22 Aug The Big Badge Bodge
… or how to improve first impressions with live badging.
We all know first impressions count. And the first impression at many events is the registration desk, where delegates receive their badge and obtain access to the event. Whereas traditionally all badges are laid out on tables, live badging means printing badges “on demand” for people as they arrive. The impression from both can be very different as portrayed below by two people – the guest and the organiser. Which version do you prefer?
Mary Thurswapp entered the venue and crossed over to the registration desk where she contemplated the hundreds of badges laid out in front of her. They looked like they were in alphabetical order so she wandered across to the T’s but couldn’t find her name.
Meanwhile Carol had just finished giving out her hundredth badge (not that she had time to count of course!) when she noticed someone looking at the large amount of badges still on the desk with a slightly confused look on her face.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
“I’m trying to find my badge,” she replied. “My name’s Mary Thurswapp.”
Carol strained to read the badges upside down as she had done on the previous 100, but couldn’t see this one.
“How do you spell your surname?” she asked.
“T – H – U – R,” Mary began.
“Are you a client or employee?” asked Carol.
“Actually, neither. I am one of your guest speakers.”
“Oh, excuse me! Then your badge will be over here in the VIP section.”
Sound familiar? With all the event technology that goes into registration systems and on site engagement, why is the bit in between them, the registration desk, often still such a manual chore?
So let’s re-imagine this episode with some live badging, shall we?
Mary Thurswapp entered the venue and was guided towards one of several branded touchscreens. She started to type in her surname – “T H U” – and her name appeared instantly. She pressed it to confirm and wandered towards the desk immediately behind the touchscreen kiosk where a printer was whirring and clicking. By the time she got there, her badge, in full colour, was waiting for her.
Meanwhile Carol had just finished giving out her hundredth badge (not that she had time to count of course!) when a lady came towards her as the next badge was emerging from the printer. This one had a purple stripe on it so Carol knew immediately that Mary Thurswapp was a VIP.
“Ms Thurswapp! Welcome to our conference! My colleague here will take you to the Green Room.” she said, gesturing towards her manager.
Now that’s better, isn’t it?
Not only can a system that prints badges on demand make that all important first impression count, but it has add-on benefits:
- No wasted badges – only print badges for people who are actually there
- Badges are printed on both sides and each side can be different
- Speed – a full-colour double-sided badge takes only 4 seconds to print
- Know when your VIPs arrive and deal with them accordingly
- See an up-to-date list of who has and hasn’t arrived
- Know the totals live – at several events they have used our count as a trigger to start the conference.
- No pre-printing at all and any number of badge designs can be created (there were over 20 at one recent event!)
- Actually quicker to print a badge from scratch than look for a printed one when there are more than 50 laid out. (Yes, we have timed it!)
- Space-saving as you don’t need all those tables.
- Time-saving as you don’t have to lay out all those badges the night before.
- More environmentally friendly as our systems prints on thick paper.
- Badges printed on demand can also be Smart Badges as they can include an RFID circuit.