If you don’t have a credentialing process in place it can seem like a daunting task. You might not have the right systems to help eliminate a lot of the administration that comes with it. For you and your team, a well thought out credentialing procedure can have a major impact on the efficiency and safety of your games/events or venue. So where do you start? Here are 6 steps to help you get started.
1. You need to look at the big picture – what do you want credentialing to achieve?
Credentialing is not just about producing badges. It can help you:
- automate and simplify labor-intensive tasks
- improve operational efficiency and game/event security
- ensure you process data legally
- prevent against the insider terrorist threat and stops you from employing illegal workers
- save time and money
You need to decide on your priorities, to get the best out of the situation, as this will affect who needs to be involved and how the entire process is set up. You might need a solution to collect and manage your data more effectively? Your priority might be 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? You might want to gain the efficiencies of speed, where you want to make the process of credentialing much faster?
You can achieve all these things, but make sure you decide what you want your credentialing procedure to do before you do anything else or start looking for a service or technology partner.
2. You should consult all departments affected
For you and your colleagues, keeping a venue or major event safe is a team effort and your credentialing procedure will need input and buy-in from venue and event managers, security, technology, and operations teams. You should get all departments involved – if everyone understands the benefits of a better credentialing process and knows who is being credentialed, and why, it will save everyone a lot of questions further down the line.
3. You should map out your access control zones
Visualize your venue. You should construct a venue plan 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? You should consider everyone that isn’t a ticket holder – building contractors, catering teams, event or game day staff, security workers, venue staff, cleaners, officials, players, event organizers, concession staff, volunteers, members of the media and VIP guests.
You use this information to map out your access zones and areas that need controlled entry and build a list of who needs credentialing and what access permissions they should have.
Think about how you want this information displayed on the badge for quick visual checks but also how this can work with the static or mobile access control solutions.
4. Find a software supplier
Gone are the days of spreadsheets, endless emails and merging sets of data in sequence to get a badge printed or issuing an un-personalized string pass. To do credentialing effectively and efficiently, you need the right software from a technology company that specializes in credentialing.
Here are some things for your team to consider when comparing solutions:
- What do you need the system to do? What functionality do you need?
- Have they got any experience from working on similar projects to yours?
- Is the system cloud-based so you can access it from anywhere, from any device?
- How do they keep your 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 your other systems, such as access control, workforce management and security services?
- Do they have partnerships with other software, consumable, and hardware suppliers?
- What do their other clients think? If their clients are happy, they will welcome the chance for you to talk to them.
- How long will it take to get your system set up?
- Do they have an in-house development team that can adapt the platform for your future needs?
- How much will it cost, and is that cost inclusive? There is nothing worse than being hit with additional extras at each step of the way!
5. Build your credentialing team
Find yourself an owner of the credentialing process. 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 Credentialing 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 temporarily to develop and implement your credentialing procedure and build a team that can then manage it on a full-time basis in the future.
6. Work hand-in-hand with your technology partner
Should you secure a good credentialing solution provider, they will have experience in working across a range of sectors, events and venues and will have a knowledge of how all of these have run their credentialing process. They will know what has worked well across their other clients and will be able to share best practices, you should work hand-in-hand with this technology provider to not just set the system up to your requirements but to gain their insight to make your procedures as robust as possible.
What to know more? Give us a call and we will be more than happy to talk through the credentialing process, and the points above in more detail.