In a world that is becoming more focused on wireless devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), it is no surprise that festival wristbands have also followed suit. Commonly called RFID wristbands, they come embedded with radio frequency tags that communicate with compatible scanners and readers to transfer data. RFID tags come in many types; for details please see our article on how RFID wristbands work. There are many reasons why theme parks and waterparks should make the transition to RFID wristbands.
The advantages that RFID wristbands provide to top music festivals can also be a good fit for amusement parks. Read our article on the benefits of RFID wristbands for events for details. To see what benefits RFID wristbands bring to theme and waterparks, read on below.
An RFID solution provides benefits for guests and operators alike when it comes to cashless payments. When a customer links payment information to their account, RFID wristbands allow them to make purchases at vendors and points-of-sale without ever needing cash or a credit card. Guests only need to scan their RFID wristbands to complete a purchase, and the amount can be directly charged to their account. In addition, parks can allow parents to set spending limits for their children.
For operators of amusement parks, implementing cashless payments with RFID wristbands can have a direct impact on their bottom line. By switching from cash and credit card, operators can see up to 50% quicker payments, letting guests get back to attractions quicker.(1) That in turn means more purchases and more satisfied customers. Waterparks and theme parks can also expect to see an average 15% to 30% increase in customer spending.(2)
A major reason why events and parks choose RFID wristbands has to do with security. Implementing an RFID wristband system means tighter access control and a reduced risk of gatecrashers. When properly implemented, RFID wristbands are very difficult to counterfeit.
The benefit for guests is that RFID wristbands are much harder to lose than traditional printed tickets. It also reduces risk of theft, since guests no longer need to carry cash and cards with them. They can safely leave them in lockers or hotel rooms, along with other valuable possessions.
When it comes to lost or stolen wristbands, there are advantages with RFID wristbands over other forms of ticketing. When an RFID band is lost, a guest just needs to report it, the old wristband can be rendered useless and a new one can be issued. Thus, security is maintained, payment information associated with the account is not compromised, and the guest can still access the park.
Nothing annoys park attendees quite like waiting in line, whether it’s long lines when entering the park, getting on a ride, or ordering food and beverages. RFID wristbands help parks tackle this problem by eliminating the need for tickets, ID cards, or print-outs. Gone are the days of guests rummaging in their bags trying to find that ticket they printed out the night before. This gives RFID entrance portals the ability to scan many more wristbands per hour compared to traditional admissions systems, ultimately reducing lines and wait times.
Lockers and guest item storage areas can also benefit from implementation of RFID wristbands. No longer do guests have to remember PIN numbers or find the right key. For parks that offer lodging and accommodations for overnight guests, wristbands can also be used to provide guests access to hotel rooms and VIP areas.
As RFID wristbands help reduce the amount of manual labor required for access control, theme and waterparks may see a decreased need for staff, particularly at entry locations. This in turn can decrease costs associated with training additional staff. For parks switching from key cards, another cost benefit is that RFID scanners are contactless and do not require regular maintenance.
A Better Guest Experience and Interaction
RFID wristbands offer parks more ways to impress and interact with guests, both on and off site. When it comes to photos for instance, rather than go through a long purchase or printing process, guests can get photos saved to their account or emailed by getting their RFID tags scanned. It can virtually eliminate the need for issuing paper slips for guests to redeem photos taken by photographers or in-ride cameras. If there are multiple access tiers, such as general, preferred, and VIP admissions, RFID wristbands make it easy for staff to upgrade a guest without issuing new tickets.
RFID wristbands have benefits that can be seen outside of the park as well. Similar to woven wristbands from festivals, there is a WOW factor associated with RFID wristbands that guests appreciate. When festival goers receive their RFID wristbands in the mail for instance, they often post them to social media. This can help build brand awareness and get the conversations going. It is also not uncommon for guests to keep used wristbands as souvenirs long after their visit.
Better Data Insight
A big reason why parks and events make the jump to RFID wristbands is the benefit of better data insights. From knowing how many entries are happening at a given access point to which items are bought more often in stores and concession stands. RFID wristbands allow for a live view of important data points so that park staff can make intelligent decisions and eliminate bottlenecks. By taking data gathered by RFID wristbands, amusement parks can improve the guest experience for future visitors.
The reasons listed are a large part of why RFID wristbands are beneficial for theme parks and waterparks, but they can also apply to smaller venues as well. In the future, there may be additional benefits to using an RFID solution as new apps and features get developed. For information on how to implement RFID wristbands at your park or venue, contact us today!
- Based on the “PayPass Adoption Study” in 2012