RFID, or radio-frequency identification, is one of the hottest trends in ticketing and live entertainment. First introduced on the festival circuit, events of all shapes and sizes are now implementing RFID technology and leveraging advancements in the field to transform every aspect of the guest experience. An obvious example is RFID-enabled wristbands, which are increasingly being used in place of paper tickets to speed up the flow of customers into a venue.
RFID is everywhere. Tiny scannable tags and chips, some as small as a grain of rice, are found on security and backstage credentials, passports and credit cards. They’re embedded in clothes to manage inventory and they’re in cell phones, car keys, casino chips and even pets. Indeed, RFID has come a long way since it was first used in World War II to identify friend or foe planes. Today, it has the potential to keep track of everything and everybody.
One of the primary uses of RFID in stadiums and arenas is access control ― not just entry into the venue itself but also into club seats and VIP sections. RFID cuts down on lineups and helps reduce fraud because the chips have a unique identifier that makes them very difficult to duplicate.
Theoretically, the venue would be able to see the ticket’s unique identification number and trace it from the initial purchase at retail price through the transfer to the new customer at the scalper price. This data would be helpful for venues to determine future ticket prices for similar events.
In a similar fashion, chips can be embedded into official game balls and team jerseys to ensure their authenticity on resale. Even guitars played at a concert or a piece of scenery can be tagged to aid in tracking.
Another way RFID can help improve the guest experience is by having additional purchases pre-loaded on an event ticket. If the guests are over 21, the ticket could have two beer purchases pre-loaded. The guests could get the drink by simply tapping it at an unattended beer station. The same concept can be applied to food and merchandise.