Category Archives: RFID

RFID-for-golf-tournaments

8 Ways The Masters Could Benefit from RFID Technology

‘Golf is big business in America. More than 1-in-4 Americans age 6 or older, 82 million people in total, consume some form of golf media. That’s a huge market – not only of players but of people who simply love to watch the game. Making it a lucrative and appealing market for advertisers and media outlets. 

To give you a scale of the potential footfall at a golf tournament, the Waste Management Phoenix Open welcomed a record-breaking 719,179 people through its gates at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course in 2019, the largest number for any PGA Tour event in history.

Events with such a large attendance require ticketing, entrance, and security to run as efficiently as possible. And, with the colossal Masters only a few days away, we take a look at how RFID technology could be used to optimize one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments.

1 – Security

With the use of RFID wristbands, event organisers can control access points for visitors, staff, and vendors. Having a clear understanding of who is allowed access into which areas. Have some last minute VIP guests? Or maybe some temp staff picking up a shift, with RFID wristbands you have the ability to act flexibly to edit access last minute at the click of a button.

2 – Alcohol Consumption

If you want or need to keep alcohol consumption at a limit, it’s easy with RFID wristbands. By creating a digital token system connected to an RFID wristband, you can limit the number of drinks each guest is given or allowed to purchase. They can also be used as a form of I.D. By inputting attendees date of birth, your staff can understand quickly who is of legal age to buy alcohol without the need for repeat I.D requests or a visual wristband check.

3 – Sponsorship / Experience

With a good idea in place, RFID wristbands can help boost sponsorship or social experiences across your event. For example, in 2014, ID&C provided 100,000 RFID enabled wristbands, helping to turn the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles into a contactless playground for sports fans. Fitted with 7 activation kiosks for brands including BMW and SkySports, tournament ticketholders took part in activities including a ‘digital high-five’, a virtual ‘walk the course’ tour and a competition to win a stay at Gleneagles.

4 – Exclusivity & Convenience

From VIP upgrades to exclusive areas, and competition giveaways for high-value ticket buyers, the possibilities are endless for making your guests feel extra special.  In addition, variable data such as section, row and seat info can be printed on to a wristband. This leaves guests less reliant on the help of the staff to find their specific seats. It’s like having a ticket conveniently on your wrist. And, it’s definitely more convenient than repeatedly getting your phone out repeatedly!

Everything is geared to be more efficient, save organisers and guests more time that they can spend enjoying unforgettable experiences. 

5 – Operational Improvements

By collecting data from your RFID wristbands as guests move around your event, you can continuously improve operations. From reduced lines and wait times to overcrowding on temporary structures with weight restrictions. It can also be used for fire marshall checks to quickly understand how many people are in one area at a time, and restrict this to a set number.

6 – Data collection

The data that can be collected at your golf tournament is like gold dust for event organisers and sponsors. It will really help you understand ticket sales, revenue growth from sponsorship deals, popular points of interest across your event, and areas that can be improved.

7 – Save money  

While you may think RFID wristbands will cost you more money, they’re actually a cost-effective alternative for your tournament. Not only can you reduce the number of credentials required by streamlining everything into one RFID band, but there’s also no need for various tickets, which can be easily lost, or ruined in outdoor weather. Wristbands are comfortable, convenient, and also a nice little memento for your guests to remember the event by.

8 – Increase revenues – cashless payments

Cashless payment options are proven to increase food and beverage sales at events. The removal of physical money makes people less hesitant to spend their money. They’ll spend more time enjoying their day, hands-free. They no longer need to worry about having the right cash, or not losing their wallet. Payments are made with a convenient tap of the wrist. This also saves time for staff, helping to reduce customer wait times. Ultimately keeping everyone happy. 

 

 

8 Amazing RFID Brand Activations for Events


Whether you’re already established or starting out, brand activations can create a great opportunity to make a big impact in your industry. It’s not new, news that consumers want experiences from brands. They want to feel like they’re part of something and escape the everyday. So, here are 8 amazing RFID brand activations to inspire you. Activations that have compelled audiences to take action.


1. Bonnaroo Festival Social Activation

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet. But we will. Working with AC Entertainment and Bonnaroo co-producers Superfly, ID&C were appointed to produce over 80,000 custom RFID wristbands to be used with a contactless RFID system provided by Intellitix. Bonnaroo organisers wanted to engage their fans in a number of social media-based activations placed around the festival site.

