We promise this article will be very interesting to read, although it will not discuss personnel or training methods for hostesses (but we will go back to the subject of hostesses one day!). Now, let us focus on tools.
The On-site Service module of CONREGO software brings two important functions:
For the time being, let us go back to the main subject of this article - equipment.
We can choose from a multitude of different pieces of equipment, starting from desktop computers, through all-in-one devices and notebooks, to tablet computers. Let us take a closer look at each one of them.
Desktop computers occupy a lot of space, which means that they seldom look attractive. As for all-in-one computers, they are smaller and neater, but screen sizes of all-in-one computers start from 19.5” – and we will seldom need screen sizes above 15” to handle reception areas. To make things worse, such computers are relatively expensive.
The best possible option is to use relatively cheap notebooks or netbooks, which have one advantage over tablet computers – they have a physical keyboard. Tablet computers have an on-screen touch keyboard, which makes it quite difficult to quickly navigate and search for participants (you will have to look them up manually if no QR codes or barcodes are scanned).
However, it is a good choice to use tablet computers for access control that takes place at entrances to rooms since the mobile nature of tablet computers makes it possible to move around and activate the Access Control module straight away. Consequently, it will not be necessary to use a manual search engine since access control usually requires using only QR codes and/or barcodes.
Notebooks work perfectly in reception areas, which is not only due to their compact dimensions and having a physical keyboard, but also because even the cheapest models have as many as three USB ports. You need to realise that the number of available ports is of paramount importance. Why is that?
What's more, notebooks usually have more capacious batteries, if compared to tablet computers. So, you will not experience any interruptions in the operation of reception areas if there are power failures.
The Motorola LS2208 code reader is a device we have tested in action. This model will meet your expectations if you are looking for a cheap and reliable solution. The reader comes with manufacturer instructions that contain code tables, which will make it easier for you to program the reader to automatically add a tabulator after a scanned code. It is particularly important, as that is exactly the configuration of scanners required by interfaces for the On-site Service module of CONREGO event management software.
Approximate price (Dec 2016): net $50.
If barcodes are not something you like or you’d rather rely on the enhanced functionality offered by CONREGO and resulting from using QR codes (downloading vCards – .vcf files – onto smartphones or redirecting to any URL), then choosing Motorola DS4208 will be a reliable solution.
This scanner of 2D codes costs nearly three times more than the model capable of reading one-dimensional codes. So, you can look for cheaper options if you need to keep your budget in control. However, cheaper readers are not as easy to program as the model we recommend you use. One of our customers bought Datalogic QuickScan QD2430 scanners but the included manufacturer instructions did not explain any method to call the TAB button, and it took significantly longer to configure the reader.
Approximate price (Dec 2016): net $155.
A much cheaper, and in most cases more convenient and modern alternative is using CONREGO Check-In mobile app available in CONREGO All-in-One subscription plan. To use it, you only need a device with Android or iOS and a working camera. Yes, a smartphone will suffice. The app gives you all the features of the On-site Service module with the exception of printer support. Read speed is comparative to that of QR code readers, while a mobile phone takes up much less space and is more handy than a laptop with a code reader.
And the aforementioned conclude our suggestions regarding computers and code readers. The subject of equipment is far from exhausted though! Next week, we will publish another part of this entry, in which we are going to recommend some printer models for organisers who would like to print out ID badges at the reception desk.
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