•  
  •  

RFID: Big Brother or Marketing Maven?

 

Imagine you have the ability to know exactly who comes to your booth, where they congregate, for how long they remain in each area, how many times they come back, and best of all, “they” probably have no idea that you know this! The description is reality–RFID chips are embedded in name badges at major medical trade shows, known as “congresses” or “meetings” in health care exhibiting parlance. There is no opt out; it’s just a part of the registration process. Before RFID, Dr. Jones would visit a dozen companies at the trade show and request information from a few; Dr. Jones had to request it or agree to receive the information.

Conversely, with RFID, Dr. Jones’ information is automatically known to exhibitors using RFID scanners because they detect everywhere the doctor goes through the use of RFID detection scanners. Where his or her information goes after that is largely a topic of secret discussions. Of course, knowing the traffic patterns in your booth is valuable, if, in fact, you make changes based on your findings. Knowing how long a doctor stood at a demo station may indicate a long discussion and deeper interest, or it may indicate the doctor was making a phone call or checking email. How does the data get back to sales, and how is it used? Should attendee contact information be gathered in a “let the buyer beware” climate or should it be treated like health care records, with absolute privacy? Do sales increase with this technology or is this more of a marketing tool that automates the recording of attendance in the booth?

We’d love to hear your opinions here – please comment below.