QR CODE & RFID: How to use data collection technology for your event?

Road map

In this article, you will learn:

SKIMMING

  1. QR codes are suitable for both casual and formal events. It checks in fast, costs little, stores a large amount of information. Before event, QR code can be embedded into the confirmation email. On the event day, event organizers can track attendees’ real-time activity by setting up scanning counters at various locations.
  2. RFID enables an instant, touchless check-in process with a lightweight tag. Active tags, passive tags, and semi-passive tags are three main RFID tags. Active tags are the most expensive(up to hundreds USD) but has a extended range(up to a few hundred meters). Passive tags cost similarly to QR codes but have a limited range of a few meters.
*Event PriorityRecommended technology
Attendee participation: O2O interactionQR code
Economical & fast check-inQR code
Environment consciousQR code
Voluntary multi-location data tracking*QR code
Lower budgetQR code
Completely skip the queueRFID
Involuntary real-time, multi-location data tracking*RFID

*The difference between voluntary and involuntary data tracking is worth noting. For QR code, only when an attendee is willing to scan, the data entry can be collected. For RFID, as long as the attendee is within the range, the reader can capture the data continuously. Because of this, many customers are concerned with the privacy issue of RFID.


What is RFID and QR code

RFID

The complete kit of RFID has three parts: RFID tag, a reader, and a backend server(On the image, it’s a tag and a reader). RFID tags are tiny microchips attached in microcircuits. There are three RFID tags: passive, active and semi-passive.

QR Code

Conference Name Badge with QR Code

QR codes (Quick Response) are 2-dimensional barcodes that can store up to a few thousand characters. Once scanned by smart devices such as a phone, a tablet, QR code will direct you to websites, SMS messages, card information, images, videos, etc.

If you want to know more about how QR code is used in a real event, you can click here.

Why choose them for your event?

By WhatWolf

QR Codes and RFID can be useful for multiple scenarios: event check-in, breakout session check-in (activity tracking), and post-event(data collection and analysis) period. Essentially, what these two technologies can do is to collect raw data — from registered information to spatial activity.

Comparing with the traditional data collection method(hand writing, excel sheet, online form), advantages of QR code and RFID for events are

QR code:

  • Environment-friendly – QR code can reduce the usage of printing materials
  • Attendee convenience – ticket can be distributed online before the event day to avoid the complicated process of retrieving ticket
  • Cost-Effective – QR Codes themselves cost nothing to generate. The cost of QR is mostly the man power of coding, customization of QR
  • Automatic – Completely reduce the human effort of data collection as well as human error
  • Versatile – QR code can be incorporated into most marketing materials for most messages(text, sms, webpage, ticketing wedge, photo, video, pdf..etc)
  • Measurable – Users’ activity via QR code can be back traced with analytics or other quantitative tools

RFID:

  • Touchless – Passive RFID enables remote check in within meters, active RFID within a few hundred meters
  • Efficiency – One RFID readers can read multiple RFID tags simultaneously
  • Automatic – Completely reduce the human effort of data collection as well as human error
  • Reset – RFID supports multiple rewrite of data
  • Real-time tracking – Often used in supply chain tracking, RFID can realize true automatic tracking.

Multi-scenario application

Concerns and solutions

Data security and privacy

Security and privacy are always among the top concerns of event organizers of large, private or formal event. Although there is no 100% safe method, QR code and RFID both have some protective solutions.

QR Code: malicious websites

Usually, QR codes can be scanned by ANY smart devices. Scanning a malicious QR code can direct the user to cloned malicious sites, resulting in revealing sensitive information.

  • For example, a cloned google page with a login button can acquire user’s Google account.

However, event organizers don’t need to worry, as event sites are rarely targeted, because 1. some event sites are private; 2. relatively limited web traffic; 3.The public may have no access to QR codes themselves. On top of that, personal data of any event will be kept in a security system. For example, QR codes generated by EventNook have a series number, eg. 988868CE9F. If you search this number in public search engine, you will see no result. The data is encoded and kept safely in the system.