One interaction enabled fans to ‘tap’ their wristbands and check-in at the various stages, update their Facebook status, and upload pictures, which in turn automatically posted the corresponding line-up to their Facebook timeline.

In addition to this, the RFID wristbands were used by fans to gain entry to the festival arenas and campsites, where the use of contactless technology made paper ticket redundant.

The RFID wristbands helped achieve over 1.9 million Facebook Likes during the festival.


2. Tampa Bay Lightning Season Passes & Membership

When the season starts, there’s nothing more important to fans than Game Day. Corporations want super-fans to purchase season passes and they want to help make them feel part of the team. To belong to something. RFID technology was the perfect way to make this happen for Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey team. They gifted season pass holders with team jerseys fitted with RFID technology, giving them a special way to enter events and feel part of the team at the same time.


3.SXSW – IBM Cognitive Studio

During SXSW, IBM needed to showcase their range of cognitive solutions for B2B companies so they created the IBM Cognitive Studio. Attendees had to answer a few lifestyle questions and they were given a personalized RFID bracelet. Inside the studio, bartenders scanned the bracelet and an app displayed a personalized cocktail based on the answers and the array of ingredients.

  1. SXSW – Mazda Transport

For guests needing to get around SXSW, automotive sponsor, Mazda, had the right idea in providing rides. Registered attendees could sign up at the Mazda booth to receive a QR code bracelet to wear for the duration of the festival and receive free rides.

To pimp their rides out, guests could also tweet selfies to receive phone chargers and phone/GPS mounts for their cars. The photos could then be embellished and printed, much like a vintage Polaroid.

5. UEFA Champions Festival

Another one from us. Along with Intellitix, we helped the UEFA Champions Festival utilise RFID cards to capture audience demographic information through a series of interactive skill stations offered by brand partners HTC, Playstation, Adidas, Ford, UniCredit and Gazprom. Fans took part in social media check-ins, voting stations, gamification and real-time contesting to compete for top prizes.

This activation helped increased sponsor engagement. This saw 13,000 registered RFID cards with email and Facebook accounts. 7,000 social photos taken. 40,000 emails triggered. 85,000 RFID interactions on site. And over 45 million page impressions online

6. VIP Cashless Lounge

Simple yet effective. Sponsors or brands can make your attendees, VIPs, members, or customers feel special with a cashless bar or VIP lounge area. Integrating RFID technology to enable Cashless Payments makes this experience all the more special.

7.YCWWF – The SavorBand by Event Farm

At The New York City Wine and Food Festival, attendees were given a ‘Savour’ wristband embedded with an RFID chip, so that when they sampled food they liked, they could tap their risk at the kiosk and instantly log what they tried, to find the restaurant later, or look up the recipe. Not only did this help guests remembe

r places to try later, it also gave the event a strong indication on which vendors or areas of the event were most popular.

  1. Range Rover Evoque Test Drive

Range Rover turned the process of booking a regular test drive into a party. Modern technologies allowed them to use RFID cards to hold key information about users, so that they could invite them, check them into their test drive with the tap of a card, and post to their social channels what they were test driving.

 

 

 

esports events

RFID technology: A game-changer for Esports events

According to a report from marketing researcher Newzoo, esports revenues are predicted to hit $905 million by the end of 2018, a huge 38% increase on the previous year.

With millions (if not billions) of monthly gaming streams on sites such as YouTube and Twitch, esports is a hot topic in the digital world right now. 

But esports is not only about competing online. Physical esports tournaments are drawing huge international crowds who want to watch the best ‘gamers’ in the world battle it out live. With $1m prize pools commonplace, its no wonder that the esports event industry is attracting interest from Fortune 500s who have previously had no affinity with the space.

Game-changing RFID technology for esports events

Call of Duty RFID wristbands

With live esports tournaments on the rise, organizers are looking to innovative technologies and industry best practices to help deliver safe, memorable and profitable events for their fans.

One answer: RFID credential technology.

The use of RFID technology is already popular at large music festivals, conventions and water parks but it’s relatively unused in the esports events industry.

Here are a number of ways RFID technology can be used to benefit esports events.

Enhanced Experiential Activations & Sponsorship

Sponsorship is a big driving force behind esports because of the revenue it delivers. It’s forecast to contribute 40% of esports revenues in 2018. And for an industry looking to bolster additional revenue streams, RFID wristbands offer a great solution for a seamless brand experience, that sponsors will love.

