7 Principles of Designing a Winning Check-In Zone

1. Stay Organized

As well all know, organization is a large key to our success as an event planner. If you don’t have quality organization in place for your check-in process, it is sure to be chaos. When guests begin arriving ensure you have proper systems in place in order to stay organized throughout the day.

Utilize folders, alphabetize everything and give your system a practice run to ensure nothing is forgotten. During the practice run, ask questions and clarify the way you want the check-in area to run. Identify where there might be challenges in staying organized and come up with a game plan before the big day!

2. Ensure Proper Flow

Having a check-in zone that flows well will prevent stress for you and keep your staff happy, while also providing a quality first impression for your attendees. No one enjoys feeling crowded or waiting in an extremely long line. The best way to prevent this is with a smooth running check-in area.

Before your guests arrive, try a walk through with your staff to be sure everything flows nicely and you don’t foresee any problems or areas that could create a traffic jam. This will also help you team to feel prepared for the attendees to arrive.

3. Hire Great Staff or Volunteers

At your check-in area, you want your staff to be friendly, knowledgeable and organized. Hiring or assigning the right people to the job it crucial in having success at your event. You want to find people who have positive attitudes and the ability to stay calm under pressure, as check-in can sometimes be a bit stressful and overwhelming.

As I mentioned above you should train your staff and have a run through with them prior to the attendees arriving. This will help ensure they are organized, prepared and ready to rock the check-in desk!

4. Make the Most of Tech

Technology should be a huge part of your check-in process. Try to move as many processes as possible to a digital system. This will help you to avoid errors and cut down on the amount of paper you are using.

You can also use tech to increase interaction at your check-in area. Share your event hashtag and encourage your guests to share their initial impressions on their social channels. This will get your attendees excited and help them to start interacting with other guests!

5. Get Ahead with Good Registration

A great check-in process begins long before the first person steps through the door. Having a quality registration method will set you up for check-in success. Check out the new free ebook from EMB “The Good Event Registration Guide”. This book is a must have for all planners and event managers.

The registration process is essentially the first interaction you have with your guests. Make the most of this opportunity and your guests will show up to the event check-in desk excited and prepared for everything the event has to offer!

6. Utilize Proper Timing

Make sure your event check-in is timed properly. Perhaps you are running a conference where thousands of people registered. If this is the case, your check-in should be open for many hours or perhaps run throughout the entire event. You wouldn’t want to limit the check-in window to a small period of time as you won’t be able to handle the large amount of traffic all at once.

On the other side of the coin, you may have a small event and want your guests to be ready by a specific time. If you have a small window for check-in, just be sure to remember that guests will show up early as well as late, so have your staff prepared for both scenarios.

7. Get the Party Started

The event check-in should be a fun and exciting area where guests get pumped up to finally get inside the event. If you have a themed event, be sure the festivities extend out into the check-in area.

Perhaps you could include music or display art work in the check-in zone. This will provide a distraction for your guests and possibly take their mind off of the fact that they might have to wait in line for a minute or two. The check-in area should be a positive experience and not one that frustrates the attendee.

In Conclusion

Make the most of your check-in zone by using the tips above. These small adjustments will set your event apart and help you to start off on the right foot with your guests as they arrive. Check-in provides many opportunities to make an impression and win guests over. It also allows for attendee interaction and creates an area where the event festivities can begin!