Category Archives: Event Security

14 RFID Technology Applications for Sports Events

It will come as no surprise that the North American sports market is expected to reach $73.5 billion by 2019.

Gate revenues, television rights, and sponsorships are the main driving force behind the sector growth and the key component underpinning all facets of sports media is technology.

Technology has had a colossal impact on the world of sports in recent years. Most fans will be familiar with Hawk-Eye, the line review system used in tennis. There’s also the instant replay challenge system brought into Major league baseball in 2014.

What is less known, however, is the way contactless technologies like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) are being used for live sports events.

Here we explain 14 RFID applications that sports event managers, sports-tech companies and brand agencies can utilize for game-changing results.

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Using RFID technology for Sports Events

1. Access Control & Fraud Prevention

RFID can help reduce friction when entering an event. Fans don’t have to carry paper tickets, input information, or even carry cash; it can all be done with the tap of a wrist. This also helps fraud prevention; each wristband is embedded with its own unique code, making it very hard to counterfeit. If fraudulent behavior is suspected, or even if someone loses their band, it can be canceled at the click of a button and a new one administered.

2. Season Passes & Memberships

Game Day is everything to super-fans with season passes and memberships, and corporations want them to feel part of the team. RFID technology is the perfect way to make this happen. Perhaps, like the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, you want to gift fans with team jerseys fitted with RFID technology, giving them a unique way for season pass holders to enter events and feel special at the same time. RFID chips can be embedded in almost anything!

3. Corporate Suite Management

People spend a lot of time and money on suites for their favorite teams, ensuring they never miss seeing the game in total comfort. It is vital to add the right finishing touches to make this experience special; allowing Corporate Suite wristbands or clothing to unlock the door not only elevates the VIP experience, but it cuts down on the costs of staff needed to monitor entry.

4. Cashless Payments

People don’t always like holding onto a lot of cash at big events, and RFID technology has the solution to this problem. Stored with credit card information, it can be used to make cashless payments giving fans a sense of freedom to enjoy their day worry-free, it is also known to increase spending habits due to cash not being physically exchanged between the customers and vendors. Corporations can utilise the payment data to send special offers and discounts to fans (by text or email) at the right time and the right place, increasing up-sell opportunities.

5. VIP Club Experiences

Being able to give your members special privileges elevates the whole VIP experience. With a tap of a wristband, you can give VIPs access to exclusive areas and provide them with perks such as free drinks tokens embedded in their bracelets.

6. Gamification

What better place than game day to encourage people to ‘play more’? Back in 2014, the UEFA Champions League Festival in London was one of Europe’s biggest ever social media activations. Powered by Intellitix, 30,000 event goers ‘joined the game’ and used RFID cards supplied by ID&C to engage with UEFA’s sponsor brands and interact with games to win big prizes.

Eleven Skill Stations around the event allowed people to compete to win a spot at the top of the leaderboard, while photos were posted across social media channels with event sponsor and partner branding. The results saw 85,000 RFID activations onsite and 45m+ page impressions online.

7. Photobooths

Photobooth stations enabled with RFID technology are a great way for fans to rally support for their teams and post them on their social media channels. You can create a connected experience for your fans to feel part of the action while they’re at the game, and share these memories, creating a strong brand affinity and giving you great engagement stats online.

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8. Sponsor Brand Activations

It can be really hard to get fans to engage with sponsors, encouraging them to take the time at a game or event to hand over their personal data is always a challenge. RFID technology does it all for you so that you can create an instant buzz by allowing attendees to enter instant competitions and opt-in to receive more information with just a tap of their wristband. This also gives you great data to negotiate sponsorship deals in the future.

9. Alcohol Licensing Control

Long queues for drinks and waiting times while people search for their identification cards to prove their age are a thing of the past. When using RFID wristbands to carry personal data, bar staff no longer have to ask to see guests I.D. By storing basic personal data before an event to ‘okay’ whether a person is of legal age to drink ensures that the sale of alcohol stays safe and saves staff and guests time.

RFID technology can also help you comply with liquor board on redemption and consumption laws. RFID wristbands can be pre-loaded with a specific number of drink vouchers per person, helping to control and comply.

