Use Venue Intelligence to Plan Smarter Events

Venue Intelligence for access control and capacity management

Venue intelligence is knowing who is doing what, when and where, and then drawing conclusions about why. RFID credentials are a simple but essential tool to learn what you need to know about how your guests experience your venue.

Smart homes and the smart things in them are all about what they do: adjust the thermostat, turn the lights on and off, moderate energy usage, reorder something that’s running low in the refrigerator. “Smart” buildings are smart at the level of computers: they help us out through clever and convenient applications of stimulus and response. But they lack actual intelligence. We still need humans for that, and humans need information. Lots of it.

Venue-wide RFID systems provide facility managers what they need to make their building operations truly intelligent. Operators are limited only by their creativity in thinking of what information they want and how they need to lay out their in-venue system to gather it.

Intelligent venues have satisfied customers

Nearly all applications of venue intelligence relate to improving the fan experience. RFID systems provide immediate as well as long-term data about crowd behavior at your venue.

RFID sensors can identify real-time hot spots, areas that have a higher than usual or disproportionate number of attendees at a given time. For example, even though your concession areas are evenly distributed around the venue, they don’t always have an evenly distributed share of concession-buying fans at a given time. Receipts can only give you part of the picture: the sales that happened. They can’t tell you how many people grew frustrated waiting in line and therefore went back to their seats unsatisfied. They don’t tell you how many people stopped in front of one stand before making their purchase from another, a possible indication that there’s something superficially appealing about that stand that doesn’t hold up to customer scrutiny and decision-making.

The intelligence provided by RFID sensors can cue you in to which concessionaires are falling short of their potential: the ones who attract interest but do not convert at the same levels as others; the ones that always seem to get the overflow from other stands, perhaps indicating a logistics or personnel issue; or those that may do better elsewhere in the venue.

How could RFID inform amenity placement decisions?

RFID does not just track bodies moving through space. RFID connects your guests to your venues. You’ll know something about those people who are deciding to make a purchase or not, or the ones who seem just on the edge of trying something new before going back to their old standby.

By connecting each visitor’s RFID credential to your CRM – something very easy to do with RFID-enabled tickets – you’ll have insights into how well your venue is matching your fans.

Maybe it was a mistake to put your top-line food & beverage outlets close to your hard-core supporters’ seating area. On the surface, it made sense to make your A-list offerings convenient to your A-list fans. But they’re there to watch the game, not sample this week’s presentation of locally-sourced chef-prepared meals. Meanwhile, you noticed that your more casual fans are making the trip to the far side of the stadium because they come for the full venue experience, of which the game is only one part of many. They may not attend as regularly and buy as much merchandise, but they are much more likely to share the game, the food and their seats on social media.

Now that you know that fans and foodies are two distinct parts of your audience, you can better cater to both.

In-the-moment venue intelligence for the most pressing fan needs

Data sourced from RFID systems often has immediate and long-term applications. For many fans, few aspects of their in-venue experience has as much immediacy as going to the bathroom. Unlike food and merchandise sales, that’s one thing that will never have in-seat service.

RFID can let you know how long the lines are at the bathrooms in your venue, and you can then relay that information to your fans. Fans can check the venue app to know which restroom has the shortest line before getting out of their seats: maybe it’ll be quicker to go to the one a little farther away. Display boards on the concourse can direct people to the most convenient restroom based on distance and wait-time. They can then decide if it’s worth the trip, or if they should hold out so they don’t miss the start of the bottom of the inning.

RFID connects fan traffic flow to sales and sponsorship revenue

Everyone marvels at the seemingly chaotic but perfectly coordinated movement of a flock of birds. Look closely enough – not with your eyes, but with data – and you might find something just as interesting and much more lucrative about your fans.

Like receipts and concessions, watching the entry and exit points of your facility only gives you part of the picture. RFID sensors can show you how people get around your venue. Are they doing it intelligently?

