Thoughts on Employing RFID Bracelets for Your Upcoming Urban Dance Music Festival

coachellabracelet Brothas and sistas looking to create mega festivals around the world to promote the love, energy and positive soulful vibe of urban dance music will need to have a system in place to manage 40,000 to 200,000 attendees who are traveling from all over world. The use of bracelets embedded with RFID for concerts and festivals are going to be essential to provide the best ticketing and on-site service for your attendees and we are going to discuss the patterns and practice of this technology to you. Bracelets and Charm alibababracelets A bracelet charm is a RFID band that is assigned to a festival attendee and serve as both the entrance ticket and to use interactive services at the festival. Pretty much the same technology they use at the hospital to track patients and what they put in your dog or cat for identification. Please tell me you know what I’m talking about and don’t say you never heard of this before, for real. It is also the same RFID technology you use to get access to a building by putting your card next to a scanner or to get into a gated-access community. tommorrowworldbracelet But instead of a generic band, you customize the RFID bracelet to the concert and it is used as a key or charm to signify they are permitted to attend a special event like Coachella or Tommorrowland. These bracelets are very ornate and unique but they also use the same underlying technology that is an RFID or NFC class chip. So the way things work is you have RFID scanners that read the identification number and assign it to an attendee when they purchase entrance to your festival and you associate that bracelet to them as they move around to know when they leave and enter and access other services. Let’s talk about what you can do with the bracelet. Benefit of the RFID Bracelets checkin Overall, you are efficiently managing the information by moving it all to the backend system like your database servers or even the cloud. There is no concern about paper tickets, using Ticketmaster or LiveNation and they taking a cut off your sales, fake tickets and scalpers and stuff like that. In addition, you can set it up where people can quickly be identified in an emergency and if they need to access certain areas like VIP or parking, it can all be done on one bracelet. So let’s just break down all the benefits. Branding. The biggest benefit is your unique charm bracelet establish you as a real festival that people will remember for the rest of their lives and can share the bracelet with their kids to prove they been to your event. Paper tickets fade over time but a nice charm bracelet can last generations and can be framed as a collection of concerts and festival a person been to. International. The second biggest benefit is the bracelet can be an automatic translator. You can have a web site that take orders in multiple language and you know the RFID bracelet been ordered by someone in Korea who know little English. So that gives you intelligence to have Korean representatives to help base on the number of attendees. But here is a catch – you can setup interactive kiosks that can read the RFID bracelet and display information in Korean for them to learn their way around. Ticket Management. You can quickly associate a bracelet with a person and allow them entrance and even exit and know their status in real time. They have to scan their bracelet to enter and exit. Then you can go further and assign prepaid fund amount on their bracelet to spend money locally within the festival without carrying cash. They can top off the balance of their RFID bracelet whenever they run low on funds and buy more stuff and access services while they there. Emergency Management. What if someone get sick or there is a problem? You can quickly scan their bracelet and see if they provide information on how to treat them in an emergency and notify their next of kin of an incident. Outsource. You can make arrangements to pay shuttle services, parking arrangements with external companies and have your people at the shuttle to scan bracelet who have to pay for the shuttle. Then you in turn pay the shuttle firm after you get paid. Do this with the vendors and the concession stands also where external partners get paid and no cash is being changed or cheated. So as you see, there is tremendous value of moving to a RFID bracelet system to efficiently manage a global audience of 40,000 or more to your urban dance music festival. You pretty much have the same bracelet system whether you want to host your festival in Japan, Denmark, Columbia, South Africa and the United States. Let’s talk about how to get these bracelets. Manufacturing and Provisioning alibaba2 You can get bulk orders of bracelets from but most of these bracelets requires some customization to your festival. But here is another opportunity for you – you can contract someone local like a sista to run an operation hiring local workers to manufacture the bracelets in a shop by hand and they got an order to do 40,000 or more, bringing money and jobs to the hood. It’s a lot of sistas out there selling charms and custom bracelets on Etsy and would love to get a big order for 50,000 bracelets to make, don’t you think? What you want to do next is get the RFID chips and there are plenty of places to get the chips. Here is the thing, you can get the RFID chips already embedded with a unique code that will be something like 1234-567-890 or you can generate your own code and use a RFID writer. Since we are talking