Conference organizers have numerous occasions to make strong impressions on attendees. From an A-list keynote speaker, to a great online registration system, your guests take notice and draw conclusions about your event.
Yet, there’s one process that often gets overlooked: Check-ins. Day-of registration and the check-in process offer organizers a chance to start a conference or tradeshow off on the right foot. Guests feel welcomed, their first impression isn’t a bad one, and they have more time for exploring and interacting.
Want to create a faster, more efficient check-in process for your event? You might consider an event registration app.
A great check-in app, for example, can transform the registration process. Your guests wait in fewer lines, you can track attendance in real-time and register attendees quickly, to name just a few of the benefits. Not to mention, an app can help you cut costs, and will simplify registration for you and your guests.
What to Look for In an Event Check-In App
The best event registration apps help you and your staff work smarter and more efficiently. That starts with the right mix of features. An app that gives you the right functions and right data is essential for a smooth-running day-of registration process.
Here are some features a first-rate mobile app for onsite registration should have:
- Registration Data Monitoring: All of that data you collect during registration needs to be accessible the day of your show. Your team should be able to pull up guest profiles, payment histories and more in seconds. The best apps allow you to access your guest database and see a range of data, including: basic contact information, what add-ons and sessions a guest has purchased, emergency contact, etc.
- Badge Scanning: Assigning QR codes to attendees, vendors and exhibitors is popular at shows right now. Not only does it help with tasks like lead retrieval, but it can also significantly speed up check-ins and registration. Using an app, your team can scan a QR code and record attendance – to your show, or breakout sessions. This allows you to track attendance in real-time.
- Tracking for CEUs: A great tracking software should be able to report the time when the attendee entered the room. This is very important if you’re tracking for continuing education unit (CEU) credits, as it can give a detailed record about the amount of hours an attendee spends in the classroom.
- Staff Management: A great app enables you to assign room monitors to each of your sessions so they can manage their specific scanning assignments.
- Onsite Registration: The day of your show plans change, and you might have a lot of walk-in traffic. A great app – especially when run on a tablet – allows organizers to register walk-in guests, without having to sit in front of a computer. This helps your team register guests anywhere, which is great for outdoor shows.
- Processing Payments: Onsite registration apps should also be capable of taking payments. Although you might choose a third-party payment system like Square, this data won’t be synched with your app and you’ll need to manually reconcile payments with your registration data. (That’s a really time-intensive process.) A better solution: An app that works directly with payment processers like Square. Guest payment records will update in real-time, saving you valuable time.
- Payment Recording: If you accept cash or check at the door, be sure your app allows you to record these “offline” payments and update guest records.
- Add-On Purchases: A great app allows you to sell add-ons at the door. For example, you might charge a separate fee for an optional networking event. Being able to add items to the customer record helps speed up registrations and eliminate disputes.
- Real-Time Data: Finally, the best event check-in apps provide you with real-time data of attendance and performance. You should be able to track things like: General attendance, session attendance, revenue, and how many registrants have yet to check-in.
Key Benefits of Onsite Registration Apps
Simplifying registration for your event creates a number of opportunities for you, and helps your show run more smoothly. One of the most important benefits is improving the guest experience. A seamless check-in process allows you to eliminate long queues, and create the best first impression for your show. No more tedious check-ins!
Plus, an efficiency-boosting registration app also provides:
- A 360-Degree of Your Show: Data like general attendance, session attendance and revenue can give you a minute-to-minute snapshot of your event. This data helps organizers improve year-over-year, measure growth, and learn which sessions, speakers or booths were most popular.
- Cost Savings: Reduce costs on tasks like paperwork and printing. Plus, since these apps work on an Apple or Android device, you want have to invest in scanning or registration hardware. That can save you significantly.
- Post-Show Accountability: An app that synchs with payment and registration data helps you with a number of post-show tasks, like reconciling registrations/payments, calculating attendance growth, etc. Plus, you can answer questions like how many sessions did guests attend on average, what days/times where best attended, and much more.
- Scalability: Apps allow you to ramp up your check-in process for peak traffic times. For example, you might need more staff at the main entrance for the first few hours of registration. With an app, you don’t have to set up additional hardware. All employees need is a smartphone or tablet with the app installed to check-in/register attendees. This allows you to add entrances, speed up registrations, and keep things moving quickly.
- Payment Flexibility: Having payment data on-hand and synched with your app can settle disputes more quickly. For example, if a customer believes they’ve registered for an optional session, you can pull up the guest record and see exactly what a guest has purchased. Plus, you can set add-ons for your show to increase day-of revenue.
Improve the Onsite Registration Experience at Your Next Show
When attendees walk in the door of your event, you have an opportunity to make an impression. An incompetent, inefficient check-in process sets your show off on the wrong note. Speed up the process with a powerful onsite registration app.
A great app simplifies the process for you and guests. You get the benefit of better data and a fast, effective way to check-in and register guests – no matter the size of your show, and guests get the benefit of a quick process, so they can get to the show floor faster.