No one enjoys standing in lines, but Americans spend a collective 37 billion hours a year doing it. Most event attendees are so used to standing in line that they assume it’s a necessary evil. They don’t enjoy queues, but they’ve certainly had to experience them.
Queues are a headache for attendees, and they’re equally agonizing for event organizers charged with orchestrating flow, overseeing security, and staffing checkpoints. Here are the most common lines attendees have to suffer through — and how you can resolve them.
Identify the most inefficient areas of your event
Waiting in lines is made even more frustrating by its predictability: slow lines tend to occur at the same spots at every event. Here are the areas you should make sure to troubleshoot at your event:
- Check-in at the event itself. For attendees, event check-in can feel like an airport ticketing counter or, worse, the DMV. Every moment spent standing in line is a moment not spent enjoying the event. For event organizers, relying on multiple staff members to verify identity, issue tickets or badges, and hand out RFID wristbands means more training and an extra pull on your budget. It’s not a great experience for anyone.
- Entry to individual sessions. For events with multiple session options, standing in line to get into the venue is just the first hurdle. Once in, attendees have to queue up again to get into a specific session. And for organizers, session tracking presents challenges. How can you give the right people access to the right sessions, and track all of that attendance data accurately?
- VIP and other upgrade lines. VIP lines are an oxymoron. For those who purchased VIP tickets, entry should be swift and painless. And for those who didn’t, but then saw your sweet VIP lounge in person, there shouldn’t be any barriers to upgrading. Make attendees wait in line to upgrade, and you degrade the experience — and potentially lose revenue from those who won’t bother to wait in line again.
The solution to these frustrations? Self-service options that allow attendees to take charge of their event experience and avoid the lines.
Boost efficiency and enhance the event experience with self-service options
Giving attendees self-service options can eliminate the scourge of queues from your event experience. Using automation technology like Boomset’s, organizers can make self-check-in, session entry, and reporting more efficient and affordable.
It’s not just about fewer lines. Self-service event technology can give attendees more agency over their experience and event organizers better access to accurate insights. Here’s how.
1. Registration kiosks and painless entry
With self-service kiosks, people can check themselves into events — no staff members required. At the same time, attendees can snap a badge picture and print their badge or NFC-enabled RFID wristband in a few taps.
This technology extends beyond the front door. For events that offer individual sessions, workshops, classes or seminars, self-service kiosks can be located throughout an event. If attendees suddenly decide to add or drop a session, they can take care of it on their own, without having to return to your ticketing counter.
This empowers attendees to organize their experience up front or at any time during the event, and alleviates your staff from spending valuable time facilitating such changes.
What’s more, self-service kiosks can usually be custom designed to match your event brand.
2. Better branding
Not only does self-service technology help automate processes but it also directly engages event attendees with your unique brand, especially when used at a check-in or registration area.
For those who want a more compact user experience, something like a branded full-service event kiosk might work best. With these airport-style kiosks for events, you can customize the design of both the kiosk and touchscreen, where attendees view, verify, and edit their information. A station with badge printing where attendees can quickly grab a badge and lanyard can also help reduce congestion while promoting your brand experience.
3. Swift session entry and tracking
One of the biggest benefits of using self-service technology is that it gives you control over and insight into where your attendees go. For example, Boomset’s Smart Session Scheduling feature gives attendees the ability to flash a badge or RFID bracelet for entry to specific areas. Event-goers don’t have to scramble back and forth between various apps to check in, or stand in line every time they need to enter a new zone.
Even when it’s not important to limit entry to a session, self-service technology provides valuable data for organizers who want to know who goes where. Using RFID bracelets or badges, individual attendee entrance and exit from events can be automatically tracked. This gives organizers a precise picture of event flow in real time.
And it has another valuable application at events where it’s important to make sure people didn’t just show up for a session, but stayed. For instance, continuing education credits only apply if students were present for a certain amount of time. With RFID data, self-service apps can track whether an attendee bounced or stayed.
Look for technology that integrates with your ticketing partner’s data, so you can import and sync multiple guests lists to better manage registration lists in one place. Boomset’s attendance data, for example, is auto-synced back to Eventbrite’s records.
4. A premium path to VIP
If you offer VIP upsell options or premium after-party experiences, give your attendees the means to upgrade at any time from self-service kiosks distributed throughout your venue. The moment event goers upgrade, their badge or RFID bracelet is instantly updated. Anyone with VIP access can walk right into your VIP lounge by flashing a wrist.
Giving attendees access to self-service check-in options enhances the experience for everyone involved, and also gives event organizers better ways to keep track of who goes where.
Want to make your event more efficient? Learn more about technology like Boomset, or discover how to automate your entire event technology stack in How to Use Event Automation to Scale Your Events Business.