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In-House vs. Out-of-House Badge Printing

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Anyone who’s been involved with event registration knows that there can be many speed bumps along the path before reaching the end goal: a successful event that provides a positive experience for the customers (and staff!). Since I work with a few companies for their event registration processes, I decided to share some of my new-found insight from personal experiences. This is a learning experience for me as well, so my next several blog posts will be about the things I have learned over time.

One thought to consider for events is whether printing badges, table tents, and other materials in-house or out-of-house is the better option. So far, I have only had the opportunity to work with printing in-house, but I’d like to look at both options. Here’s a few pros and cons for each that may help you decide which is best for you:

In-House

Pros:

  1. Cost-Efficient – The cost is only for the materials needed. pc/nametag, Meetings Direct, G.G. Tauber are just a few places to get you started with ordering common registration items, and you can often get discounts when you order in bulk. You can also get your items customized with your company’s logo!
  2. Control – Allows for last minute adjustments to be made without having to go through additional steps with a vendor.
  3. Time – Gives you more freedom with timelines for when everything is finalized and how much time you plan to spend getting everything together.

Cons:

  1. Time Consuming – When printing in-house, you pull your staff from other responsibilities they may have. This could mean that last minute details for the event itself get overlooked.
  2. Mistakes – Maybe you don’t have the manpower for than one or two people preparing these items. This may lead to them rushing to finish on time, which could lead to errors.
  3. Supplies – You should always check beforehand that you have enough supplies to create these items, or else you won’t be able to complete everything.

Out-of-House

Pros:

  1. Stress Level – Sending items to be printed out-of-house frees you up to pay more attention to the event itself and any final details, while knowing the items you need will be completed the way you want them.
  2. Accurate Information – Because you need to have all the details finalized before sending your order, you know that the information will be correct.
  3. Supplies – They always have enough of what you need, so you don’t have to worry that someone will be left out.

Cons:

  1. Higher Budget – Since printing companies offer the convenience of printing and organizing everything for you, it will come with a cost.
  2. Final – Any new registrations that you receive after you’ve sent out your order for printing will have to be done as a separate order, and you will probably have to rush order any last minute ones.
  3. Time – You will most likely need to have everything ready to print much sooner to allow for shipping time, particularly if you do not want to pay rush fees.

 

To all of my registrar colleagues out there: do you have a preferred option? Share some of your experiences in the comments below, and feel free to let us know why you may like one method more!

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Jessica Sansaet

Jessica Sansaet

Jess is a Business Analyst for Enterprise Solutions at fusionSpan. Since 2014, she has been providing support to associations as both a consultant and analyst for AMS, CMS, website, and event management needs. She has co-presented at the Abila Users and Developers Conference. Prior to fusionSpan, Jess worked as a manager at a popular retailer and received a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Jessica Sansaet

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