Perhaps people are still taking the long way around because, in your venue’s early days, there was a poorly designed bottleneck that you have since fixed. But because the attendees have not changed their behavior, they are taking an inefficient route and creating a new bottleneck. And maybe that’s why sales are so low at certain concession areas. Receipt data only tells you that their revenue is low. RFID-sourced fan behavior data tells you that they are converting the same number of passers-by as all the others, they simply do not enjoy the same foot traffic.

Similarly, are as many people as possible seeing your sponsor activation zones? Do you even know how many are?

A sponsor unhappy with their conversion rate may consider not renewing their contract or spending a lot of money in a new effort, when the responsibility lies with the venue. If you can figure that out and make amends before the sponsor does and make demands, you’ll be in a better position with that relationship. And, with the additional fan data, you can better price your sponsorships going forward.

RFID is the necessary link of venue intelligence

Venue intelligence is the next step in facility design and management. It’s as much about integrating existing information as it is gathering new data.

RFID credentials link what you know about your fans to the fans themselves and then to your venue, providing you with individual and aggregate data that you can use in the moment and for planning capital upgrades. Contact WW&L when you’re ready to take your venue from smart to intelligent.

RFID in Sports: Athlete Performance & Event Tracking

RFID Technology in the NFL

RFID in sports has been a literal game changer.

It wasn’t all that long ago when any inventory of commonly used athlete performance and event results tracking equipment included popsicle sticks.

High school cross country runners would cross the finish line and receive a popsicle stick with a number on it: their place among the finishers. Alongside the person handing out the sticks was someone else noting the time the runner finished: “#5: 18:21…. #41: 20:02… #137: 23:10…” The runners would then hand the popsicle sticks to someone else, who would record the athlete’s name, placing and school. The meet staff would then convene to connect all these data points to determine which team won, and post the final individual results and team scores. Waiting to find out how everyone did and who won sometimes took longer than the race itself. Not to mention, half a million cross country runners per year, each doing 4-6 races, add in a large number of low tech (well, at the time, industry-standard) college races… that’s a lot of popsicle sticks.

Today, even the most low budget races use RFID chips to track runners’ times and finish places. A chip or band tied onto the shoelaces or built into the back of their number bib communicates with mats laid across the start and finish lines. These combine for accurate and instant results, with the times reported relative to both the starter’s gun and when each athlete actually crossed the start line.

RFID personnel tracking enables instant, accurate results at scale for high school cross country races with a few hundred athletes to international marathons with 40,000 participants. Throughout the sports performance world, this combination of attributes – instant, accurate, scalable along every dimension – have made RFID technology almost as ubiquitous as sticks, balls and barbells.

RFID personnel tracking for the highest-level movements

Race directors working on a scale of miles and minutes only need one data point resolvable to seconds, maybe tenths of a second. Sports performance coaches, on the other hand, study their athletes moving in all directions over fractions of a meter, so they need sampling rates in the hundredths of a second.

The National Football League was the first major sports league to track player movements using RFID. Since RFID tags can be placed on a runner’s shoe or shirt without impacting their performance, it was quite easy to embed them on a football player.

Each player had an RFID tag nestled into his shoulder pad. The tag communicated with RFID sensors placed around the stadium, producing 3-dimensional positional data hundreds of times per second, which comes together in movement traces that can be visualized and analyzed in real-time by the play-calling coaches and scrutinized for hours by the sports science staff after the game. As quick and agile as the players are with every cut, spin and jump, the sensors catch it all.

RFID sensors can handle anything sport throws or swings at them

The size of RFID sensors gives them an advantage over GPS sensors used in sports training and performance. Particularly in a high impact sport like football, you don’t want anything that could break upon impact or bruise the player. The ability to embed an RFID sensor in a pad eased the technology’s adoption in the NFL.

Another advantage of RFID over GPS is that RFID can work indoors or outdoors. Teams that use GPS sensors don’t need to set up any equipment in their facility – the satellites are always there. But those sensors are only usable if the game is outdoors. What about indoor training facilities or covered stadiums? And what about indoor sports?

All of these factors converge in the National Hockey League: a high-paced, high contact, indoor (except for the Winter Classic) sport.

