Is Facial Recognition Right for Your Event?

Using facial recognition technology

As event participants demand faster, interactive, and engaging experiences at their conferences and meetings, facial recognition seems like an easy way to meet their needs. A survey of 90 planner attendees conducted by James Morgan, Event Tech Lab Founder, showed that facial recognition is one of the biggest drivers of 2019 tech spending for event management.

This blog will highlight how meeting planners are currently taking advantage of facial recognition, the available apps, how it benefits attendees and organizers alike, and the risk associated with this technology.

Everyday Facial Recognition Uses

Facial Recognition is commonly used today via:

  • Face ID for iPhones to keep your device secure
  • FaceNet by Google for developers to easily create apps
  • Proprietary airport applications to keep terrorists at bay
  • Buying groceries at Whole Food Amazon Go stores
  • Law enforcement to scan crowds for wanted criminals

Facial Recognition for Event Planners

Event organizers commonly use facial recognition applications for 5 main reasons:

  • Registration
  • Event check-in using self service kiosk rentals
  • Session tracking
  • Emotional sentiment
  • Security

Security camera rentals identifying attendees via facial recognition software

Facial Recognition Event Apps

Meeting planners have used one or more the five apps listed below at a variety of events over the last eighteen months:

  1. Registration, security, session tracking, and event check-in with fielddrive
    In partnership with Zenus Biometrics, they have developed a facial recognition check-in specifically for the events sector. Attendees check-in while their full-color badges are printed instantaneously. This ensures a fast and secure experience for all. fielddrive works with most registration platforms (i.e., Eventbrite, EventMobi).
  2. Registration, security, session tracking, and event check-in with Expo Logic
    Cameras at kiosks and registration desks scan attendee faces upon arrival and print their badges in just a few seconds.
  3. Security with NeoFace Watch
    It’s specifically designed to integrate with existing surveillance systems by extracting faces from video surveillance systems and matching against a watch list of individuals. When the system identifies an individual of interest, it raises an alert.
  4. Security with NeoFace Reveal
    It is a latent face workstation that reduces investigation time for cases that contain facial video evidence. It allows rapid processing of facial evidence coupled with its ability to generate persons of interest list immediately after an incident or crime has taken place.
  5. Security with Gemalto
    Gemalto Cogent Live Face Identification System is a video-based facial recognition system that automatically recognizes faces in a crowd– even in dynamic, uncontrolled environments– and sends real-time alerts. The system can be integrated into a wide range of video equipment. Advanced algorithms increase the accuracy of matches.

Facial recognition via tablet rental

Pros and Cons of Facial Recognition Software


  • It is at least 50% faster than traditional methods, ensuring check-in times as speedy as 8 seconds. With significant events, long lines and the ability to simultaneously check-in individuals, has been a concern for event attendees for many years.
  • According to each vendor, biometric data is encrypted, and no photos stored at any stage, make the apps fully secure and GDPR compliant.
  • It is the only method which allows for “blacklisting” of certain people, i.e., unwanted competitors and troublemakers. Even if they register under a false name, they will be recognized and barred.
  • Creation of “Watch Lists” the detection of VIPs and undesirable persons on premises on a real-time basis. Police and security detail can receive these alerts on their mobile devices when someone is recognized.
  • Accurate capture– supports multiple faces per frame, multiple frames per second speed, and numerous resolutions for a 99% accuracy rate.
  • Enhancement of poor-quality latent face images for comparison to law enforcement mugshot repositories
  • For individual sessions, the app can quickly scan movement in and out of each talk.
  • Facial analysis is used to understand attendees’ emotions, telling if a person is bored or excited about what the speaker is saying. This gives direct, unbiased information to event organizers.


  • Depending on the event type, there is a wide disparity of facial recognition acceptance (20-70 percent). When asked, attendees cited their concerns about the protection of their data.
  • The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s biometric data, which included photo IDs and fingerprints was hacked into recently due to lax regulations and weak government oversight, according to Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst.
  • If there are many entries and exit points to your event, this technology may not be ideal. It may give you and law enforcement a false sense of security. However, this can be remedied by limiting the number of ways attendees can get in and out of your event.

Facial Recognition At Your Event

Kiosk Rentals: A kiosk rental allows you to take an iPad or other tablet rental to the next level, with more functionality and greater durability. Tablet kiosks for ideal for event check-ins with facial recognition and can be paired with badge-printing equipment. However, the benefits to using kiosk rentals doesn’t stop there. From product demonstrations, to serving as a place to showcase interactive event engagement software, to branding opportunities — kiosk rentals are becoming increasingly popular. You can even pair them with charging stations and lockers or many other branded products available for rental to help create a truly unique brand experience.

iPhone and iPad RentalsUsing some of the applications we’ve mentioned in this article, iPhone and iPad rentals can be paired with kiosks to use for a variety of facial recognition applications.

Security Camera RentalsIf you are hosting a temporary event, there is no better way to ensure the security of your event guests, staff and valuable equipment than a security system rental. Our technicians can install a temporary security camera system for your site or event and set it up to optimally view all important areas of your event. A security camera rental can help extend the range and abilities of a physical security team at large events to keep things running smoothly.

While Facial Recognition apps have some holes, there is no doubt they can be of great use in a significant event. They can make check-ins smoother, measure metrics regarding attendee engagement, and keep the event safer for all involved.

We offer more than just great kiosk rentals. We also have a full host of services to help make any event memorable and hassle-free. With our event engagement services, you’ll get the full power of our team to create an experience specifically for your convention. Request a quote today!

Tech Travel Agent Mark Gillaugh with Tech Travel Agent Mark

Are you thinking about renting an iPhone or iPad kiosk to use with facial recognition software? Tech Travel Agent Mark Gillaugh specializes in kiosks rentals, smartphone rentals, tablet rentals and much more. Mark will handle any questions you have about kiosks, tablets, smartphones, and the use of facial recognition applications. Contact Mark today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 249 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form.


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