How do you control access of participants to selected zones?

Event organisers often ask me questions, regarding controlling the traffic of participants and their access to selected rooms/zones, during events.

How do you control access of participants to selected zones?

They are aware that CONREGO exists and they also know that the system enables creating ID badges and passes with QR/bar codes. Unfortunately, they do not fully understand how to use the functions provided to improve the process of access control.

It is not always justified to control such aspects, using your registration system. Below, I have presented detailed information, concerning the issue that seems to be less intuitive than expected, in order to make it easier for you to assess the situation.

When is it advisable and justified to apply access control?

Experienced event organisers will easily provide a list of model situations, in which it is necessary to apply access control to guests. It is sometimes applied, if participants have to pay to access particular lectures and we need to verify, whether participants attending a lecture have actually purchased an appropriate package, or when lecture rooms offer only a limited number of seats. When can also have safety in mind – some facilities can only accept a strictly limited number of people, which cannot be exceeded. In the case of a closed zone, it may be necessary to verify the identity of each person that wants to access it. An analysis of the level of guests’ involvement may help you to estimate the level of interest, based on the number of visitors. You will have information about the time each participant spent at an event, if you note down the times they checked in and out of the event. Such information will become priceless, when you decide to organise another event that belongs to the same cycle.

What is the cheap method of launching an efficient access control system?

As far as access control is concerned, the following three basic tools are used most often, as they can handle the technical side of the problem, in a convenient and simple manner:

1. ID badges or passes with bar codes or QR codes

It is an excellent solution, if the registration system we have provides the functionality of creating documents with bar/OR codes automatically assigned to a participant.

2. Notebooks or tablet computers with bar code/QR code readers

Using this type of equipment always increases overall costs, but they can be reduced, if we choose to use cheaper equipment – it will satisfy our needs completely. The amount of our expenses depends on the preferred type of codes. Bar codes require standard barcode readers that will cost up to $100. As far as QR code readers are concerned, the price is twice as much. However, it is worth taking into consideration investing into modern solutions. The advantage offered by 2D (QR) code readers is their improved ability to read codes from screens of mobile devices, including matte screens. Bar code readers are usually incapable of working with smartphones and force organisers to accept paper passes, exclusively.

3. Mobile app that supports reception desk and access control areas

We recommend considering using such an application, as it can be easily supplied with data of participants, or integrate with a registration system. When you choose full integration, you will have immediate access to all reports, thus making your work a lot easier. You only need to download the app, log in using your CONREGO subscription login credentials, and you have access to attendee data and the features of the On-site Service module. CONREGO Check-In app is available in CONREGO All-In-One Subscription Plan.

Tomasz Chrościechowski

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