Dorothy demonstrates the benefits of e-ticketing
We recently registered AppsWorld at Olympia 2, a show for Apps developers. Many of them brought their e-tickets on their iPhones and iPads, and were delighted to find that Dorothy read them faultlessly.
We had similar success at Landlord & Buy to Let Show at the NEC in November. At that show there was a charge to come in, waived if you pre-registered. However, registration remained open during the show, so some visitors registered from the foyer on their Blackberries and received an e-ticket in return, then immediately presented it to Dorothy on the Blackberry and received a badge.
Dorothy in high demand
Dorothy’s popularity continues to grow as more and more exhibition and event organisers are choosing the friendly e-ticketing kiosk from QRS to improve exhibition registration. But what is it that makes Dorothy so special? Dorothy is the only self-service terminal in the industry that reads 1D and 2D barcodes and prints badges in full colour. Quick, versatile and accurate, Dorothy is sure to impress with single or multiple badges, tokens and vouchers as applicable.
And it’s not just hearsay, last month alone QRS registered Sign & Digital, Optometry Tomorrow, Sustainability Live, Toolfair and Kent 2020 Vision. Alan Caddick, Faversham House Group Marketing Manager said, "QRS has once again done a very professional job and helped us to deliver a successful Sign & Digital UK 2010. All the preparations during the lead up to the show and onsite have been smooth sailing. The team are easy to get on with and very helpful. I look forward to working with QRS again in the near future."
So no matter what the challenge in event registration, QRS claim to have a cost-effective solution. Sustainability Live had more visitors than expected, but QRS managed to deal with demand on registration effectively and efficiently. At Optometry Tomorrow QRS successfully scanned people in and out of multiple streams seminars, which ensured that those who left early didn't unfairly receive points required to get certified optometry accreditations.
Even at short notice QRS will rise to the occasion and do everything they can to help. With just 18 hours notice before the show opened, the team travelled over night in order to be onsite by 6:30am the next day ready to register Kent 2020 Vision. The client said, “We are very impressed with the level of service we have received from QRS and would highly recommend them.”
This month the busy schedule continues and QRS is registering Liftex, Mechanex, GreenBuild, Speech TEK, and The Big Show.
How green can you get?
It’s been a busy couple of months for QRS with Dorothy in high demand to make event check-in easier, quicker and more cost efficient.
Dorothy, the friendly e-ticketing kiosk, was officially launched at last year’s Sign & Digital and has come a long way in one year. This year’s Sign and Digital needed eight Dorothies covering two entrances at the NEC. All visitor registration was done online with e-tickets – nothing was posted. On-line registration remained open throughout the event.
So far, so straightforward – but how does it work? If I register online, then go to a kiosk to collect my badge, how can the kiosk I choose know all my details instantly? The old fashioned approach is to network all the kiosks at both entrances to a server with access to the internet. But both the networking and the internet access can be expensive to provide. And, if your internet connection goes down, so does the badging service.
QRS has brought a fresh approach to the problem, and come up with a neat way of sidestepping it completely. Using 2D barcode technology the e-ticket itself contains everything Dorothy needs to print the badge, without access to networks or the internet.
And that e-ticket does not have to be printed out – it can be presented on a mobile phone instead. That means there’s nothing to print but the badge itself, perhaps the final step to paperless registration. At Sign and Digital we saw increasing numbers of visitors using their phones in this way.
2D barcodes were also successful at keeping visitor registration open throughout the Landlord and Buy to Let Show in London. Oliver Romain, Managing Director of Accession, said "We have used Quality Registration Services Ltd for several events and have been impressed with the work of David Harington and his team. We were especially impressed with the customer service in relation to name badge scanner hire and received several compliments from our exhibitors."
Dorothy and the QRS team received similar praise from the Best of Britain and Ireland Show. Marketing Manager Melissa Saunders said to David Harington, “Your team has been fantastic and made my life much easier with your experience and professionalism. The on-site team were superb and made it all happen for us with little need for support from us.”
How do you count the visitors who come back into an event on a second day? The conventional answer is to stop everyone coming in, and read their badges with a barcode reader (a zapper). But that takes zappers and it takes staff; and visitors object to being repeatedly scanned as they go in and out. At the Hard Landscaping and World of Paving Show lateral thinking from QRS saved the client money and the visitors hassle. Dorothy printed all of the day one visitors’ badges in one colour and day two visitor badges in another. Security staff directed visitors returning on day two, with a day one coloured badge to Dorothy. There, the day one barcoded badge was scanned and a day two badge was printed in exchange – and the re-attendance recorded.
All in a day’s work for the QRS team.
