The launch this week of Bizzabo’s SmartBadge technology, branded as Klik Experiential wearables, is the next step in delivering virtual meeting-level data at in-person events. More robust tracking can more meaningfully bring events into the marketing funnel securely and sustainably.

“As in-person events gain momentum, attendee expectations are higher than ever. On-site check-in should be painless. Sessions should be easily accessible. Content should be simple to download. Exhibitor interactions should be effortless. Sustainability should be a demonstrated priority,” said Eran Ben-Shushan, CEO and co-founder of Bizzabo, in a written statement.

Smart Meetings looked at the range of ways meeting professionals are elevating the productivity of the humble name badge.

For the Love of Lanyards

IMEX Group worked with pc/nametag to manage registration for the 12,000 attendees who descended on Las Vegas for IMEX America in October. Delegates were encouraged to print their paper badges at home and pick up a lanyard and sleeve on-site. Some on-demand printing was available.

Badges included QR codes that were scanned as attendees accessed the show floor and education sessions, helping organizers understand what was popular based on actual behavior. Exhibitors could use a badge scanner to make lead retrieval easier, a big step up from collecting business cards.

Read MoreIMEX22 Welcomed Record Number of Attendees

Event technology company CadmiumCD built lead retrieval into its conference website technology, allowing attendee-to-attendee networking, downloading of speaker presentations and badge scanning using an existing Android or iOS phone.

Stova‘s badge technology (formerly MeetingPlay + Aventri + eventcore) is compatible with QR code and near-field communication (NFC) technology accessed through iPhone or android devices or rented readers. The information can be loaded directly into CRMs, such as Salesforce, HubSpot and Marketo.

Cvent offers badge scanning using handheld devices, Tap-N-Go DIY solutions and passive RFID tracking, depending on budget and goals.

Bizzabo’s Klik Experiential wearable integrates into the company’s registration, check-in and lead-retrieval data flow to capture behavioral data.

Attendee Benefits

Access: Technology-enabled name tags could allow attendees to touch badges or click a button to exchange contact information, download speaker presentations and check-in on site. Bizzabo’s OneKlik Touchpoint eliminates the need for standard URLs or shipping and printing.

Interactivity: Bizzabo’s Audience Lights feature remotely lights up attendee SmartBadges to heighten engagement in large sessions or use customized colors for defined groups, such as attendee types.

Automatic Credits: By checking in for a session, attendees can get credited with CEUs to meet educational requirements without the hassle of signing in or uploading after the fact.

Security: Since personal information isn’t stored on the SmartBadge, Ben-Shushan explained that data privacy is built in, as a lost or stolen badge can’t be mined for cybercrime.

Read MoreNew U.S. Privacy Laws Will Give More Power to Meeting Attendees

Organizer/Sponsor Benefits

Real-time Data: Exhibitors can capture, access and use simplified, robust lead retrieval through seamless interactions. Digital heatmaps allow organizers to visualize attendee engagement in near real-time on event dashboards to better identify popular sessions and exhibitors.

“Event organizers can capture unparalleled attendee behavioral data through passive tracking and streamline session management, leveraging data to make decisions about and activate in-the-moment adjustments,” said Ben-Shushan.

Gamification: Touchpoints, session attendance or Klik networking can enhance experiences and provide increased opportunities for branded sponsorship. Rewarding attendees for desired behaviors can increase interaction with sponsors and messaging.

Access Control: Session attendance can be managed based on ticket level or attendee type.

Analytics: Customized dashboards can give organizers and exhibitors meaningful windows into leads during and after the event.

Environmental Benefits

Reduced Paper: Delivering content digitally eliminates unnecessary paper items and shipping. The SmartBadge is also reusable, allowing organizers to return badges to Bizzabo to be reset and recycled as needed.

“Marketers discovered the value of detailed, real-time data insights when they pivoted to virtual events,” Ben-Shushan said. “With the introduction of Klik Experiential, we’re inviting organizers to build on what they learned from virtual events to make the new era of in-person events even brighter. Just because in-person events are back doesn’t mean the data is gone.”