under 250,000 people I suggest you just go ahead and have the manufacture create write the unique id on your RFID chips. It would be cheaper than you setting up the operation to flash a unique id on the 50,000 RFID chips yourself, right? Then you going to need software to manage the RFID bracelets and associate them with a festival attendee. So the process is a festival attendee order a bracelet off your web site, they pay with a credit card for the bracelet. Then you get have it setup where someone take that order, assign the RFID bracelet to that attendee and then ship them the bracelet. This is done months ahead of the actual event. But if they are picking up the bracelet, you have a will call at the festival where they give you the credit card used for the order, picture id and and you give them the bracelet that is stored in a box already prepared for them. Now, you give them time to cancel their event but advise them that there is a fee for the bracelet that will cost about $60 which I think is a fair cancellation rate. Just a suggestion and some of the things you have to consider. Now another great opportunity and I have to do research is to create a cloud-based application that can automate this kind of festival management where the cloud service do the entire provisioning on your behalf and manage the bracelets during the concert. That cloud-based bracelet management service is a great business model for one of you guys to look into if no one has done it. If you haven’t realize, Dream and Hustle already went over the technology to do everything I’m describing in this article for years – we can do it if I was interested but my plate is full with Swagg-Scientific. Festival Services scanning So now that the bracelet was ordered, you made your $8 million to $30 million upfront to support your big urban dance music festival, now you have to establish a system in place to manage the RFID bracelets. Overall, what you will be doing is having RFID scanners that take the ID and do a database lookup to identify the festival attendee identity and then you can whatever services you need to. Ticket Pickup. The ticket pickup pretty much is scanning the bracelet and seeing if they are a valid festival attendee and if they are a VIP or a regular access attendee. This information is stored on the database or in the cloud and what can happen is you can take a picture of the attendee to associate Shuttle and Parking. You basically make an arrangement with transportation where people with bracelets can pay for shuttle to and from the event. You have your people on their and scan their bracelet and you can deduct from their credit card or you can make them prepay when they order their bracelet early on. Concessions and Vendors. Part of the ticket price should be a $50 minimum fund to a prepaid account as a recommendation to encourage spending at your festival. They can top off using their mobile phone and add funds using their credit card or you can charge their same credit card. Another bonus is this - an attendee can visit a vendor and just scan their badge to provide an email address to receive more information than carry brochures and other papers around the festival. This will result in saving paper and a more eco-friendly event and will increase the response rate versus someone filling out on paper and pen. You can charge the vendor for the lead ($0.25/lead). Tracking Your Attendees. You may consider this a breach of privacy but it is not and actually a good thing. If someone from Korea visited your festival, you would want to know if they have taken the shuttle bus and if they made it okay. That’s not invasion of privacy, that’s giving a damn about your customers and their well-being so they can be safe and have an enjoyable time at your urban dance music festival. So you can have an event tracker when they are scanned when they reach the airport, when they enter the gate, when they leave the gate so you can make sure everybody is accounted for. Facebook Photo Booth I recommend you check out this old article I written over a year and a half ago and look at the videos of how they used RFID bracelets to link up to Facebook. Moving Forward crowd As you prepare to create your urban dance music festival that will be hosted worldwide, look into understanding the use of RFID bracelets as this is actually standardized technology for events. The use of the RFID bracelets is to help brand your event as a special once-in-a-lifetime experience that will be talked about for years and generations to come. What will make your urban festival successful is how well you manage your customers. The basic concepts I want you to take away is creating the bracelets to be unique and possibly creating economic activity hiring someone local to hand create the 40,000+ bracelets as people pay for them to attend your urban dance music festival. The second is the use of database technology to associate an account to the RFID bracelet to perform services for the ticketing and during the event to make sure you track and know your customer and give them personalized service. And the third and most important is the globalization and being able to be multi-lingual so you can go worldwide and accommodate attendees from all over the world. We found plenty of research on this technology just doing an internet search and finding web sites and news clipping and companies that offer this service. So with that said, let’s continue to do research and put in the work necessary to make a world-class global festival for the urban dance music genre and do it big.

