“New York Comic Con is wonderful pandemonium for geeks,” if you ask Lance Fensterman, Group V.P. of Operations for ReedPOP.
For the second consecutive year at New York Comic Con, ShowClix and ReedPOP partnered to create an infrastructure with RFID technology that helped ReedPOP manage a crowd of more than 150,000 fans over the course of four days.
“That was perhaps the largest single project we’ve undertaken,” Fensterman said.
While complex conventions like New York Comic Con are major targets for scalpers and ticket counterfeiters, RFID provides an added layer of fraud prevention by tying in the registration process to the totally secure RFID badge itself.
As a result, registering and getting into the event has become more secure and faster than ever for the fans.
After what Fensterman called a mind-blowing success at 2013’s RFID launch, ShowClix and ReedPOP looked for new ways to apply the technology.
“What makes an event successful for us is the fan experience. How is the fan treated?” Paul Dwyer, Registration Director at ReedPOP, said.
“It’s more than just ticketing them, having them wait in lines and getting them to the proper places.”
In late July during the midst of other optimizations in preparation for this years convention ReedPOP proposed a new challenge for ShowClix: photo stations for fans that could connect with RFID badges.
Dwyer said it was “really, really rewarding to see people having a great time in front of that photo booth interacting with their friends and creating memories.”
The photo stations were equipped with HD cameras and RFID scanners. By scanning their badges, multiple attendees could snap a quick photo together, like the group of friends in the photo above!
“It’s a keepsake,” Nate Good, CTO of ShowClix, said. “Fans want to hang onto their memories after an event. A cumbersome sign-in process might turn people away, but with RFID, we’re able to minimize the process down to a couple of quick taps.”
Additionally this year, ShowClix provided NYCC exhibitors with Nexus 7 devices, which they could then use to can the badges of fans who wished to share their contact info.
Working like a high-tech mailing list, a new potential customer or curious fan could sign up with any exhibitor at the convention.
“When we started working with ShowClix, what we were looking for was not a ticket seller, but rather a software solution provider,” Fensterman said.
“Together [with ShowClix] we essentially plotted a course. We posed challenges. Together we created solutions with their expertise and our knowledge of our fans and our industry. It was true collaboration.”
ShowClix’s technology wasn’t the only way the company was represented at the convention: for major events, ShowClix deploys the Event Operations crew, overseen and managed by Event Ops Manager Katie Smith.
“We don’t take the responsibility lightly,” Smith said. “How do you comfortably move 150,000 people into the Javits Center in four days? Its our job to figure that out while managing the admissions technology and keeping Reed’s fans happy.”
Making their second appearance at the annual convention, the Event Ops team implemented networking hotspots, trained staff and provided admissions support and customer service at the gate during the onslaught of attendees.
“Without ShowClix, the show would be more chaotic than it already is,” Fensterman said.
“ShowClix is the infrastructure that allows us to have happy fans, safe fans and a really kickass show.”