Worth £193bn annually to the UK economy, face-to-face business remains king, so how can UK organisations strike the right balance between a smooth check-in for visitors and meeting the forthcoming GDPR requirements?

With the average British worker attending over 6000 meetings in their career, many of those hosted on client premises, a delicate balance must be achieved between the visitor data that different departments are keen to capture, and adhering to the stringent criteria laid out by GDPR.

Collecting and storing a visitor’s personal data, whether that’s via a visitor’s book (electronic or paper), means holding personal information such as names, car registrations, and contact numbers. To make sure your business is not in breach of the new data protection law, it is critical that robust data management systems are put in place early.

First impressions are vital. In business, the first impression can literally mean the difference between getting that contract or not; between the client taking to you and your business or feeling that it wasn’t for them. Whilst organisations are utilising the latest Cloud Based VMS’s to extend a warm welcome, it must be acknowledged that businesses will always deal with two very distinctive visitor camps; those that are reticent for any data to be held about them and those that expect organisations to remember their details for a swifter check-in experience.

Within companies too, different departments can have very different perspectives. For example, whilst the hospitality team will insist that the check-in process must be smooth, with returning visitors needing to be able to re-use their profile for fast and personalised check-in, those in the legal departments will insist upon the deletion of visitor data after a short period. And then there is the conflicting requirements from the compliance department, which advocates deletion of visitor data to meet GDPR, but also needs to be able to produce logs of visitor activity to remain compliant with ISO and industry certifications. Add security into the mix, which might need to access data from over a year ago to investigate a theft. It’s clear to see why companies are currently struggling as to where to focus.

Following its introduction in May 2018,  GDPR introduces much stronger provisions around Consent and “Right to be forgotten” for the data subject. Under the new regulations, consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. So how does this translate to the visitor experience?

The following 5-point checklist will help businesses to check their existing visitor check-in system for compliance with GDPR:  
1) Do you only collect client and visitor data that you absolutely need? (data minimisation)

The Article 54 of GDPR provides: “Personal data must be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.”

Any data you collect needs to pass the test of asking yourself whether there is a way to achieve the purpose without collecting the data. Even better, if you can tailor the check-in process to different profiles of visitors, you can ensure that you always only ask for the information you absolutely need.

2) When collecting your visitor data, do you ask their permission (consent) and explain how you will use it?

Para. 32 of the preamble and Article 4 (11) of GDPR: “Consent should be given by a clear affirmative act establishing a freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of (…) agreement to processing of personal data.”

You must demonstrate that your visitors explicitly agreed to the processing of their data for specific purposes. This can be achieved by allowing them to confirm reading the privacy policy, or by offering a toggle switch by which they allow you to store their data on your VMS.

 3) If one of your visitors changes their mind and no longer wants you to keep their data, is this easy to undo?

Article 7 of GDPR: “The data subject shall have the right to withdraw his or her consent at any time.”

Your organisation must allow visitors to say at any point that they no longer want you to store their visit data and revoking consent to store their data should be as easy as giving it.

4) Do you store visit details for no longer than what is needed?

Article 5 of GDPR: “Data must be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed.”

One way to tackle the question of data retention a.k.a. ‘right to be forgotten’ is to allow bulk selection and deletion of visits in the dashboard. A more elegant solution for this is automatic deletion after a specified number of days.

5) Did you sign a Data Processing Agreement?

Article 28 of GDPR: “The controller shall use only processors [vendors] providing sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures in such a manner that processing will meet the requirements of this Regulation.”

Therefore, your VMS provider must provide assurances that they comply with the GDPR stipulations in all applicable aspects detailed in Article 28, as well as the related provisions of articles 32 to 36. In practice, this implies that you have a binding written agreement, also called a Data Processing Agreement (“DPA”) in place, ensuring a strict level of safety and security of the personal data processed on your behalf.