10. Race Timing

Race timers can now be made smaller than ever. Fitted into a wristband, clothing, shoes, or object, an RFID chip can be used to accurately collect data on speed, rest, and race times allowing racers, event holders and fans to keep an eye on personal bests and patterns. They can even be used to collect some cool data on the soccer field such as being able to track how far players move in the space of a game.

11. Interactive Leaderboards

Get fans involved in the action while at a game. Reward attendees with prizes for knowing the most about the sport, or their team, and rank the ultimate super-fans in a live leaderboard. Encouraging friendly competition, and a sense of team pride before or during games.

In 2014, we teamed up with the Ryder Cup and Intellitex to give out 100,000 RFID enabled wristbands, turning the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles into a contactless playground for sports fans.

Experiential Brand Experiences

Fitted with 7 activation kiosks for brands including BMW and Sky Sports, tournament ticket-holders took part in activities including a ‘digital high-five’, a virtual ‘walk the course’ tour and a competition to win a stay at Gleneagles. Fans could tap their wristband and virtually ‘high-five’ the team of their choice, adding a personal message and rallying support. This increased engagement and impressions on social media and fans were more engaged to have ‘conversations’ about who they thought would win.

12. Gifting

Photo credit: Mashable

Back in 2011, the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey team embedded RFID chips in replica team jerseys and gifted them to all of their season ticket holders. Instead of using paper tickets or wristbands, the super fans could gain entry by just wearing their jerseys. What’s more, the chips were loaded with personal data and credit card details, so that the season ticket holders could make purchases throughout the arena on food and merchandise. Not only did this light up the stands with their team colors, it also allowed the club to track every single purchase made and make the brand connection with fans much more personal and meaningful.

13. Data Delivery

We know that RFID technology holds data about ticket-holders but did you know that it can also collect data about them? They can store basic contact information, and allow guests to sign up for future marketing communications Giving you an understanding of what offers and promotions they’d be interested in. But let’s not forget the intelligent insights you can gather during a game, including where guests have checked in and what they’ve spent their money on. This invaluable data allows you to constantly flex and improve your offering, allowing you to be at the top of your game, every game.

14. A secure Parking Lot

Everyone wants to arrive at the game with time to get seated, and let’s face it, get some snacks. Being held up in a parking lot is not a great start to the day. A well-run lot is an asset for any stadium or facility, and RFID technology can be used to streamline this process. It can be seamlessly integrated with fans wristbands so that by entering the area and driving through a scanner, their parking permit or payment is checked and they are allowed onsite.

It’s not just a game for fans, it’s a way of life

The digital reach that can be gained by using RFID technology in the live events and sports industry is huge. It’s all about creating a seamless entertainment experience for your guests. And the opportunity to create a connected ecosystem with fans, from their wristband to their favorite team and their favorite players is exciting, and we’re only just seeing the beginning of what is truly possible.

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Expert Blog: Managing RFID Credentials at Your Event

Guest blog by Natasha Hiller, Chief Operations Officer at Marcato.

So, you’ve taken the plunge and decided to integrate RFID at your next event. 

Now you can sit back and let the technology do the work.

You’re life just got easier, and you’re about to make a ton of cash, with no effort at all, right?


While RFID technology has the ability to deliver a bounty of benefits to event organisers, like anything in life worth having, it doesn’t come easy.

Your work has only just begun. You now need to ensure that each person showing up at your event has an RFID wristband waiting in their name, pre-set with the correct access. 

Often this process is managed by back and forth emails between people requesting credentials and the event organizers.

This method is chaotic as emails can be easily forgotten and the threads can go on forever, making it impossible to track who should get what.

You want to find a system that enables you and your whole team to easily see a list of everyone who is requesting credentials. And, you need to be able to make edits in real time.

There are really only two options for doing this.

Shared Excel File

By using an Excel file stored in Google Drive, it enables your whole team to see the full list of people requesting each credential. If managed and organized properly, you should also be able to calculate inventory levels, etc.

This solution seems cheap and easy enough to manage but there are a few shortcomings.

Once you have confirmed your list of guests receiving credentials, letting them know is a manual and tedious process.

It can also be cumbersome to get this data into the RFID system to begin issuing credentials at will call.

Usually, this is done through a one time import and then you need to move over to manually entering things directly into the RFID system moving forward.

