There are many ways to track attendees for continuing education units (CEU) during conferences. While the process begins with recording when attendees enter and exit a presentation, it ends with the actual issuance of the credit. Of all the methods being used, using wearable beacons to optimize CEU tracking has benefits and capabilities that other systems don’t. 

Traditional CEU Tracking (Without Beacons)

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall.

Manually tracking dozens of CEU attendees can be cumbersome and lead to errors in certification. Beacon technology can simplify the process and endure accuracy in reporting.

Let’s take a look at a few of the tracking methods currently in use. Obviously, humans are still an effective way to track attendees. They can go low tech by checking names off a list as people come

and go. Door humans can also scan badge bar codes as people go in and out the door. Attendees can tap or swipe their RFID or NFC badges on a reader when they enter and exit a session. They could also check in and check out using a mobile app.

Each method for tracking CEUs comes with some benefits. For example, using a human volunteer is less expensive than an RFID or NFC reader system. A printed list of attendees is easy to set up. Badge scanners and readers tend be less prone to error than humans. Scanner software can automatically tabulate attendance, provide real-time updates, and print certificates or issues credits. There are detriments too. The more sophisticated the system, the more it costs.

The Better Way: CEU Tracking With Beacons

CEU tracking using Bluetooth beacons can be more exact and provide actionable information that traditional tracking systems can’t. Beacons can track a person’s entrance and exit, even noting which specific entrance and exit were used. They can also tell you what time the person arrived and left in case they have to stay for the full presentation to get credit. Beacons can deliver these benefits passively.

Beacon Mobile App Tracking

When beacons are used with mobile apps, the beacon is placed at the entrances to the room. Attendees are instructed to download the beacon-enabled mobile app and turn on the Bluetooth service on their mobile device. When an attendee with the app open walks near the entrance beacon, the beacon lets the app know when and at what time the attendee came and left the presentation. App software can compile the information and issue certificates and credit to recipients.

Wearable Beacon Tracking

When wearable beacons are used, the beacon is attached to the attendee’s badge. Some systems use a separate wearable (think medical alert system) with a beacon inside. A reader is placed at the entrances to the presentation room, which reads and records when the attendee passes by. Software receives these notifications, compiles the information, and issues certificates or credit. The main advantage of a wearable beacon is that there is no mobile app to download.

Is Beacon CEO Tracking Right for Me?

Deciding to use beacons to optimize CEU tracking comes down to a number of factors. First, do you have the budget?  Any technology that automates a previously manual activity is going to require a higher than usual budget. The exchange is, beacon CEU tracking will provide you with the most accurate data, which if applied strategically, will be actionable, providing information that can be used to improve future programs.

Next, what are your pain points? Beacon technology is sophisticated and efficient. To get everything possible out of it, planners must have a clear understanding of their own pain points; for example, the need for accuracy, time savings, scalability, and/or being able to detect cheating, etc.

If tracking CEUs with beacon technology sounds like it might work for you, check out the SmartSource Rentals beacon technology software and request a free consultation with our beacon team.

Reduce Errors. Track CEUs with SmartSource’s Beacon Software