EventUp

    [Tech Tuesday] How NFC-Enabled Smart Badges Can Streamline Your Event

    March 26, 2013

    Near Field Communication (NFC) is a form of close-proximity wireless communication between two devices. Mobile phone companies such as LG, Samsung and others are already offering this technology in their products however top-dog Apple has yet to incorporate NFC technology to its phones and tablets. This innovative technology is making waves in the retail and transportation industry as well as the event planning industry due to its ability to efficiently streamline a variety of processes.

    Several companies such as ITN International have developed NFC-enabled event badges for trade shows and corporate events. Here’s a breakdown of how event planners are using these smart badges to increase efficiency and guest interaction at a variety of events.

    Identification. One of the most common uses of the NFC-enabled badge is identification. Most companies offer branding for event badges so that you may include logos, guest name, company, and any other information needed for the badge. The tag also comes preloaded with any information you want to include about the guest.

    Meal Management. An NFC tag in

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    an event badge can be used instead of cash or cards for attendee meals at an event. This cashless system allows you to load each attendee’s badge with a certain amount of money each day to use towards food. Often money ends up being saved at the end of the day because organizers do not have to guarantee food minimums. As a tip for your next event, you could even donate the leftover allotted money on each guest’s card to a local charity or cause.

     

    Attendance Tracking. Every event planner wants to know how many people are in the event space at any given moment. With NFC-enabled badges, you can simply place an NFC-enabled phone on a pedestal and ask attendees to scan their badges as they enter the event so you can get an exact count of total attendees. If you have several rooms or sessions going on within one event location, you can even place a scanner in the entrance of each room or education session to track how many people attended each info session.

    Inventory Control. Let’s say you are giving out a gift card or other type of parting gift for party-goers. You can use the NFC-enabled badges for inventory control to ensure each guest receives the right gift and no one receives duplicates or ends up without one. Simply equip your event staff with NFC-enabled smart phones and with one quick swipe they will know exactly which materials to provide. Information is then generally saved and stored in a cloud application. That way, if the attendee loses their badge it can be reissued with all their information preloaded.

    Follow-up. An excellent way to use these badges is for follow-up. You can essentially provide your attendees with a report which includes which booths they visited and everything they asked for information about.

    What other ways have you used NFC-enabled badges at events? Feel free to share with us by leaving a comment below, on Facebook or Twitter.