I’d love to be able to tell you that organising an event is a stress-free and enjoyable endeavour. However, the truth is it’s a lot of hard work and there’ll always be something that doesn’t go to plan.
I have worked at IDentilam and in the events industry for a while now – 10 years in fact. During this time, I’ve witnessed good, bad and disastrous examples of event badging. I’ve also seen technology being used in increasingly innovative ways.
I’m not just talking gadgets like electronic business cards. From online tools to radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards, technology can make your job easier in many ways.
Making good use of the web
When talking about technology, it’s almost impossible not to mention the internet. This modern marvel has revolutionized pretty much every industry – and event badging is certainly no exception. However, I still see businesses use outdated and time-consuming methods when far easier alternatives are available.
An obvious example of how the web can make event badging simpler is online registration. Not only is it quick and easy for delegates to apply to attend, you as the organiser can immediately see who’s registered and when. It is also ideal for multi-site organisations or events as the database can be managed remotely.
Keeping a close eye on delegates
Technology can also be used to capture useful data. Track attendance, assign access rights to specific areas or seminars, manage session bookings by delegate type or even track delegates’ whereabouts in real time.
All this is possible by assigning each delegate a unique identifier (or IUD). This can be encoded onto their badge in the form of a barcode or RFID. At the event, barcode readers or RFID scanners are used to scan the badges and feed the information into the database. During and after the event, reports can be produced and attendees analysed by day, event, business and so on.
Going beyond paper printouts
Conference badges don’t have to be paper printouts stuffed into plastic wallets. Not only is this extremely time-consuming, it’s not a particularly secure way of managing delegates. The answer is to produce plastic credit card-sized badges. These can be produced beforehand, ready to hand out on the day.
A common problem at paid-for events is delegates purchasing one badge then passing it around for their colleagues to use. By simply adding a photograph, the problem is solved immediately. Thankfully, the right kit is available for pictures to be taken and a badge printed in under a minute.
It’s not just photographs that can be added to badges to reduce the risk of forgery. Holofoils, holographic overlays, fine line security printing and UV inks can all be added to make counterfeiting badges tough.
Of course, technology can be used to make your event amazing too – everything from interactive displays and high-tech sound systems to electronic bidding for silent auctions. However, badging is an important part of event organisation. By ensuring you have an efficient badging system in place, you’re free to concentrate on more time-consuming tasks on the day.