Onsite registration has a profound impact on your attendees’ overall event experience. When attendees enter an event venue, the onsite registration and event badge printing process is like your storefront — the first look at what the event will be like.
When the process is smooth and quick, attendees are happy and begin their event experience excited with an open mind. When attendees wait in line for a long time, they become frustrated; depending on how bad the registration process is, the event experience can crumble before it even begins.
Although event teams didn’t have to pay too much attention to onsite registration over the last several years when everything was virtual, in 2023 98% of event organizers are planning to host at least one in-person event, according to Bizzabo data. Additionally, 85% of event teams plan to host at least three in-person events, while 35% plan to host at least 10.
As in-person gatherings regain dominance, event teams must optimize the onsite registration and badge printing processes to deliver unforgettable event experiences.
The Challenges of Onsite Registration and Badge Printing
At the ideal event, attendees would show up and seamlessly move through the onsite registration process, receive a well-designed badge quickly, and move on with their event experience. Unfortunately, without the right tools and technologies, event organizers can face many challenges during this process.
For starters, long lines can build up when many attendees show up simultaneously, and there aren’t enough people to process them quickly. Without adequate staffing levels, onsite registration can create bottlenecks, frustrating attendees.
Additionally, without the right event technology stack, the onsite registration process can stall as event teams run into technical issues or take too long to print badges because of printer errors. This situation might also result in badge printing mistakes that cause attendees to end up with badges that are hard to read.
On top of this, since onsite registration involves sensitive information — including names, personal information, and payment data — event teams can run into security issues. To mitigate this, it’s critical to look for event technology built with security and compliance top of mind.
How To Overcome Onsite Registration Challenges
1. Use an Online Registration System
Unless you’re keen on processing onsite registration manually, you’d be wise to invest in a purpose-built online registration system. By doing so, you can empower attendees to fill out their own names and contact information, reducing the likelihood of data-entry errors. There are many different online registration solutions on the market today. For the best results, look for a complete event management solution to help with all aspects of the event experience, including event registration, event insights, and event marketing.
2. Use a Badge Printing Kiosk
One of the easiest ways to ensure there isn’t a bottleneck at the entrance to your event is to use a badge printing kiosk that enables attendees to self-serve their own badges. You can still have some people on hand to facilitate registration for folks who are more comfortable having an event professional check them in.
3. Use a Mobile Check-in App and Streamline App Adoption
By investing in an event app, you’ll enable attendees to check in to your event via their mobile devices while also giving them an all-in-one tool to create a personalized agenda, access FAQs, and seamlessly connect with other attendees. Streamline app adoption by ensuring attendees can access the app directly from the check-in kiosk and that you have plenty of signage about the event app.
4. Use the Klik Experiential SmartBadge™
Want to streamline session check-in and boost networking? Bizzabo’s SmartBadge™ technology facilitates seamless networking opportunities and helps your event become more streamlined and sustainable, with fewer attendees passing paper business cards back and forth. Check out this case study to learn how HubSpot used the SmartBadge to impress and engage attendees at INBOUND 2022.
5. Use a Purpose-built Solution
To ensure a seamless registration and check-in process, invest in a purpose-built event technology designed specifically for that purpose. For example, the Bizzabox gives event teams everything they need — including iPads, stands, badge printers, routers, and more — to deliver an optimal check-in experience at events with 1,000 or fewer attendees.
Tips for a Seamless Onsite Registration Experience
As you begin planning your next event, here are some best practices to keep in mind to ensure success:
- Make sure your registration system is easy to use. Otherwise, your staff might need help checking attendees in, or attendees might have difficulty self-serving their registration. Either way, the event experience suffers as bottlenecks are created.
- Have plenty of staff on hand to help with registration. It’s better to err on the side of having more people at the entrance to your event than less. That way, you can rest comfortably knowing you have plenty of staff to keep attendees flowing through to your event.
- Make sure your badge printing system is fast and efficient. If it isn’t, you’ll create bottlenecks, and attendees will be frustrated.
- Promote your mobile app to attendees. It’s one thing to offer an event app. It’s another to have attendees use it. Promote your mobile app well ahead of your event, early and often, to increase adoption and streamline the onsite registration process when the big day arrives.
- Test your registration and badge printing systems before your event. Do a few dry runs before your event begins to ensure everything works as designed. The last thing you want is to discover that your system isn’t working at the last minute.
Level up Your Conference With Onsite Services From Bizzabo!
If you want to ensure your next event starts off on the right foot, Bizzabo can help.
Bizzabo’s Event Experience OS is a complete event management solution that event teams can use to plan, market, manage, and orchestrate events and uncover event insights to optimize their event strategy moving forward.
Bizzabo also offers the Bizzabox, which gives event teams everything they need to handle all aspects of onsite registration and badge printing, including the following:
- Wi-Fi routers with data cards
- Aluminum stands
Customers can also customize their Bizzabox, adding on additional components like the following:
- Lead magnet apps
- Badges, including wearable tech
- Ethernet switches
Would you prefer to get in-person help running the onsite event registration process? Not a problem. You can also enlist Bizzabo’s onsite technician services and rely on our experts to handle it.
Recently, Bizzabo teamed up with HubSpot to deliver a strong event experience at INBOUND 2022, which returned as an in-person event after a two-year absence. To learn more about how Bizzabo helped attendees make the most out of their experiences in Boston, check out the case study.