10 Cool Things We’ve Done with RFID for Events


RFID! We can’t get enough of it at Noodle Live. We love ourselves a bit of radio frequency identification (yes, we know we are geeks).

Despite soundingsuper techy, RFID is actually pretty simple and the chances are, you’re already using it. RFID and its close cousin NFC (near field communication) allow you to perform an action simply by tapping a card or badge. It’s the tech that powers your Oyster card and contactless payment card. In recent years, tech geeks like ourselves have been finding loads of great uses for RFID chips.

In the last 4 years we’ve been asked to do some pretty cool things using RFID and Noodle Labs have been working overtime to come up with great tech solutions. Here are some of the best things we’ve done using RFID for events:

1. Personalised Welcome Messages & Suggestions

Want to create a more personalised check-in process?

What we did

At a recent conference, guests were handed an RFID-enabled name badge on arrival and asked to tap the screen to check-in. The screen displayed a personalised welcome message including their name alongside personalised suggestions for recommended sessionsand exhibitors

P.S. It also only took 15 seconds to print and encode each badge (not boasting or anything)

How it helped

This created a great experience for delegates, drove footfall to specific sessions and exhibitors as well as providing real time arrival data for the event organiser.

2. Cloakroom Tickets

Bored of hunting for that “black coat” when someone has lost their cloakroom ticket? RFID = no more lost cloakroom tickets.

What we did

Last winter, we were working on an event with more than 3,000 attendees. That’s a lot of coats! Delegates simply tapped their RFID name badge at our cloakroom points and were automatically assigned the next available cloakroom number. The screen displayed the number for cloakroom staff. The whole process was then repeated when collecting their coat at the end of the day.

P.S. We’ve even rolled this out at venues with multiple cloakrooms.

How it helped 

We were able to cut down queue times and reduce confusion over missing tickets. Winning. Cloakroom staff also love this feature. It makes the whole process a whole lot faster.cloakroom

3. Table Plans & Dinner Arrivals

Finalising table plans is always a bit of a nightmare – unless you’re using RFID!

What we did

When guests arrived, they tapped their RFID enabled invite and were shown a screen displaying the table they were sitting at, who they were sitting with and an animation of how to get to their table.

How it helped

Using this method we managed to seat over 1000 guests in under an hour with minimal staff. It also meant the organisers were able to make last minute changes to the seating plan, right up until the moment each guest arrived


4. Workshop Booking Points

Need a nifty way to allow your guests to book workshops during your event?

What we did

One of our clients used our survey points to do just that – delegates simply had to tap their name badges to see all upcoming workshops and pick the ones they want to attend.

If they’d been using our event app, they would have also been able to display booked workshops as part of a personalised schedule providing a completely seamless experience.

How it helped

The event manager was able to login to our dashboard at any time and download a report listing all workshop bookings. They were also able to use the dashboard to limit room capacity.

5. Drinks Tokens 

Want to include drink tokens for your next big event, or simply track bar spend?

What we did

We recently pre-loaded guest’s RFID name badges with drinks tokens. Every time they ordered a drink, they simply swiped their badge at the bar and a drinks token was subtracted from their account.

We were even able differentiate different guest types with different numbers of tokens for the bar – perfect for VIP guests at this event!

How it helped

This can be a massive help when it comes to controlling bar spend and keeping an eye on costs without interfering with the guest experience. The organiser was also able to use our dashboard to instantly add drink tokens as needed.

6. Coffee Order Points

One of our favourite uses of RFID for events – no need to keep repeating your coffee order during the day.

What we did

We came up with this for a client who was looking to create something completely unique for their event.

During pre-registration, we asked delegates how they took their coffee and then encoded this onto their badge on arrival. They then simply tapped their badge at the coffee station to display their coffee order for the barista, so they could start making their perfect cup right away.

We’ve also used a similar system to gather cocktail preferences, smoothie preferences and lunch orders.

How it helped

Everyone had caffeine. Quickly. Oh – and we could also report on how many coffees had been served throughout the day to ensure suppliers were billing accurately.

7. Personalised Information Points

Want to quickly display personalised information with the tap of a badge and reduce the need for staffed information points?

What we did

At a recent event, the client wanted to streamline delegate movements after the main plenary – on exit from the plenary, delegates simply tapped their badge to display the time and location of their next booked breakout session.

We’ve also used this to display personalised suggestions for sessions they might enjoy or even find suggested exhibitors they should visit during the event.

How it helped

This created a cool wow factor, and it also meant that delegates were instantly directed to their next session. Booked breakout sessions could be instantly updated using our dashboard, so last minute changes were easily handled.

8. Compliance Documentation

Need to ensure certain documents are signed before delegates enter an event?

What we did

At a recent event, we were required to make sure every delegate had signed a declaration form. The client supplied data identifying the delegates who still needed to sign the declaration. When a delegate tapped their badge on entry, it would either simply say ‘Welcome Joe’, or, if they still needed to sign, it would display a welcome message asking them to speak to the team. The team were also alerted every time a delegate arrived who had not signed the declaration, so they were able to help delegates to sign up and get on their way.

How it helped

Our tech supported the compliance requirements for this event – a bit boring but it certainly took the headache out of ensuring all the I’s were dotted and t’s were crossed

9. Treasure Hunt

Gamification is so hot right now. RFID is the perfect tool for adding a bit of fun to your event.

What we did

We set up an RFID treasure hunt for a recent event.

Delegates were grouped into teams then directed to the first touch point where they swiped their badge to reveal their first clue. They then had to solve the clue and work out where the next touch point was located to find the next clue.

How it helped

The fun element of the event kept delegates engaged and created a great experience. It also helped delegates explore the event and made sure they visited all areas of the venue.

10. Offline Lead Capture

Ok, so it’s not exactly ‘cool’ in the traditional sense of the word, but it is a pretty monumental achievement as we all know how fickle venue networks can be.

What we did

Our lead capture points allowed exhibitors and sponsors to collect contact information by simply tapping a prospect’s badge at a handheld tablet. They could also use the tablet screen to add notes, assign a priority and instantly email documents.

All of our lead capture functionality can now run offline, so your exhibitors won’t lose leads if the internet fails for any reason.

How it helped 

Data is stored on a tablet and if the internet fails, it will continue to store on each individual iPad until the signal can be restored. Goodbye wi-fi worries!

Hopefully that’s put a few ideas on the table for using RFID at your next event or maybe it’s just created even more questions?

Never fear, simply use the form below to give one of our event tech experts a call for your free event technology consultation or join us on our online Q&A webinar on Wednesday 4th October with our MD, Clemi Hardie.

Need more inspiration for your event tech? Take a look at these 10 cool things we’ve done with event apps! 


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