 

Visitor Management Systems at Alpha Digital Networks

Alpha Digital Networks PLC provide Visitor Management Systems to the Education and Commercial sectors. The AlphaEntry System can be adapted to meet your needs. With staff, visitor and contractor options, the system can help improve safeguarding. The system can work with PIN numbers, fobs, and also cards. Therefore, if you would like a free demonstration, call us on 03300 020 021.

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Should you use Digital Signage on your Exhibition Stand?

Exhibitions can be very costly and time consuming so you want to make sure that you get a return on your investment. We completely understand that you want to stand out from the crowd to achieve this. Digital signage is a great way to grab people’s attention. Amongst all the static roller posters, animated digital signage can really be an eye-catcher.

We have compiled a list of pros and cons of using digital signage at your stand so you can weigh up whether to utilise this technology.

Pros

  1. Digital Signage enhances visitor experience. Visitors can view important information at the correct time because the content can easily be updated.
  2. Digital Signage can be instantly updated. Therefore, if you suddenly spot a spelling mistake or any information that needs changing, you can edit it there and then.
  3. Digital Signage looks very professional and stands out from the crowd. Using this technology can create a good impression.
  4. Using digital signage can reduce stress due to deadlines. As the signage can be updated quickly, this means that you can be a little more flexible with your deadlines than with traditional print content.
  5. You can use your signage to generate revenue through sponsorship so it could pay for itself.

Cons

  1. As Digital Signage can sometimes be large, it can be difficult to install on site. However, Alpha Digital Networks have a fully training set of Engineers who can deliver and install your AV products.
  2. Sometimes, Digital Signage can be let down by the event space. As Signage can be set up on the Wifi, it could struggle if this is down or unreliable. This is also the same with the cabling at the event space.
  3. Digital Signage can seem expensive. However, it is a one-off cost, unlike traditional print. This could save you money as you wouldn’t have to keep spending on printing. Alpha Digital Networks provides cost effective signage solutions.

Although there are some downsides to using digital signage at your exhibition stand, Alpha Digital Networks believes that the pros outweigh these. We work with you to provide a solution that works for your and your business. Using digital signage is a great way to boost visitor experience and potential revenue for your business.

Contact us at info@adnplc.com or 01257 429430 if you are interested in digital signage, freestanding totems, video walls or interactive furniture.

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How technology is empowering children with special needs in the classroom

In our modern society, we are becoming more and more aware of the individual needs of each pupil in the classroom. In 2016, 14.4% of pupils in school had special educational needs. That’s 1,228,785 children, each with their own individual learning style and needs. In this age of drastic budget cuts, how can teachers have the time or resources to care for those individual needs? Technological devices and apps are a remarkable resource, often full of free ideas and content.

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How is digital technology transforming the classroom?

Digital technology has changed almost every industry and the education sector is no exception. The use of technology in the classroom is changing education in remarkable ways and both teachers and students are benefiting from this rapid shift.

There are some changes that we can expect to see as digital learning transforms education. For example, the way teachers present lessons and information and how students interact with that information has changed. Students interact with the lesson and collaborative more than ever before. Digital technology in the classroom also teaches students new skills, such as digital literacy. This can help them when they go on to the work environment later in life.

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“32% of educators are using technology to bring experts or experiences into the classroom virtually.”
The State of Technology in Education: 2016

 

Virtual reality is enabling teachers to take students on fascinating journeys from the comfort of the classroom. VR can help to meet the needs of all pupils, no matter what their learning style is. The world is your oyster with VR!

Make learning exciting

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We are now offering all of our customers and re-sellers the opportunity to join our weekly 45 minute webinars. These sessions will start at 3.45pm on 1st March 2017. There are five sessions in total including; 2 AlphaTeach Sessions, 2 Wordwall Sessions and 1 Digital Signage Session. Each session will repeat until 19th July 2017.

Each webinar has its own registration page and you can apply to attend each and every one of them – there is no limit to how many you attend – the only limit is a maximum of 50 attendees at each webinar.

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