Switching the method of entering this data right around show time can cause confusion and lead to mistakes or people being forgotten.

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Use a Credential Management System

Although this method isn’t free, the money you can save by implementing a system should more than recoup your cost to purchase it if implemented correctly.

Some of the benefits of a Credential Management System include:

  • Ability to easily track and manage inventory levels
  • Process internal ticket buys for staff and guests
  • Only approved users can approve/decline credentials
  • Using permissions, easily delegate the approval/decline process to those in charge of specific areas
  • Automatically notify guests/staff of approved credentials by email along with any other pertinent details
  • Seamless integration with RFID companies, enabling you to use the same system before, during and after the event—keeping all data centralized
  • Store all data regarding catering and assets on the person’s record along with their credential details
  • Pre-built reporting

Although having a dedicated system is a preferred option, budgets don’t always allow for this so here are a few questions to keep top of mind no matter which system you go with:

  • What policies are put in place to ensure that no one slides into the guest list who shouldn’t be there?
  • What is the plan to avoid duplicate entries causing incorrect inventory levels?
  • How is the guest list going to get into the system where it will be issued without a lot of manual work?

As long as you have a good plan in place for these questions, you are on track to simplifying your credential management system, and a step closer to a smooth RFID integration.

security wristbands for events

5 Ultimate Security Wristband Features For Event Organisers

Our customers often ask ‘what are the best security wristband features?’

Event organizers want to make sure that nobody can copy their festival wristbands and get unauthorized access to their event.

Why? Because oversubscribed events can be dangerous if safe capacity is exceeded.

And, it can result in a bad experience for guests that have paid to attend, which can have a knock-on effect on revenue loss, a revoked license and at worse, the cancellation of your event.

OK, so this is a worst-case scenario. But this is why security is so important for events, and one element of a safe and secure event is the event wristbands.

When it comes to security features there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ option. Every event is different and therefore has a different set of requirements.

So, with that, here are our 5 most popular security wristband features.

1. The Wristband Lock

What is a wristband lock?

A wristband lock is a small clasp (or toggle) that fastens a wristband to its subject’s wrist, preventing its removal.

Every security wristband has a lock which, by its very nature, is secure. But, like everything in life, people want options. Here are ours:

  • The Barrel Lock: a plastic tube (or barrel) that slides one-way onto a cloth wristband. The lock has 2 layers of plastic teeth which grip the fabric material when pulled back, preventing the lock from sliding in the opposite direction, thus loosening the wristband. The ‘Barrel’ as we wristband folk call it, is by far our most popular security lock. It combines convenience, security, and value for money. It is also our most tried and tested lock, and has gone through numerous iterations, with our latest version touted as ‘the most secure wristband on the market’ by one of our clients.The Barrel Lock is easy to close, even when there are thousands of people waiting at your gate. Also, it doesn’t need any kind of closing tool.


  • The Smartlock: a plastic hinged clasp with a metal pin, designed to pierce a fabric wristband and prevent removal.This lock only works in conjunction with 16mm wide woven fabric wristbands, but when applied is extremely reliable and robust. The Smartlock does not require a tool to apply but is not recommended for audiences of more than 10,000 people, as it can be labor-intensive to close the locks in large quantities.


  • Metal Ring: This is a classic, yet very reliable closure made from aluminum. The aluminum ring is crimped with a tool and when closed, tightly pinches the two ends of the wristbands together. Although this lock requires a tool it is still a favorite amon large music events and is known for its reliability.


  • The Loop Lock: a socket and stud lock that loops over a fabric wristband and fastens into a pre-punched hole.


  • Socket & Stud: The kind of lock used on all of our vinyl wristbands. Once secure, it can not be removed without being destroyed.


  • Self-adhesive tab: This is the type of fastener used to secure our Tyvek wristbands and Chroma wristbands.


What about reusable locks?

Reusable locks wouldn’t normally make their way onto a list of security features. But, some events actually encourage sharing of wristbands and others simply do not have a requirement for controlled access.

2. UV Wristbands

UV (ultraviolet) is one of the most commonly asked for security wristband features.

What is UV? Ultraviolet is actually a type of radiation produced by the sun or synthetic light sources like sun beds.