The NHL announced their RFID tracking ambitions in January 2019. Not only would they be tracking the players, they’d be tracking the puck. Think about it: an RFID sensor can be placed in a chunk of frozen vulcanized rubber that gets slapped around continuously, sometimes being whacked so hard it travels over 90 miles per hour before colliding with a metal goal post or pane of Plexiglass or high-density plastic boards. And yet it’s so inexpensive that teams can go through several pucks each game, allowing any RFID-enhanced puck that goes out of play to go home with the lucky fan who snags it.

Sport performance insights from RFID personnel tracking data

Like so many other areas in Big Data, the more time practitioners spend with RFID-generated sports performance data, the more applications they find.

When the NFL introduced RFID personnel tracking in 2016, they emphasized the player performance and development aspects.

Head coaches talked about how they could better devise and call plays based on the precise insights they could have about a player. If you know a player’s ability to change directions decreases significantly with fatigue, you’re not going to call a play that requires him to sprint 20 meters and make a double-cut inside late in the fourth-quarter, especially if the real-time data is telling your sports science team that he’s already starting to lag a bit.

The sports scientists and performance coaches, then, saw the potential for more individualized training. They would know an athlete’s areas for improvement over the course of a season and from game to game; they would be alerted to any changes that may indicate an increased risk of injury; and they could validate their approach by continuously monitoring his performance. The data also gave them a new route to gaining athlete buy-in: they can show the athlete precisely why they are doing something, starting with in-game data highlighting where and how he could be better.

The NFL also saw a shared component to the RFID tracking data. By making a certain amount of data open to all teams, coaches can better prepare for their opponents and improve their in-game strategies. Looking into the future, they saw the potential for a more data-driven draft day if colleges started adopting and sharing this data.

The National Hockey League sees similar RFID applications on the performance side, and adds an enhanced fan experience to it. They are experimenting with streaming options where each fan can choose what data to display during the game: a box above each player’s head showing his speed or total distance skated, the speed of each pass or shot, or custom leaderboards for whatever you want to know.

Bringing RFID personnel tracking into more sports

The sports world offers one of the most comprehensive use cases for RFID tracking technology. RFID technology touches nearly every aspect of the industry’s operations, from improving the parking experience for the fans to tracking consumer behavior within the arena to teaching a player to make a 60-degree cut one-tenth of a second faster to letting a fan at home display on her screen what she wants to know about her favorite player.

Lots of things you can’t do with popsicle sticks.

Are you a sports industry professional? WW&L is ready to talk about whatever you think RFID can do for your team and organization. Call or e-mail us today to see how we can help you gather the data to earn a few more points or dollars next season.

RFID Personnel Tracking: Know Where They are and When They’re Working

RFID Personnel tracking and contact tracing

The real estate world no longer has the market cornered on “location, location, location.” With RFID personnel tracking, you can know everything from how many people are in your building to their precise location, who they are near and how they move about the space.

Before 2020, most people had never heard of the phrase “contact tracing.” Now it’s almost a way of life. Even if you haven’t downloaded a contact tracing app, chances are you’re more aware of how close you are to people, where you are close to them and for how long. That’s a lot for anyone to keep track of in the back of their mind. If you’re a facility manager, human resources or corporate health and safety professional, you obviously need something more reliable and more timely than a collection of individual memories and reports.

RFID personnel tracking systems can automate contact tracing in workplaces and venues open to the public. Each person entering the facility only needs to wear a lanyard, wristband or badge – all things they are likely wearing anyway – for them to show up in your RFID system. 

Close-range RFID Location Tracking for Contract Tracing and Employee Safety

Ultra high frequency (UHF) systems can monitor employees’ and visitors’ locations to within a few feet. These systems require RFID readers to be placed throughout the facility in order to pick up the signal from each person’s device. Tracking software will let you know the time and proximity of every interaction in your facility. While this may seem intrusive at first glance, location data could be critical in high-risk, outbreak-prone environments like hospitals, long-term care facilities and food processing plants. And it may be the key to insurance coverage for the safe reopening of high capacity and high density venues like stadiums and arenas.