7 thoughts on “Thoughts on Employing RFID Bracelets for Your Upcoming Urban Dance Music Festival

    1. Ed, how much do these bracelets cost and how durable are they? Also, what is the cost of proximity readers for the bracelets, how durable are these (weather), and how close to the bracelets do they have to be in order to work?

      Seems to me there’s a HUGE opportunity in the school transportation, time, and attendance space for the application of these bracelets year round. You could even partially do a performance-based model where you take a percentage of the receipts garnered by the school district thanks to the use of this technology. For example, the average daily revenue per pupil from the state alone is $23.00. $33.00/day for special ed students who get federal funds and medicare/medicaid.

      The bus company gets significant special reimbursements for transporting special needs kids and has to have a way of documenting the fact that they’ve been transported and how often. RFID tracking and these bracelets would perfectly solve that problem. So you charge them cost of the equipment, professional services, break/fix for the setup, and percentage of the reimbursements as an annuity from the use of the technology.

      We don’t even have to talk about the safety and security aspects of this technology’s use. Parents and administrators want to know where their kids are between home/school. The school wants to know where the kids are within the school (thus the proximity range question)

      In the morning, there are bottlenecks at the front door where kids pass the metal detectors and security to gain entrance and have their ID’s manually checked. Problem solved, all day, every day. Just saying….,

      1. CNU,

        The passive RFID chip itself are around .10 a piece and these are usually about the size of a dime or even smaller than a watch battery in diameter. They are usually inserted or embedded into a wristband or plastic mode.

        I believe some schools already have proposed RFID backpacks but the parents opposed this idea some time ago..

  1. I have no idea what the intended use of the backpack chip was outside of time and attendance, but it sounds kludgy and objectionable, or easily spun as objectionable, from the word “go”.

    As an insider with detailed information concerning priorities and needs, I can assure you that a bracelet such as what you’ve highlighted in this article, which can be branded for the school with a logo (per school location) can be programmed to serve as a token for multiple functions – bus riding, access authorization, attendance, medical conditions (hadn’t thought about that one), library card, free and reduced lunch payment, etc…, – and whose business model is least cost up front and performance-based over time – would go gangbusters!!!

    The key to the whole solution is the cost, durability, and range of the proximity readers for the rfids themselves. That’s the unknown variable. If a low cost, durable reader with a range of several feet can be identified and gotten cheaply, then all these information transactions happen seamlessly in the background and it becomes a convenience for all parties.

    The way to package it for parent consumption is safety and convenience. For administrators, record-keeping, document filing, core data aggregation, and revenue assurance.

    1. “If a low cost, durable reader with a range of several feet”

      The long range readers are “active” RFID and the RFID tags usually fall in the 900Mhz range like a cordless phone and have about a 100 feet range and accommodate multiple antennas. Most likely, these are the long range RFID that were on the kids backpack in the Faux News debate.

      You can buy the Symbol RFID readers for cheap off eBay. I have a couple of them and it is fairly simple to setup as it has it own IP address for the LAN and when you navigate to the IP address, you see an XML file of all the active RFID tags being read. So what you do is poll every 2 to 5 seconds and detect when an RFID chip was introduced or removed from the XML file to know who popped in or out. Also tell you what antenna picked up the chip to know where they are at.

      But is is probably better to do the wristbands or if using active RFID, make them stickers to be placed on the school provided tablets.

      1. So three years ago, we were quoted a price of $350K for 6 high schools ~8000 students. I’m thinking that’s probably the normative offer made by the types of predatory busters who prey on the lack of technology savvy in this vertical. Evidently, they’d tricked a few urban districts.

        So…, somebody coming in with a more pervasively useful, customizable, lower upfront capital cost solution would encounter an open field of interest. Add the transportation piece on the buses, and you’d be offering an multifunction end-to-end solution capable of yielding a modest profit up front, and substantial recurring revenues in the 3-5 years post installation.

        As far as what we do on the end-point devices, well, smart districts will only consider working with Lenovo, Dell and Samsung and the former is much better than the latter two. They install hardware persistent code at the factory which would be the absolute envy of the NSA in terms of what you can do with it from an asset tracking, control, use, perspective. This is light years ahead of what we’re talking about with RFID, but the two discussions are total apples and oranges and each has its own application and easy value proposition.

  2. Parents with nothing better to do than trip over paranoid nonsense, can be given a waiver. Another consideration you should add to the mix, is that children in districts implementing 1:to:1 device initiatives – have become the number one target for crimes in America. So…., we can dismiss the pedophile stalker gibberish as sensational claptrap and that the cat who even brought that isht up has his tinfoil cap on too damn tight.

    The woman talking about locating her child is normative and will carry the day.

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