Event Planning Tips for Making Check-in and Registration a Little Smoother
At some point or another, we have all been there. Standing in the check-in or registration line, tapping our feet, waiting for the line to move forward so we can get into the event. Sometimes, it is miserable. However, as attendees we don’t often think of all the planning it takes just to make that one component of an event work.
Obviously the food and decor are both critical, but one part of the event we put into the same category as those elements is the check-in process. It will be the first impression attendees get of the event and it needs to count.
After witnessing hundreds of events, we have picked up a few tips to help…
1. Organization is everything.
We mean it. It might seem obvious to some, but it’s vital enough to bring up anyway. If you want something to run smoothly, you need to be organized – no matter the size or scope of the event.
Be sure you have enough space and signs directing people to the right area. Have at least one person working the check-in area for every 50 guests. If you’re using name tags, be sure they are printed before the event and organized alphabetically by last name. Use a checklist versus a sign-in sheet. This helps things go quicker. The point is, you need to organize in advance and do a run through of the process beforehand so that you can identify any questions or issues that could possibly arise.
Also, far too often we see poor arrival layouts that create traffic jams at the event entry. Map out the path you want guests to take. Consider where guests are parking or valeting their vehicles, where coat check is, where the check-in area is at in comparison to the venue entrance… all are crucial components as to how easily they can get to the area and get through the process.
2. Timing is everything.
Check-in is usually a process, and an important part of the event, that is usually overlooked until the last moment. Timing matters. Not only how long check-in is expected to take, but when it is expected to take.
For instance, sometimes it is crucial for attendees to arrive at specific times and in cases like those you need to be sure your check-in area is read for arrivals early for those guests who didn’t want to take any chances.
Another hypothetical – if your program for the evening has festivities set to begin at a specific hour such as a speaker, and check-in to occur at a different hour, be sure you have ample time between the start of check-in and the beginning of your speaker. You’ll want to get all of your guests checked in as quickly as possible so that no one misses anything. Consider how many people you are checking in and the amount of time you tend to do it. This impacts your timeline. Keeping the the check-in process quick will greatly impact your guests ability to enjoy the event.
3. Set the Tone
Which leads us to setting the tone. Unless you make the check-in process really smooth, people will likely have to wait to enter, and that’s okay, but that’s a minute or two that can seem like much longer and can set the tone of your event.
Use your theme and entertainment to introduce your attendees to your event during check-in in a way that keeps their minds off the face that they are in fact waiting.
These tips are just a few of the things you can do to make your event check-in a little bit smoother, and hopefully, a little more memorable. Everyone wants to make a great first impression, give your guests the experience to make it a good one.