A stellar check-in process sets the tone for the rest of your event. Follow these tips to ensure a smooth check-in process that impresses your attendees from the get go!
After countless months of organizing, reiterating, and polishing your event strategy, the event day is finally here! And of course, you want to make the best possible first impression. This all begins well before the keynote presentation or the first session. You will want to wow your attendees during the event guest check-in process. Setting the tone as soon as they walk into the venue will carry on throughout the event.
While planning the on-site check-in experience for your event, you will want to make sure it is the most delightful and positive experience possible. Here are a few tips that will help achieve that objective while also shedding light on what you can do post-event to harness check-in data and improve future events.
1) Send a Pre-Event Email with Check-In Details
Clear communication regarding the check-in process will be essential to ensuring a smooth experience for all. Consider sending a “how to check in” email to attendees few days before the event so that people are fully aware of what they need to do to enter. For the event techsytalk live, Liz King sent an email the day before the event that outlined the instructions for checking in.
You’ll also notice that the email encourages people to download the event app prior to arriving at the event. This will help expedite the check-in process especially if the attendee’s registration information is located within the app. A quick scan of their QR code and credentials will make for a fast and smooth check in.
2) Go Paperless
In this day and age, checking into an event with paper and pen does not leave a good first impression. In addition to the inefficiency that this may cause, more than anything this type of outdated check-in process is a poor reflection of your event brand. You will want your attendees to feel that the event they are about to enter is one that will teach them new lessons and expand their knowledge.
Sticking to old and inefficient ways may prevent attendees from walking away with a positive impression of your event. A simple way to go paperless is to offer tablets to attendees and have them register through the device. Keeping the event guest check-in process as smooth as possible is key.
3) Integrate Your Check-In Platform with Event Management Software
One way to help transition to a digital check-in experience is to integrate your event management software (EMS) with your event check-in platform. This integration will make sure that the event registration data from your EMS is synced with the check-in software, making the process smooth and simple once the attendees arrive on-site. And while some EMS solutions already have native check-in features, integrating with a dedicated check-in software can significantly augment the on-site registration capabilities.
One such event check-in software that offers seamless integrations is Bizzabo's onsite solution. Bizzabo's onsite solutions allow event marketers to streamline the on-site check-in and registration process through features like QR code scanning, self-check-in kiosks, on-demand badge printing, and more. Of course, all of these features are even more powerful when they are synced with the registration data from your event management software. Event software integrations like this eliminate the need to migrate data from one platform to the other, creating a simple experience for both organizer and attendee.
4) Create a Logical On-site Check-In Flow
Once attendees arrive at the venue, they should know exactly where to go to check-in and receive their registration. Organizing the spacing and on-site check-in flow in an intuitive way will be key in avoiding long lines and confused attendees. There should be plenty of signage that designates a specific area for event registration as well as a logical progression of the check-in process. Map out this flow ahead of time and make sure your event staff knows where to direct attendees after each step of their check-in process.
5) Set Up Self Check-In Kiosks
With advanced check-in software like Bizzabo onsite solutions, you can set up self check-in kiosks that can make for a much faster process. Your event staff can focus on helping those who are having trouble with checking in while those who have all of their information can check themselves in within a matter of seconds. Having these kiosks will also make your event feel sleek and modern, creating a positive impression on attendees.
6) Assemble a Well-Trained Event Staff
After you have all of the stations and software in place, the next key step is to choose the right people to operate the check-in process. When assembling your event staff, make sure to be explicit in what you expect and how you envision them to compliment the overall event experience. A well-trained event staff is especially important for the check-in process as they will be setting the tone for the rest of the event.
If attendees walk away from the check-in process feeling that they’ve been cared for and sufficiently assisted, this first impression will likely carry on to other parts of the event. Thus, be selective with your event staff and make sure they are fully aware of the importance of their roles. Finding the perfect event staff is not an easy process but making the effort to assemble the best team possible will pay off in the long run.
7) Generate Positive Energy During the Check-In Process
Prior to opening day, your event brand was largely reflected in the main digital touch-points such as the event website, social media channels, and email campaigns. Now that the event has finally begun, the event brand falls largely on the people who are working it. Anyone part of the event staff who is attendee-facing is an extension of your event brand. For this reason, they should be well-trained and well aware of how to interact with attendees, especially during the check-in process.
You will want your event staff to convey feelings of delight and positive energy when attendees check in. After all, this is the very first moment they are experiencing your event. A great example of this would be the ambassadors at Social Media Marketing World. As attendee arrive to the venue, these ambassadors bring positive energy through high fives and smiles. Aligning your event staff with the tone you’d like them to convey will add a positive effect to the attendee’s check-in experience.
8) Ensure an On Brand Experience
From the moment attendees walk through the door, the event has begun. For that reason, the event guest check-in experience should be reflective of your event brand. Instead of viewing checking in as merely a logistical step, you should claim the check-in process as a part of the event brand and make sure that it is being reflective as such. All check-in touch-points, from iPads to self check-in kiosks to event staff, should show off the event brand. Making a good first impression will last for the rest of the event.
9) Extend The Check-In to Event Sessions
Again, the check-in process should be viewed as a standalone process. Given that your event software includes this capability, create a simple in-app check-in process for each event session so you are able to know how many people actually attended the session versus the amount of people who signed up. Having this data will be very useful for future events especially when it comes to curating the event content.
10) Make Use of The Post Check-In Data
The purpose of the check-in data is not only meant for the beginning of the event, but the end of the event as well. Harnessing this information helps to paint a full picture of your event and will inform future decisions regarding your events. Collecting and using this data is key to reaching conclusions that will formulate your event strategy. Jinal Kansara, Senior Sales Executive at Boomset, understands how utilizing such information will prove useful in the future.
“You can then take it a next step further by tracking and measuring, in real time, session attendance. Where are your guests going throughout the event? Was this panel successful? Did we have a lot of buzz for the keynote speaker? Then you can use this comparative data against previous years in order to make more strategic marketing decisions for future events.”
- Jinal Kansara, Sr. Sales Executive, Boomset
Bringing it back to integrations, a good event app will also have a lot of these engagement analytics available in the backend so being able to sync this data will result in even more actionable insights.
Wrapping Up: Your Event Check-In System
The check-in process is the very first impression that attendees will have of your event and it is therefore important to make the experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Here are a few points to recap the tips above:
- Choosing an event check-in software and integrating it with your event management platform will save precious time for both the organizer and attendee.
- Assemble an event staff who will help add to a delightful check-in experience.
- Remember, the check-in process is an extension of your event brand. Make sure everything accurate reflects the brand, from the colors of the table to the tone of the event staff.
- Use an event software that captures all data from the check-in process including the data from each event session. This will help to inform future decisions about your event strategy.
As every event is different, utilize these tips in a way that makes the most sense with your event strategy.
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