What is RFID?

Whether you are an avid festival-goer or an events organiser, you may have heard the acronym RFID thrown around here and there. But what exactly is RFID?
With the progression of technology, event goers expect stellar service at lightning speed. Watching people fumbling for money in their wallet at a food stall can now be a thing of the past, and needn’t be a concern, with the introduction of RFID for your event. RFID can speed up service, reduce queueing time, and even integrate with social media platforms.

RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification.

Increasingly, major music festivals such as Coachella and Download are choosing to convert to RFID wristbands to keep up with the demand for speedy service, while eliminating the risk of counterfeit wristbands and fraudulent activity.

How does RFID Work?

Surprisingly, RFID has been around since the mid-1900s. The technology has been utilised for many purposes, such as toll road payment systems, anti-theft devices as well as to track and identify livestock, pets or vehicles. RFID technology also has a history of use within the military and surveillance security.

To put it simply, the majority of RFID products are embedded with a tag. This is comprised of an antenna and an integrated circuit. The antenna can receive radio waves, while the circuit can store and process data, as well as extracting information from a carrier wave or encoding information in a transmitted signal.

RFID tags can either be passive or active. Active tags have their own power sources and are capable of transmitting data, functioning from up to 100m away. Passive tags are generally unable to generate power, but are smaller than active tags and therefore can be implemented on a far wider scale which is a lot cheaper..

As RFID tags contain unique serial numbers, RFID readers can transmit encoded radio signals to the tag. This is then received and responded back with the unique identification and other information stored on the tag. This data can then be collected and entered into computer systems, which can help in understanding your customers’ purchasing habits.

Because passive RFID tags can be integrated into smaller items and can be incredibly resistant when it is suitably protected, the technology is now used frequently in all areas of events management.

What Are The Applications of RFID?

RFID can be used in three main ways:

- Cashless payments
- Social Media Integration
- Access Control

Cashless payments are becoming an increasingly popular choice at many large scale festivals  and holiday parks, such as Bluedot, We Are FSTVL and Haulfryn . Money management for over 90,000 people can prove to be a major challenge with organisers facing issues with theft, counterfeit notes and slow service times. In order to keep up with this pace, organisers have opted to switch to products such as RFID Cards and RFID wristbands, allowing festival-goers to enjoy a fast-paced service with the knowledge that their money is safe. Other benefits of RFID for cashless payments include real-time sales reporting and cost savings from security, transport and administration of cash.

With the current ability of social media to influence trends, RFID technology has also been adapted to link up to an attendee’s unique wristband. This can then be used to provide real-time promotions and allows festival-goers to advocate your brand directly from the event space.

Keeping customers and staff safe and secure is undoubtedly the biggest challenge when hosting a major event - this is where RFID access control comes in.

As with any event, it is almost certainly guaranteed that there will be people who will attempt to enter unauthorised areas. With RFID wristbands, it is easier to eliminate the risks of counterfeit wristbands and fraud as each RFID tag is entirely unique and will be registered to your system. If an RFID wristband is not readable or functioning, it will be easier for your security teams to identify and deal with the problem. Additionally, you can reduce the length of dreaded queues and also receive vital data on zone-specific attendance figures.

RFID For Your Event

Whether you are looking for a quick turnaround, or bespoke to your design; we have a great choice of RFID Wristbands suitable for your event.

If you are looking to use RFID at your latest event, why not look at requesting one of our RFID Sample Packs to see the type of products available.

To find out more about ID&C RFID Solutions for your event, please contact us to see how we can help, and take a look at our case studies to see how we’ve integrated RFID into a wide range of events.