5 Ways to Use NFC Tags at Your Next Event

October 13, 2022 by David Preciado
Read in 9 Minutes

With so many corporate events happening throughout the year, event managers often need to search for ways to stand out and make their functions and experiences more unique.

One key way to achieve this is with interactivity – there are several opportunities to weave in interactions that feel organic and are engaging for your audience. While interaction can come in various digital and analog forms, one of the easiest and cost-effective methods to implement it is the NFC tag.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at NFC technology, explore what it is, and discuss different ways corporate event managers can use NFC tags to boost audience engagement.

What Is NFC?

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It’s often embedded inside mobile devices and smartphones and can interact with compatible tags in close proximity. By tapping, hovering or placing your NFC-enabled device close to an NFC tag, it can receive data from it. A popular use of the NFC chip is Google or Apple Pay on your smartphone and credit cards, where you can tap to pay for transactions.

An NFC tag is a standalone microchip with an antenna that can hold around 1-2 kilobytes of data. The tag is paper thin and easy to embed. It’s often housed in a plastic badge or sticker.

When you see an NFC tag, you can hover your phone over the sticker or item and it will kickstart data sharing from the tag to your phone. For example, by tapping your smartphone on an NFC sticker, you can get a link for a special offer coupon. 

How are NFC tags Used at In-Person Events? 

NFC tags elevate event management platforms by tying digital content directly to physical spaces and activities. As a result, attendees can instantly access relevant content for a current activity or location, using just their smartphones, or a mobile event app. But that’s not all you can do - here are five creative ways to use NFC tags at your next corporate event.

1. Gamification

NFC tags can be used to gamify engagement for your attendees, making it more fun to seek out different booths, attend sessions and participate in different activities. For example, attendees can be asked to go on a scavenger hunt where they have to search for tags based on clues and hints that are scattered around the venue. Each time they find a new NFC tag, they can tap it, allowing them to earn points, discounts, exclusive content or swag. And at the end of the conference, each attendee can walk away with a special prize based on their accumulated score. Gamification presents a new way for event organizers to build fresh experiences for their attendees and NFC tags are a great way to enable this.

2. Surveys, Polls and Live Questions

It can be tough for attendees to remember the poll you’ve emailed them after their session. A better way to do this is to incorporate surveys and polls into NFC tags that can be spread throughout your event. Instead of having to search for a pen and paper or dig up a buried email, attendees can simply tap an NFC tag that’s conveniently located and answer a survey or poll in the moment. This ensures that event organizers can get feedback on experiences when they’re still fresh in the minds of attendees.

Another application of this is to place NFC tags near seats so audience members can answer and ask questions during a keynote or session presentation. They can tap their phones on an NFC tag at the door, or even near their seats, and the poll will appear instantly.

3. Measuring Interactions

Event organizers can invest in multiple booth and exhibit formats, both for their sessions and their sponsors, but how will they know which ones were the most popular? This is where NFC tags can help – attendees can be asked to tap on the tags of the booths they visit to get bonus content, allowing organizers to collect data on how many attendees visited each space. Moreover, organizers can create trackable URLs that are associated with a unique NFC tag, making it easy to measure which resources were the most in-demand during their event. Using this accumulated data, organizers will be better able to understand how they can optimize their next event and continually improve the in-person attendee experience using NFC tags.

4. Augmented Reality (AR) Exhibits

Augmented reality (AR) apps can offer your attendees a new lens through which to view your venue. With the right AR technology, a plain white wall can be transformed into a colorful art exhibit or a simple booth can become a 3D demonstration of a new and exciting innovation. NFC tags can be an easy gateway for attendees to experience AR installations at your event by pinpointing where audiences should aim their phone and routing them to the right app or tools needed to view the AR experience.

NFC tags can also provide the audience with information on which person or company created each AR piece, behind-the-scenes videos on how it was built and articles on next steps if they’re interested in reaching out to the brand or creator. Through NFC tags, organizers can give their exhibits and sponsors a new way to immerse their audience and spark dialogue about their content.

5. Nurturing Group Discussions

There are many instances where a group of attendees may be sitting together during a corporate event. To encourage conversation and ease interaction between them, organizers can add an NFC tag to each table that offers interesting prompts and discussion points for them to answer. This is especially helpful to attendees who are still not used to in-person events after experiencing multiple quarantines and lock-down periods in 2021. By giving each table an organic way to open a conversation and connect with each other, organizers can help attendees network more effectively and get to know their peers, leading to greater relationships and outcomes for the overall event. 

Use NFC Tags at Your Next Event

At the heart of NFC interactions is communication. The technology can be used to share useful information, augment experiences, and bridge the gap between digital and physical worlds. NFC tags are an important way to elevate engagement for in-person participants, but they also provide a host of benefits to the event organizers. With the technology, you can track and better understand your audience — by measuring their interests, and interactions, and even gathering feedback through polls and surveys.

At any event or venue, event managers can use NFC tags to deliver more gamified experiences, share meeting or conference information, educate visitors on their brand or products, introduce sponsors, demonstrate services or products, and even interact with user groups during informal gatherings. 

If you’d like more information on how you can use NFC tags at your next event, contact us today! 

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David Preciado is the Senior Sales Account Manager for CX Briefings at Inpixon.