RFID: privacy controversy

RFID enables better visibility yet creates privacy concerns. According to the report produced by Capgemini, around 60% of the consumers in the US and EU are concerned that they are being tracked through purchasing. It’s likely that event attendees have similar concerns about RFID’s capability to do real-time tracking.

RFID provides event organizers with  dynamic mapping of all attendees—- the walking pattern, the duration of staying, and even the temperature of the room. As a result, much more personal and interactive analysis can be realized: attendee’s preferred activity/location/temperature; the relationship between multiple attendees, or more generally, the activity pattern of different genders.

However, attendees will have concerns about RFID for the exact reason: too much data is exposed. To address this, event organizers can use methods like “killing”(make the tag inactive), or erasing and rewriting the tag to stop this automatic data collection. However, if so, the main advantage of RFID over any other method is taken away.

Cost

The cost of these three types of RFID tags varies drastically. Active tags will cost up to a few hundred USD with an extra long battery life of maximum 5 years. Passive tags(without the reader and the backend server) cost approximately the same as a QR code.

On average, passive RFID tags cost a little higher than QR code. From the perspective of functionality, passive RFID can achieve approximately similar things with QR code: fast event check in, and some real-time data feedback during the event.

Conclusion

QR codes will have much potential in event marketing, registration, multimedia event involvement and real-time event tracking in the future. Many people have concerns about it being taken over by RFID, but QR has its own niches: it bridges the offline and online world with a few cents and a simple scan. We expect QR code to protect data more safely and incorporate new technologies like AR and VR into online-offline interactions.

RFID definitely has a large potential in the future for its touch-less data transmission. We expect it to lower the price, increase reliability and range limit so that more event organizers can consider it to be an affordable option.

For more information on how smart QR check-in is a fast-speed solution for a seamless event registration, click here to visit EventNook’s website or to contact us for a live consultation or demo.

How To Increase Online Ticket Sales For Your Events? Find Out How With Google Analytics

In our last post, we shared how you can apply the data generated from Google Analytics (GA) Audience Reports to your events. 

While it is important to know who your audience is, it is as important to know how your audience arrived at your event website to begin with. Google Analytics’ Acquisition information tells you just that. This is crucial in determining which online marketing tactics are bringing the most visitors to your event website.

We will discuss the following subcategories under Acqusition:

  • Overview
  • Channels
  • All Traffic
  • Referrals
  • Campaigns
  • Keywords
  • Cost Analysis
  • Google Ads
  • Social 

Overview

Acquisition Overview provides a snapshot of what Google calls the “Acquisition-Behavior-Conversion (ABC) Cycle.” In short, it shows you how your audience come to your event websites, what they do while they are on your website and whether they have completed a goal you have defined in GA (e.g. completing a registration or calling for an enquiry).

Channels

Channels tell you how your audience arrived at your website. The following are the explanations of each type of channel: 

  • Organic Search like Google, Yahoo! or Bing queries, provide the majority of web traffic for most websites
  • Referral traffic comes from a link on another website
  • Direct visitors come to your site by entering your unique domain name into their web browser
  • Social traffic comes from places like Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest
  • Paid Search traffic comes from Google Ads or other advertising platforms
  • Email simply means the traffic comes from a link clicked from an email

All Traffic

Next, you want to know which website sends people to you. The default settings here show a breakdown of your biggest traffic sources.

All Referrals

This section excludes search engines and direct traffic and shows the websites visitors use to arrive at your site. 

Campaigns

This section provides a breakdown of your Google Ads and other web advertising campaigns. You can see if your event advertising dollars are going to good use by tracking conversions and other metrics of visitors who find websites through paid campaigns.

Keywords

If you run a Google Ads campaign, you can see how your ad campaign keywords impact search results and traffic. If you do not run a Google Ads campaign, you can still see what kind of keywords people typed in Google to find your website through Acquisition> Search Console> Queries.

Google analytics queries

Cost Analysis

According to Google, “The Cost Analysis report analyzes costs for your non-Google ad campaigns. To see Google Ads cost metrics, use the Google Ads reports.”

Google Ads

This information is particularly useful to website owners who are spending valuable marketing dollars on a Google Ads campaign. Here, you can learn about your bids, keywords, destination URLs, placements and more.

