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Interview, Trends, Event Technology

[Watch Now] Roundtable: The Future of Credential Management in 2022

by Erin Chesterton
on December 20, 2021
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Join some of the greatest minds in credential management as they discuss their experiences navigating credentials in 2021, where to consider investing in the new year (technology, trends, supply chain, etc.) and the outlook for the space in 2022 and beyond.

Featuring:

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Watch the On-Demand Recording

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Key Highlights

Quotable Moments

#1 Challenge for Credential Management at Outside Lands

"This year added more complexity to everything. The health protocols and trying to navigate that landscape and keep a safe event for those who provide us our jobs. Looking to other events, what others in the space were doing and trying to learn from them. Never want to be the first in anything, but someone had to be. Trying to navigate that and one of the biggest things I realized in 2021 is the importance of strategic and efficient communication—because things were changing so quickly and we needed to provide updates to internal staff, to vendors coming to help us produce the event. We needed an efficient system to communicate the changes that were happening on almost a daily basis. Information was constantly changing and evolving." - Evan Gross, Database & RFID Manager @ Outside Lands Festival

Why Creds Managers Must Re-Evaluate their Processes in 2022

"Credentials became more complicated. The events required health checks and each one took a different approach. It got more complex as time went on because it wasn't just a health check, but there were different requirements based on what access you needed. What it did was make us scrutinize the credentials people actually needed to do their job. There's a long standing practice of "what did they get last year, they get that this year," but this year that same method didn't apply. It was a much needed new approach to re-evaluate what people actually need from a credential standpoint." - Evan Gross, Database & RFID Manager @ Outside Lands Festival

Should Creds Managers Keep Health Checks and Credentials Separate?

"In order to get a credential, you need to get a health check. But its been an extra step—do we do it in our database? Do we collect them digitally? Do we have them come in one by one in person? Its made our world a lot more complicated. In Boston and New York this year we had an extra team and I was very careful to say a credential does not mean your health check is complete. It is important to make sure they are separate, the health check is its own process." - Jill Gerrity, Credential Director @ The Boston Athletic Association

The Benefit Covid Brought to Credentials

"For us you need a cred to get in so start there. For the Super Bowl last year everything on the health side tied to your access. Adding a layer of the health process on top of it was hard, there wasn't a pandemic playbook on how to do creds with a health screen. Hopefully in a year or two we don't have to do health screenings but your learn as you do it. But it did really remove the fluff around access and the status that goes with it. Of all the craziness Covid brought that was a benefit." - Justen Medina Sr. Coordinator Access & Accreditation @ The NFL

The Differences Working Creds in Sports Events vs. Music Festivals

"Sports have a lot more fluff around them. A lot of events are grandfathered in. They want to see more swag, they want the credential to look cooler, they want photos on everything. It has been interesting to transition into with my music background, for example, knowing that RFID works in that setting—how can we bring it into the sports world? It starts with the advance process to say it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from—you need to fill out this form like everyone else. Deadlines are always an issue in credentials and there is really nothing we can do to reinforce it. Creating an advance process that is simple enough to ensure people do it quickly is a challenge." - Jill Gerrity, Credential Director @ The Boston Athletic Association

Challenges with Creds Procurement in 2021

"The supply chain we've all felt in anything was a major challenge—especially with procurement of credentials. We had to order a lot of extra creds because we had to figure out the health check—was that going to be a physical credential? For better or for worse I work in some of the most complicated credential music festivals and I used vendors I've never used before based on tight windows. Even if we don't have to do this in 2022, I am moving my production and ordering timelines up so I can get this done. But that shifts everything along with it." - Evan Gross, Database & RFID Manager @ Outside Lands Festival

How Covid Forced Teams to Improve Communications

"The beauty of Covid is that it made Zoom popular and easy to collaborate. Instead of a slew of emails,  you can hop right on Zoom and get what you need faster. That has been our primary form of staying in touch. So much of what we do is about talking to people, is allowed us to be more direct when you have everyone already at their computers and aware of the technology we're using." - Justen Medina Sr. Coordinator Access & Accreditation @ The NFL

The Opportunity to Meld Health Checks & Credentials

"In credentials we have been tied in with the health and safety side, whoever can meld the two teams together in one system is a huge advantage. Everyone is getting bombarded with emails and communications from both teams. We coupled the checks—at the NBA you needed a clear health check until you got your passed health check." - Mark Fischel, Former League Credentialist @ The NBA

The #1 Feature to Look for in a Credentialing System

"Automation is really what I want from a credentialing system and a database. We want steps to trigger along the way and things to happen automatically. Especially with the additional health checks and touch points involved. We need automatic emails to advance folks throughout the process more seamlessly. Those manual steps moving in the process are what cause the jams and the inefficiencies." - Evan Gross, Database & RFID Manager @ Outside Lands Festival

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