The 411 on Attendee Tracking

Attendance tracking methods are no longer just for verifying attendance, but what they did and how they did it.

Using a room monitor to track attendance is so 2010. These days smart planners are using everything from smartphone apps to RFIDs to QR codes to capture data and help personalize a guest’s experience—it’s a big trend in the event space. So how does one integrate this cutting-edge technology into his or her event? 

Tuned In

First, you’ll need to decide what you’re measuring. Will success be based off conversions and sales, interactions or general head count? Once you’ve finalized those goals, you’ll need to pair that initiative with the right type of attendance tracking tool: RFID (radio frequency identification), NFC (near field communication, beacons (a combination of RFID and NFC) or apps and QR codes.  

•    RFID: Wired into bracelets, lanyards, badges and key fobs, radio frequency identification is best suited for high-volume, high-attendance events that need to track numbers with speed. RFID devices are also fairly inexpensive to produce. 

•    NFC: Similar to RFID, near field communication uses radio frequency identification but is optimal for information sharing between two electronic devices (rather than general data reading).  

•    Beacons: Combining the best of both NFC and RFID technology, beacons are small wireless devices that use “proximity technology” to track (and directly communicate with) attendees. 

•    Apps and QR codes: An extension of beacon technology, attendance tracking tools tied to smartphones are an ideal way to measure––and drive––sales at your event, allowing you to tie personalized advertisements and coupons to an attendee’s proximity. Apps like TrackIt measure not only attendance, but also how attendance reacts to things like meeting type, weather and day of the week.  

All of these tool types offer never-before-seen access to attendees, allow event planners to track attendee movement, and provide organizers (and exhibitors) with hard numbers for attendance and booth visitation. The tools can also be used for voting, surveys and semi-automated social postings, and they can replace paper entrance tickets, which means you’ll put on a more seamless event, and you’ll be doing something good for the environment, too. A win-win!