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Conferences Gaining Intelligence With RFID, BLE

Digital solutions companies such as Kindle Communications are building systems—often using RFID for automated data collection—that provide better experiences for conference attendees, as well as analytics for event managers to help them understand each individual's experience at the show, and the results after they left.
By Claire Swedberg
Dec 23, 2018

As event managers leverage RFID and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technologies to view and track the movements of attendees throughout conferences and expositions, they are finding ways to gain further intelligence enabling them to optimize experiences for visitors and exhibitors alike. The goal is to improve the experience guests have at conferences, boost engagement at those events and ultimately make conferences more profitable for those who manage them, as well as for those in attendance.

Digital solution providers offer a growing portfolio of systems, not only to help manage events for those attending them, but also to track the results—even to the point of understanding how much revenue was gained by attending companies, based on their presence at a conference.

Event managers are using BLE and RFID to optimize visitor and exhibitor experiences.
Conferences are collecting the data in a variety of ways, but RFID, BLE and Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies are at the forefront of automated data capture. Already, the technologies are being used to boost experiential and logistic services, says Alex Nuttall, the VP of digital strategy at digital solutions firm Kindle Communications. The company serves as a strategic communications agency and event production firm for corporations, working closely with technology providers that feed data to their systems.

Conferences, for instance, can utilize data regarding attendees' locations and activities to help guests navigate their way through the events. However, Nuttall notes, it goes further than that. For instance, if an individual were wearing or carrying an RFID badge, his or her location would often be captured, both historically and in real time. That person could then, for example, view his or her location while visiting a large screen or projector, by tapping his or her badge near a reader. The individual's agenda could be linked to that location, so that the screen could display where he or she was scheduled to be next, along with a map to that area.

The system could be further personalized, based on a user's previous activities and attendance, to display a message—for instance, "Hey John, welcome back! Here are some sessions you might be interested in." Or it could indicate other companies an attendee might want to look into.

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