Sponsor’s no longer have to guess how well activations were received. Tangible data can be monitored from a tap of a wristband. Your fans won’t feel like they’re being sold to, and your sponsors can get actionable, deep data. While organisers can understand the real value and potential revenues generated from future activations.

Real-time event data Insights

You can never collect enough data when you’re an event organiser. It all goes towards improving the experience for fans, identifying opportunities for growth, and tightening up security.

With RFID technology, organisers and sponsors can see real-time analytics on various engagement and operational aspects of an event. Foot flow, capacity levels, popular areas, merch sales, popular activations, food and drink sales… and anything else you decide to power with RFID wristbands.

This invaluable data will help esports event organisers improve key operational aspects and identify new revenue-generating opportunities.

Security & better access control for live tournaments

Access control for any large event is extremely important. You want it to be quick, and you want it to be safe. With esports events such as BlizzCon, League of Legends, and Dota 2 attracting crowds in the tens of thousands, RFID technology is ideally suited to controlling access.

RFID access portalRFID technology enables unparalleled security, completely eradicating fraudulent entry and preventing wristband or badge pass-backs. Using RFID credentials, attendees can quickly tap their badge or wristband against a scanner to access an event. There’s no need for barcodes or printed tickets, which can be around 10x slower than RFID scanners.

And if guests do lose their RFID pass, you can quickly deactivate it and issue a new one, on the fly.

Engaging social media & loyalty programmes

When guests link their social media accounts with their RFID credential it opens countless opportunities for fan-engagement during an event. Special offers, gamification, social check-ins, and photo-opps can all be done with a quick tap of an RFID badge. 

These activations can extend the reach of your esports event to brand new online audiences. And, help attract headline sponsor revenue. And why not reward attendees with a loyalty programme that can be unlocked with their RFID wristband – for example, offering a first look at a new game or the ability to play a new level before it’s publicly released.

Increase spend per head with RFID cashless payments

RFID systems can enable ticketholders to link their RFID badge or wristband to a method of payment. Whether offering a pre-load or tokenised payment system or linking directly to a bank card, cashless transactions are proven to increase per head spend by up to 30%.

RFID cashless payments also provide efficiencies for event food, beverage and merch operations.

Benefits include:

  • Accurate and instant reconciliation
  • Eradicated theft (due to no cash being present)
  • Costs associated with handling and storing cash are no longer applicable

It’s convenient for attendees too…

Fans no longer have to carry wallets, tickets, and personal information just to participate. Ticket-holders can enjoy the show with a feeling of freedom that their credential is conveniently linked to their payment source, enabling fast and simple purchases with a tap of their wristband or badge.

The overall experience is enhanced

Esports teams, players and fans are typically more tech-savvy than the average event attendee. This means that there will be less friction with the adoption of new event technologies like RFID. 

Quick adoption enables organizers to push the boundaries with technology whether its offering cutting-edge security, instant transactions or working with agencies to develop meaningful brand activations.

Roundup: The benefits of RFID technology for esports events

For Organisers

  • Unparalleled security and access control
  • Uncover operational efficiencies & cost savings
  • Generate more revenue / create new revenue streams
  • Reach new audiences
  • Increase sponsorship and vendor fees

For Sponsor brands

  • Deeply engaging brand activations that prove ROI
  • Use technology to develop an affinity with esports properties
  • Seamless, real-time connection with social media
  • Real-time data analytics
  • Post-event deep-dive data
  • No more clipboards & surveys

For attendees & fans

  • Safer events
  • Fast admission, less time in lines
  • The convenience of cashless payments
  • Fun ways to engage with the event and with sponsor brands

ID&C and Esports events

RFID wristband call of duty

As far back as 2011, ID&C was leading the way in RFID technology for live gaming events. Our RFID wristbands were custom designed for the Call of Duty XP event in L.A. The social gaming event saw thousands of COD fans play the game in a real-life environment (fake guns of course) and during the simulated war-zone, fans could use their wristbands, fitted with RFID chips to post their scores and photos direct to Facebook.

This kind of social interaction added value to the event and allowed marketers to measure ROI on new levels thanks to Facebook’s ever-updating analytics.

Now, ID&C providers RFID-enabled credentials to many of the world’s largest Esports tournaments and pop-Conventions, delivering best-in-class service and quality in partnership with leading RFID system providers.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about using RFID for your esports event.

