RFID For Event Access Management

by : Zhen Dong

Event management is a rewarding and difficult business. The challenges include event and exhibit design, budgeting, creation of props and decor, security and accounting. One of the key components is processing and managing secure entry of potentially thousands of people to special events such as conferences, trade-shows, concerts and sporting events. How to handle admission to events can be an enormous job. Passes and tickets using RFID have made the task just a little bit easier and much more secure.

Issues and Opportunities:
Ticketing for exhibitions, conferences, concerts, sporting events, leisure parks, and trade shows share some common challenges but not in all cases. Here is a list of common concerns:

1. Authenticate attendees
2. Streamline registration
3. Eliminate attendee flow bottlenecks
5. Manage restricted area access
6. Attendee identification
7. Eliminate counterfeit pass/ticket problems
8. Reduce operating costs with unmanned control
9. Capture data for analysis

What's Available
There is a wide range of solutions available for event access management. Some organizers do not require a high level authentication or validation capability and use simple printed tickets and passes.
When additional tamper proofing is required there is a choice of:

1. Tamper Proof Design
2. Serial Numbers
3. UV/Black Light Ink
4. Coin Rub Ink
5. Bar Code Security
6. Hologram
7. Sequential Numbering

RFID-The Next Level
RFID takes event access management to the next level. To start with, RFID gives the organizer the ability to uniquely identify each attendee or paying customer. An RFID pass can be read from a distance. Line of sight is not required to read RFID passes. An RFID pass can hold information about the pass holder. RFID passes can be written to. RFID passes can be reused. RFID passes can not be forged or duplicated.

Everyone is Unique:
RFID tags can store information. The information can be written on the RFID tag using one of the RFID readers. The RFID tag can be manufactured into a pass and take on different forms. The pass can be a label, ticket, Smart Card or wrist band. Information about the pass holder can be stored on the RFID pass before an event begins and additional information can be placed on the pass during the event. This pass holder information can be useful to trade show exhibitors by identifying important prospects. Pass holder information can be used by organizers to screen entry to secure areas at different times of the day or event.

Secure and Private:
Organizers can be confident that RFID passes have not been duplicated. By using strict distribution control of the RFID passes an event can be made very secure. RFID offers the potential to assess how many people will be in a particular place, at a set time. This information can be channeled into your business strategy, enabling you to focus your service more accurately and reap significant benefits for your business. Privacy is of course always a consideration. Therefore, RFID systems can be customized based on the needs of the conference. Occasions that deal with topics where attendees may want to remain anonymous would obviously require a system that is less intrusive. This is exactly why the solution is set up to be highly and conveniently customizable.

RFID can help you implement automated (hands free) reading. That will facilitate much faster movement of people with shorter line-ups. Turnstiles equipped with readers can be used to reduce or eliminate staffing requirements at some entrances and exists. Accurate data can be captured such as real-time and date and movement information. By integrating readers to an intelligent backend system access can be controlled to different areas at different times of the day to different pass holders.

Other Benefits of RFID Passes
a) Passes, such as for ski lift operators or leisure parks, can be manufactured to be durable enough to be used for extended periods of time such as an entire season
b) RFID tags are very difficult to duplicate, reducing the chance of fraud
c) RFID offers greater data-collection capabilities than other ticketing systems