Tech

Embrace the Future! Smart Badges are Here

smart badges
Written by Catherine Reed
Buffer

Let’s face facts; anything that speeds up the processes, like check-ins, at your event is going to make attendees happy. And smart badges are making things easier than ever.

The old way of managing the process, which typically required manually logging who has arrived, was a time-consuming venture that resulted in long lines and, inevitably, some level of frustration. Even scannable badges have shortcomings, leaving plenty of room for smart badges to improve the overall experience.

If you aren’t familiar with what smart badges have to offer, here’s what you need to know about this latest event technology trend.

Passive Check-Ins and Check-Outs

Trying to monitor who is in a space, including sessions and speaking engagements, isn’t always easy. Having to stop everyone who is entering or exiting an area interrupts the flow of traffic and can be an annoyance to attendees who are rushing to get to another session.

Smart badges can actually handle this task passively, automatically recording who comes in or out of a space at particular times. For events focused on earning continuing professional education (CPE) credits, this can be a boon for you, the event host, and attendees.

Better Metrics

The rising popularity of smart badges is typically associated with the increased availability of relevant metrics. Event organizers can have instant access to various data points, giving them critical information when they need it most. This promotes better decision making, especially when calls need to be made on the fly, and gives you instant feedback once you put a plan into action.

Real-Time Insights

Some of the most advanced smart badges can also help you understand how attendees move through an event, providing insight into what areas are seeing the highest level of attendance and if people are making return visits. By adding activity tracking capabilities to the device, event professionals can spot bottlenecks in real-time and see which points of interest are attracting the most attention.

This can be powerful data when it comes to identifying key influencers in the space and can give you the information you need to choose how to redirect attention if an area isn’t seeing many visitors. Traffic flow management can be a burden without relevant data, and smart badges can provide the information you need at a moment’s notice.

Efficient Networking

Part of the reason people come to events is to network with other professionals working in the field. Often, this ultimately involves sharing various pieces of contact information with some of the other people they encounter.

But trading business cards isn’t always convenient (nor is carrying a handful of them around), and stopping to enter details into a smartphone is cumbersome. Smart badges alleviate this strain by allowing attendees to trade information with the simple push of a button. They can even note the date and time of the contact details swap, helping them remember the person they met more clearly after the fact.

Some smart badges can even be programmed with a profile that indicates what sort of connects they would like to make. The smart badge wearers can be alerted when someone they would potentially like to meet enters a space, giving them a chance to network based on the profile match.

It can also be used with vendors or trade show booths, making it easy for attendees to store marketing material when they find something of interest. As an added bonus, many smart badges require both parties to choose to participate in the trade. This means no one can fire their information off to an unsuspecting passerby in hopes of tricking them into making contact later.

Often, this technology relies on having a strong event app as well as the smart badge for the data exchange, but setting the option up is sure to impress your attendees. In some cases, the smart badge provider has a companion app that can be customized for the event, giving you a two-in-one purchasing experience. Others can be integrated into apps created anywhere, allowing you to keep a previous app if you so choose.

Improved Experiences for Everyone

In the end, smart badges have the ability to improve the overall experience for event professionals, attendees, sponsors, and vendors. The availability of data is highly coveted, and the ease of sharing certain digital details is almost guaranteed to impress.

Over time, smart badges may offer more than we can imagine today. But, even as they stand, it’s no surprise that they are expected to take the event industry by storm.

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Catherine Reed

Catherine is a content creator, article writer, and web copy specialist who has translated her professional and educational experience into a full-time writing career spanning categories as diverse as technology, education, finance, and staffing. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology and has nine years of experience working specifically in the mobile device field.

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