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Event Technology

Should you handle registration and badges on your own, or is it better to engage an external badging company?

Mar 17, 2024 / 2 min read
By: Nicholas Royal, Customer Success
Deciding Between DIY, Renting, or Outsourcing Event Registration and Badging
The fourth and the last article in this blog-post series will tackle the delicate question of whether event organizers should handle event registration and badge issuing on their own, or whether that task should be better outsourced to external, professional companies whose sole focus is event services, badging, and registration.
 
In essence, three scenarios are possible in this regard:
 
  • Event Organizers will handle everything alone, on their own hardware.
  • Event Organizers will handle registration and badging alone but will be renting hardware.
  • Event Organizers will outsource complete registration and badging to professional badgers.

When does it make sense for event organizers to do registration and badging on their own?

 
One thing in advance: Nobody knows the event as well as its organizers. They know the audience, they know the exhibitors, they know the vibe, and they are the most suitable to perform critical tasks. And registration desk management and attendee check-in can definitely be considered critical tasks.
 
However, event organizers usually have limited resources and typically receive reinforcements during the event days through hired staff and external companies. Finding the delicate balance between burdening their own staff and getting hired help is not an easy one to achieve.
 
Usually, it makes sense, and it is possible, for event organizers to manage attendee registration and check-in flow on their own for smaller to mid-sized events. The number of hired staff necessary is manageable, and it is easy for the organizer team to pass their expertise to hired staff and integrate them seamlessly into all processes. Also, the hardware needed for registration is usually affordable and manageable since there isn't too much of it to take care of.
 
This way, event organizers maintain full control over the registration process and ensure personal interaction with the attendees, which adds to the event's flair and welcoming nature. It is especially easy if they use run.events for event registration, event management, and attendee check-in since it is all part of the same software suite, and there is no need for any data export and import between event management and attendee check-in and badge printing systems.
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Renting Hardware with Minimal Staff Support

 

Things become more complex as the event grows. At some point, it will make sense to start renting the equipment since event organizers usually don't otherwise need a large number of tablets, printers, and kiosks throughout the year - they will need them once or twice a year, and the rest of the time, that equipment is just collecting dust. Plus, you can't just leave it lying around: it needs to be stored in a dry space, possibly at room temperatures, and it needs to be checked upon, updated, and maintained a few times a year.
 
Hardware rental prices might strike organizers as high since renting is often almost as expensive as buying the hardware. However, the warehousing and maintenance costs need to be added to the cost of the hardware itself, and if event organizers don't have in-house manpower and expertise to manage that, especially if the hardware is used only sporadically, hardware rental is definitely a viable option.
 
This is where event organizers need to have clear communication with the hardware company about what they really need to get the hardware suitable for their event since the hardware needs to support their software, their badge designs, envisioned check-in flow, and all the other questions that have been discussed in the previous three articles of this blog post series.
 
Ideally, event organizers will simply pass the list of required hardware to the hardware rental company. However, specialized badging agencies usually understand the challenges that event organizers face and will ask all the right questions in order to provide adequate hardware that will support all the scenarios envisioned by the event organizers.
 
In the case of simply renting the hardware, the responsibilities should be clearly defined and communicated: hardware rental companies will usually only take care of shipping logistics and send one or a few technicians to set up and maintain the hardware during the event. They will not be involved in the registration process itself, nor will they make any decisions about the software used for registration. Event organizers will still need to do that on their own, which will probably involve hiring additional staff for the event days to perform the registration tasks, just as if they were doing registration on their own. Again, this is where run.events will simplify their lives, since everything is part of the suite, and no data transfer between various systems is needed whatsoever.

Completely Outsourcing Badging and Registration


There are, however, situations when event organizers will want to completely outsource registration and badging tasks to an external supplier. This is usually the case with large-scale or high-profile events, where the volume and flow of attendees demand professional handling. In this case, the responsibility for hardware and registration desk staff is completely passed to the badgers, and event organizers can focus on other aspects of event organization.
 
However, even in this scenario, event organizers will need to pass some crucial information to the badgers: how many attendees are expected, what kind of badges they should have, and which software has been used for event registration, and whether that software also has attendee check-in capabilities.
 
Event organizers who are using run.events have a clear advantage here: they simply need to communicate to the badgers the attendee numbers and badge designs, and badging companies can simply download the run.events Kiosk app from the Microsoft Store and prepare their hardware for check-in within minutes. There is no data export and import between systems needed at any point in time.
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Recap
In wrapping up this series, we've discussed the decisions event organizers must make regarding registration and badging, balancing between in-house management, hardware rental, and full outsourcing. The choice hinges on the event's scale, the team's expertise, and the desired attendee experience. For smaller events, in-house management using tools like run.events allows for a personal touch and control, maintaining the event's unique character. As events grow, renting hardware becomes a practical middle ground, necessitating clear communication with rental providers to ensure equipment meets specific event needs. However, large-scale events might necessitate full outsourcing, offloading the logistical burden to experts and allowing organizers to concentrate on broader event aspects. Regardless of the chosen path, using run.events will streamline processes, enhancing efficiency and ensuring a good attendee experience. Ultimately, the decision should align with the event's goals, ensuring registration and badging complement the overall vision and success of the event.