In a nutshell, RFID is a smart barcode that allows our mobile devices to seamlessly pay for things without the exchange of tangible cash. In this post we will explore the trend of cashless events and how RFID has the ability to be a key factor in the events pace.
RFID first began showing up in the form of wearable technology. The idea that digital elements could be added to garments and accessories was mind-blowing! Now we expect that most wearable elements have the ability to be “smart” or contain some form of digital technology to enhance the performance of the item. As a concept, one could only imagine the experiences we could create in the event space. When RFID became popular in 2014 it was a pipe dream – today in 2019 – RFID has evolved into more practical applications.
One of the most challenging things in the event space is making sure the digital technology we depend on is available at events. This means great power sources, charging stations for attendees as well as acceptable WiFi speed. In the past, this level of seamless tech was a challenge, now that we are moving on to 5G speeds, it’s much more practical to have digital activations. RFID in the form of wearables or as a chip that fits in a badge is the most utilized and practical use for events. RFID technology allows attendees, vendors, sponsor and event staff to remain cashless and to use RFID to collect data and information.
It’s important to consider budget, logistics and ability to run that much technology as well as the attendees needs. Do your attendees care about the points that RFID offer? Is being cashless going to make the event experience more robust? How important is it to collect leads, data on where attendees are spending time within the event and the ability to be mobile with digital currency? These important factors will help determine the budget worthiness of RFID technology.
There are a lot of events that are benefiting from RFID cashless technology. Many festivals that are all inclusive or are secluded have had great success offering a cashless solution. The environment is right for a cashless RFID experience. Some charitable events have benefited with scaled down solutions to contribute to charity at live events with a cashless solution. Large or networking events have seen success with RFID technology in terms of tracking attendees and where time is spent, sharing details in networking and making onsite event purchases at SWAG stores, event eateries, expo halls and evening events.
The most important factors in determining if your event is going to benefit from RFID and offering cashless experiences is first technology capabilities, event logistics, budget and the attendee objectives. Make sure to consider your attendee first and if the benefit outweighs the risk.