It might sound scary. But, in the world of print and wristbands, the term UV is a kind of a slang term for something that ‘glows in the dark’. The glow is triggered by a UV light, (sometimes referred to as a black light) that is often found amongst the lighting arrangement in nightclubs and festivals.

At ID&C, we provide two variations of UV wristbands.

  1. We can weave special UV treated threads into any of our fabric wristbands. This is a great security feature that is very difficult to replicate, especially in a short space of time.


To validate the wristbands as genuine, have your security staff and gate staff carry a small black light. The lights usually fit in a pocket and run for days on a couple of batteries. You can get them on Amazon.

  1. We can print UV ink onto vinyl wristbands and Tyvek wristbands. This enables our customers to add security features to their entire accreditation.

3. Security Foils & Holograms

Printing a security foil or hologram onto a wristband is a great way to increase the security and prevent fake copies.

What’s the difference between a foil and a hologram?

Put simply, a foil refers to the material used, whereas a hologram refers to the visual effect created. Foils can have a holographic effect though, but holograms are typically made from ultra-thin layers of plastic.

Customers can have foils printed onto Tyvek wristbands. Or, they can have custom holographic stickers made for applying to vinyl wristbands.

There are also plain metallic wristbands with a holographic effect.

4. Barcode Wristbands

Printing a barcode is a basic, yet foolproof method of improving accuracy with access and identification.

It is very common these days to see barcodes used on concert tickets. In fact, some ticketing companies only provide digital tickets, which are only validated with a unique barcode.

Taking this tried and tested technology, and applying barcodes to wristbands helps an event increase its security as well as its operational efficiencies.

Wikipedia describes a barcode as “…an optical, machine-readable, representation of data; the data usually describes something about the object that carries the barcode.

For an event wristband, the ‘data’ and ‘object’ would be the ‘ticket details’ and ‘ticket holder’.

In 2014, barcode wristbands were used to speed-up arena access for the 50,000 fans at the Isle of Wight Festival. The same technology was also used to link children’s wristbands to the contact details of their parents, in case they got lost.

Barcode wristbands can be made in Tyvek, vinyl and cloth materials.

5. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

RFID is the latest and most high-tech feature available on a security wristband.

The benefits of RFID technology for events is widely commented on. Eventbrite, a popular event ticketing company, does a great job of describing the benefits of RFID in this blog post.

The three main applications of RFID technology for events are:

  1. Cashless Payments – With RFID, event attendees have the facility to pay for goods via an RFID wristband that can be pre-loaded with credit and topped-up or connected to a credit card.Food and beverage vendors use small contactless terminals that enable users to tap their RFID wristbands to activate and authenticate a purchase.

Using cashless payments at events can increase on-site spend by 35%

  1. Contactless Access Control – In this scenario, an RFID wristband can be used in place of a traditionally printed concert ticket. Details like ticket type, name and access are stored on a back-end RFID system, and authenticated by tapping a wristband against a scanner.
  2. Brand Activation – Using RFID technology, event organizers are able to connect attendee’s social media accounts with their event wristbands. Via digital photo booths fitted with RFID scanners, festival goers can do things like share their experience in real time without having to use their mobile phones.

This provides event organizers with the ability to extend the promotion of their event beyond those attending, and in real time.

We work with industry-leading RFID companies to help integrate our RFID wristbands technology at any kind of event.

RFID technology can be embedded into all of our core wristband types but is most commonly an additional feature of a cloth wristband.


No two events are the same, which is why our customers can choose from a wide range of security wristband features.

From UV print to RFID cashless payments, adding more security will improve the operation of your event.

Improving the experience for your attendees generally means they are more likely to tell others about how awesome your festival was, or how quick it was to get in.

Improved security + better operations = Happy people & more tickets sold





12 Reasons RFID at Festivals is Awesome

If you’ve walked through the gates of some of the country’s biggest music festivals in the past 5 years, then you’ve probably experienced using an RFID wristband.

RFID at festivals has taken off to the extent where it is becoming the norm for many multi-day events in the 50,000+ attendance range.

But, RFID (which stands for Radio Frequency Identification) is fast becoming a tangible technology for even small and grassroots festivals to use. And, it’s not just about shorter queues and cashless payments.