Social

Social media has become an indispensable tool for all businesses. Most events with high ticket sales have successful marketing campaigns across numerous social media platforms. With so many social media platforms, how can we keep track of them all? Fortunately, GA makes it easy to analyse social media metrics all under one roof. 

How do I apply information from the GA Acquisition report in my events?

Most significantly, the data would influence how you would strategize marketing campaigns for your event, for example: 

  1. Knowing where most of your traffic comes from would equate to identifying your “money-maker”. You can then increase your marketing activity through that channel, which could bring in more customers.
  2. Knowing which channels are falling behind would signal that you need to find a marketing solution to increase reach in that channel. For example, if your LinkedIn account is not performing as well as your Instagram account, it could be because LinkedIn is a platform for professionals and Instagram has a casual setting. You may look into using different content if you currently standardise marketing content across both channels.
  3. Pump, maintain or drop my ads? Knowing whether your money spent on ads are worthwhile could assist you in making future marketing decisions.

With the help of the Acquisition Report, you can better direct your digital marketing resources and look forward to receiving higher online ticket sales for your events!

If you are looking for a simple, yet powerful registration software for your next event, please contact us for a free consultation and live demo – https://overview.eventnook.com/p/contactus

Inspiring A Smart Community: ESRI Singapore User Conference

On 3rd September 2019, EventNook was part of the largest event on Singapore’s spacial calendar, the ESRI Singapore User Conference (ESUC). With the theme ‘Inspiring Outcomes’, ESUC 2019 explores how GIS technology is changing the way organisations operate and serve their communities — today and for generations to come.

This event fully utilised all of EventNook’s services, which included:

This event had a general registration booth, VIP registration booth and a walk-in booth. ESRI used EventNook’s Onsite Instant Badge Printing service for the general registration booth. For VIP registration, ESRI used our printers to pre-print the name badges for the VIPs, where they would collect them at the booth when they check-in.

Registration counters

WHat we noticed…

  • Many VIPs went to the general admission booth to check-in although their name badges were already ready for collection at the VIP booth. Luckily, this was anticipated by ESRI and EventNook. Our Event Management Software had a feature where the VIPs could check-in at the general counter where they would be identified if they were VIPs or not. If they were VIPs, they would be checked-in, but their name badges will not be printed, after which, they would be directed to the VIP booth to collect their badges. This reduces confusion and wastage through double-printing of badges.
  • The Smart QR Check-In and Onsite Instant Badge Printing service was highly efficient. The whole check-in process for a delegate only 10 seconds. Here is the breakdown: 1 second to scan the QR ticket + 1 second to print the name badge + 3 seconds to attach the lanyard to the name badge + 5 seconds to pack the goodie bag.
  • There were many walk-in registrations and people who came on behalf of their colleagues. Although these delegates did not have their details in the registration system, we were able to register them very quickly with our Event Management Software and have name badges printed for them on the spot.
  • ESRI employees were able to easily manage the registration booths as our mobile check-in kiosks are easy-to-use even for first-timers. Our Onsite Support Team was also there to brief them prior to the event and saw through the entire event from start-to-end.
ESRI employees managing the registration booths
ESRI employees managing the registration booths

EventNook is honored to be a part of this Smart community and we enjoyed our time with over 500 professionals in this prestigious event. We would like to congratulate ESRI on the success for their big event!

If you have an event like this and would like us to help, drop us an email at hello@eventnook.com!

EventNook started with a humble beginning in 2012 to make organizing events easy and hassle-free for event organizers. Here, we are building the world class innovative event management platform by simplifying and redefining the old event management process with innovative solutions and leveraging on world class cloud and mobile based technologies. We have grown our business organically from serving a couple of events to thousands of events over 20 countries. We build our business from the ground up with one event at a time and we take pride in delivering great event experiences and make events inspiring.   

5 Most Common Event Management Mistakes Which Could Compromise Your Privacy

Only 3% of cyber crimes are due to technical flaws and weak security. Then what are the causes for the other 97% of cyber crimes? According to Medium, employee errors are responsible for the majority of security and privacy breaches. All it takes is one unknowing employee to click on a malicious link, or to leave an unlocked laptop unattended, for an organisation’s personal data records to be leaked. In the events industry, while we collect a lot of personal data, we have also spotted many experienced companies with negligent practices throughout the course of our business.

