Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Eventbrite buys Scintilla to combine event ticketing with RFID access control

Steve Rogerson
October 27, 2015
California-based ticketing company Eventbrite has bought Canadian RFID entry management firm Scintilla Technologies to scale its access control technology to a wider range of events. The aim is to use wristbands fitted with RFID technology to help large, multi-day festivals and events streamline entry-management operations, create and enhance revenue streams, and reduce fraud.
Scintilla is an experienced entry management RFID hardware and software company that built the foundational access control technology used at large music festivals with tens of thousand of attendees, including Osheaga Music & Arts Festival as well as major food and drink festivals, such as Nashville Oktoberfest and Toronto's Festival of Beer.
Eventbrite supports hundreds of events via field operations every year and scanned eight million barcodes in 2015 through its mobile box office, Eventbrite Neon. While RFID technology is primarily used today on wristband tickets for large music festivals, Eventbrite is using Scintilla technology to make it accessible for a broader set of event organisers, including expos, festivals and conferences.
"The powerful combination of Scintilla's hardware and team with Eventbrite's world-class software, entry management and field operations capabilities will allow us to deliver the most reliable, robust and flexible solution in the market," said Eventbrite VP of products Laurent Sellier. "We're excited to be building a complete end-to-end solution that will reduce the complexity and risk currently preventing large events and festivals from realising the benefits of RFID technology. We will continue to innovate on behalf of the customer to build solutions that delight the consumer."
Eventbrite plans to deliver a consistent, seamless experience with ticketing and RFID on a single platform.
"Eventbrite has always been at the forefront of technology in the events industry," said Eventbrite CEO and co-founder Kevin Hartz. “We are committed to providing our partners with the most innovative products so attendees can have a superior experience, from buying a ticket to getting into the event and beyond. Our vision is to own that end-to-end experience and we see a tremendous opportunity to democratise entry management the same way we democratised ticketing."
Among the key features and functionality of the joint offering will be access control that is fully operational when offline; encrypted data are written to each individual wristband and entry portal so RFID chips can be read and updated with access changes at any time, even during network outages.
They will have the ability to assign wristbands to attendees rapidly with Eventbrite Neon, using a single RFID-enabled handheld. This is the same technology that cut wait times from hours to 30 minutes at Anime Expo and is being used at Tough Mudder endurance events.
Lightweight, flexible portals should allow for rapid, real-time addition, removal and re-configuration of entry gates. Self-service fulfilment web-based tracking and order management tools for attendees could reduce the customer support load on organiser staff, both pre-event and on-site.
A wristband activity dashboard will be available on the web and mobile via Eventbrite Neon and include real-time insights to inform onsite operational changes and customised post-event reporting for analysis of all access points and cashless transactions.
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in San Francisco, Eventbrite has processed more than 200 million tickets in 180 countries and has eight offices around the world. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global and T Rowe Price.