Why Food Festivals Need RFID

Efficiency, speed, increased revenue, useful data – these all sound good to a food festival organiser, right? They sound good to music festival organisers too, which is why RFID technology has spread like wildfire throughout the music festival scene. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, which is a wireless, contactless system that uses radio waves to transfer data. When festivals use it, they make more money and have happier customers and vendors. Read on to find out why food festivals need RFID.

Long queues negatively impact revenue & atmosphere

Despite the old joke, British people don’t like queuing. No-one likes queuing. And at a food festival, where purchases are the festival’s bread and butter (pun intended), long queues can mean serious losses in revenue. RFID enables cashless payments, reducing average transaction time to half a second. The speed and ease of purchasing in this system encourages more spending.

At recent cashless festivals, attendee spending has risen between 35% and 100% compared to using cash or card. With less time processing transactions, vendors can spend more time preparing delicious food, providing great service and interacting with customers. This leads to a happier, calmer atmosphere.

Cash & token payment systems are inefficient

Cash and token systems are open to theft, loss and general hassle. They double the number of queues; customers queue at cash machines or at token distributors before queuing to get food. Customers have to balance change or tokens in one hand and their food in the other. At the end of the event, vendors have to count their revenue, one note or token at a time.

This system is stressful, inefficient, tedious and prone to human error. RFID simplifies and streamlines the entire process. Customers don’t have to carry cash or queue for tokens; vendors don’t have to count their profits manually. This gives organisers complete transparency of overall takings and greater accuracy with reconciliations.

RFID systems are easy to learn & use

RFID systems are simple for organisers, vendors and customers. Wristband and pass suppliers like ID&C work with the world’s leading RFID technology companies to create a seamless product experience. This way, cashless payments, access control systems and social media can all run smoothly throughout your food festival. Backup systems ensure uninterrupted sales in case of any server downtime, while strict security measures promise safe transactions for punters. Organisers and vendors benefit from real-time sales reporting, which shows them what is selling well. They can adjust resources instantly to boost revenue, and better plan inventory for future events.

For customers, the system mirrors the contactless payments they are increasingly using with their credit or debit cards. Customers create an account and upload money to that account. Their RFID wristbands don’t store any personal or financial information; they simply act as passes to that account. Customers tap or scan to purchase and receive instant digital receipts to keep track of spending. In the event of loss or theft, they can make a report, have the wristband cancelled, and be issued a new one. Any leftover money can be refunded once the festival ends.

Greater social media presence & sponsorship opportunities

Food festivals present a huge opportunity for restaurants and companies to build their brand and create new revenue streams through sponsorship activations. RFID supports this. Celebrity chefs can make instant social media connections with customers or food companies can devise interactive sponsorship activities that generate digital engagement. Utilising RFID technology, organisers can create ‘Social Activation Points’ for their own brand and brand partners.

For example, using a RFID-activated photo booth or ‘Click Station,’ attendees can push social posts directly to their profiles in real-time, helping organisers reach an extended online audience during their event. RFID also allows these activities to be accurately measured, creating valuable data to improve performance and understand prime sponsorship opportunities for future events.

Ticket fraud costs UK public millions of pounds

On social media, Gumtree and other sites, ticket fraud is big business. Online ticket fraud cost the UK public £5.2 million in 2015, with gigs and festivals comprising 15%. Regular ticketing systems are especially prone to fraud, whereas RFID helps to lessen fraud risk. The wristbands or passes can be deactivated if reported stolen, and they are harder to fake than a regular paper ticket. Using RFID to control access to festivals also eliminates the possibility of passbacks (i.e. when multiple attendees enter the festival with one wristband by passing it back to people outside).

RFID systems aren’t a creepy ‘Big Brother’

“Are they spying on me?” is one concern that often arises in conversations about RFID at festivals. The great thing is that festival organisers have total control over what they do with the customer data they gather. This allows for complete transparency between attendees and organisers. RFID enables easy and accurate data capture, but it doesn’t determine what you do with that data.

As long as organisers clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of RFID to attendees, these concerns can be minimised. People will realise that festival organisers don’t want to monitor attendees’ every move. They simply want to provide the best festival experience possible – short queues, reasonable prices, a happy atmosphere and low risk of loss, theft and fraud. 

ID&C supplies custom lanyards and wristbands for events and festivals, with a wide range of silicone, paper, fabric and RFID wristbands. Find out more at https://www.idcband.com/

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