Reliable visitor registration where you don’t have the web
Connecting to the internet at exhibition venues can be costly. Worse, it can be unreliable – even at the most established ones. This means that registration systems based on internet access are vulnerable.
And yet visitors expect to be able to pre-register on-line, go straight to the event, and to go in without giving their details again. How does that information reach the registration terminals reliably?
QRS now offers a convenient, cost effective and simple way. Visitors register when they like online: the e-ticket they get in response includes a 2D barcode. The 2D barcode contains their full contact details including name, company name and registration number – so it works without reference to the internet. When they arrive at the exhibition they hand their e-ticket to Dorothy, the friendly e-ticketing kiosk, and get an instant badge. It’s that easy!
This approach means that exhibition pre-registration can stay open throughout an event without reference to the web. More visitors registering before they arrive means fewer registering on site – and that cuts down the queues, and speeds everyone’s entry into the event.
Initial concerns that the 2D barcodes printed by the visitors might be read less reliably than conventional barcodes have proved groundless: experience already shows that Dorothy reads them very reliably.
Long established, QRS offers a complete registration service for trade shows; as well as Dorothy terminals. QRS specialises in making event registration quicker and easier for the visitor, and, for the organiser, more cost-effective.
Dorothy registers exhibition visitors speedily in 2009
Constant investment in innovation and a value-driven approach to pricing coupled with QRS’s 13 years’ experience as a visitor registration provider, promised that Dorothy was set to make event check-in even easier, quicker and more cost efficient. Dorothy was officially launched at this year’s Sign & Digital (28th-30th April, NEC) and has since been to 25 shows. The question is did Dorothy live up to expectations?
For those who may have missed it, Dorothy is the only self-service e-ticketing terminal in the industry that reads barcodes and prints in colour. Developed by QRS, the name Dorothy can conjure images of red shoes skipping down a yellow road with all the time in the world; but not this Dorothy. Standing 160cm tall with an air of confidence, this Dorothy is fast, efficient and environmentally superior to other exhibition registration systems. Dorothy can also print multiple badges, car-park tokens, seminar tickets, lunch vouchers and even lucky-winner tokens – all in full colour, as appropriate for each visitor.
David Harington, Managing Director at QRS says, “e-ticketing is definitely here to stay. Gone are the days when exhibition registration involved large quantities of paper and huge postage bills for pre and post show mailings with the inevitable impact on carbon footprint. Organisers can now reduce the show’s environmental impact by sending emails (‘e-tickets’) in place of physical badges.”
QRS were at DVD 2009, which used 10 Dorothies with no visitor badges mailed. Harington describes the visitors’ experience, “The registration process was quite spectacular. Visitors arrived in 56-seater busloads and were set down about 12 yards from the Dorothies – bunching like a registration company’s worst nightmare. The Dorothies performed flawlessly, and processed each busload in literally a couple of minutes. The visitors were mightily delighted, and said so.”
Carolyn Blakely, Marketing Manager for HEVAR, also sings Dorothy’s praises, “After seeing ‘Dorothies’ in action at another Faversham House Group exhibition, I decided to try the system at the HEVAR event. Having Dorothy in the registration area was invaluable; visitors found it easy to use and it sped up the registration process.”
Harington added, “On day 1 of HEVAR the organiser looked at the number of visitors waiting at registration and gloomily assumed that attendance was down. The facts were more cheerful: attendance was significantly up – the visitors were simply passing through faster.”
Dorothy exceeded expectation and performed flawlessly in its first year; proving that speed, efficiency and flexibility really can be combined for the benefit of organisers and visitors alike.
Dorothy is a Success at London HEVAR
At the recent London HEVAR event for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industry, organisers Faversham House Group (FHG) utilised Dorothy, the personable QRS e-ticketing kiosk, to register visitors speedily.
Carolyn Blakely, Marketing Manager for HEVAR, said “After seeing ‘Dorothies’ in action at another Faversham House Group exhibition, I decided to try the system at the HEVAR event. Having a Dorothy in the registration area was invaluable; visitors found it easy to use and it sped up the registration process.”
Dorothy is the only badging kiosk that prints in colour, this not only means that it can colour code different visitor categories, but that it can also dispense more than just a badge.
Dorothy’s colour printing ability came into its own at the HEVAR show. FHG rewarded pre-registered visitors with a bacon roll and one exhibitor offered a bottle of wine to every tenth visitor.
David Harington, QRS Managing Director comments, “In previous years visitor entry was slowed down as visitors’ entitlements were checked, and the appropriate vouchers given. This time, Dorothy automatically dispensed the vouchers for bacon rolls and wine, at the same time as printing the visitor’s badge. Vouchers were printed in colour, on plain stationery, ensuring the design of each of the vouchers was not constrained.”
