Friday, August 3, 2012

How Should I Badge My Visitors?

If you are thinking about ways to badge and identify visitors at your facility, congrats!  You have probably already considered solutions for properly registering and tracking your guests which means you are well on your way to a more secure facility!  By implementing an electronic visitor registration system at your organization, you can ensure that each visitor is properly identified and registered simply by scanning their state or federally issued ID.  Now, you just have to decide which visitor badging solution is best for you. 

There are several possible options to consider for visitor badging. 

Option One:  Temporary Adhesive Labels
This is by far the most popular solution for visitor badging!  Why?  Because badge designs can be customized not only with the company’s name, but also with pertinent visit information like visitor name, date, and person being visited.  You can even print photos on temporary labels!  Plus, you can do all of this at a relatively low price, since plain adhesive badges are fairly inexpensive. 
Things to consider when implementing temporary adhesive labels:
1.       How long will visitors be in the building?

-          The longer visitors are in your facility, the more likely they are to lose their adhesive badge.  For long-term visitors, pre-printed PVC badges may be a more effective solution.

2.       What information do you want to print on each badge?

-          The nice thing about adhesive badges is that they can be customized for each visitor!  Some of the most common things I see on visitor label designs include a company logo, the visitors name, the type of visitor (Vendor, Contractor, Volunteer, etc.), the date of the visit, and the location and/or person they are visiting. 

3.       How important are visitor photos?

-          If you are considering printing your visitors’ photos on badges, it might be a good idea to look into color label printers.  While they are more expensive, they greatly improve the image quality!

4.       Do you want labels to expire after a certain amount of time?

-          Though temporary labels can be easy and inexpensive, there is always a concern that visitors may try to reuse those badges to visit the facility at a later date/time without checking in.  Printing the date on the badge is one solution for this issue.  However, many customers look into time-expiring labels to prevent visitor badges from being reused.  These badges bleed through red and read VOID 24 hours after issuance, making it easy for employees to recognize if a visitor is trying to dodge the check-in process. 
Option Two:  Pre-Printed PVC Badges
Many customers prefer to use pre-printed badges for their visitors.  Each of these badges will be printed in advance on a color card printer, allowing you to print your company’s name and logo on the front, along with any other relevant information. 
Since these badges are printed in advance, they will not have visitor specific information on them.  However, they are much more durable than temporary labels and can be reused time and time again and assigned to a different visitor each time they are used.   Attach these badges to a lanyard or badge clip/reel and you can easily identify who is wearing a visitor badge in your facility.  Plus, you don’t have to worry as much about visitors losing their IDs as they walk around! 
So what is the answer?
Nobody knows your organization better than you do!  Which means you are the only one who knows what solution is the best fit for you. 
Though there are many options to consider, no matter whaat you choose will allow for an easier visitor identification process and help to improve your company's security! 

Lindsay Cornell is the Director of Sales for BadgePass, Inc. BadgePass manufactures cutting edge Visitor Management, Photo ID and Access Control software.