Lots of festivals, trade shows and public events have problems with counterfeit or stolen badges and wristbands. The advances in copy machine technology make it much easier to slip past door monitors. One box of stolen wristbands from beneath a counter while a volunteer looks away can translate into thousands of dollars of lost revenue. Plus, a ready market for popular wristbands and credentials on Craig's List fuels some of the nefarious activities. The good news is that radio frequency identification technology (RFID) can render these hazards a thing of the past.
With intelligent RFID technology, badges, wristbands, passes and credentials of any kind are embedded with small RFID chips. The chips emit a radio signal that is detected by another device called a reader. The tagging system has a number of capabilities:
- Every badge and wristband can be immediately validated to determine whether any of the credentials are counterfeit or reported stolen.
- Intelligent RFID systems can track the user journey from venue to venue to determine whether there are pockets of misuse.
- Stolen badges can be "turned off" so they are no longer valid.
- Intelligent RFID systems linked wirelessly to Internet dashboards can reveal the exact geographic location where counterfeit and stolen badges are in use.
- Information about the attempted use of fake or stolen badges can be immediately relayed to security.
Of course, intelligent RFID badges and wristbands can yield some positive intelligence as well. Data collected from the various venues can help organizers plan for overcrowding and make overflow arrangements on the fly, analyze attendees by badge type and evaluate programming and content by the length of time attendees stay at the venue. In fact, the dashboard capabilities can help event planners slice and dice attendee data in a number of valuable ways. Intelligent RFID-enabled badges save money and enhance the ability to plan better events.