Accreditation: A Simple First Impression – Nigel Rushman

By iSportconnect | May 29, 2014

What is the first thing you do if you are working on or at a Major Event? Well apart from applying for your accreditation prior, the very first thing you do when you arrive is collect your accreditation pass. Without it you are going nowhere.

However seasoned an operator you are – you still need that pass and there are many who feel a level of anxiety, often having travelled a long distance knowing that you need that pass in order to do your job.

So when you approach the Accreditation Centre or Accreditation desk, depending on the size of the event, it is reassuring to be met by efficient people in an efficient environment with a welcoming smile and greeting. That is probably your first impression of how the organisers / owners of the event are going to treat you and we never get a second chance at a first impression.

Simple Fast and Safe

Accreditation is anything but simple – yet it must appear so. That is the art, ‘Making it Simple’. The complexity of Security devices, Access priorities, Credential checking, Zoning, Access control, the Application and Approval Process all are critical but must appear hassle free and simple.

In that first encounter, no one wants to hang around waiting for their Accreditation, so it must be a fast process. In these days of sensitivity regarding personal information it is important for us all that our personal information is in safe hands and that the people handling our personal data are compliant with all data protection and privacy, laws, rules and regulations. That they are trustworthy and will keep our data private. After all Accreditation is all about keeping us safe.

Accreditation is ‘allowing people with a function to access areas necessary for the performance of that function and to work unimpeded by people who do not need to be there’, it is ensuring that unauthorised people do not access areas where they have no reason to be.

That can just be relieving an inconvenience is some events but the process operates in critical areas for high profile political and sporting events that unfortunately have become targets for terrorists and criminals.

Process is an important word in Accreditation and it is mostly about process. The most important thing however is that people feel like people and that they don’t feel ‘processed’ by a super efficient ‘event Junkie’ plastered in pin badges stuck everywhere but through their nose working at breakneck speed and slapping an accreditation pass across the desk and looking for the next in line.

It should feel like First Class check in for an airline – or better.

Technology – not as important as people think for basic Accreditation. Now there are a lot of add ons with Biometric Access Controls and NFC Access and Priority Order Seating and Ticketing Modules for Media, Communication SMS, Email and Social Media as bolt ons but essentially we are talking a database with a sophisticated front end to make it swift and error free for the user and production operator. That needs to be used in multiple locations and in real time and importantly kept as simple as possible.

People – Great people. Thats what really makes good a Accreditation service. Experienced operators who can smooth the most ruffled of feathers and that really care about providing a good service. That is the essence of Accreditation. Knowing the purpose of it all and making it as seamless as possible for all Stakeholders. Not just issuing passes but making sure the whole access is working, allowing people to seamlessly get on with their work throughout the event. That enhances an event, its not just about spitting badges out of a printer and shoving them across a desk.

Oh and by the way, an Accreditation Pass is an enduring souvenir of the event.

Admit it, you don’t throw them away do you, you have them all somewhere, your badges of honour, hanging with your half marathon medals….

Nigel Rushman has developed and implemented innovative programmes for over 500 events in 30 countries including three Rugby World Cups and three Cricket World Cups. A founding partner of industry journal Sport Business, Nigel prides himself on his ‘hands-on’ experience of successful event delivery.

Nigel has presented to the IOC, FIFA & SportAccord (amongst others) his thoughts on world-class events.

In addition to his role as Founder of Rushmans, Nigel was contracted as Event Director of the ICC CWC West Indies 2007 Inc with the responsibility of implementing the Event Management, Security, Media Management, Accreditation and Volunteer Programmes for the Cricket World Cup across the nine participating countries in the Caribbean region.

Most recently Nigel had the pleasure and privilege to be Strategic Adviser to the innovative and highly professional team, which made history by winning Qatar the opportunity to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, and has since presented for the Josoor Institute in Doha on what it takes to run a successful Major Sporting Event.

The Rushmans group specialises in various specific areas of event delivery – from Venue Bidding Assessment & Preparation, Event Management, Security Consultancy, Accreditation & Media Management to Rights Brokerage, Temporary Facilities, Scalability and Knowledge & Experience Transfer.

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Twitter: @nrushman

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