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How to Create a Smooth Check-in Process

by Damien

We have all been to events where we have had to stand in line and wait to get into the event. These are 10 tips to help ensure you get your guests into the event quickly and give a personal touch to your event.

1. Anticipate the busy times

How long is your event running? Is it an all-day event or a cocktail party? For an all-day event, expect a busy spell at the beginning of the day, which will ease off throughout the day. With a short evening event, you want people inside the event as quickly as possible. Move some of the on-site staff onto the check-in process when you expect the busy spell to be. Also have some tablet devices ready to hand out.

2. Create a process for unexpected guests

Even the guests who didn’t RSVP should get a badge like all the other delegates. We know it might not fit into your plans, but as an event planner you always need to account for the unexpected. With many systems you can register people on the fly. We recommend you don’t collect any information you don’t need. This will only slow you down. Instead, collect their names and email addresses, and follow up for these details later.

3. Print badges on the fly

If you are going to opt for your standard pre-print option, make sure you set the badges out in alphabetical order. Group bookings are an exception to this rule, however. If you think people are likely to turn up in groups organise your badges accordingly.

4. Use Lanyards

Once you hand your badge and info pack over to your delegate, you want them to leave the check-in area as quickly as possible. If you have normal badges with pins, guests spend time pinning these onto their clothes. Also print your lanyards on both sides, so it makes no difference if these turn around. Use large writing, so those of us with poor eye-sight can quickly glance at someone’s badge to know who they are.

5. Opt for barcode scanning

Even if your organisation is old-fashioned with things like this, once you use barcodes for your event you won’t want to go back. For those delegates who bring an online invite, you can check them in with a barcode scanner or mobile app that does the same job. For anyone else, you can find them by searching for their name, which takes slightly longer. This feature will save you a lot of time.

6. Show the greeters personal information

A smooth check-in process also needs a human element to it. If you’re checking people in and you know what organisation they are from, or who they were invited by, this will help to show that you care about the delegate experience. Greeters will then be able to point delegates to their hosts, or mention a talk they might be interested in.

7. Plan your space

The best check in for an event I went to was at an old airport where they were able to use the old check-in desks. There was lots of space available and plenty of greeters. Take a look at your venue and figure out where the best check-in place will be. Make sure if there is a line for check-in, this won’t affect other areas of your event.