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.

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.

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

Photo credit: TripSavvy

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.

 

Disney MagicBand wristband

10 Lessons Disney’s MagicBand Can Teach Other Theme Parks

In 2013, Disney’s MagicBand revolutionized the theme park and resort industry.

Estimated to have cost over $1bn the wristbands formed part of the ‘My Disney Experience’ project which also tied-in the use of a cutting-edge mobile app to help guests plan and manage their trips.

For Disney, it was simple. If they enhanced the experience, more people would spend more time in their parks, ultimately, spending more money.

Five years on, we look back at how Disney’s MagicBand has been used to deepen relationships with customers. And, how an intelligent RFID wristband helps create lasting experiences and drive new revenues.

But, did they get everything right?

Here are 10 things we think other resorts and theme parks can learn from Disney’s MagicBand.

Oh, and before we start, just in case you didn’t know…

What is a MagicBand?

Disney’s MagicBand is a custom wristband that acts as the central nervous system of the MyMagic+ experience. Together, the MagicBand and Disney mobile app provide ways for the Park’s integrated systems to offer various enhancements for its guests.

The wearable bracelet is embedded with RFID technology used to electronically store and access ticket information, book Fast Passes, make hotel reservations, process cashless payments, and even open the door to your Disney hotel room.

Magicband original and version 2

  1. Disney’s MagicBand was a branding masterstroke

Apple, Coke, Disney. Like them or loathe them, you cannot deny their brand power.

Disney could have introduced an off-the-shelf product that functioned the same as the MagicBand and would have probably cost a whole lot less. (For the record, we have no idea what Disney’s MagicBands cost, but we know enough to know they’re probably not cheap).

But that’s not the Disney way. They saw the MagicBand as an opportunity to create something unique. Something that guests could completely customize with their favorite colors and even their favorite Disney characters.

Customization is key

On the face of things, the MagicBands look fairly plain. The standard models are available in a simple choice of solid colors. This is no accident. The minimal design instantly created a desire for personalization. Fans who buy annual membership can have their names engraved on the bands for free. 

MagicBand custom colors

A series of special editions would soon follow, giving park goers the chance to have something others didn’t.

Disney was masterfully empowering its fans to create their own affinity with its brand. All driven by what is essentially a piece of plastic.

They thought of everything.

Disney even solved the problem of the wristband fitting different sized wrists, with each band splitting in a smaller version if required.

Put simply, MagicBands are cool. And, the fact they’re tied to your wrist for the duration of your stay, gives you a weird sense of belonging that’s actually kind of nice.

  1. Create a product that keeps earning

The MagicBand’s various customization options allowed Disney to monetize their new venture from day one. 

What else did you expect?

Each year they introduce new designs, hundreds of limited editions and have an enormous range of ‘MagicBandits’- little rubber push-in tags that clip around the spare holes in your MagicBand strap.

The vast options and extras hold the interest of the die-hard fans (of which Disney has many millions of) and makes it easy for little jack or sally to find the exact wristband they want mum and dad to buy them.

The Apple model…

Disney regularly rolls out new iterations, keeping the MagicBand desirable for each new generation of park-goers.

In early 2017 they introduced the MagicBand 2, with even more customizable options. The new version of the band, which is still in use, has a center disc called the ‘icon’ that can be ‘easily’ removed with one of those tiny screwdrivers.

magicband with icon removed

Photo credit: Attractionsmagazine.com

 

This part of the MagicBand contains the RFID tag and can be switched between different style straps – while keeping all of the important data in one place.

There’s even the option to turn it into a keychain. Perfect for those who insist they’re too cool to wear a wristband.

  1. Revive in-experience purchasing

In the age of the smartphone, sales of printed photo memories at theme parks have declined. But, Disney has managed to rejuvenate sales by adding connecting its PhotoPass service to the MagicBands.

Professional photographers are situated at prime locations throughout the parks and are more than happy to capture those special moments without any commitment to pay. And with a tap of the RFID-enabled MagicBand, visitors will shortly see the images appear within their app.

The photos are heavily water-marked, but the point is that Disney has enabled its park attendees to make the decision about purchasing photos after they’ve visited the park. There’s less pressure on guests to commit to spending and less friction in the experience.

  1. Reduce the chance of fraud

One of the most convenient features the bands offer is the ability to store validated park tickets. With a tap of their wrist on one of many RFID Mickey-branded readers at the park and a quick fingerprint check, they are in!

