Why you should stop printing badges

Feb 3, 2020

In the second of a series of articles, David Preston of Realise joins Sprintr for a review of the future of event registration. 

This article first appeared on Conference News

There are words which hang around for various reasons, long after their origins have been forgotten.

Why do we still refer to the badge collection element for events as ‘registration’? When you arrive at the airport you are ‘checking in’, not ‘buying your ticket’ – that element of the process is completed earlier. This is merely ‘check in.’

It’s still too common to find old-fashioned processes throughout that check-in process; why is it some companies insist on pre-printing badges and then lining them up on trestle tables?

There is nothing beneficial about it. It consumes space, ties up staff, looks a mess and offers very little in the way of security validation.

It can also be extremely disheartening when your event starts but there is still a mountain of uncollected badges. That also conflicts with any notion of sustainability.

The problem of pre-printing is exacerbated when the badge then becomes festooned with the various additions such as a metallic logo or event sticker and then various labels like ‘speaker,’ ‘press’, and ‘VIP’.

Of course, none of that is necessary. Onsite it’s fair to say you can segment your visitors into the 90% who are competent at managing their own lives and who can operate a self-badging kiosk, from the 10% who might well need help.

So, use your resources accordingly. Sprintr provides self-service kiosks which enhance, rather than diminish the visitor experience.

It’s also safe to assume that a generation brought up on technology can be trusted with the use of QI codes, facial recognition and even the ability to correctly amend the names. Trust them and give them the ability to plot their own route through your event.

They’ll thank you for it.