Here are the top mistakes made by event management companies

#1 ‘Find your own names’

It can be really chaotic during event registrations, especially when there are so many people streaming in all at once. Searching for names from a huge pile of name badges is like searching for a needle in a haystack and you may be tempted to take what seems to be the easiest way out: Pre-printing name badges with personal information on it and displaying it on the table for all to see. Although having more pairs of eyes searching may help you save time, you may receive complaints regarding potential personal data breach as you are revealing your guests’ data for everyone else to see.

Related image
Revealing all personal data to your guests: A potential personal data breach!

What can I do then? Either hide these name badges behind the counter where only your event staff can see, or use a smart QR check-in and onsite badge printing service where you can print name badges instantly in under 2 seconds after the guest registers with a QR code.

Image result for eventnook badge printing
Mobile QR Check-In Kiosk with Instant Onsite Badge Printing

#2 Not disabling ‘ Auto-Fill ‘ function

This is a common mistake when you need your guests to key in their personal data on digital devices on the spot, for walk-in registrations or lucky draws. When your device’s auto-fill is enabled, just keying in an alphabet or a number could reveal a whole list of related personal data of previous registrants. Don’t put yourself at risk of personal data breach, remember to disable ‘Auto-Fill’.

#3 Using sign-in books

Even if you don’t use digital devices to register your guests, you still have a high chance committing a privacy breach if you use sign-in books. Imagine if you are holding a recruitment event and you have your potential candidates register in the sign-in book. A potential candidate could glance through the names who could be vying for the same role and could find ways to undermine the other candidates when speaking to the potential hiring managers.

You could either have your event crew register your guests themselves after verifying their identity by requesting for their business cards or last 3 digits of NRIC number.

Related image

#4 Forgetting to log out

At EventNook, many event organisers rent our iPads for registrations and use our event management software to track their ticket sales and attendees. However, after the event, we noticed that many would forget to log out of our application on the iPads. This could be a problem if we passed on the iPads to the next event manager, as they could access the previous records and sensitive data.

Hence as part of our best practice, the EventNook team will always ensure that these personal data would not be accidentally passed on to others as we will always do a check to ensure all accounts are logged-out, before handing the device over.

#5 Event part-timers’/volunteers’ error

No matter how careful you are with personal data, you must ensure that your event helpers are as cautious as you are. Many event managers are aware of such privacy risks, yet they forget to thoroughly brief the rest of the team about the do’s and don’ts when handling personal data.

If you have an event coming up, as a manager, it is your responsibility to look for a reliable vendor who will protect your attendees’ data. At EventNook, we respect the privacy of all individuals and strive to provide the ease of mind to all our customers when handling personal data. If you have any concerns regarding data protection for your events, or if you simply want to know more about our privacy policy, please email: hello@eventnook.com

Are Your Customers Questioning Your Business’ Data Protection Practices? Here’s How You Can Gain Their Trust.

In our previous post, we shared how individuals can take responsibility in ensuring their personal data stays protected. Now that many individuals are educated, they are more aware of how to make informed choices when choosing an organisation to safe keep their personal data.  How then, as a business that collects personal data for processing, assure your customers that their personal data are in safe hands? 

First and foremost, your customers will only trust you if you practice what you preach. Here are some rules-of-thumb you should adhere to:

#1 obtain consent

Firstly, you have to obtain either verbal, written, or even deemed consent for any personal data to be collected.

What constitutes as consent would include: Voluntary provision or cases where it is reasonable to voluntarily provide the data. Your customers also have a right to withdraw your consent at any time. One example would be the Do Not Call (DNC) registry where individuals can opt out of receiving unsolicited marketing messages and calls. Should your business be involved in telemarketing, you should ensure that numbers subscribed to the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry should not be contacted for marketing purposes. Each offence would incur a fine of up to $10,000 or face imprisonment. B2B marketing calls or messages sent to other organisations do not fall under the purview of the DNC Registry. 

How do businesses check what numbers are registered on the DNC registry?

