You’ve spent months planning the perfect event, meeting, or conference. Now everyone is planning to show up at the same time, and you have to check them in as fast, and as accurately as possible. No matter how well you plan, no matter what expense and no matter how much time anyone spends planning an event, there’s always one moment where nothing goes exactly to plan. In that moment, the most prepared staffs will thrive.
Professional event planners, like yourself, will do their best to avoid that moment at all costs. When thousands of people show up at your event when you planned for only 500, or when you have to process more people than you have registration space for, our approach can absolutely help.
Here are a few tips-and-tricks we rely on to process a lot of people in a limited amount of space and time.
Provided your event doesn’t have personalized material, having a single queue decreases processing time immensely. Having the badges printed on demand allows every terminal to handle every customer. Airlines and Banks are finally doing this. Everyone stands in the same line, and then is processed by the next available rep. This avoids anyone line from getting backed up, because of a single complex issue.
The number of check-in stations you setup, should be determined by the number of attendees, the avg time to process a check-in, and the time allotted for check-in. If you have 1000 guests, to be processed in an hour, and it takes you 11 seconds per guest, you need to process about 17 guests per minute. (17*60 = 1020). So now the question is, how many stations do you need to process 17 guests per minute? With EventDay, we would set you up with 5-7 stations, leaving about 20 seconds per guest to process. We would leave one or two stations open for complex cases, while the other 5 or 6 would be scanning registration tickets, and lighting up the Badge Printers.
(Side note) You may be asking, why we would ever need to process 1000’s of guests/attendees in a single hour. If you have a large multi-day conference, you probably have more than an hour for check in. But we’ve processed dinners and large single day events, where everyone shows up at the same time, and has a very limited time to get processed, and into the venue.
File>Print>Press Return>Print seems like only a few clicks or keystrokes, but when you’re processing a crowd, every movement counts. Our technology automates the entire print sequence, allowing you to move on to the next in line as quickly as possible. We so wish every event planner did this, as it’s as annoying to watch someone click away on their computer, making that line longer and longer. Image a check-in system with no typing? Scan a barcode on the attendee ticket, and the badge prints. Distribute material, and you’re done. Of course the exceptions here (which take the most time) happens when the attendee doesn’t have their printed confirmation (about 15-20%) and/or need a name correction.
If you don’t have barcode or QRCode scanning technology, then manually looking up attendee names, can be enhanced as well with our Live Search. Attendees with common first or last names take longer to find in a traditional check-in system. Our Live Search (filters the attendee list as you type) process requires only a few letters, and those letters can be the for someone’s first name and or their last name, company, or email address. This always let’s us find what we need in seconds. Either way, typing out entire names is completely unnecessary now. Your fingers will thank you.
Most printers take a while to warm up, a while to process a print request and too long to actually print. The seconds add up quickly the longer a queue gets. We swear by badge printers that print in a matter of seconds (yes seconds). Other options are available, but if you’re looking to get through a line fast, there’s no better solution.
If you must pre-print, print shells, and then print-on-demand the names and attendee information during checks in. A little forethought here might let you design and purchase enough badge blanks to use for next year. With printing, you’ll find that the cost difference between 1000, 2000, and 5000 might be almost nothing. Avoid printing the year on your badge, and reuse the assets next year. Especially on the lanyards if you’re having them customized.
Names will always be spelled incorrectly. An assistant, or friend, signed them up, or just a plain typo can easily happen. When you print a badge, it’s nice to be able to easily correct and reprint the badge. This is a nice touch that goes a long way, and is 100% lost, if you’re pre-printing badges with attendee data.