For over 60 years, we at PDC have been providing wristband identification solutions for a wide range of industries and markets. In that time, we have heard plenty of myths regarding all kinds of wristbands, from classic Tyvek wristbands to the newest RFID solutions. There’s no shortage of misconceptions we’ve heard from both planners and wearers, so we are going debunk the most common ones below.
Myth: All Event Wristbands Are the Same
If you’re planning to use wristbands for gatekeeping and as a security measure, then all wristbands are definitely not the same. Silicone wristbands make for excellent charity bracelets but their lack of security features are problematic for controlling admittance. Instead, look at Tyvek, plastic, vinyl, or woven wristbands.
How long you expect wearers to keep their wristbands on also impacts which type of wristband you should use. For short-term wear of no more than a few days, Tyvek wristbands are fine. For extended periods, you should go with plastic, vinyl, or woven fabric bands. They can withstand much more punishment, and are even completely waterproof.
Whether or not you want to custom print images and messaging also affects your purchasing decision. Certain materials handle details slightly better than others. Plastic and vinyl for example, can support much higher quality prints than Tyvek. For more information on which type of wristband is best for you, check out our 2017 wristband buying guide. If you’re still not sure, you can shop wristbands by use for some guided help.
Myth: Custom Wristbands Are Easy to Counterfeit
When one of the key purposes of wristbands is to control admittance, it would certainly be bad if gatecrashers could easily counterfeit them. Thankfully, custom wristbands make it extremely hard for forgers to get into your festivities. When you order custom wristbands, we ask that you order them up to 15 days in advance in order for you to have them by the time you need them.
Unless your wristband’s design is known weeks in advance of your event, there’s little time for counterfeiters to make copies of your wristbands. What’s more likely to happen is gatecrashers attempting to wear discarded wristbands that guests leaving your event have discarded.
Still not convinced? Then add serialization to your wristbands to ensure that no two bands are completely alike. Bar coding will add yet another layer of security, though that means you will have to deploy barcode readers at your entrances. For an even more secure solution than custom wristbands though, consider RFID wristbands.
Myth: You Can Get Sick from Festival Wristbands
One complaint about wristbands is that they can grow to be filled with microbes and bacteria, especially when worn for months if not years on end. In recent years, it has become trendy for music festival goers to keep their wristbands on for years, while collecting more. For standard wear of no more than several days, however, wristbands are not likely to get you sick.
The reason people can get sick from bacteria underneath their wristbands has a lot to do with personal hygiene and the fact that they keep them on their wrists for years. If a wearer keeps their hands clean and promptly removes the wristband after an event, there shouldn’t be any risk of illness. Besides, wearing wristbands long term can leave an ugly untanned spot.
Myth: RFID Wristbands Can Be Used to Track Movement
RFID wristbands streamline many aspects of an event, starting from the entrance and continuing to the concession stand. However, RFID tags have limits and cannot track a wearer’s every movement. While a RFID reader can detect up to several meters in laboratory-like settings, real world use shows vastly different results.
In actual use, a typical RFID tag reader needs to be no more than a foot or two away from the tag. In a crowded venue with plenty of people packed closely together, don’t expect RFID tags to provide much in the way of tracking. For use at entrances and exits where you can have a single file line however, RFID is perfect.