The possibilities to enhance the experience for your audience are endless.

Here are 12 reasons why we thing RFID at festivals is big news for any festival organiser.

1. Streamline Entry

No one wants to wait forever to get into your event, especially if its hot outside. Long lines are the worst first impress you want to give your audience. And, as an organiser you want people to get in and get spending.

One of the most tangible benefits of RFID technology is that it will significantly speed-up entry times. Using RFID wristbands, attendees can quickly tap their wristband against a scanner to get in.

They don’t have to scan a barcode or ticket, which can be around 10x slower than RFID scanners. And, each wristband can hold unique information, allowing for instant verification without physically checking or looking at a ticket.

2. Go Cashless

Being able to pay at the tap of a wristband takes the worry out of not having enough cash, or losing money. Giving your customers the option to add their payment information to their RFID wristband before the event will enable fast, secure and easy payment during your festival.

Research has shown that RFID at festivals also increases the chances of spontaneous purchases by up to 20%.

3. Gain real-time Insights

Collect instant data into how foot traffic flows throughout your event. If your event is running for several days, this priceless data will help you to adapt the space to give your audience the best experience possible.

This information can be used for future events to understand what areas or artists were most popular, as well as where is best to place restrooms, concession stands, and eliminate crowds and queues.

4. Enhance the VIP Experience

The last thing you want is for your VIPs to have to stand in line. RFID helps streamline this process. With RFID technology, you can also offer fans the ability to upgrade access levels on the fly – bringing joy to your guests and generated otherwise untapped revenues.

5. Make it Social

By asking guests to link their social media accounts with their RFID wristband opens up a ton of opportunities to engage with them online and encourage social sharing. For example, checking-in on Facebook, syncing photo booths to Instragram feeds, and even co-branding it all with a sponsor.

Social media activations via RFID can extend the reach of your festival to brand new online audiences. And, help attract more sponsor revenue.

Here’s an example of how RFID wristbands helped generate 1.9 million Facebook likes at Bonnaroo Festival:

6. Eliminate Theft and Fraud

Unlike traditional tickets, RFID wristbands are impossible to copy or duplicate. Pass-backs are completely eradicated, and dodgy fake wristbands are a thing of the past.

In addition to this, RFID allows for real time control of ticket data, meaning that if a guests do lose their wristband, you can quickly deactivate it and issue a new one, without the worry of it being used by someone else.

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7. Strengthen Connections with Sponsors

Any discerning event producer will want their sponsor activations to be un-intrusive and inline with the ethos of the festival. Driving participation via traditional methods can prove difficult, but RFID is the perfect solution for a seamless, frictionless brand experience that your sponsors can truly benefit from.

No more clip boards or guess work on how the activation was received. Real, tangible data and deep engagement becomes easy with a tap of an RFID wristband.

Your fans wont feel like they’re being sold to. Your sponsors will get accurate, and actionable data. And you, the organiser, will understand the value and potential revenues you can generate from future sponsorship activations.

8. Simplify the Box Office Process

No one looks forward to having to stand in a queue to pick up wristbands or tickets, especially if another queue awaits them at the festival gate.

With RFID technology, you can mail out wristbands and passes before the event. This not only builds up excitement amongst fans but gives you the opportunity to pre-educate on how to get the most from their RFID experience. Pre-loading of cash, activation of tickets, and social media connections can all be done pre-event.

And if you have some last minute sales, it’s easy to assign RFID wristbands to guests as they arrive.

9. Give guests something to remember

One of the biggest perks of using RFID technology for your guests? It’s awesome. Attendees love to wear their wristband as a badge of honor for where they’ve been, keeping them on for months, even longer.

The fact the wristband helped them feel safe, gain quick access to their designated areas, and pay for drinks with ease will build brand-affinity with your guests and gives them something to share socially with friends.

10. Sell More Tickets

RFID technology allows you to gain a deeper understanding of what your fans are engaging with and excited about. You’ll also get insight on entry times, sponsor activations, and concession purchases – enabling easy and accurate profiling of your audience for future shows.

11. Impress your Attendees

Every summer, Instagram is flooded with photos from festivals. Attendees are always keen to share what they can do with modern technology and how their life is better than yours right now. There’s no denying that if you introduce RFID at your festival, your awesome points will rise, and your fans will love it.

