Near field communication (NFC) is making its way into our everyday life — including meetings! NFC is a short-range, low-power wireless link that can transfer small amounts of data between two devices that have an RFID chip installed into them when held a few centimeters apart. This is can be a smartphone, a smartwatch, a bracelet or even a “smart” nametag. The popularity of the technology is on the rise. In fact, according to ABI Research, a technology intelligence company, 285 million NFC-enabled devices will ship by the end of this year.
With an Event Badge
BizBash magazine recently ran a story about ITN International, an organization that creates NFC name badges for conferences. With an NFC badge, an attendee can use his or her smartbadge for a variety of tasks including but not limited to:
- Smart Nametags: The badge is preloaded with information about the attendee, including his or her social networks and contact information. The virtual business card is easily shared between two NFC devices for networking purposes.
- Inventory Control: If your meeting requires group technology rentals, such as iPad® tablets or ARS, organizers can keep track of who received and returned which devices.
- Retail Discounts: By working with local retailers in advance, event planners are able to offer discounts to attendees who scanned their badges at those establishments.
- Surveys: Attendees can provide feedback about a session they just attended.
- Money Management: Event organizers can put a prefixed dollar amount on the badge to allow attendees to pay for their meals or small convenience items at participating retailers.
- Transportation: Promotions can be preloaded onto event badges to allow attendees to receive highly discounted transit service in a conference city.
With a Bracelet
Smart bracelet technology is continuing to expand to resorts and festivals. A smart bracelet runs about two to eight dollars per bracelet and comes embedded with an RFID chip. When activated, NFC readers can be placed throughout the event to maximize bracelet functionality for optimal attendee convenience. In addition to the uses listed above, here are some other NFC capabilities that can be used with NFIC bracelets:
- Food Allergies: Event attendees can upload any allergies or dietary restrictions to their bracelet and share with the chefs/kitchen as they sit down to dine.
- Run Contests and Giveaways: At The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, they gave away a trip to attendees who linked their social accounts to the event through NFC technology.
- Vote: For an annual meeting, attendees can tap the screen and vote on officers, initiatives and other important business.
The Future of NFC
With all the applicability of badges and bracelets, the future of NFC lies within smartphone technology. According to Bob James, vice president of ITN International, 30 percent of smartphones are already NFC-compatible but the user doesn’t use the technology. As awareness grows, Mr. James predicts NFC growth in cellphones to skyrocket 700 percent between now and 2016.
How Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Can Help
Enabling NFC technology puts additional emphasis on having a flawless wi-fi experience. Kalahari is on the cutting edge of new technology and knows how to seamlessly integrate a variety of options into any meeting. Contact our sales team today at 855-411-4605 to learn more about our conference center space and how our IT staff can proactively help you implement NFC into your next event.