Walk-ins aren’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, it means additional attendees and revenue from ticket sales
. However, if there are more walk-ins than anticipated then it can lead to problems especially if you are near capacity limit. This may include turning people away and facing a few unhappy campers as a result.
To remedy the situation, be sure to include bold lettering on your event page that walk-in registration is not guaranteed. There should also be a quick registration process for those who haven’t pre-registered. Keep the event checkin line separate from those who already registered and just need to register to pick up their name tags.
2. Long Lines
In most retail stores, there’s a rule that another register line must open if any of the existing registers have three or more customers in line. If guests have to wait in a long line that’s moving at a snail’s pace, it might overshadow any positives they experience later on. At no point should the line extend past the premise of the venue.
If you anticipate a swarm, borrow some of your staff in other areas and have them open a few additional registration lines. It is highly recommended that your point-of-sale system has some sort of event checkin app to make the process as expedient as possible. Most event registration software
comes with its own check-in system.
Opt for a system that utilizes check via QR code scan. The Ticketbud Event Check-in App
for iPad & iPhone is useful for streamlining the registration.
3. Ditch the Pre-Printed Name Tags
Having name tags already printed out may seem helpful but it can prolong wait times. Staffers will needlessly waste seconds sifting through hundreds of name badges. If a single one is placed out of alphabetical order, then that’s going to hold up the entire line by minutes.
With improved registration technology, professional name tags can be printed on the spot by simply typing a name and hitting the print button. Alternatively, there are also always those “Hello, my name is…” stickers where attendees can write in their own name. This is always a feasible option when formal name tags are not necessary.
4. Express Lines for VIP Guests
VIP guests typically consist of your most loyal customers or those who paid extra for special treatment. One of the perks should be an express line where they can immediately check in from a separate line and bypass the long line that everyone else has to wait in. To further expand the VIP experience, there should be a few staff members designated to escort VIP members to their front seats or private lounge.
Some event software systems can be set to automatically alert selected staffers when a VIP member has registered. This way, the designated staffers can immediately proceed to the check-in area and greet these important guests.
5. Watch Out for Event Crashers
Your event may only be exclusive to those affiliated with your company. If so, you have to watch out for event crashers who may try to make their way in under a false name to take advantage of the booths, presentations, or food. If you have a guest list app, keep it out of sight as crashers could easily pretend to be someone on that list.
Also require everyone to show their identification. For high-profile events, consider using a event check-in app
with a pre-uploaded photo of each guest. This way, you can be sure that each guest that registers really are who they say they are.
Keep in mind that event crashers may also simply bypass the registration line and make their way straight into the venue. You should have someone posted at every entrance and prohibit anyone without a name tag from entering.
6. Avoid Attendee Confusion
Guests can easily become confused especially if there are multiple registration lines. Are they supposed to check in first? Do they proceed straight to the venue? To avoid confusion and guests waiting in the wrong lines, be sure to have signs that clearly explain what each line is for. Lines can easily be distinguished using cones and yellow tape.
Posting paper signs will suffice, though for an amplified visual effect, incorporate a digital signage that explains the check-in process. Another advantage of using a digital signage is that instructions can be presented in multiple languages and even include voiceovers.
7. Handout Materials
Usually, staffers are also required to hand out companion material for the event
, which normally consist of a welcoming packet that includes flyers, schedulers, sponsor brochures, and the like. This can take additional time.
First of all, it’s not advisable to be distributing paper handouts at all. All of the material should be delivered digitally, which attendees can access via their smartphone. If you decide that paper handouts are necessary, then have a separate station just beyond the check-in counter where they can be distributed.
Make It Short and Sweet
Accountability is a crucial aspect for any event. There are so many things that can go wrong during the check-in, ranging from long wait times to excess walk-in registrations. You need a plan in place for these scenarios or else the situation can quickly become disorganized.
Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.