A great article this week in Exhibition News (Flick of the wrist, page 34) discusses how RFID continues to gain traction in the events market.
The power of being able to process transactions in a single swipe is huge. Just look at the success of systems such as Oyster cards and festivals, which deployed RFID this year, and have seen tangible (up to 20 per cent per attendee) increases in revenue. The article focused on how RFID technology has reached a stage of maturity and that systems can be used for additional functions such as; access control, catering, and social media check-ins, all of which means RFID technology is here to stay.
In addition to several RFID cashless deployments we had great success with WOMAD festival this year using a combination of barcoded wristbands and a pre-event registration website for teenage ticket holders to facilitate the quick and secure lookup of their parent or guardians details if the teenager required assistance
However when considering RFID deployments, event organisers should think about the complete solution in order to maximise the efficiency of the use of this technology. Here are our top three things to consider:
1. An integrated strategy: RFID technology has been around for a long time. Although making it “work” on site can be challenging but is achievable. However the main challenge is preparing for how the system will be used at the event for example: who can use it, where it can be used, staff training, on-site administration, etc. Key elements to think about include, how those who want to use the system on site will be able to register and use it securely ;how users will be able to link their details with their accounts; how much will be allowed per transaction? and finally, what can be done if cards or wristbands get lost and how does someone get a refund.
2. A banking partner: Holding funds, transferring money, setting up direct debit functions is not something to be undertaken lightly and needs a partner with experience who knows how to think ‘banking’ (it’s a very different mind-set!) However the funds are managed it will need to be done by properly approved bodies with the relevant financial certification.
3. A reliable site network: The amount of technology behind a cashless RFID system on site should not be under called. It is essential that a system is deployed which factors in the reliability required with the appropriate redundancy at its core to ensure loss of power or a damaged cable does not stop the entire service.
With these items considered RFID systems area ready to light up the events industry and bring with them an enhanced attendee experience and increased revenue.