You might already realize that registration is much more important than simply handing someone a badge – Your conferences and meetings can have information or people that you want to remain private.
There are many stories of organizations that hosted internally-facing meetings but didn’t have proper systems in place to vet attendees.
Naturally, information ended up getting leaked. To make matters worse, even hecklers would attend large meetings to disrupt speakers.
Recently, you may have even heard this is possible with virtual meetings such as the Boris Johnson cabinet meeting via Zoom.
The Importance of Onsite Registration Staff
The Type of Onsite Staff Matters
While staffing agencies have a definitive place in events, you may want to reconsider using them for registration. This temporary staffing option should fill non-critical roles such as passing out literature, pens, scanning badges, and more.
Guarding the gate to your event, and being the first impression your organization makes is important.
Make sure you are paying a little more to retain folks that are professional gatekeepers.
Benefits of Onsite Registration Staff
At first glance it may seem like the benefit(s) are obvious, but check out how important having the right staff can be.
Let’s take your last Sales Kickoff meeting as an example. Looking back, how easy was it for any Joe Schmo to attend any part of your event? (no offense, Joe)
My last SKO had over 700 people in attendance and it was for a publicly-traded company, which are held to higher data-privacy standards.
Looking back, with that amount of people, anyone could have walked into the main room when our CEO and product managers were releasing sensitive information about sales forecasts, product roadmap, and more.
Consider onsite registration staff not just for check-in, but someone to check IDs for your critical information-sharing sessions.
For external-facing conferences or trade shows, capturing information such as who attended (and when) and which sessions they went to will not only help out your sales staff, but it also gives you valuable insight into how you plan your next event.
Which sessions did your prospects, partners, and customers attend the most?
Which rooms were dead?
Onsite registration staff is usually the easiest access that any of your attendees have to event updates, room/session information, and more.
As an exhibitor, it was always easier to walk outside the main doors and ask the ladies behind the desk my questions versus tracking down the main event manager roaming the floor.
First Impressions Matter
Last but not least is the effect of having a warm, smiling face greeting you at the event and making sure you are checked-in and given any swag, badges, and vital information (for exhibitors, sponsors, or attendees).
The difference a professional makes over a temporary worker paid $10/hour can be dramatic for someone new to your event.
How Many Staff Do I Need?
You should definitely consider leveraging a proven system that allows guests to use iPads to login and print their badges.
While this will help control spikes in waiting lines and lower the amount of onsite staff needed, you will still need a minimum of 2 people for your smaller events, and even a handful of people for meetings up to a 1,000 attendees.
The right onsite registration staff can give your event a much more professional look and feel and is absolutely worth considering for externally-facing events where your image matters, as well as internally facing events where you need to control sensitive information.
Be sure you have the right people, even if it means flying in the ones you trust!
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Jeremy Sweat is the Sales and Marketing Director at J.Shay Event Solutions. When he’s not working, he enjoys traveling with his wife, scuba diving, and triathlon training.