April 12, 2016
Time and experience iron out the wrinkles in your check-in process and we have learned a lot. But with our 5 ninja tricks you’ll be able to kick long lines away and karate chop obstacles that slow down your check-in process, making it as swift and agile as a ninja.Your check-in is pivotal. It shapes your registrant’s attitude before they even begin to experience your actual event. If your registrants run into long lines or disorganized volunteers, they will enter the venue with a negative attitude. The more you can streamline your check-in, the happier your registrants will be.
It’s inevitable, unexpected guests will show up who are not on the list. Without a plan, your volunteers will not know how to handle them. Not only will this stall the check-in process but it will annoy the registrant with whom the guests came. So having a plan on how to handle these guests is pivotal. If your event can handle more people have a check-in line for last-minute guests who didn’t register. This funnels them into one line where they can register and pay without slowing down the other registered guests.
When following up with your registrants before the event, add information on how check-in will flow so registrants will know what to expect upon arrival. Answer basic questions for them.Do they need to bring IDs? Should they come early? How many lines will there be? Are the lines first come, first serve or will it be separated by alpha name? This will help registrants prepare for check in and in turn streamline your check-in process.
Handing out materials usually is the most common cause of a bottleneck in the check-in flow. As best you can, pre-assemble packets and materials. Have a check-in flow or assembly line that keeps the line moving while registrants are getting checked-in and handed items. Ideally, you’ll search the registrant's name for check-in toward the beginning of the assembly line, then the registrant will move forward to be handed everything they need.
If you want disorganized volunteers, train them 5 minutes before the event starts. See the information you just gave them leak out of their ears as they distractedly observe the event setup in the background. If you want awesome volunteers, have a volunteer meeting before the event. Then review the information during setup. Make sure your volunteers are ready to handle various situations and are knowledgeable about the event. It’s frustrating for your registrants to walk up to the check-in booth finding volunteers stressing out because they are poorly informed. Creating an informational handout for volunteers is helpful to them, your guests and your staff.
The easiest and simplest way to speed up your check-in is to digitize your process. Use a check-in app (check out ours here) that electronically pulls in your registrant data so you don’t have excel spreadsheets shuffled everywhere. No more awkward silences as the volunteer search your name on a sheet, sometimes looking over the list several times before finally spotting your name exclaiming, “Oh there you are!” These apps pull people up quickly and seamlessly, cutting both time and energy in your check-in process.With these ninja moves mastered, you will become a master at check-in. People will wonder where you learned your ways. Not only will it transition registrants into your event smoothly, but it will keep their excitement at the front of their mind as the event begins. They will walk away remembering your event and not the horrible check-in disaster.