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5 Pro Tips for Your Guest Check-In Area
Event Check-In: Last minute detail or critical element of event success? In a world where first impressions mean everything, we think the latter!
Does anyone remember studying â€śthe halo effectâ€ť in sociology 101? This theory asserts that first impressions lead to an overall bias as to how follow up experiences are perceived. It’s a fancy way of saying that first impressions count, and pave the way to guests enjoying (or not enjoying) an entire event. Talk about a lot of pressure!Â For this reason, the importance of a smooth guest check-in cannot be underestimated. With over 20 years of event experience, Steve Feder, founder of CheckIn Tech, shares with Event Journal his 5 tips to make guest check-in areas both inviting and seamless:
1. Donâ€™t Overwhelm Guests â€“ Throwing around copious amounts of staff and signage isnâ€™t always a fail-safe check-in approach. When possible, ensure that 1 smiling human being greets guests when they arrive, (versus a â€śWelcomeâ€ť sign on an easel). A little personal warmth goes a long way!
2. Meet Guests at Eye Level â€“ Greeters sitting behind traditional 6-foot tables should be reconsidered. There are times low banquet tables are unavoidable, but try using high-top tables instead. This allows greeters to meet and check in guests, eye to eye, and facilitates a more personable interaction.
3. Consider Your Ratios â€“ Use the 100:1 rule. For every 100 guests, assign one individual to check them in. If check-in is more involved than simply looking up a name, then adjust this ratio. The appropriate ratio will yield an optimal check-in time of under 5 seconds to avoid long lines.
4. Avoid Alpha Order Check-In â€“ Do you still use the old â€śA-F, G-L, M-P, Q-Zâ€ť signs that funnel guests to their respective check-in lines? This antiquated approach has been supplanted by more efficient, high-tech options, such as tablet check in. Typically, folks use alpha order when they need to distribute assigned name tags or guest materials. But we have a better solution for that too â€¦ read on!
5. Embrace Two-Step Check-In â€“ One stop check–in is perfect for a seated formal event or cocktail reception. However, when name tags or materials assigned to specific guests are indicated, consider enlisting a two-step check-in process. It will speed things up and eliminate lines. Instead of handing out name tags and materials when a guest checks in, split the two procedures up. First, check the guest in using tablet technology. You can even use a service like CheckIn Tech (shameless plug). With tablet check-in, you eliminate the need to send guests to specific tables to check in. Instead guests approach anyone free with a tablet. Once guests have been verified and checked in, they proceed into the event and stop at a second table. This table has name tags and labeled materials displayed outwardly in alpha order. Guests help themselves, with a staff member on hand to assist. If someone canâ€™t find their name tag or were added at the last minute, send that guest to a help desk where a name tag can be printed. This two-step system dissolves the stress and chaos associated with name tag check-in.
Remember, the event check-in area is THE introduction to your event! Consider the above tips and donâ€™t minimize the importance of creating a positive first impression.
Steve Feder is the founder of CheckIn Tech, the #1 on-site, event check-in service in the country. Focus on your event and leave the equipment set up, orientation of volunteers and processing of guests to the experienced on-site managers, included inÂ your packaged pricing. Want to take it up a notch? CheckIn Tech can also provide wireless printers for on-the-spot name tag printing and additional staffing, if volunteers are not available. Contact CheckIn Tech for additional information.