Accreditation isn't just for top sports teams and large venues. A carefully thought-out accreditation procedure can have a major impact on the efficiency and safety of all live events. So where do you start?
Here are 5 steps to get you on-track.
1. Look at the big picture – what do you want accreditation to achieve?
Accreditation is not just about producing badges. It can automate and simplify labour intensive tasks, it can improve operational efficiency and event security, it will make sure you process data legally, it stops you employing illegal workers and it can save you time and money.
But you need to decide on your priorities as this will affect who needs to be involved, and how the entire process is set-up. Do you need a solution to collect and manage your data more effectively? Is the priority to make the movement of staff around the event more efficient with access controls? Maybe you want to reduce threat levels by doing background checks? Do you want to make the process of accreditation much faster?
Maybe you want to achieve all of these things, but make sure you decide what you want your accreditation procedure to do before you do anything else.
2. Consult all departments affected
Keeping a venue or major event safe is a team effort and your accreditation procedure will need input and buy-in from venue and event managers, security, IT and operations teams. If everyone understands the benefits of a better accreditation process, and knows who is being accrediting and why, it will save everyone a lot of questions further down the line.
3. Map our your access control zones
Visualise your venue. Get a floorplan and map out who needs access. Where do they need to enter? Where do they need to get to? Where should they not be allowed to go? Consider everyone that isn’t a ticket holder - building contractors, catering teams, stewards, security officers, venue staff, cleaners, event organisers, retail outlet staff, volunteers, members of the media and VIP guests.
Use this information to map out your access zones and areas that need controlled entry, and build a list of who needs accrediting and what access permissions they should have.
4. Find a software supplier
Gone are the days of spreadsheets, endless emails and uploading sets of data to a badge printer. To do accreditation effectively and efficiently, you need the right software from a technology company that specialises in accreditation
Here are some things to consider when comparing solutions:
- What do you need the system to do? What functionality do you need?
- What experience do they have of similar projects?
- Is the system cloud-based so you can access it from anywhere, from any device?
- How do they keep data and files secure?
- What level of customer support can you expect? How quickly do they respond to client queries, and what time zones do they operate in?
- Can they integrate with other systems, such as access control, workforce management and security services?
- What do their other clients think? If their clients are happy, they will introduce you
- How long will it take to get the system set-up?
- Do they have a development team that can adapt the platform for your future needs?
- How much will it cost?
5. Build your accreditation team
Find yourself an experienced Accreditation Manager. They need experience, they need to work well under pressure, they need to be a good project manager, and they need to be able to have conversations at a senior level and across all job functions. Many experienced Accreditation Managers operate on a freelance basis as they move from event to event. If you find this to be the case, then consider employing someone on a temporary basis to develop and implement your accreditation procedure, and build a team who can then manage it on a full-time basis in the future.
Now you’ll work hand-in-hand with your technology provider to set the system up to your requirements, get the training you need to use it and get accreditation live.