RFID vs NFC: The Complete Guide for #EventProfs


What does it all mean?

In a nutshell – it’s simple tap and interact technology.

You may not even know it, but you’re already using RFID and NFC on a daily basis. If you use an Oyster card or a contactless credit card then you’ll be used to giving commands through a tap system. It’s as easy as that.

Both NFC and RFID allow you to perform simple actions using remote technology.

What’s the Difference Between NFC and RFID?

They’re really similar, which is probably what causes all the confusion. RFID (radio frequency identification) has been around since the 1970s. It involves a simple interaction between an RFID chip and a reader. The chip stores lots of data. Think of it like a very small hard drive. The magic part of RFID is that the data can be read by a reader whenever the chip is presented to or held near to the reader. There’s no need to plug anything in or to give it any commands, it knows data to collect and it does it instantly.

Sounds incredible? You’ve probably already got an RFID card in your wallet. It’s how your Oyster card works. Oysters store information about funds and pre-paid tickets and send that information to the readers every time you tap it to pay for a ride. RFID is also used in your passport, and for microchips for pets.

NFC (near field communication) is actually a form of RFID. The main difference is that it’s a two-way communication system. So NFC devices can send and receive data. Most people have NFC capabilities embedded in their smartphone. On the iPhone, Apple Pay uses NFC. It’s similar to RFID except it uses a device you’re your phone instead of a separate card or chip. NFC is only able to operate at very small distances, so you need to hold the device close to the reader to make it work. This makes it more suitable for contactless payments as it avoids the problem of accidentally paying for products you didn’t intent to buy.

What Do Team Noodle Think?

We love RFID and NFC.


These technologies both have the capability to make your events a lot more streamlined. In fact, Noodle Live was founded specifically with the idea of using these technologies to make event tech faster, slicker and more reliable. They’re at the basis of almost everything we do.

RFID and NFC can make registration quicker, allow guests to instantly access content including schedules and handouts, create personalised information points and allows you to check-in for sessions in an instant. NFC technology is still very much in its infancy and Team Noodle are still enthusiastically waiting for the day that Apple open up the tech to third party developers. Sometimes we even dream about it! Overshare? Sorry about that.

But it would be great news for #EventProfs. It would allow us to add extra services to our event apps that could be accessed with a single tap of the phone. Watch this space!

What Does it Mean for #EventProfs?

It can make your event even more accessible, streamline the experience for your delegates and help you capture more information about how visitors behave at the event.

At Noodle we tend to use NFC and RFID alongside an event app to create the most user-friendly and utility driven event tech packages. We’ve delved deep into the world of remote information technologies to create event tech that lets you do loads of really useful things. Including:

Speed up registration
RFID tags make registration quicker and easier. Not only can delegates check in with one simple tap of their wristband or badge, they’ll also be shown a personalised greeting and instantly receive a welcome pack. To top it all off, you’ll also be getting real-time updates about how many people have registered.

Simplify the cloakroom
Forget fiddly little tags and tickets. Allow guests to tap their badge to check their coat in and out. Slick!

Gather more data
RFID allows you to gather loads of information about how your attendees behave, which touch-points they most interacted with and which sessions they attended. With all that data you can adjust your plans for your next event and make sure you’re creating an environment that gives your guests exactly what they want.

Instant content collection
Noodle Live can create touch-points that offer to send useful documents, session notes or additional content to delegates at the simple touch of a card. That way, you find out more about what your visitors are up to and they get something in return too.

Lead capture
Forget barcodes, exhibitors at your event can gather contact details from interested parties at the touch of a badge. Simply set up a touch point and allow guests to tap to register their interest. You can easily offer great content or promotional offers in return to encourage even more people to interact.

Personalise the experience
Because each RFID and NFC tag is unique, you can give each delegate a personalised experience. Touch points can be set up to register personal information and display personal messages for guests. Welcome people by name or thank them for interacting. Manners first people!

Fallen in Love With NFC and RFID?

Welcome to the club. If you’d like to find out more about using NFC and RFID for events then get in touch. Team Noodle offer free event tech workshops to help you find the best fit for your needs. We also make a mean cup of tea. Just saying.

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