Beyond our current contact tracing concerns, precision RFID location tracking can greatly improve employee safety. In workplaces with a risk of high-impact emergencies, such as chemical plants or refineries, UHF systems can make rescue and evacuation as quick and safe as possible. Your monitoring staff can provide rescue teams with the exact location and identity of anyone remaining in an affected area. This minimizes the amount of time the responders have to put themselves at risk searching for a trapped or incapacitated employee.

Under more normal circumstances, employees crowding in one area on the job could exceed the load limits on a platform, or they may be needlessly exposing themselves to the risks of the work done in that area. The RFID tags could trigger a reminder for them to disperse, and for your health and safety team to target both workplace design and training.

Beyond Pandemics: RFID Personnel Tracking Systems Create Value

At conferences, RFID tracking can let you know which booths attracted the most visitors and the most engagement. Conference organizers can use this data to improve the layout and flow of the event space, while the sales and marketing team can update the price for vendor booths and sponsorship displays based on precise, real-world data of attendee behavior. The conference team can also share this information with their vendors to help them assess their return on investment in your event and plan how they go about future participation.

The attendees themselves can also take a stake in the location data their RFID tags are beaming out: the RFID personnel tracking software can map out their “social network” from the event. By tying this into your attendee management software, you can help them reinforce the relationships they made, while furthering understanding what value you provided and what opportunities you created for your attendees.

Similarly, sports stadiums and concert venues can use close-range UHF tracking to monitor the quality of the customer experience. If one concession area is full while another is almost empty, event staff can guide some people to the less crowded area, or deploy more staff to the overloaded area. By using RFID-enabled wristbands or lanyards (which double as a collectors’ item), you can match customer profiles to their preferences in food, beverage, merchandise and sponsor activations

Scalable RFID Access Controls

Medium- and short-range RFID tracking systems provide less detail than UHF, but still support the essential goals of safety, security and productivity.

These systems are the backbone of access control, whether it’s someone entering or leaving your property or passing from one room to the next.

RFID tracking lets you go beyond unlocking and locking doors to knowing who is actually going where, and for how long. With RFID tracking systems, an unauthorized person will not be able to “piggy back” into a restricted area with someone who has the proper access. You will be alerted to the breach immediately, and can take immediate action. Knowing that the system is in place both to control and monitor access will raise every employee’s level of vigilance around access control. Therefore minimizing the number of times your security and management teams will have to intervene.

Even the most basic RFID badging system will give you real-time data about how many people are on your premises. Down to whatever level of detail you wish to have. You can keep track by room, corridor, concourse, wing, building or campus – it just depends on how many RFID sensors you choose to install. Whether you are closing up for the night or taking a muster during an emergency, RFID access and tracking systems ensure you’ll never leave anyone behind (unless they take off their RFID tag, which would be an entirely different conversation to have).

Bring Precise Location Data into Your Company

RFID personnel tracking systems scale to whatever level of detail you want regarding who goes where on your property. Almost every business group in a company can use this data to improve safety, security and productivity.

“Location, location, location” is not just about your street address any more, but about where people are within that address. If you’re ready to introduce RFID tracking systems into your company or venue, WWL Inc will work with you to determine the right system and build-out to achieve your goals for your location while taking care of everyone inside it. Contact us now to learn more.

RFID vs NFC: What is the Difference?

rfid and nfc technology use and differences

When it comes to communication-based acronyms, they can be easy to get confused. In this case, our article’s focus is RFID and NFC. These two reasonably similar scanning technologies are in a variety of tracking applications. With this in mind, what are the significant differences between RFID and NFC?

The short answer: RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, a one-way communication method at varying distances. NFC, or Near Field Communication, is a version that allows for two-way communication. NFC is not totally contactless, typically requiring devices to be within a few inches of each other. 

In this article, we will be digging into more details about what makes RFID and NFC so different from each other. We will also be getting into some applications you see them used.

