Badge scanners have become an essential part of any trade show, convention, or conference. Replacing pen-and-paper lists and time-consuming on-the-spot data entry, badge scanners make check-in, check-out, and data collection quick and easy.
Scannable badges and the scanners that go with them allow event organizers to track attendance, attendee movements, and attendees’ interests. They allow participants to easily share their contact information with each other and with exhibitors. Some even supply event goers with actionable data, increasing participant ROI.
Still, there is room for improvement in badge scanning. In an era of smart everything, smart badges have appeared on the scene, maximizing efficiency and improving event satisfaction among attendees and organizers. Smart badge technology improves on the best aspects of badge scanning and adds valuable features.
Here’s why event planners are trading in traditional badge scanners for smart badge technology:
Smart badges give organizers instant access to badge metrics
One reason smart badges are so popular is the metrics they provide. The data gathered by event organizers helps them make improvements and promote future events. Real-time, actionable data can also influence on-the-spot decisions.
Discover physical and digital insights
Smart badges collect mission-critical event data, helping organizers to understand how people make use of their events. By setting up points of interest throughout a venue, event organizers can track attendance, return visits, and the time attendees spend at each location.
With the etouches smart badge, the only activity tracker for events, event personnel can view heat maps that help identify which points of interest are most effective at various times of day. There are many uses for this type of data. By tracking where attendees stop and how long they stay at each point of interest, event organizers can identify influencers. This information is valuable in optimizing traffic flow and boosting the value of the event.
Passively check people in and out
Smart badges automatically check attendees in and out of conferences and sessions. Unlike badge scanners, smart badges prevent the bottleneck that occurs as events begin and end. This kind of check-in/check-out system is especially useful for events that need detailed attendance accounting, such as those that provide continuing professional education (CPE) credit.
The data gathered by smart badges isn’t just for event organizers. Attendees derive value from smart badges, too. The increase in your attendees’ ROI translates to repeat attendance and word-of-mouth advertising for the event.
Maximize attendee networking
When an event replaces badge scanners with smart badges, attendees get added value in the form of organized, useful networking information in a convenient package.
Smart badges help attendees connect with each other, letting them discover people of interest and be discovered by others. The technology also allows attendees to exchange information at the push of a button. There’s no need to keep track of business cards or paper contact lists, and there’s no danger of getting the details wrong. Trading contact information such as websites, email addresses, phone numbers, and profile links is simple. Attendees also get a record of the time and location of each contact exchange.
With the right smart badges and the best event management app, information exchange is safe. With the etouches smart badge, each exchange requires the agreement of both parties, so attendees don’t have to worry about privacy. Attendees can customize the privacy settings on their badges and decide whether they want to be discoverable to others.
Make participation easier for attendees
Smart check-in and check-out is a huge benefit in the eyes of event attendees. Nobody wants to stand in a check-in line when they could be networking, talking with vendors, studying session materials, or getting a cup of coffee.
Smart badges also eliminate the hassle of keeping up with marketing materials. By connecting with marketers through their smart badges, participants can gather contact information and links to online fliers, websites, and other marketing materials. This makes the materials easy to access and gives them a new level of interactivity.
One of the most innovative uses of smart badge technology is the event journey. This summary of the day’s interactions, sessions, contacts, and other events is valuable in many ways. It gives attendees easy access to resources like LinkedIn profiles, handouts, and websites. It also serves as a reminder of the event’s value.
Provide seamless integration with a mobile app for events
The best event management app/smart badge combos help users make the most of their time. When an app has integration issues or other technical problems, it wastes time instead. With etouches, its event management app and smart badges work together seamlessly. Even during the event, participants can interact with the mobile app. Throughout their time at an event, users can tag favorites, take notes, and manage schedules. After the event, they can review their connections and activities.
Smart badges can do a lot in replacing outdated badge scanners. But they’re only effective if the technology works. When the event uses the right technology, attendee satisfaction goes up dramatically.
Smart badge technology leads to better ROI for everyone
Badge scanners have always provided a valuable service, and they’re useful in many ways. As technology has progressed, however, smart badges have gained significant ground. They make events more meaningful for both organizers and attendees.
With smart badges and an accompanying mobile app for events, event attendees immediately see the value of the event. They can participate fully, unencumbered by business cards, check-in lines, and marketing materials. The technology also brings the high ROI of the event to their attention.
Smart badges and event management apps also increase the ROI for event organizers. The real-time data the technology provides can help event personnel improve their events on the spot. The information also allows organizers to identify influencers and high-traffic areas. It gives them the knowledge they need to advertise and improve future events. Most importantly, the overall increase in attendee satisfaction leads to return visitors and positive word-of-mouth advertising.
So are badge scanners obsolete?
As for whether smart badges have made badge scanners obsolete, it’s likely that they will. Although they’re largely based on the concept of badge scanners, smart badges bring a whole new dimension to event management and event attendance. Seamless smart badge technology and our mobile app combine to improve events for both organizers and attendees.
Written by: Daniel Johnson