MagicBand scanning

For families, this is a welcome convenience. No holding onto a wedge of paper tickets and scrambling at the gate to figure out who’s is who’s. For park operators, mixing the security of RFID with biometrics makes it practically impossible to gain invalid entry. 

Keeping Disney’s bottom line healthy and keeping out unwanted guests.

Could Disney do better?

If Disney could learn anything from the way music festivals use RFID wristbands, it would be to reduce the need for two types of credential to gain access to the park.

Unless residing in one of Disney’s on-site hotels, annual pass holders still have to carry a Disney RFID card to validate complimentary parking. What the park could do, is have guests wear their wristbands as they approach the parking lot pay stations, and simply reach out to scan their wristbands for validated parking.

This would be one less thing to carry for families and is a super-convenient way to validate your complimentary parking.

  1. Cut the queues

No one likes to waste time queuing, especially at theme parks. And Disney was able to manage this with the addition of fast passes. By introducing this free cut-the-line service, Fastpass+ allows guests to choose up to three-time slots for attractions each day where they’ll only have to queue for a short time.

The fast passes are linked to the MagicBand and validated by tapping against one of the Mickey Mouse-themed RFID readers situated at the ride’s entrance.

  1. Make it a hassle-free experience

From airport pick-up, to resort check-in, and park visits, the MagicBand has drastically changed the way visitors do just about everything. For ultimate convenience, with just one MagicBand, guests can forget their worries of holding multiple tickets and resort room keys. And, if they are staying on-site, they can even use their MagicBand for cashless payments.   

applications of Disney's MagicBand

But, the pièce de résistance is the fact guests flying into for their vacation can have their luggage collected from the arrival airport and taken to their hotel room.

But how do the Disney hotel staff know which room to leave the luggage in? You guessed it, the MagicBand. Guests opting for the ‘Magical Express’ luggage transfer service are asked to pack their MagicBands in their checked luggage.

How does this work? The MagicBand actually has two different kinds of embedded RFID antennas. The first is known as HF, of High Frequency. These tags have a shorter reading range, which is perfect for when the bands are scanned against RFID portals around the parks to validate tickets. The other tag is an UHF, or Ultra High Frequency. These tags can have a reading range beyond 10 meters, and are more suited to scanning large objects from a further distance, like people or luggage!

Upon arrival at the hotel, the guest’s bags are scanned to validate guests names, reservations, and hotel rooms. Hey, presto! Luggage safely delivered to the guests’ hotel room.

Now that’s the definition of hassle-free service.

  1. Data will help you learn faster than your competitors

Another attractive pull is the data that can be collected through RFID technology. MyMagic+ allows Disney to track guest behavior minute-by-minute. Because Disney can scan MagicBands from a variety of touchpoints, they can gather data from every interaction.

They can track what attractions people have been on, what characters they queue to meet, and where they ate, as well as overall trends. This rich data is priceless to Disney. It gives them the agility and insight to constantly refine their offering.

They can also use this data for advertising purposes. If they know guests like a particular ride or shop, but haven’t been for a few days, and still have their passes activated, they can send offer emails to entice them back into the park.

  1. Go cashless

While cashless payments are currently only available for guests staying in a Disney World hotel, research shows that RFID wristbands connected to credit cards will increase spend per head.

Disney cashless payments

Guests become detached from the physical representation of holding their money and handing it over to pay for something. It’s convenient and secure for guests. It’s profit-making for park operators.

Disney is missing a trick here though. Surely they should roll out cashless payments to all of their park visitors?

  1. Create some hype

Anyone who has booked a Disney trip is excited about it. It’s usually something families book up to a year in advance and count down the days. Receiving a package containing MagicBands increases hype around the visit and encourages guests to share where they are going on social media.

box of MagicBands

  1. Connect fans with the rest of your brand ecosystem

The MagicBand is used by guests to navigate around the park. It’s used to book restaurants, hotel reservations, check queue times, and book FastPasses.

But what’s neat is that Disney’s MagicBand keeps guests connected with the rest of the Disney ecosystem. The bands utilize the Disney app, which itself is connected to the Disney website, where visitors are connected to pretty much every part of the Disney empire. 

Yes, the wristband is increasing the customer lifetime value to Disney.

Conclusion

5 year’s ago Disney’s MagicBand re-shaped the theme park experience. Delivering convenience on multiple levels, and performing as a marketing and revenue tool for the Disney Corp, this wristband has achieved a lot.

