Event Technology

Your Business Case Should Determine Hardware for Self-Service Check-In Kiosks and Event Badge Printers

Feb 07, 2024 / 2 min read
By: Adis Jugo, President at run.events
Requirements you place on the self-service check-in process and your budget should should determine which hardware you will opt for regardless of whether you are buying or renting it.
In our previous blog post about choosing the right hardware for self-service check-in kiosks, we discussed the main requirements you place on the self-service check-in process and what your budget is for the hardware, regardless of whether you buy or rent devices.

The combination of answers to those questions will pretty much determine what kind of setup you will employ for self-service registration, and what you need to purchase or rent. If you use run.events in combination with color printers, such as Epson CW C-3500, Swiftcolor SCC-4000D, or Canon CX-G6400, it will print your badges in the design associated with the attendee type. This way, your sponsors, speakers, and VIP attendees can have different badge colors and badge designs than your regular attendees. On the opposite end, thermal printers such as the Zebra, Brother, or Dymo models can only print in black color, and you cannot switch the paper cassettes with different pre-printed badge designs between prints in timely manner, which effectively means that all the badges that come out from one device will necessarily have the same design. Of course, run.events enables you to include the attendee type in the data that you are printing on your badges, so you can print "ATTENDEE", "EXHIBITOR", or "VIP" in large, easily visible font, but even with that the badge design will essentially remain the same.
Epson

By utilizing run.events with the Epson ColorWorks CW 3500 badge printer and Expo Badge fan-fold paper, event organizers can eliminate dependency on external badge printing providers, thereby reducing their costs by thousands of Euros, Dollars, or Pounds.

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Let's now briefly discuss three different registration flows you can opt for, based on your answers above:

 

  1. You want to employ self-service check-in kiosks, your attendees will have different badge colors and badge designs (e.g., green for regular attendees, orange for exhibitors, and gold for VIP), and you want all types of your attendees to be able to use any kiosk you set up.

    • You will need to use one of the ink-jet color printer options, either Epson CW C-3500 printers with fan-fold paper, or Swiftcolor or Canon printers using high-density paper or even plastic. This is the most expensive option but is also by far the most flexible. In this use case, run.events would know which type of badge to print for each attendee that approaches the self-service station, based on the attendee's ticket and QR code printed on that ticket, and each attendee could go to any self-service station (there would be no separate self-service stations for different kinds of attendees).
       

  2. You want to employ self-service check-in kiosks, your attendees will have different badge colors and badge designs (e.g., green for regular attendees, orange for exhibitors, and gold for VIP), and each attendee will need to go to specially designated check-in kiosks or even check-in areas based on their attendee type.

    • Your attendees will need to know which self-service kiosk to go to, so there is a lot of explaining work for you to do in this scenario. You can use thermal printers here, either the budget-friendly Zebra, Brother, and Dymo options, or more premium-like Zebra ZD621 printers. Badge templates would have to be pre-printed, either by a regular print shop in the case of budget options or by specialized print shops in the case of fan-fold badges and Zebra ZD621 printers. If you have more than two, at most three different badge types/badge designs, this option is highly impractical because the majority of your attendees will be confused by the complexity of the setup and searching which kiosk they should use.

  3. Your attendees can go to any self-service kiosk, but you use black and white thermal printers. All attendee badges would basically look the same, but you can use a large font to print the category name that attendee belongs to (Attendee, Exhibitor, VIP...).

    • Your attendees can use any self-service kiosk, so there isn't much explaining work for you to do. Like in the option above, you can also use thermal printers here, either the budget-friendly label-sticker options or more premium Zebra ZD621 printers for fan-fold badges. Badge templates would have to be pre-printed, either by a regular print shop in the case of budget options or by specialized print shops in the case of fan-fold badges and Zebra ZD621 printers. If you go for the budget-friendly options, opt for larger-size labels, so you have enough space to include the attendee's name, company, QR code, and the attendee type in a large font (see paper options for Brother printers here, and for Dymo printers here).