Self-service badging and no postage costs with Dorothy and Little Dorrit, our e-ticket systems!
The major advance in registration recently is e-ticketing. Whereas in the past you would have sent a physical badge to those who register, now you can just send an email. You save stationery, handling and postage costs, and you can promote the event by sending e-tickets to people who do not register.
QRS’s approach to e-ticketing is special: we have designed and built the only badging kiosk designed specifically for the exhibition industry. It’s called Dorothy, and she's just been joined by a more compact sister, Little Dorrit.
Dorothy and Little Dorrit print in colour. This means Dorothy and Little Dorrit can do more, and save you money at the same time. For example
- Visitors, exhibitors, delegates, press get badges with appropriately coloured strips. No need for coloured badge-holders, lanyards etc. to distinguish them, and no need for staff to ensure they get the right colour.
- No need for any pre-printed stationery at all. The show logo is printed in colour at the same time as we print the badge. (That also means that a single Dorothy or Little Dorrit can serve two or more co-located shows, and always dispense the right badge for the show registered for.)
- Dorothy and Little Dorrit can dispense more than just one badge. They can also dispense dinner tickets, food tokens, prize tokens, car-park passes etc... Dorothy and Little Dorrit get it right, giving just the right tokens to each person.
- What we send is a barcode (rather than a reference number). Keying a number is slow compared to reading a barcode (as we all experience when it happens in the check-out queue). That’s the reason why BA, Easyjet etc. also send barcodes.
- The emailshots associated with Dorothy and Little Dorrit are free, so you can auto-register people at no cost.
- Dorothy and Little Dorrit can be programmed to replace zappers. You can save on staff and barcode readers recording cross-overs and re-entries.
- Dorothy and Little Dorrit are designed specifically for the trade-show industry. Their design means that they read barcodes extremely reliably, even if poorly printed and crumpled. Dorothy also disassembles for transport.
We began sending e-tickets during the postal strikes of 2007, and we have now built enough experience to know that the reservations that organisers may have about an all e-ticket approach are groundless.
- Surely people are more likely to come if they have a real, tangible badge in their hand, rather than just an email in their in-box?
No. Data analysis shows that the proportion of registrants who attend remains the same (usually at 50%).
- Will people remember to bring an email?
Yes, mostly. Of the pre-registered who attend a show and who were sent a badge or e-ticket, 80% bring it whichever it was.
- What if they forget?
They go to one of the registration terminals, just as if they had forgotten to bring a physical badge
- What if the barcode is poorly printed?
Dorothy and Little Dorrit contain a powerful supermarket-style omni-directional scanner. They can read really poor barcodes, but if all else fails one of the registration terminals can look the visitor up and print a badge
- Can I print a second copy of my e-ticket and give it to a friend?
Dorothies and Little Dorrits are networked, and any attempt to read the same e-ticket twice will be rejected
- Can I make do with fewer registration terminals?
No. Dorothy and Little Dorrit deal only with people who bring an e-ticket, and would previously have brought a badge. The walk-ins and the forgot-my-badges need to go to the registration terminals as usual.
- Will e-ticketing save me money?
Almost certainly. You need the Dorothies or Little Dorrits on site, but you do not need badge stationery (either for mailing, or on site), and above all you save on postage.