Choosing between Tyvek, Plastic, Woven, and RFID Wristbands has never been harder. We know because we assist customers as they wrestle with this decision on a daily basis; and as with any decision, there are several factors to consider. Trends will change, technology will change and the needs of your event or venue will change, but the key factors that influence your decision will remain the same. As such, we present our Future Proof (don’t hold us to that!) guide to wristbands.
What do your wristbands need to achieve?
Identification only? Wristbands can achieve a lot for your venue or event now, but that doesn’t mean you need all the bells and whistles. Sure, most of us would LOVE to own the latest BMW, but really a pretty standard Hyundai might just do the trick, especially if all we’re doing is a bit of shopping on a Sunday morning. Likewise with wristbands, if all you want your wristband to do is identify that 1,200 people are allowed access to your food and wine event, then you don’t need anything more functional that tyvek wristbands.
You may not have heard of Tyvek wristbands, but there is a very good chance that you have worn one. Commonly referred to as paper wristbands due to the papery nature and feel of the material, Tyvek is actually a synthetic substrate that is non-tear, waterproof and textured, which makes it ideal as a security wristband. This is the right option for you if you are on a budget and require identification of people for a single day only; simple as that. You should not be looking at tyvek wristbands as an option for any event runs for multiple days; this is a common mistake that we’ve seen repeated by several events.
Identification and a VIP experience? Your event or venue may want to achieve something a little grander in terms of their style and design. In this case, Tyvek wristbands may be less relevant and you should start considering plastic wristbands, especially those that have special effects within the material such as sparkle or holographic effects. A plastic wristband is durable and again, non transferable. The difference between plastic and Tyvek is that plastic wristbands can be used for multiple days, which makes them popular at music festivals and events where patrons return the following day, like weekend-long exhibitions or conferences.
Identification for long periods of time; with many events now lasting several days such as Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass, Woodford Folk Festival, Falls Festival etc, the main requirement is durability and security over a longer period of time. This is where the “festival special” wristband comes in to play, commonly called woven wristbands. Woven wristbands are made from polyester with the artwork on the wristband physically embroidered in to the material for added security. The nature of polyester, woven in such a way, is that it does not stretch and expand, making it ideal as a multiday wristband. The key though, is how the wristband remains non transferable, and this comes down to a smartly designed slide lock (or closure) that, due to a series of angled internal “teeth” can only slide up the band… it cannot slide back down the wristband. This means that once it is on, it is staying on!
The added benefit of woven wristbands, and the reason that they are also used for single day events as well as week-long festivals, is that they actually do become a collectors item. I am sure you’ve seen the collectors, as they’ll often be wearing a dozen or more, some dating back several years. They’re worn with a mark of pride by the wearer, but for us as a wristband manufacturer, it’s a mark of pride that the wristband remains securely fastened to the wearer after 1,000 showers and daily activities!
How secure do you want your wristband?
The key to maximising the security of your wristband is to customise it either via printing or embroidery, depending on the wristband of course. Custom wristbands allow you to personalise wristbands to a specific purpose (ACCESS TO SWIMMING POOL ONLY), or a particular day (FRIDAY ONLY), to a particular area (FRIDAY CAMPING) or for a specific category of customer/patron (FRIDAY ADULT). Combined with a logo, website, phone number or even a Facebook profile, a wristband can become far more than just a wristband. See below to read how barcodes and RFID chips allow even more functionality.
Do you want your wristbands to be smarter when it comes to Access Control?
Whether you’re buying wristbands for an aquatic centre, a nightclub, a party or a music festival, the key to a security wristband is it’s effectiveness in managing access control. Firstly, at the gate (or other entry point) itself and then on an ongoing basis.
Security at the gate itself; whilst staff can be trained to recognise to know what colour wristbands they should be looking for, the integration of barcodes or RFID chips provides a far greater means to manage access at any venue or event. A unique barcode, or RFID chip, can be placed on a wristband, which basically assigns a unique identification number to the person wearing it. The access control system, armed with details of each guests profile, knows who is allowed to what area and when. Simply scanning RFID wristbands will alert staff to whether a patron is allows access to a VIP area, for instance. At an aquatic centre, the same wristband may prevent unauthorised access to a specific facility such as a members lounge or spa facility.
When should you look at Barcoded or RFID Wristbands?
To enjoy the benefits of automated access control, your main expense is not going to be wristbands, it will be the scanners and system to manage the wristbands. Barcoded wristbands actually don’t have to cost that much more than standard custom printed wristbands. The key to benefiting from such technology though is whether a) you’re reducing ongoing costs or staffing levels that then justify the expenditure and/or b) the use of the technology so greatly enhances your product offering that it becomes a marketing tool in itself. This question is what has driven many gyms and aquatic centres to implement smarter wristband technology.
For more information about choosing the best type of wristbands for your venue or event, contact AAC ID Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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