How to speed up event check in with mobile devices

Technology is increasingly innovative, with smartphones and tablet computers helping in our day-to-day lives with all manner of tasks, from scheduling appointments to making last-minute purchases. Modern gadgets and the related software are also invaluable in a number of professions too, helping marketers reach their audiences and relieving some of the strain of arranging events.

It's possible to use technology to generate guestlists and also to aid the checking in process at an event, which can help create a great impression for your clients even before the event has begun; find out how to use technology to your advantage on the door.

Organise online

Streamline your event right from the start by inviting your delegates online. This can be as simple as using some specialised online registration software that will keep track of invitees, with features that tell you who has confirmed their attendance and any special requirements they may have.

This sort of all-in-one solution allows event planners to create their event online and utilise template booking forms that can be customised to include branding like logos. Add or delete fields and include images or widgets to show the location of your event on a map, or links to ticket listings. The forms can then be sent across to delegates via email or even accessed via a public website.

Using the system will allow you to create a database of delegates attending your event that you can view on a mobile device on the door, reducing time spent preparing hard copies of guestlists. What's more, depending on the sort of system you use, you'll often find that the registration software updates in real time, alerting you to any last-minute attendees and potentially cutting waiting times upon entry.

The system can be viewed and altered by a number of people at once, and checking in delegates can be as simple as touching a checkbox by their name upon arrival. The action syncs with the database so that everyone viewing the system will be able to see who has checked in and who hasn't. You'll also be able to look at details regarding payment or special requirements during the checking process, enhancing the overall security of the event and ensuring you look after each delegate's needs.

Enable easy transactions

To reduce queues on the day of the event, enable online payments to be taken in advance. If you're using an online registration system, check whether it offers a payments feature; many will generate automatic invoices and send them over to delegates, allowing them to pay via a secure online system.

This can be beneficial in cutting queues at the door, especially if you have a point of entry for delegates who have prepaid and another for those yet to make payment on the day. It can also offer peace of mind for delegates, who will receive confirmation of their payment via email to keep for their records.

Integrate your registration system to support other payment methods like BACS and cheques, and consider setting up a deposit or partial payment system, which can track payments due ahead of the event.

For attendees who will be paying on the day, a portable card machine can be useful if you'd rather not hold a lot of money at the door, also easing the process for delegates who don't like carrying cash around with them.

Super-charge your barcodes

Another useful option to reduce the time spent organising and checking in delegates is the QR code. This is a supercharged barcode containing information that can be checked using a mobile scanning application.

These codes feature on everything from products to posters, and you can create and send these to your delegates as a check-in card of sorts. The code can be shown by delegates at the door via their smartphone or tablet, and staff can quickly and easily scan the code to bring up the attendee's information and confirm their entrance, cutting waiting times at the door.

A regular barcode can work in the same way, with a simple scanning process bringing up the relevant data for each delegate and allowing them swift entry to your event without the need for checking through lists of names.

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