What is RFID?

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a one-way communication method utilizing tags. These tags do not use any electricity and are found using an RFID scanner. The scanner can notice the RFID tags, but they have no additional uses on their own. 

RFID scanners are useful because you can also scan them at a distance of several feet. That makes them incredibly useful for scanning parking tags, as the entrance gate can open as the correct tags approach. As you may expect, this is what makes RFID different from NFC. 

The frequency level dictates RFID’s distance:

  • Low frequency (LF) is the shortest
  • High frequency (HF) is a medium distance
  • Ultra-high frequency (UHF) can go up to ten feet.

LF and HF ranges are relatively limited, typically within a few inches. UHF is more appropriate for long-range applications, as this frequency can scan out several feet. Neither of the above options is inherently better than the other. The only difference is in the distance, which makes RFID appropriate for a variety of applications.

RFID tags also come in two different forms of transponders:

  • Active tags 
  • Passive tags

Active tags are unique among RFID tags because they are continually transferring a signal out. That means as the active RFID tag approaches a scanner, the scanner recognizes the signal being transmitted. While you might be worried about battery life with active tags, RFID tags’ battery life is a decade.

Passive RFID tags do not have any battery, so they last much longer. As a result, these last much longer than active tags. Passive tags take their power from the available scanner. Passive tags are also far smaller, allowing them to be less noticeable. 

How Is RFID Used?

RFID is best for keeping tabs on your assets. For example, RFID can be used to track more expensive items in a retail environment. So if someone decides to stuff a PS5 in their shirt, the RFID tag will cause alarms to go off.

As a result of the passive usage, RFID tags are also great for the supply chain management. Suppose you need to find out whether some of your supplies have passed through a checkpoint. In that case, RFID tags are an inexpensive option for tracking your inventory’s location. 

UHF RFID can scan for things several feet away. Because of this, they are great for parking structures and lots where someone isn’t actively patrolling them. Typically, you purchase a tag to place on the front of your car, and you use that tag to gain access to their parking. 

Below are a couple of other examples of what you can use RFID tracking for:

What Is NFC?

Near Field Communication (NFC) is born of the same technology like RFID. The most significant difference comes with peer-to-peer communication. Rather than the scanner receiving or sending information, both ends can receive and give up information. 

NFC is also only usable at short-range communication. As a result, NFC technology needs to be incredibly close to each other. Your smartphone uses NFC technology for a variety of applications we will get into later. 

NFC typically comes in two different modes: 

  • Peer-to-peer (P2P)
  • Card emulation

Card emulation settings on your NFC device emulate the usage of credit or debit cards. As a result, this allows people who would typically forget their credit cards to have an additional payment method. This also allows for contactless payment, which reduces the spread of germs. 

P2P communication allows you to share information between two different smartphones. Suppose you have ever seen the setting on your phone to communicate with nearby devices based on proximity. By merely locating your phones nearby each other, you can send images and other documents. 

NFC communications do not have to be limited to smartphones. As smart technology is installed into every aspect of our lives, we will (and currently are) seeing more applications.

How Is NFC Used?

We’ve already mentioned the usage of smartphone applications. NFC applications are most popular in contactless payment and data transfer. 

Given that data comes in many forms, you can also use NFC to use the same applications. This means you can feasibly play the same game or see the same schedule on each of your phones. Data, in this case, refers to any shared experience on your phone. 

You can also use it for a variety of other applications:

  • Data transfer of instructions from a smartphone to a smart device.
  • Unlocked router by having your smartphone transfer the password
  • Having a chip under your skin that transfers health data to a doctor’s smart device 

Bluetooth vs. NFC

People are often comparing NFC and Bluetooth due to their similar applications. You pair devices, they communicate P2P, so why should I bother with NFC when Bluetooth is more popular?

Bluetooth may have an allowance for longer distances, but NFC requires less power and faster speed. You cannot transfer payments via Bluetooth with greater ease because each person would take about a minute to connect to a Bluetooth payment

FAQs

What frequencies are RFID and NFC at?

