Guest blog by Natasha Hiller, Chief Operations Officer at Marcato.
So, you've taken the plunge and decided to integrate RFID at your next event.
Now you can sit back and let the technology do the work.
You're life just got easier, and you're about to make a ton of cash, with no effort at all, right?
While RFID technology has the ability to deliver a bounty of benefits to event organisers, like anything in life worth having, it doesn't come easy.
Your work has only just begun. You now need to ensure that each person showing up at your event has an RFID wristband waiting in their name, pre-set with the correct access.
Often this process is managed by back and forth emails between people requesting credentials and the event organizers.
This method is chaotic as emails can be easily forgotten and the threads can go on forever, making it impossible to track who should get what.
You want to find a system that enables you and your whole team to easily see a list of everyone who is requesting credentials. And, you need to be able to make edits in real time.
There are really only two options for doing this.
Shared Excel File
By using an Excel file stored in Google Drive, it enables your whole team to see the full list of people requesting each credential. If managed and organized properly, you should also be able to calculate inventory levels, etc.
This solution seems cheap and easy enough to manage but there are a few shortcomings.
Once you have confirmed your list of guests receiving credentials, letting them know is a manual and tedious process.
It can also be cumbersome to get this data into the RFID system to begin issuing credentials at will call.
Usually, this is done through a one time import and then you need to move over to manually entering things directly into the RFID system moving forward.
Switching the method of entering this data right around show time can cause confusion and lead to mistakes or people being forgotten.
Use a Credential Management System
Although this method isn’t free, the money you can save by implementing a system should more than recoup your cost to purchase it if implemented correctly.
Some of the benefits of a Credential Management System include:
- Ability to easily track and manage inventory levels
- Process internal ticket buys for staff and guests
- Only approved users can approve/decline credentials
- Using permissions, easily delegate the approval/decline process to those in charge of specific areas
- Automatically notify guests/staff of approved credentials by email along with any other pertinent details
- Seamless integration with RFID companies, enabling you to use the same system before, during and after the event—keeping all data centralized
- Store all data regarding catering and assets on the person’s record along with their credential details
- Pre-built reporting
Although having a dedicated system is a preferred option, budgets don’t always allow for this so here are a few questions to keep top of mind no matter which system you go with:
- What policies are put in place to ensure that no one slides into the guest list who shouldn’t be there?
- What is the plan to avoid duplicate entries causing incorrect inventory levels?
- How is the guest list going to get into the system where it will be issued without a lot of manual work?
As long as you have a good plan in place for these questions, you are on track to simplifying your credential management system, and a step closer to a smooth RFID integration.