Admittedly, it’s already a good bit of work just to check attendees in to an event. So once they’re in, why should you monitor their movements? Won’t that just be wasting time, energy, and money that you could use on something more important, like content development or marketing?
(Spoiler alert: the answer is no.)
Why You Should Track Attendance
- You want to know which sessions were most/least popular, and look for any other attendance trends that will help you to plan better next year. (One event planner saw, in her post event report, that most attendees were leaving her event by 3pm. When she dug in deeper, she realized that this was not because the later sessions stunk, but because people were concerned about getting stuck in crazy LA traffic!)
- You are offering continuing education credits based on sessions attended – so you need to employ some sort of attendance tracking system so you know who attended what session!
How You Can Track Attendance
- Have attendees sign in, literally, on a piece of paper. It’s a bit rudimentary, but in a pinch—at least at very small events—it does the trick.
- Mail tickets to attendees ahead of time, and scan the barcodes at the door.
- Take the barcode idea one step further and print them on attendee badges instead of tickets. Now you can scan the barcode to both admit attendees to the larger event and to track their attendance at individual sessions.
- Plus, instead of having a staff member manually scan badges at all of the sessions, you could also have attendees swipe their badges over a scanning station at the entrance to each session.
- Or, an even simpler solution would be to implement RFID technology so that floor mats “read” badges as attendees walk over them. This technology will keep track of who attended what sessions—no delays, no intrusions, and no extra staff necessary!