NFC systems are on 13.56 MHz, which is the same as high-frequency RFID waves. Low-frequency RFID waves are at around 125 kHz, while UHF RFID varies from 868-930 MHz.

How Secure Is NFC?

Typically speaking, payment information is encrypted between the two connections. An incredibly committed hacker can get access to the data. To prevent this, keep the devices active only for the period that you need them. 

Which is better, RFID or NFC?

Neither is better; RFID and NFC are used in different ways. RFID is great for tracking your assets and allowing the right people inside. NFC is great for transmitting information between two locations.

Can NFC read RFID?

If the two are at the same frequency (HF), RFID can read certain tags. Given that an NFC is both a scanner and a passive object built together, they can work together. As a result, NFC scanners can also scan some passive tags.

What’s the difference between passive and active tags?

Active tags are continually transmitting a signal to RFID scanners. Passive tags do not release any information. Instead, passive tags gather their energy and information from active scanners for limited communication.

Final Thoughts on Differences of RFID and NFC

RFID and NFC both use similar communication styles. However, they have incredibly different types of applications. For this reason, neither can be deemed more useful than the other unless you narrow their usage down to specific applications.

NFC is great for P2P applications. You can use them to transfer data between smartphones. They are most often used in contactless payment methods, but are not truly considered contactless.

RFID is great for asset tracking, so you can know where your inventory is. Ultra-High Frequency options also can control and grant access, among other extraordinary things.

While the two have a similar general idea, their usage is almost entirely different. 

5 Reasons You Need to Use NFC Technology with Your Printed Tickets

5 Reasons You Need to Use

NFC Technology with Your Printed Tickets


 

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.

River Valley Flood Update


Updated: Friday, June 7th

Our continued gratitude for your concern, thoughts and prayers. The immediate threat is over, our production has not been disrupted and we are helping our community rebuild and repair.    This will take time, as the devastation to not just Fort Smith but the remaining state and our neighboring state of Oklahoma is truly extensive. It is heart-warming to see the swell of volunteers and assistance at local, regional and national levels. 

We do not see a need at this time to post further updates but will certainly do so if the situation changes.   

Thank you.  


Updated: Thursday, May 30th

We have some good news from Fort Smith and surrounding areas.  The city’s storm drainage system upheld during yesterday’s heavy rains, and the Arkansas River is expected to crest early Friday at a lower level than previously anticipated.  A major transportation route into Fort Smith was re-opened on Wednesday morning, which helps with inbound and outbound freight as well as access to work for area residents. 

Our plant is almost at full staffing levels and we have not seen any disruption in operations or ship dates.  Although not out of the woods yet, the risk to our facility has minimized.  As a company, we practice and prepare for disasters.  Our plant is equipped with generators.  We have redundant internet access and a second Fort Smith facility, where we maintain an IT Disaster Recovery site for critical systems.  We maintain inventory levels for major stocks and have individual departmental disaster recovery plans.  In a time like this, it is a relief to know you have a plan that works.  It also reminds us to be diligent in keeping plans updated and current. 

For Fort Smith and surrounding areas, the devastation is truly catastrophic, and our hearts go out to our fellow citizens and residents.  We, like many good neighbors across the state and country, will turn our attention to helping flood victims and our city.  Our thoughts also go to tornado and flood victims in areas across the nation.  We all look anxiously forward to the passing of this major storm system. 


Thank you for your continued thoughts and well wishes. 

To our WW&L Customers and Friends: 

Many of you are aware of the flooding situation in Fort Smith and have called with compassion and concern.   We are monitoring this situation closely and will send email updates to our customer base and post to our website as things evolve.    

Elevation levels for our facility are well above the predicted crest.  We do have many employees impacted and we are encouraging them to stay safe and take care of their families and property.   Staffing remains adequate to handle current production needs.  We do not expect delays in meeting ship dates at this time.

We do not have control over incoming and outbound freight but are in contact with our suppliers and freight carriers.   We have a thirty day supply of stock on hand.  Although the main transportation routes into our city are closed, alternate routes remain open and carriers are utilizing those. 

