Driving licenses could be scanned at events

Event visitors could have their driving licences scanned on entry to collect their data in future, according to the chief executive of event technology platform Active Network.

Driving licenses "could be scanned at events"
Driving licenses "could be scanned at events"

Using a simple device that can be plugged into a smart phone, Active Network already scans driving licenses of visitors at some sporting events in the USA who have not pre-registered.

Dave Alberga, chief executive of Active Network, told Event: "We currently only scan licenses at endurance events in the USA, like triathlons, where there is a high volume of day visitors who haven’t registered any data before the event. By scanning the driving licence you can gather fundamental information like name, address, age and gender, which is automatically added to an audience data bank."

Alberga said he expects the scanning method to be adopted for on-the-day registration at more events in the USA and potentially also at UK events.

Rob Nathan is marketing director of Media 10, which is running the Ideal Home Show at Earl’s Court. He told Event he would be interested in the method. "Getting data from walk-up visitors is something that all organisers have been desperate for for years. Even if someone has a ticket when they arrive, they may not be the ticket purchaser. If a family of four walks in and the mum bought tickets on her credit card, we have no data for the other three.

"Every organiser tries, through competition mechanism or by asking people to fill out a form when they buy their tickets. But the problem is that the data you get is weak. I guarantee that the data from today at the Ideal Home Show would suggest that half a dozen people called Mickey Mouse turned up at the door. To capture those details would be fantastic and any system to simplify it would be welcome."

But he added that the system would not transfer easily to the UK: "In the USA they have might tighter controls over identification processes so you have to carry a driver’s licence, whereas you don’t have to in the UK. When you ask for people’s data here they are very reluctant to give it because they think they will get spammed. I can’t see any system that was not obligatory working - people would just refuse."

Simon Kimble, chief executive of Clarion Events, is scepital of the method: "I have heard of this practice in the USA but only when people are going on board a vessel on the East Coastal waterways where I believe it is a legal requirement. I am somewhat sceptical as to whether this would either be adopted or accepted by the public in the UK – it’s akin to the identity card debate."

Will scanning driving licenses catch on at UK events? What is the best way to collect data from visitors who buy tickets on the door? To leave a comment register and let us know your thoughts.

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