As a developer relations manager for the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in APAC, I have attended more than 90 events in the APAC region in the last three years. Whether speaking on stage or just walking the show floor, before getting access to an event, the first thing I need to do is to register and print my badge. This badge not only gives me event access, but onsite organizers can scan the barcode on my badge to identify me while getting an accurate attendee count for the event.
Over the last three years, I’ve collected 95 event badges — that’s a total of 2.3kg of paper, plastic, and nylon (each badge weighs about 25g).
While data obtained from each badge helps organizers and exhibitors evaluate the popularity of events, it can also create an inconvenience for attendees. Long registration lines are frustrating, and the hotter the event, the longer the lines. One experience in Shanghai took me almost two hours to access the venue.
Better Events with Blue
On a recent business trip to Hong Kong, I experienced firsthand how Bluetooth® technology could be used to eliminate the need for physical badges while saving attendees valuable time.
On 6 April 2018, I attended the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair, speaking at the Asian Lighting Forum 2018. When I first walked into the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, my eye immediately caught the Bluetooth logo on the badge lane signage.
To capitalize on the growing trend towards mobile sourcing, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) released a one-stop sourcing application, HKTDC Marketplace. Through the app, visitors can get the latest market information, pre-register for trade fairs, and access product and exhibitor listings throughout the year. e-Badge enables visitors to register and retrieve their exhibition admission badges at their fingertips, providing a more efficient admission process. More than 400,000 users around the world have already downloaded the app.
Save Time and Eliminate Waste
According to a recent HKECIA report, 2.2 million visitors attended exhibitions in Hong Kong in 2016. With every one of those visitors needing a badge and with each badge weighing approximately 25g, that adds up to more than 55 tons of event badges produced in Hong Kong in 2016, most of which end up in landfills. Attendees using e-Badge just need to install an app and enable Bluetooth® on their smartphone. Those two simple steps can reduce waste and have a big impact on the environment.
The e-Badge system also saves valuable time. At most events, badges need to be issued at registration counters and then scanned at entrances. By using an e-Badge system supported by Bluetooth, visitors can spend more time connecting with exhibitors rather than waiting for registration and badge scanning. This not only saves attendees time, but organizers don’t need as many dedicated human resources to cover registration reception.
Admission Made Simple
By using Bluetooth® technology in e-Badge detection devices mounted around event entrances, visitors can simply show the e-Badge on their smartphones to onsite staff. When the green tick is displayed, it signifies that two-way communication is established and the attendance record is automatically uploaded on the fly. It is an easy way to enhance event admission, and the technology is on track to being adopted by other event organizers around the globe.
To try e-Badge:
- Download the HKTDC Marketplace, and create your account on the app
- Complete registration, login to your account, select the Trade Fairs you wish to register for, complete the Visitor Pre-Registration, and collect your e-Badge
- Enable Bluetooth on your smartphone for seamless event access
While Lighting Fair was my first experience with e-Badge, they are far from the only ones implementing the technology. e-Badge can be used for any event hosted by HKTDC. Just remember to keep Bluetooth enabled on your smartphone and you can contribute to protecting the environment while saving yourself valuable time at your next event.