You’ve spent months on end planning for your upcoming event. You’ve likely thought through where you want to locate the registration tables, how to best check people in, and all the finer points of getting everyone from Point A to Point B during event registration.
However, there are dozens of little things that will happen during registration or check-in for any event that you might not have thought of. This handy checklist will help ensure you don’t forget anything essential on your big day.
Top 10 Things You’ll Need at an Event Registration Table
While there may be other things that would come in handy, I believe these ten things will see you through most event registration or check-in processes at a conference.
1. Event Registration Schedules/Agendas
When attendees register, you should give them a schedule or agenda of what will happen at the event. Make sure you have these printed ahead of time and plenty of them to hand out. Keep in mind that some people will lose their copy and may need a replacement. Others will ask for two so they have one as a keepsake. Print about 25% more than you actually think you’ll need. You may even have last minute attendees who you haven’t planned for, so these will come in handy.
2. Name Tags
Provide attendees with pre-printed name tags or badges. These can serve both to get them into various events as well as a way for attendees to meet new people and get to know one another better.
The best name tags are reusable and go inside some sort of clear plastic sleeve. You should personalize each name tag with your event logo and the person’s name. Have extra blank ones on hand for last minute attendees or to replace lost badges.
You also may encounter a situation where the person’s name has been misspelled. You can fix it on the fly if you have extras available. A neatly handwritten tag is better than an incorrect one.
The quickest way to check people in is with computers. You can use laptops tied into a central server (some hotels will allow you to hook into WIFI and use cloud capabilities. You can easily access your attendee database, such as what we offer here at Attendee Events.
4. POS Machines or Ability to Take Payment
How will you accept payment for last minute attendees or those who still owe money? Perhaps you want to sell T-shirts and other mementos of the event. You can either work with your bank to gain access to a point of sale machine, or you can use a service such as Square or PayPal for these purposes.
Both online payment services offer both card readers that will work with mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet, or you can login with an Internet connection and punch in the person’s information manually.
5. Extension Cords
Even though you may expect the hotel to have extension cords available so you can set up tables and computers anywhere you need to, the truth is that there may be other events going on and a shortage of cables to go around.
Even if you leave the extra cords in your vehicle unless you need them, it is a good idea to pack a few extras just to be on the safe side. It will save someone having to run to a nearby hardware store to purchase cords at the last minute.
6. Walkie Talkies
Supplying key workers with walkie talkies is a great idea during registration. Cell phones don’t always get signal inside a building, or some people may hear their cells easier than other people. However, walkie talkies set to the same channel can allow everyone to communicate when needed.
Need more agenda handouts at one of the tables? The person doesn’t have to leave their table to go get them but can call for the coordinator to run more out.
7. Pens & Sharpies
It is almost a given that someone will need information, a name, or some other bit of information. If you have pens available, they can easily write this on an agenda. It is a good idea to have some pads of paper with your event logo at the top, too.
Sharpies are needed if you have to create an extra name tag, so have a supply of traditional, bold black sharpies on hand.
8. Goodie Bags
If you have items to hand out, it’s a good idea to put them into some sort of bag. A tote with the event name works well. Registration is a great time to hand these out, because each person at the event comes to the registration table and you won’t miss anyone.
Invest in some large signage to show where registration is and with the words “Registration” to attract attendees. Spend the money to get these personalized. If you are at a large hotel or conference center, yours may not be the only event going on, and attendees will need to know it is the registration that applies to them.
10. Table Skirts
Take along some table skirts and decorations. The venue likely will provide this, but in case they do not you don’t want to present a plain plastic table with metal legs to your attendees. A simple white table skirt and cover along with beautiful signage (See # 9) presents a professional appearance.
Don’t Forget the Friendly Greeting
A warm smile and a friendly greeting goes a long way to making the attendees’ registration experience the best it can be. For many attendees, this is the first impression they have of your event, so you want to make it a positive one.