But even Disney didn’t get it perfect. Its biggest rival Universal Studios recently took the wristband convenience to another level. The TapuTapu wristband at the newly-opened water park Volcano Bay, allows guests to book time-slots for rides, completely eliminating the need to queue altogether.

Other resorts and park operators may not have the capital Disney have, but they can still learn from the MagicBand.

RFID is one of the key technologies beneath all the awesome branding and functionality the MyMagic+ experience delivers.

And, RFID technology for resorts and theme parks is more popular than ever, with more system providers helping to drive-down pricing and increase the options available to park owners of all sizes.

 

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?

Wrong!

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.

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.

8 Benefits of Using RFID Wristbands for Resorts & Attractions

The use of RFID wristbands for resorts and attractions has grown significantly in the past 5 years.

Ever since Disney’s MagicBand burst on the scene in 2013, the theme park industry has rapidly adopted RFID technology. Age-old paper wristbands and tickets are being replaced with cutting-edge state-of-the-art contactless passes, in the form of wristbands or cards.

But, RFID tags are nothing new in the leisure industry, hotel key cards have utilized RFID since the early aughts.

Now, attractions are rolling out the technology across multiple functions, putting RFID technology at their heart of their operation. 

Less time waiting in line for guests, and increased revenues for owners are just two of the well-documented benefits of RFID wristbands. But, there are many other ways to get more bang for your RFID buck.

With that in mind, here’s a list of 8 benefits RFID wristbands can bring to your attraction, resort or theme park.

  1. Improve Guest Check-in and Entry

Nobody likes waiting in line.

Check-in is the gateway to the rest of the attraction. Whether a hotel or a theme park, overcomplicated admission processes will frustrate guests and negatively affect their experience.

RFID systems speed-up access control. RFID cards or wristbands can pre-authorise and sent out in the mail, allowing guests to self check-in on arrival.

RFID MagicBand scan

This gives your guests control over their check-in, can reduce staff costs and improve first impressions.

RFID cards or wristbands can easily be re-programmed on the fly via a POS if they are lost or stolen.

  1. Go Cashless

Put simply, RFID works like a contactless credit card.

RFID wristbands enable cashless payments, allowing guests to pay for drinks, food, and merchandise with a quick and easy ‘tap’. All without having to worry about handling soggy cash or carrying around a wallet.

Furthermore, the disassociation with cash that comes from using RFID wristbands results in an average increase spend per-head of between 15-30%.

  1. A Hands-Free Experience

RFID wristbands reduce stress. Freeing-up guests from carrying cash, keys, and credit cards allows them to enjoy resort facilities without a worry in the world.

So that they can focus on having fun at the attraction – increasing impulse spending on rides, restaurants, and retail.

This is something that Universal Studios Florida has invested heavily in at their third park Volcano Bay, which opened in 2017. 

Tapu RFID wristband

Credit: Universal Studios Volcano Bay

 

Using RFID technology, their TapuTapu wearable band brings a new level of convenience with Virtual Line technology and lots of interactive enhancements throughout the park.

Guests can even touch their TapuTapu bands to totems around the park, to virtually hold their place in line. The band then alerts them when it’s time to ride. Talk about a VIP experience for everyone!

  1. Family Freedom

Allowing children to have their own wristbands for purchasing food and drinks, gives them a sense of independence.

RFID technology allows parents to set spending limits, or remove the option for payments, leaving it solely as a key for room and locker access.

RFID systems also offer ways of increasing child safety. A parents’ RFID wristband can be linked to their child’s, preventing minors from gaining access to certain areas or leaving a perimeter without their parents.

What’s more, our RFID wristbands are 100% waterproof – and can take on water rides, slides, showers, and even sunscreen lotion. 

  1. Security & Control

Operators will see improvements in their bottom line because RFID technology eradicates the chance of fraudulent passes that negatively impact revenues.

The opportunity for theft and fraud is reduced when guests only need to wear a wristband. There’s no need to carry cash, credit cards or even a wallet.

And, just like a credit card, if an RFID wristband is lost or stolen, an RFID system allows easy cancellation and re-issue.

Parents will also find comfort in the fact that if a child is lost, RFID wristbands can be used to determine the last location of the child.

 

  1. Make a Social Splash

RFID technology enables integration with social media. Visitors can choose to link their RFID wristbands to their social profiles and open-up a whole host of fun experiences.

