Tech Innovations For Visitor Registration and Checking-in


It is general practice currently for visitors to make their way to the registration desks at trade shows, exhibitions or corporate events where they identify themselves with a name, number, bar-code or 2D code from which their details are located on the registration system. They are then issued with an ID Card and Lanyard with a barcode that is scanned by event staff as they proceed into the event.

However, dual short range and long range RFID ID Cards can offer a far better experience for visitors and gives event management more opportunities to interact with attendees.

The benefits RFID Cards can bring to visitors travelling to events is the ability to receive guidance and advise from event staff located at nearby travel hubs. Whether an airport, bus station or car park it is the last mile where visitors can experience frustration and inconvenience trying to find the way through unfamiliar territory.

Event Staff, located at these travel hubs, can help visitors by scanning their ID Card. The RFID Chip can be used as a mini database with personal information relating to each visitor. This information is shown on the scanner’s screen which permits the event staff to direct the visitor in the right direction, which access point go to, any special instructions relating to schedule changes etc.

This VIP type treatment is available to all and will ensure visitors start their day in great shape and not get lost or delayed getting to the event. In addition to this enhancement the scanner regularly sends scanned data to the event registration system over the GSM mobile phone network to alert staff that pre-scanned visitors are due to arrive.

This advance warning can be useful for managing speakers at seminars, meeting attendance, broadcasting to colleagues of their imminent arrival.

Once event staff have scanned the visitor’s ID card remotely from the actual event, they can by-pass the registration desks and proceed directly into the event, passing under long range RFID scanners. These long range scanners are un-manned but a traffic light system can alert staff who are monitoring the entrance to any queries when the traffic light flashes red.

Visitors who have not been scanned outside the event can proceed to the access points where event staff operating hand held devices can check credentials and provide guidance.

This remote scanning service relies on visitors receiving their RFID Card prior to the event. This incurs extra cost but we argue that this cost is off-set against visitors receiving a better service travelling to the event and their experience at the event. Also the RFID Cards do not need to be sent out as recorded or signed for, just a first class or second class stamp. If the RFID Card is lost then a new one is issued with the original made obsolete. It is also worth noting that visitors will often visit the same events on a regular basis. They can therefore retain their RFID Card for future events. Using a personalised 2D Code on the ID Card which they can scan with their smart phone, visitors can pull event information to their phones to review their personalised web pages generated by event management companies. In this way on-going personalised communication can take place. This can take the shape of special offers, event news, new speakers products and services that will be on show at up-coming events. Exhibitors can subscribe to this service, generating extra information for the visitors and revenue for the event managers.

An alternative solution is to RFID is to use print at home barcodes or 2D Codes on paper or smart phones. With suitable scanners remote event staff can scan the barcode or 2D Code to check it against the database of all the visitors held in the scanner’s database. This can be awkward and more time consuming than the RFID option as often the paper printed bar-code can be hard or impossible to read and it can take time for visitors to find the barcode on their phone and to make it available to the scanner sufficiently large and distinct enough to be scanned.

Dual Short Range and Long Range RFID ID Cards can offer numerous benefits to operators and visitors alike. From up-selling to VIP Access, from complementary F&B from exhibitors to full Cashless, from welfare and safety to time and attendance – all of these can be introduced once the bare infrastructure is in place which can then be built on, enhanced and refined to provide better and safer events.

Molly Hookings
Author: Molly Hookings

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: