|  6 min read

Glossary: The ultimate guide to visitor management terms

Glossary: The ultimate guide to visitor management terms Photo

Navigating visitor management space can seem overwhelming when you are faced with multiple technology requirements, industry-specific definitions and system elements. To help your company make informed decisions when evaluating visitor management systems and narrowing down the list of must-have features, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the most commonly used visitor management terms.



Access Control Management
The fields of physical security and information security, access control (AC) is the selective restriction of access to a place or other resource. While fulfilling different purposes, Access control and visitor management systems are often used together and complement each other’s functionality.
Administrator User Type
A user type in the visitor management system (VMS) with the highest level of administrative privileges, ability to add or remove hosts, assign user permissions, have a real-time view of all visitors across facilities and more. Individuals in the administrator groups usually take responsibility for setting up and operating VMS within the organization.
Visitor data can provide valuable insights into operational efficiencies, facility logistics, and effectiveness of interactions with job applicants, partners or event attendees. With a visitor management system, historical visitor data can be exported, analyzed in a business intelligence platform or synchronized with Salesforce and analyzed as part of the customer relationships ecosystem.
Application Programming Interface (API) aims to provide developers with the ability to connect the visitor management platform to other applications and systems. Sign In Enterprise’s GuestConnect is used to interact with any open APIs and helps automate business processes, push and access visitor data and reduce manual workflows.
Assisted-Check-In (ACI)
A process of leveraging high-volume scanning technology as part of the visitor management process at key access points and security gates. It enables security personnel to efficiently verify government-issued IDs by guards at security gate check-ins. Assisted-Check-In can work jointly with iPad based Self-Check-In, where guests complete the check-in process, signing documents while hosts are notified once their IDs have been verified.
Companies in regulated industries are required to provide detailed reports of all visitor data for auditing purposes to regulatory bodies. VMS enables visitor data that can be filtered by date, time, location or exported as audit reports.


Badge printing
Visitor management platforms include badge editors that allow users to custom design badges. Information that appears on the badge can be customized to include visitor name and photo, company, contact details, organization’s name, host name, and company logo.
For types of badges and printers, a number of options are available.
The visitor management platform provides multiple opportunities to align the guest experience with an organization’s brand visuals, messaging and values. Elements such as iPad themes, visitor badges, guest invitations, web pages, and media can be customized throughout visitor experience to reflect an organization’s brand.


Compliance requirements
Processes and reporting pertaining to visitor, facility, and data management are part of compliance requirements for regulated industries. A VMS can help meet a number of common compliance standards such as: 

  • ITAR - International Traffic in Arms Regulations
  • PCI DSS - Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
  • FSMA - Food Safety Modernization Act
  • C-TPAT - The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism
  • GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation
  • Data Residency – Requirement of local data storage


Data Residency
Legal or regulatory requirements are imposed on organizations that handle sensitive personal information. Depending on the country or industry such as governmental institutions, medical industries, or education, some organizations are required to store their visitor data locally. If data residency is required, a VMS vendor will need to be able to host a customer’s visitor data in a data center located in the specified region.
Digital Signature and Document review
Legal Documents, Waivers, Nondisclosure agreements, and Health & Safety forms can be presented in digital format and signed by a visitor with a digital signature at check-in right within a visitor management Application. Document templates are imported from electronic signature solutions such as DocuSign or proprietary VMS features such as GuestSign.
Dynamic Registration Portal
Administrators can create a comprehensive sign-in flow at pre-registration – including all required documents, videos and instructions – specific to location, entry point or visitor type. This feature includes a low-code drag-and-drop environment to create flows for different visitor types and location needs, enabling hundreds of use cases.


Emergency Rollcall
A VMS provides a real-time view of all visitors signed in at a premise. In case of an evacuation, emergency alerts can be sent out to visitors and the visitor list used to check visitors as safe once they reach muster points.
Employee Directory
Employee directories can be set up in a VMS system, syncing up with Active Directory or through CSV upload. The employee directory can be leveraged for host set-up and selection.
Experience Editor
The Experience Editor is the Sign In Enterprise VMS interface from where users design the sign-in experience that guests follow at sign-in. Experiences for different types of visitors can be configured, using drag and drop actions, data capture elements and workflows. Host notifications, watchlist screening and pushing data to integrated applications can be set up as background actions in the editor.


Flagged Categories (Watchlist categories)
Users can set up lists in multiple categories. These flagged categories are assigned to specific types of visitors. This may include unwanted persons, special assistance, VIP lists, etc. When a guest signs in, the platform runs their identity against these lists that correspond to flagged categories. Notifications are triggered to personnel assigned to deal with that specific category of visitor.


Hosts are automatically notified when guests arrive and check into the visitor management platform. Anyone within an organization can be set up as a host, however not all of the hosts have to be the users of the visitor management system with allocated login credentials.
Host Notification
As soon as an invited visitor checks-in, a notification to a host or a group of hosts can be triggered. This customizable message can be received via SMS, email or messaging platforms. Hosts can acknowledge visitors, respond back or add a visitor to a watchlist if a guest poses a security risk.


Locations in the VMS Configuration
Organizations can manage multiple locations or entry points across different facilities or geographical regions. VMS iPad devices and user permissions can be configured to specific locations.


Parking and capacity management in VMS
Integrated parking and capacity management in visitor management platforms allow businesses to digitize their parking inventory and designate zones for different types of visitors and vehicles such as handicap, electric cars or VIP. Parking stall details and directions can be included in pre-registration invitations or be provided by a gate guard upon check-in.
Different levels of access can be assigned to users within a visitor management system. Permissions enable types of access and functionality available to users within a platform. Among other things, permission bundles can regulate access to specific locations, host data, visibility levels, editing capabilities, user creation, etc.
Pre-registration/email invites
VMS platforms give users the ability to send invites to their guests. Emails templates can include image headers, host and company information, google map address, add-to-calendar, custom URL, text blocks, pre-generated QR codes and more. Information or document signatures filled out at pre-registration is remembered when guests check in at a facility and expedite the on-site check-in process.


QR codes
QR Codes contain all the information submitted by visitors through pre-registration email invites. QR Codes are included in email invites and can be scanned at iPads which automatically checks guests in. This action can be linked to various functionalities including notifying hosts and updating a visitor’s historical data profile. QR Codes are widely used for handling registration at high volume access areas and events.


Single Sign-On SAML 2.0 IdP
SAML 2.0 Identity Providers (IdP) like Okta, ADFS 3.0 or Salesforce SSO can integrate and sync with the VMS platform. These Identity Providers authenticate and authorize users to increase security and simplify platform access and administration.
SOC – Service Organization Controls
Service Organization Controls (SOC) are regulations to ensure service providers securely manage client data to protect the interests of both the client’s organization and the privacy of their customers. Security-conscious organizations, like Sign In Enterprise, commit to undergoing regular SOC2 audits from independent third-party audit firms to maintain the certification.


Temporary WIFI credentials
Temporary WIFI login credentials can be provided to visitors as part of the Self-Check-In process.


Users have login credentials for a visitor management system. Administrators can configure Permissions that assign granular levels of access and actions to users.


Visitors can include partners, contractors, interview candidates, investors, and family members. Visitors interact with VMS during pre-registration and when checking into the facility.
Visitor Management System
Visitor management system allows organizations to streamline the visitor check-in process through ID scanning, visitor pre-registration and customizable visitor badges, and email notifications. Companies can collect accurate data and track visitor information to help monitor employee \safety, increase facility security and meet compliance requirements for regulated industries.


Visitors can be scanned against custom or third-party databases and trigger instant notifications when a flagged person signs in. Administrators are able to define security levels and alert relevant people or groups.


Proactive safety screening and fully contactless access for employees and visitors to mitigate current and future risks.

Let's talk solutions

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.