bandjpCustomer Relationship Management, Online Community Management, Membership Engagement, Social Media Management, the online industry is full of roles which focus on using data to develop relationships and services based on an individuals needs and preferences. The Event industry hasn’t been slow to adopt technology, calendar synching, event apps , interactive info boards and dedicated Twitter hashags are now the norm. Delegates arrive with smartphones and tablets in hand expecting to access more information at the event. They use Cardmunch to build their contact base, Linked in to research people, Evernote to take meeting minutes and Groupme to co-ordinate catch ups.

RFID is now being used to address the challenge of enhancing and personalising the experiences of large groups of people. Disney has already started.RFID “MagicBands,” will replace paper tickets and will be used to enter parks and hotel rooms and to buy food and souvenirs throughout the Disney resorts. The RFI wristbands will also interact with other sensors in Disney’s parks, allowing characters to greet guests by name. The festival industry has been experimenting with RFID to try to reduce the amount of time the festival goers spend in queues so they won’t miss their favourite bands. The focus is on the visitor, using the data generated to make their experiences more memorable and enjoyable. Which, of course, generates more revenue.

In 2012 Aberdeen made the top 10 UK cities list in the latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) data. The city hosts some of the largest conferences and exhibitions in Europe. Thousands of professionals visit each year with the purpose of networking fans learning more about emerging technology and services in the Oil and Gas sector.

If you want to know why RFID can make a difference when you’re hosting an event scroll down to ‘5 ways to Use RFID at your Events’

If you want the basic overview of RFID carry on reading below

RFID for Beginners

To make it work you need 4 elements. An event, your customer database,wristbands and scanners to read the wristbands.

RFID is a data collection technology that uses electronic tags for acquiring data. Every time the wristband is scanned data is written to a central database. This builds a picture of the wearers behaviour, habits and preferences.

Each RFID wristband has a Unique Identifying Number (UID) when it’s made .When the wristband is issued this number is captured by the RFID printer and appended to the attendee database so Mark Smith of Archer is now Mark Smith 097865.This way, whenever the RFID wristband 097865 is scanned, the system attaches that activity to Mark Smith.

If Mark Smith wants to enter a VIP section his wristband would be scanned.

The scanner would consult the main visitor database and see if  097865 is VIP. Green for yes and red for no.

Entry to VIP would be attached to Mark smiths activity record.

RFID wristbands cannot be duplicated so eliminate counterfeits.
If a wristband is stolen or lost it can be cancelled off the database immediately

Wristband permissions can be changed (stand owners can extend VIP benefits at will – eg – free coffee )

Works using internal wireless network and/or GPS outside network

No data held on wristbands

5 ways to use RFID at your Events

There are tons of ways RFID can be used at events, it’s been used to pop corks from bottles, deliver family messages to marathon runners at the tough points and by bands to greet their fans by name.

Since Aberdeen is known for its business conferences and events I’ll stick with 5 of the most sensible options..

*Welcome Individuals – ‘Morning Mr Cane, Welcome to Aberdeen! Your first meeting is in 15 minutes.’ It’s nice to acknowledge delegates, especially if the event is a paid event.

* Upgrade VIP Benefits  – Wristband permissions can be changed at will. Stand owners are able to add complimentary refreshments  to visitors wristbands while they wait for a meeting slot.

*Generate Marketing Insight   – In large events there can be up to 150 represented businesses. Footfall to stands can be tracked and logged creating market insight for both event organisers and the businesses represented.

*Deliver Personalised Event packs – If you allow your visitors to check in at stands, presentations and talks within your event you can deliver all the contact and marketing information into their inbox. This way everything is in one place and they can retrace their journey. Beats rifling through a bag of free pens and stress balls to recover business cards.

*Collect Survey Data  – Feature a QR code on the wristband and drive visitors to a mobile feedback page. Incentivise it using the ad space on the wristband and use a daily deadline to drive responses.

 If you’d like to know more about RFID, or need some ideas on how it could work for you get in touch,