In some ways, you might say that the event check-in sets the tone for the entire event. Smooth check-ins ensure that the day doesn’t begin with confusion, long lines, and endless wait times.
Think about it this way: the check-in process is your first chance to make a great impression on your guests. And therefore, it’s important to kick things off on the right foot.
Today, there are all kinds of technologies that aim to create a smooth check-in process. From self-service tablets to mapping a logical check-in flow, there’s a lot more to the registration set-up than a desk and a sign-in sheet.
1. Go Paperless
Traditional paper registration lists are a great way to make sure that your registrants spend more time than necessary for signing in.
What’s more, the old pen and paper approach isn’t exactly the best way to leave a great impression on your guests. Instead, look toward digital ticketing methods like QR codes which can be scanned, so that badges can be printed on the spot.
What’s more, a digitized system allows you to collect attendee names, as well as any additional info they provide. When connected to your marketing tools and event planning software, this information is powerful.
The more information you gather about your attendees, the better you can fine-tune advertising strategies moving forward. For example you might retarget attendees ahead of your next event or use audience data to find more people who might be interested in what you have to offer.
Most of the big names in digital marketing like Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn allow you to target lookalike audiences. These are people who match your target audience as far as behavior, interests, location, and demographics are concerned.
The point is, collecting event data allows you to take a deep dive into its performance and will help you define your strategy moving forward.
2. Let Attendees Check Themselves in
Designate a self-check-in area with kiosks to make for a faster process. The idea is, you’ll make things easier on guests–allowing them to sign themselves in within a matter of seconds. This allows your event staff to spend more time answering questions and helping guests having issues signing in.
Standalone kiosks also give the entrance area a modern look and feel. This is important, particularly if the event is centered around new technologies or anything related to the digital landscape. By contrast, paper sign-in sheets or outdated laptops can make your brand look like it’s not up to date with the latest tech.
Another idea is to set up a registration desk with self-service tablets. You’ll still have a modern look and the convenience of a standalone kiosk, plus the ability to collect data. But, staff are right there, ready to answer questions, provide directions, and engage with guests as they arrive.
The benefit here is registration staff can focus on the attendee experience without dealing with paperwork and manual processes that slow down the line.
3. Registration Should Reflect Branding
Checking in might not be the most exciting part of the event. You’ve got all these great speakers lined up; there’s networking to be done, new products to launch–the list goes on. But the event starts when your customers walk through the doors and making a big splash sets the tone for what’s to come.
Think about the check-in process as an extension of your brand and use imagery similar to what’s on your website or your social media channels.
Additionally, it’s smart to approach the registration desk as if it were the ‘cover’ of a book. It might not be indicative of what you’ll find inside–but you want to create an attractive entry point that gets guests excited about what’s next.Approach the registration desk as if it were the 'cover' of a book. It might not be indicative of what you'll find inside--but you want to create an attractive entry point that gets guests excited about what's next. Click To Tweet
4. Create a Logical On-site Check-In Flow
Look, there’s nothing worse than showing up to an event and not knowing where to go.
Even if the event space only has one entrance, make sure that you mark it with a sign. While it might seem obvious to you, it’s best to assume that your guests have never been to this venue before.
Send an email with information about how to access the entrance, when and where sessions will take place and anything else they need to know. If you’re using an event app, it’s a good idea to include a map of the venue for added convenience.
Attendees should know where to go to check-in and collect their registration materials.
Beyond providing instructions and signs that point attendees in the right direction, you’ll want to organize your registration area so that people can move through the line quickly without any confusion.
5. Use In-App Check-Ins for Individual Sessions
63% of event planners base their decision to participate in future events on registration numbers–but there’s more to consider when looking at the full picture. It’s not just about how many people register for the main event–it’s also about how many people show up, what sessions they attend.
As such, you may want to consider collecting information about which sessions people attend. Now, the registration process should be treated as a standalone affair. However, if you’re using an app, try creating a simple check-in process for each session that guests can access from their phones.
This data will come in handy for future events, as it will give you a sense of what kinds of content seem to resonate with this crowd and what’s maybe not working so well.
The check-in process shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought. It’s an essential touchpoint for guests who most likely only get to experience your brand in an online setting. It’s your first chance to make an impression–and you don’t want to come off as disorganized or inefficient.
On your end, a digital check-in process allows you to collect attendee data and use it to inform future marketing strategies and build better event experiences in the future.
Bottom line–attendees have high expectations: the better your check-in process, the happier your guests.
Echelon Design handles all things events and can help you streamline your event check-in process and build out the entire experience. To learn more about putting together an event strategy that wows your audience from pre-event marketing to post-event follow-ups, get in touch.