Two RFID Options for Conference Session Attendance Tracking

The overall cost of using radio frequency identification (RFID) to monitor conference session attendance and attendee interests continues to decrease, pushing the ROI of RFID even higher. Two options—Tap-N-Go and Enterprise RFID (overhead readers)—offer event organizers the flexibility to select a solution that fits the event requirements and budget. Understanding which alternative is the most appropriate is the first step toward getting the best return on investment.


The Tap-N-Go system requires attendees to tap their badges (containing an embedded RFID tag) on a stand-alone reader that registers attendance for a conference session or special event. Tap-N-Go eliminates the need for room monitors or session proctors. It is a simple and inexpensive way to verify attendance for continuing education credits.

When to use Tap-N-Go:

  • On a tight Budget—Tap-N-Go is less expensive than the enterprise solution
  • Tracking Continuing Education Credits may be a requirement
  • Access control is optional
  • Real-time reporting (vs. post-session reporting and analytics) isn’t critical
  • Direct engagement with a sponsor’s brand (logo and messaging on Tap-N-Go kiosk) is of interest

Enterprise RFID

RFID readers are mounted above the entrance to a conference session room to collect attendance data that is transmitted by attendee badges when visitors enter. Attendees are not required to interact with equipment or individuals, yet session attendance and the amount of time attendees remain in the room is recorded. Data is displayed in reports and dashboards for near real-time or post-event analysis.

When to use Enterprise RFID:

  • Event manager wants a non-intrusive solution that requires no action on the attendees part
  • Tracking large entrances such as an exhibit hall entrance
  • Attendee duration in the room is of interest
  • Budget permits a more comprehensive attendance tracking solution
  • Near real-time reporting is important to the event manager
  • Volume of attendees is high

Successful conference organizers measure every aspect of their event including attendee interest. New RFID solutions make measurement less expensive and more functional.