Radio-frequency identification (often abbreviated RFID) is shaping out to be one of the hottest new trends in the ticketing industry.
RFID tags are embedded into tickets or wristbands and used for identification, payment and security. This technology has become a common phenomenon in larger European music festivals and is also growing increasingly popular in Europe and North America. But this trend carries unique opportunities for the ticketing industry that reach beyond its immediate impact, some of which we shall review here.
Gaining New Insights into Event Attendees
While the most common usage of RFID systems is as a substitute for paper tickets during admissions, they have the potential to be much more. RFID tags can be used as a powerful data analysis tool that allows event marketers to learn more about their guests – from the moment they purchase tickets online until they leave the event, and even afterwards (if there is further interaction with the same buyer). Organisers can become much more aware of the attendance times, purchasing patterns and other behaviours of their clientele. This newfound information can be incredibly beneficial for providing better services and focusing future marketing efforts.
Cutting Down Costs
Intelligent use of RFID can do a lot to reduce labor and other costs for organisers. For example, RFID systems can significantly speed up admissions, which might even be partially automated (the tags do not need to be in a scanner’s line of sight to be read). This means venues can hire less personnel to staff the entrances. In addition, tickets or wristbands employing this technology are much harder to counterfeit or scalp, reducing the risk of ticket fraud and allowing organisers to cut down on some security costs.
Real Time Data
One powerful use of RFID systems, which requires a robust ticketing platform to support it, is gathering and analysing attendee data in real time. This could have far reaching consequences, e.g.: ticket, merchandise and food prices could be updated in the midst of a festival, according to supply and demand, or security could be allocated to places where crowds are gathering. The possibilities are vast and have yet to be fully explored, but we are sure to see more developments in this field as the technology becomes ever more common.