Many times, we are asked by our clients how and what an onsite event experience is. This in fact is something important which many do not focus on as while the main event itself can make or break it, the pre-event experience also carry through to it.
Achieving this can be cumulated in a few tips to help you become more organised so attendees get an experience which will make them go WOW! before the event actually starts.
1. Estimate the onsite registration attendance size.
This is crucial in starting to create a pleasant onsite experience for your attendees. After all, who wants to start an event by being in a queue for an hour and that certainly is not the attendee experience you want to create. You may even want to start engaging them using social media or even social media walls.
2. Evaluate your onsite hardware.
When you have an estimate of the number of pre-registered attendees and onsite registration you may have, determine how much hardware you require.
Things to note are:
Self-check-in kiosks/counters are great for expediting the check-in process for attendees who have pre-registered. These kiosks can be used to scan QR codes that are pre-delivered to the attendee via email. Upon scanning the QR Code, a badge can be printed on the spot and your attendee is ready to experience your event.
Payment counters for any attendees whose payment is pending or to cater for any last minute additions.
3. Line busting.
Consider the option to deploy line busters. With internet-enabled mobile devices/tablets, organisers will be able to work a line and start checking in attendees as they wait for their badge at counters. Upon a successful check-in, the attendee is then directed to pick-up their badge.
4. Tweeten the deal.
What many organisers are starting to do is to directly reward attendees engaging with them. Consider providing rewards such as books for a motivational seminar, or vouchers for a product launch. Alternatively, you can reward them by asking them to tweet a photo which goes back to your social wall (see point #1 above). This gives guests a real, immediate value to attendees engaging with you, even before the event starts. And, let’s face it, it’s a pretty good way to start the day after receiving something.
5. Create an event within an event.
Your “main” event may be within the walls of the halls, but at the registration outside, consider having a mini showcase of sorts. This again gives attendees a better idea on what further to expect later on and perhaps, even add value to your sponsors / exhibitors. Registration is the only time guaranteed that all the attendees are at a space you want them to be – once they’re in the halls, it’s harder to control their movement.
6. Slick registration staff.
An important aspect to create an experience worthy of your brand. The staff are the front line and is the first impression they give to your attendees. If you use part timers, ensure a proper run sheet is setup and certain expectations are set. It can get rather boring onsite so it’s important for them to always wear a smile and still be attentive to attendees.
7. Setup & training.
Something that cannot be compromised but is often neglected. Any onsite provider should perform this at least 1 day in advance for the setup and 1 – 2 hours training the onsite staff. This training time is not only for registration but also for the organiser (you) to brief the staffers with general information such as room locations, washrooms, event hours and so forth. A suggestion would be to create a cheat sheet with all the common questions asked onsite and have those posted at the counters. This is a quick one-sheet guide to arm the registration staff to provide immediate answers to attendees.
With these simple, relatively cost-effective, but high impact methods, you can create an experience which resonates not only for your guests but also sponsors/exhibitors, and all this is done even before a single name badge is issued.
There are many other ways to engage guests during onsite check-in, what other methods have you experienced which made you go WOW!? We’ll love to hear your thoughts below.