Whether you’re organizing a 25th anniversary event or an inaugural occasion (if you are reading this) then you are either trying to give potential attendees access to create a memory through an experience, or you have somehow found your way here through some form of click-tempting marketing. Either way, we are happy you are here and invite you to explore with us!
So, what is NFC Technology?
I feel it is important to explain some of the basics of NFC…
In short: NFC Technology is the high frequency transfer of data by touch integration or from short distances.
Here is a more detailed answer: Near field communication, or NFC for short, is an offshoot of radio-frequency identification (RFID) with the exception that NFC is designed for use by devices within close proximity to each other. Devices using NFC may be active or passive. A passive device, such as an NFC tag, contains information that other devices can read but does not read any information itself. Think of a passive device as a Ticket. Others can read the information, but the Ticket itself does nothing except transmit the info to authorized devices. Active devices can read information and send it. An active NFC device, like a smartphone, would not only be able to collect information from NFC tags, but it would also be able to exchange information with other compatible phones or devices and could even alter the information on the NFC tag if authorized to make such changes.
All this and more on NFC technology at: http://nearfieldcommunication.org
So, how does this apply to your event and allowing your attendees access into it?
1 – Security
Security in ticketing is a top concern for all event organizations, whether it is brought to their radar or not. From consumer payment methods, organization costs of doing business to integrity of your ticket’s face value – all of this can be summed up to the value of security.
NFC uses encrypted data to share and use information. Furthering your level of comfort, NFC is based on the existing contactless payment and ticketing standards that are used every day by people across the globe. These accepted standards make it possible to not only have a contactless operation i.e. requirements of antennas, but also rates of data transfer and the formatting of that data and how it will transfer. This provides a base for contactless readers and tags for accepting NFC transactions, providing a secure environment.
Imagine that level of technology in your printed season ticket or backstage laminate essentially eliminating ticket fraud incidents… Now that’s a beautiful thing.
2 – Speed
A magical view to an Event Manager, Box Office Manager or Premium Seating Manager is seeing event attendees seamlessly enter their event when the doors open.
Now envision this with me: Your well-trained staff of Ushers and Ticket Scanners taking their device and tapping the attendee’s tickets (without a bright red laser coming out of the top and moving it all around to scan a barcode) and seeing a calm green light flash.
Continuing this thought, imaging that is your premium season member with their beautiful Season Credential around their neck. They don’t have to remove their credential from their neck or bend over to reach a scanner. The Usher reads the bottom of the credential and seeing that green flash… Wow that feels good right?
Access control plays a significant role in your attendees first impression of your event and it is crucial to make sure you can provide a seamless and quick point of entry. NFC provides a simpler way to achieve this and is downright faster than QR or Barcodes.
Watch out here, I have some details for you! Let’s segue this idea of a speedy check-in process to breaking down how an NFC tag is “scanned.” Near Field Communication utilizes electromagnetic radio fields and is an offshoot of radio-frequency identification (RFID) with a major difference. NFC is made specifically to share information with devices and tags that are in close proximity of each other. This means that it will only make a single scan when a tag and reader are within 1 – 3 inches from each other. Giving you a secure single scan at one time. There are other forms of RFID technology that can apply to ticketed events, but that is for another day.
3 – Data
Lets face it. DATA IS KING and we all know it. Here is a tidbit of knowledge for you. One Google server farm is 980,000 square feet… or 22.5 acres… OR 17 Football fields.
So, data is important, and NFC makes it possible to acquire more of it. With event ticketing there are some very specific data items you can gather with NFC: Foot Traffic, Time Spent in Entertainment Areas and Consumption (more on this in a minute).
With the ability to follow event foot traffic, you can see how your attendees are getting to where they are spending their time and lead your analytics and customer experience to focus on what you are doing right in some areas and where you can improve in others. This leads to a better fan experience for your attendees and gives you the ability to shift your focus and capitalize on the right opportunities.
There are many different ways to analyze and acquire data, NFC creates an avenue for you to secure it.
4 – Payment
One major benefit to the security of NFC is the ability to use it to process payments and store value. Do your fans carry a lot of Cash? Do they carry only Cards? Want to minimize the need for both? With NFC Cash and Cards for your season member or even one-time visitors are a thing of the past. Now, this is something that is dependent on your concession and payment processing practices, but still very relevant.
I find that a short list can be used here to put this into perspective.
Benefits to NFC for payment:
- Increased Revenue
- Greater control of transactional data
- Guests feel safer with no cash being exchanged
- Reduced theft
- Consumer Data Collection
We could write so much on the items above, but to make it concise, NFC helps attendees worry less about cost and enjoy the seamless experience of NFC purchasing. The ultimate win here though is that you learn attendee buying habits at the individual level. This gives you the ability to really breakdown the data and capitalize on each person’s experience at your event.
Consider how this will associate an easy and enjoyable purchase experience with your Season Credential or Concert Laminate. Your attendees will build that connection of value and experience with you and their event pass.
5 – Customer Experience
Why do people attend an event? – Entertainment. Knowledge. Experiences. Memories. Maybe all of the above…
My assumption here is that you enjoy/love what you do, or you wouldn’t have made it this far into this post. And you want your Customers to enjoy their experiences when they associate themselves with your event.
With NFC technology you can take these four points above and apply it to your event and optimize your fan experience in the direction that best works for you.
So, the ultimate question is WHY use NFC technology with printed product such as Tickets, Event passes, Credentials, etc.
The answer is in the research. RRD has helped us out here to better understand:
“Neuroscientific research explains why people are still attracted to print as a medium. When we read ink on paper, we stimulate four senses (the smell, sound, feel, and sight of the paper). The more senses we stimulate, the more value we put in the content, and the more we retain the information.”
This is true across all generations of people and to break it down into the two largest demographics – we see this difference in millennials and Gen X.
The Future – Bringing Print & Technology together
Beneath it all there is a desired result. Bring people together and create memories.
“Millennials use print differently. They use print to complement their digital consumption, whereas older demographics use digital to complement print.”
WW&L has been providing access to fans of all entertainment and experiences since 1898.
Let us help you bring NFC Technology to your printed product and ensure your fans that experience.