Our customers frequently ask us 'what are the best security wristband features?'

Event organisers want to make sure that nobody can copy their wristbands and get unauthorised 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 ultimately the end 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.

We're going to show you 5 of the most popular security wristband features.

1. The Wristband Lock

security wristband locks

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 fabric 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. It does not require a closing tool and is not labour intensive.
  • 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 extrememly 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 labour-intensive to close the locks in large quantities.
  • Metal Ring: This is a classic, yet very reliable closure made from aluminium. The aluminium 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 favourite 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 re-usable 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 (ultra violet) is one of the most commonly asked for security wristband features.

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

Sounds 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.

2. We can print UV ink onto vinyl wristbands and Tyvek wristbands. This enables our customers to add security features across 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.

holographic foils

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 fool proof 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 bar code.

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

Barcode wristbands

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.

Bar code wristbands can be made in Tyvek, vinyl and fabric materials.

5. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

rfid wristbands

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%

2. Contactless Access Control - In this scenario, an RFID wristband can be used in place of a traditional 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.

3. Brand Activation - Using RFID technology, event organisers 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 organisers 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 all kinds of events.

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