Overseas event companies, particularly in Europe and the States are regularly adopting new technologies to improve the experience of music festival lovers. In comparison, the event companies here at home have pretty much owned the social media side of things, but what about other technologies? The use of mobile devices, apps, analytics and cloud based platforms are useful resources that are lagging behind its social media counterparts.

With the dozens of new technologies out there, the one that’s shining through and being adopted at a phenomenal rate overseas is the use of NFC/RFID wristbands. This inexpensive, robust technology is finding itself being used for everything from online ticketing and cashless payments to medical assistance at events.

First of all, let’s explain what an NFC wristband is.

A NFC or RFID wristband is like any other festival wristband. The only difference is that it contains a small, inexpensive microchip that can be programmed to hold a bunch of useful information such as;

  • A festival goers ticket
  • Ticket classification such as VIP or General Access.
  • A pin to access an online wallet.
  • Personal medical data.

I will be going through the most common applications, as well as the ones that are making the biggest impact in the events scene, to help improve event organisers and patrons experience.

Ticketing

NFC ticketing options are replacing printed tickets for a number of reasons. The main one being security. Event Organisers have always had issues with fake and duplicate tickets. NFC technology basically eliminates this type of fraud. The microchip inside a NFC festival wristband holds the encrypted ticket data or similar information and when used in conjunction with specialised mobile app, there is no way to duplicate these tickets.

Cashless services for event organisers and festival goers

Cashless services offer a bunch of obvious benefits and spin offs, and the main reason, again, is security. Most suppliers that offer the cashless service use a NFC enabled festival wristband or card to link to a pre-paid digital wallet. The wallet enables users to top-up funds at events, and some even offer a service where you can top-up funds via an online profile that is pin protected, allowing patrons to avoid cues.

Having large amount of cash on site is a huge security risk and the larger the festival the larger the risk. There is also a risk for the attendees who are enjoying an event as belongings get lost or stolen at music festivals. These risks are easily avoidable when going cashless.

Medical data

There’s always a chance that something can go wrong at an event so it’s best to be prepared which is that’s why we have medical staff on standby. Along with cloud services, NFC enabled festival wristbands can allow medical staff to access a patron’s medical data in case of an emergency.

NFC and your smart phone.

Renting barcode scanning equipment and purchasing cash registers or card machines are expensive hassles that can easily be avoided when using the NFC enabled Smartphone technology. Event organisers, vendors and event staff do not have to go further than reaching into their pocket as they can use their Smartphone’s app store to download an app or two that replaces the unnecessary expensive equipment currently used.

Looking into the future.

A company that is bringing all these technologies into the South African events scene is Mii-D Event Solutions. Along with affordable online ticketing options, they offer an effective cashless service that allows patrons to create an online profile where they can top-up funds before or during an event or festival, unlike the current options out there where you still have to bring cash to an event to get a card or struggle to get refunds.

Mii-D uses a re-usable NFC wristband that links to a user’s online profile. Once registered, the event goer has the options of buying event entry tickets, loading funds onto their profile and logging medical information. Purchasing a drink is now as easy as scanning the wristband and entering a PIN code. The costs are simply deducted from the pre loaded funds. In the unlikely chance of a medical emergency, Medical staff can access medical information through a patron’s NFC wristband to assist more efficiently.

Event Organisers can adopt these technologies to make events less costly, run smoother and be safer. Bigger international festival like Lollapalooza and TomorrowLand are finding NFC wristbands to be a huge success. It will be interesting to see how South African Event Organisers embrace the move towards these technologies and how they will adapt it to the local music festival and events industry.

To find out more about how online ticketing and cashless services that use NFC writbands visit the Mii-D homepage.