  1. Create an account at a one-time fee of $30 ($60 for overseas companies) to gain access to the DNC system
  2. You can enter up to 10 phone numbers manually at one time. Results of the search are displayed immediately
  3. To check >10 numbers at one time by uploading a CSV file containing a list of all 8-digit Singapore telephone numbers. The results will be available for download after 24 hours
  4. All results are valid for 30 days.

#2 Inform your purpose

Once you have obtained consent, the personal data collected can only be processed in an appropriate manner and for a reasonable purpose. You must ensure that your customers are informed of the purpose for which the personal data is being collected.

Every time you need to collect personal data from individuals, be it online or offline, try to have its purpose written down clearly (See image below).

Sample Consent Clause for Membership Application Inform purpose

#3 allow access

Individuals have the right to request we provide access to and make corrections to their personal data. There are some exceptions, such as cases in which providing access would cause immediate harm to the safety, or physical or mental heath, of the individual; threaten the safety, or physical or mental health, of another individual; or reveal another individual’s personal data.

#4 update data regularly

We must make a reasonable effort to ensure that all personal data collected is accurate and complete. Allow your customers to correct their data and prompt them update regularly. It is likely that the personal data will be used to make a decision that affects the individual to whom it relates, or is likely to be disclosed to another organisation.

#5 protection of data

You must protect personal data in your possession or control by making reasonable security arrangements to prevent unauthorised access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, disposal or similar activity. If your business wants to store personal data in the cloud, you should take appropriate steps to ensure that the transfer of data to the cloud complies with the PDPA’s data protection laws.

Most of the privacy breaches occur because of human error. Simply leaving your laptop unattended or forgetting to shred personal information before disposal could lead to personal data leaks. Ensure that your employees are aware and trained of how to collect, process, store and dispose of personal data to minimise such mistakes.

Delegate the task, not the responsibility.

If you engage 3rd parties and need to pass on your customer’s personal data to these vendors, it is your due diligence to do extensive research to see if the company is reliable. Read the security and privacy policies of the companies that you are giving your customers’ data to. You are still partially liable if there is any privacy breach on the 3rd party side.

#6 purge what you don’t need

You must cease retaining documents containing personal data, or anonymise that data, as soon as it is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was collected, or for other legal or business purposes. If your customers request for their data to be deleted, you should comply. If your business maintains physical or electronic records of personal data, these records have to be disposed appropriately, as stipulated in the PDPA.

#7 keep within bounds

You should not transfer personal data outside Singapore except in accordance with the Act’s requirements. If you must transfer it to another region, be certain that you have obtained consent from your customers prior to the transfer and ensure that the external company has a comparable standard of data protection.

#8 be transparent

Your business should always have a detailed privacy policy for all to access and read. Be prepared to answer all your customer’s concerns regarding privacy and data protection. If you make the necessary effort to protect your customers’ personal data, your customers will thank you for it!

At EventNook, we deal with a lot of personal data, so we practice extra caution in data handling and take pride in our commitment to protect all our customers’ personal data while delivering the results. If you have any questions on our data protection policies for your events, feel free to drop us an email or a call, our friendly team will be more than happy to assist you!

Driving The Future Generation: ExxonMobil’s 2019 Singapore Campus Recruitment

30th August 2019 was an important day for aspiring university students to secure a job with the multi-billion dollar manufacturing giant, ExxonMobil (EM). It was also a big day for EventNook as we had to ensure that the registration process for EM’s Campus Recruitment went smoothly.

As there were going to be many VIPs gracing the event, our EventNook Onsite Support Team made sure to be at the event early to prepare for the registration.

EventNook Onsite Support Team

For this event, we provided EM with the following services:

How did we help Exxonmobil start and finish off the event without a hitch?

Our end-to-end event management software provided an easy platform for EM to register all of their attendee’s details, such as name, university, industry, job scope with ease. They could also choose which details they would include in the attendee’s name badge. In addition, as there were some walk-in registrations, the software could seamlessly check-in these individuals over-the-counter and capture it in the system for registration tracking.

The EventNook Onsite Mobile Kiosk Check-in System with QR code ticketing made the check-in process very quick. There was no queue formed as our registration process was extremely efficient.

