self check-in for a smooth registration process

9 Event Check In Tips To Guarantee A Smooth Experience

You dedicated so much time in getting ready for show day. Long days of hard work and preparation. You left no stone unturned. You want to provide a seamless event check in experience. From the moment your attendees register online until they enter the venue.

The reality?

Event check-in is often a place where things fall apart. To avoid disasters and make the event check-in experience as smooth as possible, here are 12 proven check-in tips to guarantee success:

1. Nail Your Pre-Event Communication


Pre-event communication through email, text message or through your event app can inform & educate. It’s crucial that you communicate all relevant event-related information ahead of your conference or trade show.

A great pre-event communication email can include information, such as:

  • How to get to the event the easiest way?
  • Parking & public transport information
  • Reminding people how the badge pick-up process works
  • Reminding people when the registration opens
  • How the check-in process?

“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.
Henry Ford

Let’s talk marketing value:

Pre-event communication can also be a great way to communicate how your event app works and what the benefits are. You could, for example, include a link to download the app and provide some tips on how to use it best.

Additionally, pre-event communication allows you to include sponsors, mention technology partners to double-down on your branding.

2. Go Digital To Enhance The Check-In Experience

event check in tips go digital

Still pre-printing badges the night before? Still using pen and people to check people in?

Think again.

Doing everything manually is not only inconvenient, but it’s also plain inefficient. It’s also tediously time-consuming. Surprisingly, many event professionals still rely on these rather traditional methods.

It’s time to level up.

You can opt-in for on-demand badge printing solutions. These solutions can be attendee facing or staff facing, meaning you have full control over the experience.

People who haven’t pre-registered in advance can now do this in a matter of minutes. Attendees who just need their badge can get their own in just a few seconds.

Staff facing terminals allow your team to make last-minute edits & correct errors before printing the badges. Most organizers choose a combination of both to allow for several different scenarios.

In today’s world, digital complements and adds to the physical real-life experience. Using technology to your advantage allows people to enjoy an immersive experience and that’s what you want.

3. Train Up Your On-Site Event Staff

Event Check In Tips Staff

Selecting, training, and managing your on-site event staff is an art and science alike. Nailing the interaction between staff and attendee is crucial. Nothing delights more than a warm welcome, a lovely smile and getting answers.

First impressions count.

First, you need to ensure you have enough staff to run the registration desk. You need to have people to also manage the badge printing stations and assist when help is required.

Second, you need to take the time to train the staff efficiently. Training manuals, pre-event briefing sessions or working with a dedicated on-site partner can mitigate any staffing risks.

Think about the touchpoints where staff can add value. These are the registration desk, the queue, the badge printers & the help desk itself.

4. Embrace ‘Do It Yourself’ Event Check-In

event check in tips self check in

DIY, BYO or CIY (Check-In Yourself)

People are used to self-service. Think about ordering terminals at McDonals, self-check-in stations at airports & passport control when passing immigration.

Type in your name or scan your passport, find it, click it, print it. Simple.

No one wants to wait in queues if all they needed to do is walk up to a check-in station and quickly grab the badge, boarding pass or ordering receipt themselves.

Attendees crave the same experience at events. The technology needs to work and it needs to work seamlessly without explanation.

Using DIY check-in at events can mitigate long queues and has the power to make attendees really happy.

5. Event Signage: Show Me Where I Can Find This!

event check in signage

Efficient signage may seem like the easiest way to simplify event check-in. Without clear and concise signage directing your attendees and helping them find the right counter or check-in queue will quickly descend into chaos.

Your signage needs to be clear and utilitarian. Keep it simple stupid: Big fonts, easy-to-read and clear positioning.

Where is the check-in for speakers & exhibitors? How to get to the self badge printing station? Where’s the help desk?

Signage helps enhance the attendee traffic flow. That being said, it doesn’t fully replace staff guarding the queues.

6. Questions Anyone? Get A Help Desk

The biggest factor that will increase queuing times are attendees themselves. If they don’t know where to go and if they don’t know how it works they will get lost and hold everyone up.

The staff that’s attentive and can gauge these situations quickly are the first to help. But even if no one’s around, you need some way to help attendees getting their answers.

A dedicated event help desk is great to accommodate all possible attendee questions, including:

  • Helping attendees with directions
  • Assisting attendees with the check-in
  • Providing attendees with a schedule
  • Helping with the mobile event app

Make sure that the staff running the help desk is well prepared and trained.

Further reading: How to run a successful event registration table

7. Watch Those Check In Queues. Always!


Managing these on-site queues is a nerve-wracking game. It’s where you need to dodge the bullets. Long and mismanaged queues can crush your attendees’ mood.

Besides point #6, proper signage, having a designated person managing the check-in flow is crucial.

Exhibitors, queue here. VIPs & speaker queue here. You get the gist.

Map out any tasks the day before. Do dry runs to simulate the flow. Brief your team on all possible scenarios. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Murphy’s law is omnipresent. And that’s particularly true for events.

Pro-Tip: If you have an onsite badge printing facility, you could ask your event staff or volunteers to hand out lanyards in advance. This will further bring down the queue.

8. Push For Pre-Event Registration

self check-in for a smooth registration process

This one seems like another no-brainer but hear me out.

The more people you can get to pre-register in advance, the less will crash your event.

Modern event registration software provides real-time reporting so you can easily forecast how many people will actually show up to your event. That, in return, helps you with the planning and the preparation.

Additionally, you can use historical check-in event data from previous years to predict what times are the busiest ones during the day. That will help you predict peak times and manage your on-site staff accordingly.

Pre-registration also speeds up the check-in process and ensures a convenient & hassle-free experience for your attendees.

9. Use Event Data & Analytics

How do people move throughout the event venue? What are the peak times for on-site registration? What are the hot spots dwell time? 

These are just some example questions event analytics can help you answer.

Collecting data and analyzing it during and post-event helps you draw a clear picture of what to improve in future editions. Event data can also help you design new strategies for a better attendee experience.

For example, if you know that people are approaching the venue on public transport you can trigger messages to remind them about the check-in process and what entrance to use to avoid any queues.

Event technology is your best friend here.

Ready to get some help managing your check-in process through technology & service? Our team at TRC Badgerite has run 1,000+ events successfully and can provide you with on-demand badge printing and attendee tracking solutions that increase the experience. Step up your onsite game and arrange a call today.

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