Event badging is integral to any event. Whether you choose to give attendees wearables, NFC or RFID technologies, or just regular plastic badges, event badges hold the power to connect attendees and provide an opportunity for you to gain valuable attendee data.
We sat down with Natasha Telaroli, director of project management, who specializes in experiential solutions at Aventri for you. In this interview, Natasha will discuss what event badging is, why it’s important, and how it can be used in events.
Event Badging Interview with Natasha Telaroli
Q: What is event badging?
At any event, people need a way to be able to quickly tell who they’re talking to. There's nothing more awkward than walking up to someone and not remembering their name, not knowing what industry they’re from, or not knowing what company they work for. No matter how technology-oriented our society becomes people are still going to use paper, plastic badges. You really can't replace that physical denotation of who you are when you're talking to someone.
Event badging is not only an indication of who you are, where you're from, and what your job title is, which is all super helpful, event badging also empowers people by allowing them to collect data at their events. At Aventri, we have badges with NFC chips, which allows us, through various forms of scanning, to understand your attendee journey: where you've been, how long you were there. We can then provide that data back to the client. Event badges, like NFC badges, help not only the attendees but also help the clients.
Q: What types of events can badging be used for?
There’s a use for event badges anywhere: technology events, higher education events, internal events. For example, at a higher education event there is a lot of networking, so you need to know who you are talking to, hence you need event badges. With badges, you don’t have to try to remember someone’s name from 20 years ago. The other draw for these types of events is the data piece. From the event badging data, you can understand what types of sessions or speakers were important to your attendees by knowing which ones they attended and how long they stayed.
No matter what type of event you’re having, what we can always do is work with you to understand how event badging can help you deliver or extract that kind of information you want to see. We can then configure our standing on our services to find a way to get that data.
Q: How can planners elevate their events with event badging technology?
For say technology events, like Google, Microsoft, and others, what we’ve seen year over year that people want to bring the latest and the greatest technology to their events, no matter what that is. Event badging happens to fall into one of those categories that is always evolving.
Within a short period, I’ve seen customers go from small credit card size badges, where you can kind of barely see someone's name, to our SSL Edge badges, where you're able to see someone's name from almost across the room.
Just that physical layout, of having bigger badges, is a trend I’ve seen has really spread across the industry. It's something that people want. Not only can you have attendee’s names in really large letters, but you can also make your branding really big and loud. So, when you’re in a city, like Las Vegas, and 20,000 people are walking around with badges, you're getting your company’s and sponsor’s names out there.
Where Aventri really shines is event badging event technology for events, particularly our NFC badging capability. We are undoubtedly the leaders of NFC badges. We know the technology in terms of how to use it in badges, and how to use it with scanning, better than any of our competitors. I think our clients see that and we're constantly able to evolve because we understand that so well.
Q: What are the benefits of using event badging at your events?
The benefit of being able to see someone's information very quickly, I think is definitely number one. A lot of clients go back and forth these days on whether or not to use wristbands and other wearables because they don’t have any personalization. It’s been interesting to see how many people have come back to plastic event badges, particularly ones with NFC, because they realize that they can't take that away from their attendees.
Another benefit of using event badges is the power of NFC. NFC is such a great technology. One of the biggest successes we've had recently with our badging is being able to empower people to read that NFC chip from their own phones. What I mean by that is, we have a program that we call BYOD, bring your own device, and it allows you to download one of our lead retrieval apps on your personal phone. With it you can scan a badge; you just tap a badge on the back of your device anywhere you are during a conference. You can make connections anywhere with people through their badges. That's been a really successful deployment and I think that’s a huge benefit for planners and companies.
Q: Can you think of an example or two of an innovative way to use event badging technology at events?
I think the BYOD deployment that I was referencing before is a great example of an innovative way to use event badging technology at events.
With the NFC technology, and actually because Apple recently released the ability for people to use NFC in an iPhone, it always existed in Android, at least as far as I can remember, we were able to deploy a BYOD program for Cisco. What Cisco does is they give every employee at their event the option to download this app and scan other people's badges.The ability to do that was done, at least for Cisco, first and foremost by us. They offered that option to our competitors as well, And but I don't think our competitors had the guts to try it. We did, and it was extremely successful. The amount of data, and meaningful data, that they saw out of that program, they were so happy with. So that was one really innovative way that we were able to use NFC BYOD badging technology to get them more data.
Another recent example of a fun, innovative way to use badging technology at events was at Informatica World, which was in Las Vegas. We use the event badges to allow people to scan throughout the event and get points. They created a really great gamification system. Throughout all attendees’ different touches, so if they had been to a sponsor both, or a session, or taking a survey, they accumulated points. Through that badge, they could come to us at a “game desk” and tap their badge. We would see how many points they had, and they were then able to redeem points. So, say I would take 500 points off their badge, and off they went with their prize, and they could continue to find more ways to play the game get prizes.