wristbands at the same time, their Facebook profiles would be sent to one another’s emails.

Why Event Tech Matters

The use of smart, advanced technology can help take your event to new heights. As companies and organizations continue to push the boundaries in the way that their guests engage with one another, and the event itself. With technology like RFID, events are frankly, becoming more fun. Organizations that cater to what their audience wants, in the most efficient manner, will be the ones that stand out amongst the competition. The goal of an event shouldn’t be to try and force conversions and sales onto people. It should be to create a lasting impact on your audience, one that will help nurture a lifelong customer, and technology like RFID can help you achieve this.

Bryce Boyle event tech

Bryce Boyle Hoban

Marketing Associate, ON Services

Bryce Boyle Hoban is a Marketing Associate for ON Services, an event technology company that works towards creating the right AV technology and executions for your event needs.