The draped conference table with alphabetized name tags is one way to go. The pro? It’s a proven quantity. The cons? Long lines and an inability to maximize the check-in to collect additional information about attendees. But if you’re looking to add value by capturing data for yourself or your clients, one of the latest trends in check-in technology will help you achieve your objective. "We've worked every kind of event imaginable at Gramercy, so we've developed a deep understanding of what works best for each one - it's not one-size-fits-all when it comes to check-in technology", explains Jeremy Patuto.
Organizers who need to move large numbers of attendees through the check-in process quickly will find active and passive scanning using QR/RFID/Bluetooth technology to be a helpful tool.
Badges can be created before the event or onsite and the embedded chips help check-in staff to on-board visitors easily. This technology also allows event hosts to collect data, like heat mapping, as attendees move through the venue. These statistics can provide important information about show trends, highlights, and other attendee patterns.
When it’s important for attendees to have the option to register themselves, self check-in kiosks could be the way to go. Computer screens or kiosks with easy-to-follow instructions give guests the freedom to check themselves in. This option also gives the host the opportunity to capture data, images and signatures while maintaining a small event staff. With self check-in, badges can even be printed, complete with appropriate chips and technology on demand.
For events requiring a more specialized option, Gramercy Tech is able to create an app customized to the event host’s needs. This branded app can be installed prior to the beginning of the event in order to provide guests with a vehicle to exchange information before, during, and after attendance. Event hosts will be given the ability to push out schedules, surveys, maps, notifications, social feeds, and support materials. Attendees are prompted to provide valuable data and feedback. And of course, the app provides a means for attendees to check-in upon arrival.
Imagine an even more personalized check-in experience through the use of facial recognition. This cutting edge technology will eventually make high levels of accuracy and security the norm at events. Not only that – it’s one of the fastest and most memorable ways to get people in the door!
As expectations for meeting, event and conference experiences continue to rise, planners feel the pressure to keep pace by upgrading their services and products and providing value to their clients. It’s time to move past the table of alphabetized badges in order to ensure that check-in at your next event isn’t a process to be endured, but a leading-edge experience that will get you the data you need and impress your attendees before they even walk through the door.
Jeremy Patuto is the founder of Gramercy Tech, with over 20 years experience working with technology and events. With a background at Prudential Financial as VP of Futures and International Technology, Jeremy now runs a thriving digital firm, creating outstanding and memorable results for clients such as Canon, Subaru, and Citigroup. Notable projects include the 2012 Presidential Debates, 10 years working as digital lead on the Clinton Global Initiative’s Annual Meeting, and creating registration systems for multiple Bloomberg Philanthropies events.