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RFID Delivers Gaming, Access to Comic Con Fans
ReedPOP is expanding services with its NFC RFID-enabled badges for more than 150,000 New York Comic Con fans at this year's event.
Aug 19, 2019—
When more than 150,000 fans attend New York Comic Con (NYCC) this fall, they will be using a Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID badge to not only gain entry to the event, but also reserve a spot in long queues, gain access via lottery to the most popular panels and receive prizes. Since the NFC technology was introduced, says NYCC managing company ReedPOP, it has reduced wait times for popular events. Fans can now attend more such events—twice as many, on average—than they could in previous years, says Kristina Rogers, ReedPOP's event director. This year, the NFC solution will be expanded to include more access and prizes for those with badges, while payment functionality is expected to be added next year.
NYCC is one of the world's largest comic book conventions; held each year at the Javits Convention Center, it has grown from 33,000 attendees in its first year (2006) to more than 250,000 in 2018. This year, the conference (being held on Oct. 3-6) is expected to be even larger. Managing a crowd of fans that large is inherently challenging, and when some panels are highly popular, the lines and congestion can become even greater. In fact, fans attending the conference often begin lining up for some studio panels the night before it takes place. Some of the most popular include those hosted by Netflix, Marvel or AMC (which last year offered a program for The Walking Dead featuring the full cast onsite).
In 2016, ReedPOP began working with Showclix to link the unique ID of each badge to a particular ticket holder's identity, thereby eliminating fraud. Users pay for their tickets and order badges, then set up an account with their personal information, including their name and e-mail address. When the badges arrive, they enter each badges' ID number to create a link between that badge and a particular person so that each individual will be recognized upon arriving at the show.
ReedPOP's software captures and stores each individual's ID, along with the the time at which he or she arrived. That person is then invited to leave the line and continue browsing elsewhere. When it is his or her turn to return to the line, the user receives a text message. "As opposed to being locked in line for the next two hours," Rogers says, "they are now free wander around the show floor."
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