Once linked, guests can post photos to Instagram, or ‘check-in’ on Facebook, all by tapping their wristband against an RFID touch-point.

This gives guests something to share socially with friends while providing free online advertising for your resort, or waterpark.

Visitors can do things like shoot water cannons at other guests, and illuminate images in the volcano’s hidden caves.

  1. One Wristband to Rule Them All

The introduction of RFID at resorts has reduced the need for guests to carry multiple items for access and payment.

Now, credit cards, room and locker keys can be combined into one RFID wristband or card for the ultimate convenience.

Add to this, the ability to link social media profiles, and you have a trifecta of apps, all on your wrist.

Your operation and the experience of your customers is instantly optimized. And, when you provide guest satisfaction, your visitors come back time and time again.

 

  1. Data & Insight

With RFID present at your resort, you’ll have the ability to collect intelligent data and deep analytics.

You’ll easily discover how guests use, interact with and move around your attractions.

Helping you to determine traffic patterns, dwell times for rides, and tap into undiscovered operational efficiencies.

With RFID cashless wristbands in action, you’ll also get smart data on purchases, allowing for optimized merchandising and concessions.

Data gathered from RFID system integrations is used to streamline and improve experiences for future guests.

Conclusion

The benefits RFID systems offer resorts, theme parks and practically any type of attraction, are staggering.

RFID Systems are advancing, and more companies than ever are offering these solutions to the leisure industry. This helps drive prices down for operators looking to take the plunge into RFID.

From cashless payments to line-busting access control, RFID wristbands at attractions are not the future, they’re the ‘right now’.

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 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 among 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.

Conclusion

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

 

 

Sources:

http://www.sunsmart.com.au/uv-sun-protection/uv

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcode

http://www.festivalkidz.com/blog/electronic-scanning-child-safety-at-major-events/

 

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.

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 wristband to cancel entry into certain areas. As well as using the data to find their last known whereabouts.

how do rfid wristbands work

How Do RFID Wristbands Work?

Chances are, if you’ve visited a music festival, water park or convention in the last couple of years, you’ve probably worn an RFID wristband. But how do RFID wristbands work?

You might have even used and RFID wristband to tap and pay for drinks, or post a photo to your Facebook account.

Not quite following me?

Well, here at ID&C we receive lots of questions about RFID wristband technology; how it works and more importantly, what the benefits are for event organizers.

So, we wanted to explain it plain and simple. A beginner’s guide if you will. An ‘RFID wristband 101’, if you please…

 

RFID technology stands for Radio Frequency Identification, but what is that exactly?

RFID describes the method or process of transmitting the unique identity of a wristband (or any RFID-enabled object) using radio waves.

The technology enables specialist readers or ‘scanners’ to capture the data on an RFID tag and transmit it to a back-end computer system without the requirement for physical contact.

 

What happens when an RFID wristband is scanned?

When read (or ‘tapped’), an RFID scanner will transmit an encoded radio signal which identifies a tag.

In less than a millisecond, RFID tags receive the transmission and respond with a unique identification number.

The most simple every-day comparison to RFID is a barcode on a can of soda. 

When scanned, the barcode talks to a database of information relating to the soda. Details including product name, price, weight and use-by-date are unlocked when a barcode is read.

 

So, are RFID wristbands the same as barcode wristbands?

No. Not even close.

While the principle of retrieving data via scanning is the same, the similarities between RFID and bar codes end there.

I could write at length about the differences but this handy table provides a quick overview.

RFID vs Barcode Wristbands Comparison Table

RFID Wristband

Barcode Wristband

Read Rate High throughput. Thousands of tags can be read in just a few minutes, making it ideal for event admissions. Very low throughput. Codes can only be one at a time.
Line of Sight Not required. If the tag is in reading distance, no particular orientation is required. An RFID wristband can be read from any direction, even from the back of the tag. Required! Scanners need to see the barcode to have the ability to scan. The barcode must be oriented in a specific direction. Event organizers find this impractical. The barcode must stay perfectly clean to be read too.
Resource Low. RFID can be automated via a portal, or integrated gate, allowing patrons to tap their tag on entry to an event. High. Almost always requires human interaction to ensure accurate scanning.
Read/Write Capability Read, write, and even modify in real-time. Read only.
Durability High. RFID antennas can be embedded in various, non-conductive materials for protection from water, heat and knocks. Low. Barcodes become damaged in poor weather conditions. Bar codes need to be in perfect reading condition.
Security High. RFID is difficult to copy. Tags and the database they access can be encrypted and protected by a password. This is a reason why RFID wristbands are being used in place of paper tickets at concerts and festivals. Low. Easy to reproduce, copy and counterfeit.
Barcode concert tickets can be easily faked – here’s how to check if they’re genuine.

