No Cash, No Problem: How Cashless Payments Transformed the Attendee Experience

December 13, 2017

Katie Cook

Katie Cook is the Marketing Communications Specialist for Expo Logic, an event registration company that works with clients worldwide to provide innovative registration and lead retrieval services.

If you are anything like me, you barely carry cash anymore. Credit and debit cards have become the main method of payment these days so cash isn’t necessary. Other advances in technology, such as PayPal and Apple Pay, have proven this to be true, too.

With cashless payments gaining momentum and technology being developed to cater to this trend, it’s time that the event industry catch-up. Attendees already have enough to remember and worry about at an event, so having a few bucks on them to purchase lunch is probably the last thing they are thinking about.

Make It Easier for Attendees

Our client, Confederatie Bouw, thought about this, too, for their recent event in Brussels. The Digital Construction event was the first tradeshow in Belgium focused on digitalization in the construction industry. With an event already geared towards technology, the idea of having cashless payments was a no-brainer.

Having cashless payments available helped make the attendee experience smooth and stress-free. Each attendee’s badge contained an RFID tag that was used to pay for food and beverage throughout the event.

This meant attendees weren’t rummaging through their bags, which were already filled with event brochures and business cards, to try and find their wallet with a line of people behind them waiting. Once an attendee added money to their badge, that was it – they were ready to go.

How It Works

To give you an idea of how simple and easy this was, let’s go through the process.

Step 1: As the attendee checked in to the event, an RFID tag was scanned and linked to their registration information. This RFID tag was placed on the inside of the badge and given to the attendee.

Step 2: The attendee then visited one of the multiple top-off stations to add money to their badge. Credit/debit cards or cash was used to add money to their badge.

Step 3: After that, the attendee was free to visit any of the food and beverage locations at the event and simply use their badge to pay for their meal.

Seriously. That’s it.

The Result

The use of the RFID tag and cashless payments was a success not just for the attendee experience but also our client. By eliminating cash payments at food and beverage stations, all cash transactions were kept to one or two locations. At a larger event such as this one, this added another layer of security by eliminating cash drawers at different locations throughout the event venue.

Using the badge for payment was easy, too. The server would take the badge, scan it and was immediately able to see the balance left on the attendee’s account and take payment for the items purchased. They could also check the balance and let the attendee know if they needed to add more money to their badge.

Using cashless payments at the Digital Construction Brussels event was a great success and technology continues to help us find more ways to make the attendee experience better.


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