Event planners say that in the mind of the guests at your event, it’s the check-in that is the first step of the event. It offers guests a first impression of your event, and sets the stage for everything that is to happen after that.
That’s why event check-in shouldn’t be left to chance. There are lots of event check-in management software programs that can help you register participants, process ticketing, and ensure a smooth guest experience. Nevertheless, your staff should still be trained on what to do at the event, and the overall design of your check-in process is going to matter.
Should You Have a Pre-Event Event? They May Boost Check-Ins
Sometimes it’s not enough to just hold an event by itself. When you think about it, the event is a one-time activity and if it’s a hit in the community, that’s great. But what if it isn’t?
A lot of hospitality professionals don’t like to take a chance. Their suggestion is to include pre-event events that actually do a lot of improvement on your marketing and getting the word out to many more in the community. It’s one of the better ways to start the ‘buzz’ so the event can go viral, according to market research.
Improvement of how your customer base can participate in sharing the event with their own social contacts via different ways also pays off in the long run. Always remember that your customer base expects you to allow them to connect to your event via smartphone, mobile phone app, email peer-to-peer, wifi, and the use of the QR code. Always allowing the end user to opt-out in email should also always be a consideration.
6 Factors to Consider for the Check-In Process
Here are some ideas on how to make event check-in flow like honey on the big day. Getting the logistics right and considering it a true business process is certainly part of the way your staff will prove their efficiency.
1. Staff, Training and Their Education
You can have the best event check-in management software on the planet but unfortunately your staff won’t be able to mind meld with it by turning on the computer. Your staff will need education on what to do with it. If you’re planning at least three training sessions with role playing for the employees, your event should go well.
Before training starts for your staff, make sure your management is absolutely clear on what is needed from a staff perspective for the event check-in.
For example, do you need runners that escort the guests to wherever they need to go? How many? Will the runners be looking specifically for your community partnership businesses, sponsor (commercial) teams, government officials, television crews that have been invited to your event by the marketing / advertising / public relations department, teachers of the different seminars, and security?
How many check-in staff are needed at the desks? Who will sit where? What type of advice will they give out? The only right answers to these questions are the ones that pertain to your company, school, university, or nonprofit organization.
Will you also have a Help Desk or Problem Solving Station? The staff here may need to be equipped with extra maps of the exhibition hall and educational training areas, leisure things to do outside of the event in the community,
Customer service always needs proper guidance. Giving staff a bottom line ‘theme’ to always remember in their communication with the guests is critical. How will you know the team has achieved success or perfection and reflected your brand? They will know only because you told them.
2. Marketing Staff-Related
Have your promotion marketing team take care of securing the welcome sign and banners, making sure the lighting at the check-in area is great so people aren’t squinting to try to see what’s on your forms, and include the design of the check-in / registration area in initial plans.
Consider offering an incentive to your staff for outstanding behavior.
Consider using QR Codes. This will be accessed via your mobile app, enhance your social media presence, and be able to give your marketing staff the tracking and web analytics that they need for all their staff later on after the event is over and done. Make sure all your staff understand how to use these with tutorials if needed.
3. Check-In Area Design
Calculate the chair and table (furniture) numbers you will need for this area. Always have extra available just in case.
Consider what you will need if you use the self check-in kiosks. Just like at the airports, people will often opt for using the kiosks rather than standing in line waiting for their turn. These kiosks are more advanced than the old traditional way to meet and greet guests.
Consider also your area for face recognition software to check the authenticity of the guests. This will become more and more common in the next few years.
You might also have an area set aside with a big screen that continually shows your website, WordPress blog, any particular web page you want to focus on, with streaming media of the key events.
Another area to consider is having a location where guests can mingle as well as do some reading while their smartphone iOS / mobile phone plug-in (computing) to charge up after a day’s worth of travels.
4. Security and Technical Needs
What type of security is needed at your event? If your topic is confidential information, you may need some type of facial recognition system at the event check-in.
Make sure all your needs are covered at the check-in desk, including internet access, consumer electronics hook ups, wifi, cloud computing and more by your technical support crew.
Purchase the event check-in software management system that matches your needs. For example, will your nonprofit organization’s event be including a lot of guests with non-American names? If so, the software system for your computing platform should be able to recognize names. It may be noisy at the event and thus difficult to hear someone’s pronunciation of their name. But if you have software that offers near matches, then the check-in can proceed faster.
5. Professional CEUs and Education
Check your registration lists via your positioning (marketing) and guest personalization software for those that will be using your event for licensure requirements or professional continuing education credits. This matters a lot to the participants, as many of them are using your event strictly for this purpose.
It’s not okay if their certificates are not automatically issued and instead, they have to beg for them a few months later. This looks bad on your brand and doesn’t give them a good experience with your company. Plus, they may need the learning experience for their Master’s degree curriculum.
6. Promotional Merchandise
Set up your promotional merchandise (for brand awareness) on tables at strategic locations at your event. Don’t put these in a separate room. Most likely you will be using your computer software program for these check outs and they are automatically connected to a purchase funnel.
Giving your company enough time to do their best and to bring out their highest creativity for your event check-in is essential. These events always require a lot of effort and the time the employees put into them makes them feel proud of their work in the end. Cover all the bases, give them training needed, hire more staff if needed and you will be able to master the check-in process.