We thank you for your concern and well wishes, not only for us but for our entire community.  Our customers are our family and we will do everything possible to take care of you during this time. 

Regards,
Tracey Geren
President

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RFID Technology is the Future of Marketing. Here’s Why.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology creates data and experiences with contactless marketing actions. In other words, RFID technology allows you to safely meet your consumers where they are. RFID technology marketing strategies include improving social flow, reinventing experiences, and better visual branding or sponsor representation.

 Here are the reasons why your marketing team needs a RFID credential-based program for your next event:

RFID Technology in Marketing Helps Promote and Maintain Social Distancing

Nobody likes waiting in a long line or being overcrowded like a pack of sardines. While coping with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing extra space is critical.

RFID credentials can help resolve overcrowding and capacity issues by collecting data of heavily trafficked areas. RFID access control systems can manage densely populated areas in your venue. Easing up your operations as a result. 

Imagine a contactless way to reach guests overcrowding an already congested concessions line. An RFID technology marketing strategy could inform guests that nearby options have similar products and a shorter wait. Your brand can directly reduce potential pain points for guests and offer an upsell. 

What if you could inform guests of capacity percentages of exhibits in real time, like this example from STARK RFID? Guests would make their own informed decisions when to explore different spaces, creating a smoother flow of traffic. RFID access control can act as gatekeeper, allowing individuals to enter areas only as capacity guidelines allow. This transparency and measured approach to safety gains unparalleled trust towards a brand.

In short, the immediate data of who, what, when and where will have your marketing team salivating.

Stop Reacting and Start Interacting with RFID Technology in Marketing

We’ve all received those “Thanks for showing up! Did we live up to your expectations?” emails, but have you ever seen a digital sign thanking you personally as you left an event? How about your “walkout song” playing as you enter a suite? Consumers are demanding more personalized experiences with brands. RFID credentials offer a unique opportunity to exceed those expectations. Using RFID marketing techniques, brands will interact with guests in an inimitable way throughout their entire experience, creating memories that are evergreen.

In example, RFID credentials supply your marketing team with live data. This data helps to stop reacting and instead start interacting with consumer behavior. Credentials can track the moment when a patron entered a line to when they left. RFID marketing could be as simple as sending a push-notification prompting product and service rating. All the while gathering key data for future operations.

In the case of a negative experience, compensation is easily deployed. Or, a team member can locate the guest to solve the issue face to face. Think of the service impact of being able to say, “Would you like to speak to a manager?” before they even need to ask.

For positive experiences, RFID marketing makes impact during key celebratory moments– “Touchdown! Let’s celebrate together. Grab a beer on us at main concessions.” Your marketing team can see when patrons visited key exhibits with RFID personnel tracking. This presents the opportunity to create a call to action. For example, encourage guests to submit their organic content from an exhibit. This user generated content can be redistributed on your brand’s social platforms.

RFID Credentials Offer Premium Visual Branding and Sponsor Representation

Like gold medals, branded high quality credentials are virtually never discarded. The sharp design and “cool factor” of VIP credentials combined with the perks of RFID user experience make for a powerful souvenir. This is a front and center branded consumable that will be shared and reposted across countless social accounts.

And, as all great marketers know, the best branding is through storytelling. RFID technology is a gamechanger for any marketing team because it allows you to narrate the consumer’s story with them. Most importantly, this technology is an opportunity to interact with guests during a visit. However, RFID tracking abilities also provide real data on how many eyes reached a specific space, and how long, or how, those people interacted within it.

In conclusion, the best sponsorships offer solid ROI. The endless abilities of RFID credentials create true investment opportunities. This helps fortify the grounds of a lasting partnership. In other words, the increasing data and capabilities of this technology will have your sponsors drooling (and paying for!) more.

Interested in implementing an RFID credential management solution for your brand?

WWL, Inc., is the leading provider of admission, access control and data management solutions for any industry. Contact us today to start telling your brand’s story through RFID marketing.