Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is making its way into our industry. It could quite honestly be the hottest technology since the birth of online registration for associations. But what exactly does it do? Is it cost effective? Is it efficient?
RFID is a technology system with a tiny transmitting chip (or tag), a reader and computer software for managing attendees information and data. Communications between all three systems are controlled over a radio frequency channel. The reader send a request the identification information to the tag and the tag sends its programmed data to the reader, which then passes the information to the computer for processing.
Confused? What does it mean to association meeting planners? The RFID system is just another way to collect valuable information from our attendees. The system facilitates access to more pieces of information in a relatively non-invasive manner. The tag is imbedded into the name badge and can track the movements of attendees as they enter meeting room doors or trade show halls. Other useful applications include session tracking for certification and continuing education. Vendors at trade shows are utilizing the system for lead generation.
RFID is starting to replace the paper name badges and smart-cards for association's annual conferences and meetings. Successful implementation will take careful planning and professional execution. Attendee privacy issues must also be addressed.
Has your association looked into RFID for your association? Have you embraced this new technology?