Checking COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Status Using Tech

“Is it safe to start hosting in-person conferences and events again?” 

Event attendees social distancing with masks

Image Courtesy of MarTech

It’s a difficult question, with no clear answer, that many event organizers are asking themselves. While a multitude of factors can play into the decision of whether or not to host an in-person event, it’s clear that – if an event is held – taking extra precautions is key to minimizing the risk of spread. 

From mandatory mask-wearing to temperature checks upon entry, there are numerous ways to help protect your attendees and staff. One common and effective precaution that many events are taking is requiring all attendees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and/or to have taken a COVID-19 test and received a negative result within a certain time frame before the conference. 

However, this approach can lead to numerous logistical challenges for your event staff. It requires collecting the vaccination/testing information from each attendee, authenticating that the documents are real, and then establishing a way to show that a person’s health documents have been checked (stickers on the shirt, a wristband, etc.). Also, many events require unvaccinated individuals, regardless of COVID test status, to follow other health and safety guidelines like strict mask-wearing. All of this can amount to a lot of tedious, time-consuming manual work for your staff. 

A better option? Relying on technology to streamline the process. In this post, we will look at how event organizers can utilize technology to handle event health checks and the benefits of doing so. 

Select a Health Screening Software Solution

The first step for automating health checks at events is picking out a software solution that helps collect the health records from attendees and stores it in a secure manner. Instead of asking each attendee to bring in physical documentation at check-in, they can just upload their digital documents to the program you choose and receive “approval” through the platform. 

Two of the top platforms available include: 

CLEAR Health Pass

CLEAR Health Pass CLEAR is the secure ID platform that you’ve probably seen in airports across the country (kiosks prior to going through security), and at many events like concerts and sporting events. With the emergence of COVID-19, CLEAR got to work building a solution that makes health screenings for in-person events easier. CLEAR Health Pass is a part of the free CLEAR mobile app that your attendees can download on their smartphone and then upload all required COVID documentation. Once an attendee has uploaded all necessary documents and a picture of their ID, they will receive a green “health pass” on the app that indicates they’ve been cleared. This clearance can be quickly displayed to your event staff upon check-in or daily entry, depending on your requirements. The Consumer Technology Association recently utilized CLEAR Health Pass at their CES 2022 event. 

Salesforce Dreampass – This event health screening solution was made by one of the largest, most well-known software companies, Salesforce. Dreampass allows companies to collect vaccination and testing status documentation of attendees, and also send alerts to attendees to communicate guidelines and any updates. It also automates event entry by connecting event registrations, COVID health status, and other attendee date to generate attendee credentials in the form of a QR code that can be scanned upon entry to the event.

salesforce dreampass

Determine how Verifications will be Checked and Alternatives 

If you’ve decided to implement a health screening solution to help you collect COVID-19 health records and determine if attendees have met all health and safety requirements, your next step is determining how (and how often) the digital verifications will be checked. 

The first option is to have a few members of your staff at the entrance every day, checking attendees’ phones to ensure they have received a green light from the health screening solution. This is only necessary for multiple day events that have decided to implement a daily symptom screening questionnaire. In order to make sure everyone has taken the daily question, you’ll need physical staff checking each day. 

The second option is to check the verifications a single time at event check-in. Many of the health screening solutions will provide a QR code for “cleared” registrants. You can have welcome staff verify that all requirements have been met by scanning the codes, or simply viewing the approved status on each attendees’ phone screen. To ensure your staff isn’t overwhelmed with checking health records and also handling registrations, consider setting up registration tablets or iPads that have facial recognition software to speed up the process.

QR code badge for events

While the above options are great for streamlining the entry process, it’s important that you provide attendees with alternatives. The reason this is important is that you don’t want to frustrate those who might be less tech-savvy or, while extremely rare these days, do not have smartphones. 

One alternative option is allowing attendees to bring physical documentation that can be reviewed by staff. The downfall here is that, unfortunately, fake vaccination cards have become a problem. A better option might be to set up the tablets or iPads mentioned above, and have the health screening solution loaded on the systems. You can have one or two staff members near the tablets that can help walk confused attendees through the process. Relying on a solution to verify documentation helps to take out human error, and deception. 

The Benefits of Using Tech for Event Health Checks

As mentioned, checking vaccination and testing documentation manually can be a huge burden on your already-busy event staff. Turning to tech can help alleviate this in the following ways: 

QR scanner socio events/webex

Image Courtesy of Socio.Events

Streamlined Entry For events with hundreds of attendees, having staff check all of your event’s required documentation can cause a huge bottle neck. It’s much faster for attendees to simply show a “cleared” status from the application on their phone to staff, or to display a QR code that can be quickly scanned. 

Verified DocumentsFake vaccination cards are a concern, as is human error when checking documents. If staff are looking through vaccination cards, test results, symptom questionnaires, and more, they are bound to make mistakes or accidentally overlook important details like the date of last vaccination or date of last test result. 

Labor Cost ReductionSomething all event organizers have to consider is costs, especially during COVID times. And while one might think that implementing new technologies would lead to higher costs, the reality is that paying employees to check the documentation of every attendee can cost substantially more. The number of attendees matters when making this calculation, but if you would have to pay multiple employees for multiple hours – especially when you take into account what other tasks you are taking them away from – turning to technology can be a massive cost saving. 

With many people still hesitant to attend in-person events, it’s never been more important for event organizers to take extra health and safety precautions to ease potential attendees’ worries. Implementing health check technology at your events is a step that shows people you are taking COVID-19 seriously and are committed to keeping them as safe as possible. Reach out to eTech to learn more about how we can help you provide a high-quality in-person driven by the latest technology. 

About eTech Rentals

eTech Rentals is a national technology solutions provider located in Southern California specializing in rental technology integration. eTech is committed to long-standing client relationships and consistent, reliable local service, trusted by expert event planners, film and entertainment production companies, and businesses in California and nationwide.

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