Biometrics and big events: improving the event experience

Our need for security is increasing every day, but so too is our desire for convenience and a seamless user experience – no compromise, no trade-off. As biometric technology is applied to more aspects of our day-to-day lives, it also presents multiple opportunities to enhance the experience of live events and places of mass gathering.


The value of biometrics for big events can be categorised across three use cases: workforce access, spectator access and VIP management. The former leverages biometric technology to create a more secure environment where employees can access offices and staff-only areas conveniently, without the need for swipe cards or access tokens. For an even better user experience, this biometric credential they use to access buildings and protected areas can also be used to log in to their digital applications on any device, from anywhere.

Access to the live event is similarly managed, creating an opportunity for an incredibly streamlined spectator experience. Consider the current way of doing things: yes, using e-tickets instead of physical paper tickets can speed up the queuing process, but it doesn’t address the common threats of fraud and scalping. Without deploying people to check that the names on the tickets match the names of the spectators – a time-consuming and costly process – live events will continue to be targets for fraudulent activity.

However, by coupling a ticket to a spectator’s facial or fingerprint biometric, organisers can be sure attendees to a football stadium, theatre or live music venue are exactly who they say they are.

Finally, there’s a powerful argument to be made for the integration of biometrics for verifying VIPs. From identity fraud to fake VIP tickets to sneaking into private areas at a sporting venue – especially those with a high price point and multiple VIP areas – biometrics can make for a much more professional and enjoyable experience.

With a biometric credential linked to the VIP ticket, a person can simply show up, present their ticket and have their identity verified on the spot to allow them to enjoy the full event experience. Moreover, using their VIP credential they can avail themselves of various VIP services – like bars or catering – and have any purchases drawn from a linked bank account with the swipe of a finger or quick facial recognition.

Technology that reflects the standard of an event 

These use cases are particularly attractive for events that are spread across large physical areas, such as Formula 1, where there are multiple areas for spectators, VIP rooms, corporate boxes, staff areas, offices and of course the ‘paddocks’ where the professionals spend most of their time. The organisers of these events want to create a seamless experience for everyone – spectators, VIPs, competitors and beyond.

Consider Formula 1, for example. This is a sport that lives and breathes technological innovation and advancement, from its carbon fibre to its data systems. And now it has the opportunity to implement security technology of the same world-leading standard.

Integrating biometrics into onboarding 

In the vast majority of organisations that manage live events, there is a strict vetting process that involves a number of checks before a candidate can be hired. Perhaps they have to pass an identification and driver’s licence check, as well as a police check if they will be dealing directly with professionals or VIPs. By building biometrics into that onboarding process, employees can use their biometric credential to gain access to staff-only areas instead of wearing a traditional – and easy-to-misplace – ID pass on a lanyard.

Not only does that mean the staff member never has to worry about their keys or physical ID pass being stolen, but it ensures the organisation can safely manage that employee’s access, even on event days where thousands of people are in attendance. It’s this kind of scalable technology that can enable and empower event organisers to solve security issues with minimal disruption, and never at the expense of the user experience.


For more information about how biometric technology can improve the event experience, contact us today