When looking to run or implement an effective accreditation process, not only do you need a well thought out plan, but you also need to make sure that the plan you have can be delivered by the technology to support that process.
Many accreditation and security professionals will focus on the systems and their capabilities, how they match their requirements, lead time to get up and running, whether the platform can be customised to suit their needs, can the supplier integrate with other technologies, does the supplier have experience of similar events, and how much will it ultimately cost.
As accreditation is deeply rooted in the security of your event or venue, it is equally important to look at the supplier you are choosing and the system. The supplier needs to be one you can trust, below we have pulled out 8 points to consider when selecting an accreditation platform:
1. Process and policy development
Your accreditation provider should be more than just a software company delivering a system to you. Their system should work with the business practices you have in place. That means understanding your policies and processes from an operational standpoint and what you are aiming to achieve with the system.
2. Team structure
If you hire a plumber you expect them to be experts in plumbing, if you hire an electrician you expect them to be a certified electrician. Why should it be any different from your accreditation supplier? They should be experts within this industry. By being experts, they will quickly understand your requirements, suggest recommendations for improvements and suggest a solution that will ultimately meet your needs.
3. Close collaboration
Your accreditation supplier almost needs to become an extension of your team, working in close collaboration with you to ensure the system meets the needs you have set out. They are, after all, responsible for the solution they have been tasked to deliver.
4. Trusted network of suppliers and partners
You place trust in your supplier, trusting they can deliver a system of high quality. If the supplier also provides your badge stock, hardware or on-site staff, they will only be as good as their suppliers and partners. A little research to understand who they use may help you avoid any surprises further down the road.
5. Multi-disciplined team
We mentioned the importance of the supplier being accreditation experts, but they should be experts in other fields too. The delivery of a good accreditation system relies on more than just knowledge of accreditation. There is a need for event, operational, logistic, support, development and project management skills to ensure it is delivered correctly.
6. Flexibility of the staff
Anyone who has worked in the events industry will be acutely aware the demands of an event can change. The shifting requirements mean the supplier needs flexibility within its staff to adapt to the changing needs as they appear.
7. Adaptability to the unknown
Similar to the need to be flexible, they also need to be able to adapt to the unknown. COVID-19 is a perfect example where two years ago the majority of event organisers would not even think about collecting health information as part of the accreditation process. Now it is at the forefront of our minds.
8. Stakeholder management
There are many different stakeholders involved in the accreditation process. Internally you could have the operations team, security department, caterers, senior VPs. Externally you have other suppliers that require integrations with any new accreditation system bought in, like access control. Each of these stakeholders will have different requirements from the system. Your supplier needs to understand this and effectively communicate with each group.
Delivering an accreditation system is a lot more than just providing the software. We live and breathe accreditation, that’s why when we approach a customer, we ensure we work in collaboration with them, understanding fully their requirements, limitations, needs and stakeholders. We will then work with them through the entire delivery process to ensure they receive a solution that is right for their needs regardless of their size, sector or where they are located.