Inside an RFID Wristband

An RFID wristband contains a ‘smart tag’ made up of an RFID chip and antenna. The tag can be in the form of a visible card (often made from plastic for durability) or it can hidden or ’embedded’ in other wristband materials like silicone and cloth.

There are three types of tags that can be used: passive, active, and battery-assisted:

  • Passive – Passive RFID tags utilize energy transmitted by the reader for power and do not have a battery built-in. Passive is the most popular for large scale outdoor events and venues.
  • Active – Active RFID tags have an on-board battery, which transmits information regularly without requiring a reader.
  • Battery-Assisted – Battery-Assisted RFID tags contains a battery that only powers the tag when it’s in proximity of a reader.

If you want to get really technical then RFID Journal has a great FAQ on everything to do with RFID.

There are limits on the ranges RFID wristbands can meet, and depending on what type of event or festival you are planning you can choose options from low to ultra-high frequency.

 

How much data can an RFID wristband store?

The types of data you will find stored on RFID tags can include identification credentials, purchasing credits, coupons, access control into hotels or VIP areas, and even social media information.

So when you walk through a checkpoint, you can choose to have your activity or photos posted to social media automatically.

These types of information don’t usually require too much data to hold them.

The biggest passive RFID tags can store up to 3720 bytes, or 3.72 kilobytes of information. This is enough to store personal data, such as someone’s name, address, credit card authorization, and identifying information.

UHF (ultra high frequency) tags store up to 8 kilobytes of information.

For access control systems, RFID tags are usually 3 kilobytes or smaller.

 

What Data can an RFID Wristband Collect?

Using RFID technology gives organizers real-time analytics of how wearers move about and interact with your event, venue or attraction.

You can highlight busy periods, queue times, and popular attractions. Helping you constantly flex and adapt to optimize the experience for your visitors.

 

Can RFID wristbands be used as a Tracking Device?

Most RFID wristbands use passive tags that operate at high frequency, as such, it is impossible to track a wearers location as the tags are limited to very short distances.

However, RFID can record the last known location of a person. This can be vital and useful information for understanding traffic flow and security risks at future events.

 

Transform every aspect of your event

Not only does RFID technology help streamline entry, it also connects you with your audience on a new level.

Patrons no longer have to carry wallets, tickets, and personal information just to participate. Ticket-holders can enjoy the show with a feeling of freedom.

Join the ever-growing industries that are benefiting from the use of RFID technology. Tap into how you can improve your event experience by contacting us today to find out more.

Jargon Buster

Tag / Chip: Embedded in a wristband a tag (chip) passes information, allows entry, and even payment of goods by communicating with an RFID scanner via intelligent radio signals.

Reader / Scanner: Scanners (readers) are usually positioned at entrances and exits, as well as VIP zones and other areas inside an event and communicate with a tag (chip) to carry out a task such as allowing entry, or opening a locker.

 

The benefits of RFID Technology for Events

Due to the security, cost-saving and revenue increasing benefits of RFID wristband technology, many organizers are turning towards the technology to help optimize their events.

Since 2011, the live music industry in particular has adopted RFID technology inside concert wristbands to improve the experience for fans, increase security and open up new revenue streams.

Infographic from 2013 showing the use of RFID at music festivals.
rfid-at-music-festivals-infographic

Some benefits include:

  1. Reduce queues
  2. Eliminate theft and fraud
  3. Build better connections with sponsors
  4. Go cashless
  5. Increase attendee engagement on-site
  6. Create an experience
  7. Collect real-time analytics
  8. Simplify the check-in process
  9. Expand the VIP experience
  10. Give people something to remember

Conclusion

Question: How do RFID wristbands work? Answer: By transmitting unique data (such as a concert ticket or hotel room key) between a tag and a computer system.

The friction less technology is growing in popularity for events, venues and attractions due to the improved customer experience and ability to streamline operations.

How to use RFID for comic cons

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.

comic book convention

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.

comic con entrance

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.

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.

Conclusion

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 After.com