12. Make your Attendees Feel Safe

Sadly, in today’s world, it’s more important than ever to make sure your event is safe and no one who shouldn’t be there can get in. As well as giving your audience that added sense of security and confidence.

Since RFID wristbands are associated with encrypted, individual IDs, it’s pretty much impossible to duplicate them. And if you felt like anyone was up to anything they shouldn’t be, you can quickly deactivate an individual festival wristband to cancel entry into certain areas. As well as using the data to find their last known whereabouts.

Power-Up Your Fan Con with RFID Technology

Comic Cons (or comic book conventions to give them their full title) have become one of the most sought after tickets on the event calendar, with some Cons outselling major music festivals 2 to 1.

The rapid rise of Comic-book Cons are just one reason why an increasing number of organisers have turned towards RFID technology to help ‘Pow!’ the counterfeiters, and ‘Wow!’ their fans… in true superhero style.

What is a Comic Book Con?

In their classic, most simplistic format, fan conventions were a gathering of comic book and cult film enthusiasts – commonly in the genres of sci-fi and fantasy.

But, social media ‘geek chic’, Disney’s (relentless) Marvel franchise and various other spin-off superhero media has given birth to a new breed of super-sized ‘Fan Con’.

With categories dedicated to Anime, Sci-fi, Gaming, Comics, Furry and Horror, there’s an estimated 400 pop-culture conventions in North America alone.

Jump through time to 2017, and these events challenge major music festivals in their size, attracting thousands of attendees and generating millions of dollars in ticket revenues.

When it comes to size, stalwarts San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic-Con are among the undisputed ‘king of cons’, with some 400,000+ annual visitors between them.

But, rival Conventions in L.A, Chicago, Calgary, Salt Lake City and Cincinnati have become huge attractions in their own right – further cementing the niche as a behemoth in the live events industry.

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The Power of RFID Credentials

So, how do these Comic Cons sustain a kick-ass fan experience during a time of unprecedented growth?

The answer? RFID event technology.

This contactless technology is quickly changing the way in which fans access events.

And, Comic Cons are among the first to realize the true potential of introducing RFID credentials to their attendees.

RFID laminate badges are the kryptonite to the ugly face of counterfeiters.

RFID badge

But, eliminating fake tickets is only the start.

With RFID technology in attendees’ passes, convention organisers are presented with a whole world of game-changing opportunities.

New revenue streams, out-of-this world sponsor activations, and super-speedy entry are all going to impress your fans.

6 Ways RFID Event Technology Is Improving Comic Cons

  • Monitor attendance and keep lines moving quickly

RFID makes it simple to handle even the most complex multi-day events.

It makes re-entries a breeze and even allows you to offer VIP upgrades on-the-fly.

comic convention queue

  • Simplified scanning

Scanning an RFID badge or wristband is 10x faster than scanning a barcode, making it perfect for dealing with large crowds.

  • Immersive experiences between attendees and vendors

With just one touch, there are no limits to how creative you, your vendors and sponsors can be to draw your audience in.

From live Instagram posts, to real time gamification, you and your partner brands will be closer than ever to your fans.

  • Gain real-time insight

RFID gives organizers immediate access to how foot traffic flows.

This allows organizers to flexibly adapt on day two of an event if they need to. You can also see which speakers or areas of the event were most popular.

  • Make counterfeits a thing of the past

We’ve mentioned it before, but RFID laminates will reduce fakes by 100%.

Every embedded RFID tag is unique to each ticket holder, making them impossible to duplicate.

And, if someone loses their ticket or badge, you can easily deactivate and reissue a new one without worrying about whose hands it’ll fall into.

  • Grow your online audience with ease

RFID systems not only help incentivize your fans to share their experience online, but they make it super easy to.

RFID touch points and check-in stations enable audiences to instantly post to their social channels, growing your online reach exponentially.


RFID event technology is changing the way events are operated, for the better.

Using RFID for conventions will help you understand your audience on a whole new level and improve the experience for your loyal fans.

Where will RFID technology and Comic-Cons go next? The possibilities are endless, and probably out-of-this world!


Photo credit: Amy Ever