David added, “And it worked. I’m pleased to say that on day 1 of HEVAR the organiser looked at the number of visitors waiting at registration and assumed that attendance was down. In fact attendance was significantly up – the visitors were simply passing through faster.”
The Team Behind Dorothy
You’d expect the team that named its new self-service exhibition registration terminal ‘Dorothy’, to be slightly off the wall or mad about Oz. Neither is true. In fact, the QRS team behind Dorothy has been a fore-runner in the exhibition registration industry for 13 years and, having worked hard for many months to come up with a kiosk that fulfilled the need for a fast and efficient self-service terminal that reads barcodes, the team became quite attached to the kiosk and so gave it a personable name.
Managing Director, David Harington, said, “We have always prided ourselves on the inventive approach we take to shows that have special registration requirements and everything we do is focussed on what each individual organiser actually needs. We are a dedicated and friendly team and it only felt right that our new kiosk should have a personality too. Pilot shows have run with Dorothy over the last few months and the name is already becoming known in the industry.”
QRS was established by Harington in 1996 to provide visitor registration services at trade shows and since then the team has registered over 500 shows in Europe, the USA and the Far East. Harington’s background is mainly in computing, from software development to international sales to the advanced mathematics of bingo tickets. But in ‘96 he saw the need for reliable, cost-effective, computer-based visitor registration services at trade shows, and so set up QRS to fill the gap. This attitude of fulfilling needs within the industry has been sustained with continuous investment in new product development.
Harington continued, “The QRS team is made up of IT Manager Ben Wheal, Customer Support Programmer Marc Davies, On-Site Managers David Newman and Barbara Forrester, web-based registration support from Jonathan Baylis, Accounts Manager Fiona Jeffries, Project Controller Rachel Coker and Business Development Manager Colin Bruton. Together they ensure that QRS stays one step ahead of the competition while providing outstanding value for money.”
"Dorothy – It's Quick!"
Long established visitor registration provider, QRS, will officially launch its personable e-ticketing kiosk, memorably named Dorothy, at Sign & Digital (28th-30th June, NEC). A name that usually conjures images of red shoes skipping down a yellow road with all the time in the world; but not this Dorothy. Standing 160cm tall with an air of confidence, this Dorothy is fast, efficient and impressively versatile.
Says David Harington, Managing Director at QRS, “Gone are the days when exhibition registration involved large quantities of stationery and expensive postage bills. e-ticketing is here to stay. Organisers can save cash and the planet by sending emails (‘e-tickets’) in place of physical badges.”
He continued, “But when visitors arrive at the event they need a quick way of getting their badge – and that’s when you need a kiosk. We found that no existing kiosks met the exhibition industry’s needs, so we set out to make one. We worked with Brunel University’s world-leading School of Engineering and Design to produce Dorothy.”
What makes Dorothy stand out from the crowd? Dorothy is the only self-service terminal in the industry that reads barcodes.
“Check-in at a trade show is a bit like check-out at a supermarket,” says Harington, “and you wouldn’t operate a check-out without barcodes. That’s why with Dorothy you don’t have to key in any codes. You just present the barcode we’ve sent you by email, and your badge is printed.”
In pre-launch shows visitors remarked on Dorothy’s speed – not surprising considering it only takes a few seconds to read the barcode and print the badge.”
Dorothy can also print multiple badges, car-park tokens, seminar tickets, lunch vouchers and even lucky-winner tokens – all in full colour, as appropriate for each visitor. And unlike other kiosks, Dorothy is foldable for easy installation and transport helping the drive to reduce costs and cut carbon emissions.
Coupled with QRS’s 13 years’ experience, constant investment in innovation and value-driven approach to pricing; Dorothy is set to make event check-in even easier, quicker and more cost efficient.
Dorothy picks a winner!
Dorothy is versatile – she can do more than just print a badge for each person who brings an e-ticket. She can print other things too: multiple badges, badges valid only on particular days and so on. The response can be tailored to the individual.
The first application will come at Sign & Digital (28 – 30 April, NEC), where one lucky visitor each day will win a pair of Grand Prix tickets. When they present their e-ticket to Dorothy she will print first a lucky winner token, then the badge in the usual way.
Dorothy – to see her is to love her!
Dorothy was used very successfully at Bubble (children’s designer-wear, Olympia, 2 – 3 July 2008), where no physical badges at all were mailed. We received the usual very positive comments from the visitors and the show organiser. Not only that, another clothes show organiser, IDEX Media who organise Offprice (Olympia, 21 – 22 September 2008), came to the show and decided to use Dorothy for their Autumn shows on the strength of their experience of the e-ticketing system.