For this event, EM requested to pre-print name badges for their Ambassadors as they were worried there would be printing errors for these VIPs. However, we realised it was time-consuming to search through the pre-printed name badges. In contrast, our Onsite Instant Badge Printing saved more time as we printed the remaining attendees’ name badges without mistakes, in just 1 second each! We would recommend using our eco-friendly, tear-resistant material to save time from slotting the name badges into plastic pouches.

Volunteers checking-in guests using EventNook’s equipment

The comprehensive equipment set-up and onsite event day technical supervision made the process simple even for the volunteers who only learnt how to use the app and equipment on the event day itself.

Equipment set-up on event day

We are honoured to be part of ExxonMobil’s successful event and we hope to work with them again!

EventNook started with a humble beginning in 2012 to make organizing events easy and hassle-free for event organizers. Here, we are building the world class innovative event management platform by simplifying and redefining the old event management process with innovative solutions and leveraging on world class cloud and mobile based technologies. We have grown our business organically from serving a couple of events to thousands of events over 20 countries. We build our business from the ground up with one event at a time and we take pride in delivering great event experiences and make events inspiring. If you have any enquiries regarding our service, please direct your questions to: hello@eventnook.com

The Dawn of the Future: Appraising Facial Recognition as an Event Technology

Facial recognition is a biometric technology that mathematically stores an individual’s facial features. This allows the technology to identify a person in live video or digital images without any other information. With this, your facial features become your digital fingerprint. 

Our clients never fail to ask us this question: “How do you ensure that our data is privately secured?” Being event organisers, they not only value the efficiency and convenience of technology, but also realise the threats it poses to the privacy and freedom of its users.

Our company currently uses the QR code check-in system which enables automated and instant self check-in. In the meantime, we are also actively hunting for a diverse range of check-in methods, including facial recognition.

The use of facial recognition has been gaining momentum in the last few years. Some common examples include tagging a friend on Facebook, unlocking your phone with Face ID and airport customs inspections. The biggest advantage of Face ID would be the speed of the check-in process. However, at the heart of the debate, some concerns regarding the consensus among users and algorithmic biases are raised.

Facial data as sensitive data, whose responsibility is it?

EU’s data protection regulation has defined sensitive data to be “Data about an individual’s race and ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, health information as well as genetic and biometric data”. Thus, facial data of all people is sensitive data, which calls for an even higher level of protection. This requires all companies to be aware of their responsibilities when producing, disseminating and applying users’ data, and to pay attention to the following aspects: How can they obtain users’ consent in a transparent way? Is the facial recognition software inevitably accompanied by the issue of algorithmic bias?

Consent

Usually, event companies will ask the users to upload their headshot in order to later identify them at the check-in point. Once they upload their headshots, it is considered that they have yielded their consent. However, the decision power of consenting is not on them all the time. Some events provide guests with the option to check-in using other methods, such as QR code or manual registration, and attendees can choose to upload their headshots or not. However, for some events, face identification is the only check-in method, which makes it mandatory for any guest to consent to sending out their biometric info. In such a case, it cannot be said for sure that consent was given out of the individual’s free will for the use of their personal data.

algorithmic Biases

“We have entered the age of automation. Over confident, yet under prepared.” – Joy Buolamwini

Part of her research examines how accurate facial recognition software are when examining people with different skin colour and gender. Microsoft has the highest accuracy of 94%. However, all softwares have algorithmic bias that better recognises certain types. For example, lighter males on average have a much better accuracy than that of darker females.

While the biggest advantage of facial recognition in event check-in is its efficiency, some delegates may be stopped at the entrance because the software fails to recognise females and people of colour. This “future technology” then not only loses its advancement but also its credibility of fairness.

Going from here

The future of technology is mostly in our hands. We need to decide for ourselves how we should incorporate it into our daily lives. The event industry primarily works with people, so it should not be a test lab for any technology that is not ready. However, we are confident that AI researchers and developers are doing their best to make the algorithm just and transparent, so we can expect a better future with the facial recognition technology.

Till then, the most efficient and secure method of checking-in would be through QR-code scanning. At EventNook, we make event registration easy with our fast and seamless QR code check-in.

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