Efficient reception areas for participants

I am frequently asked by organisers of events about the problems they encounter at work. One of the most common problems is the issue of correct reception areas handling.

Efficient reception areas for participants

How is it supposed to be done? Which elements require the most attention? Organization of an event in itself is such a complex process that it is quite difficult to single out its most significant element in an unambiguous way. However, you must be aware that the reception area is intended for welcoming guests, which means that this is the first opportunity for participants to have a personal contact with the organizer. It could be compared to making a good first impression as the reception area has a direct and immediate impact on the perception of an entire event. I am going to dedicate this entry to the solutions that ensure making the best first impression on the attendees of your event.

Image and Recording

It is true that your image is largely dependent on the budget at our disposal. However, limited resources do not necessarily render simple but effective solutions impossible to employ. For example, if you are unable to provide high quality furniture, you can use standard counters covered with fabric of uniform colour. And vice versa: if you are not limited by your budget, it is worth making sure that all furniture features brand identity elements, according to the identification system of the organiser.

You need to remember about providing appropriate marking of reception desks if a reception area is supposed to handle participants divided into categories or by last name initials. If possible, arrange them in such a manner that participants are able to migrate between them without disturbing one another.

Now, if you are organising a big event, it is a good idea to have the so-called side reception area, i.e. when reception counters are arranged in such a way that aisles are created in the zone in front of and behind the reception area. If such a model of a reception area is applied, it resembles passport control areas at airports, where the model is used to provide the necessary passenger throughput and easy traffic management.

Reception Personnel

The proper preparation of reception personnel first and foremost consists in providing training in the scope of event programme and sense of direction regarding the venue. It is unacceptable for such personnel to be unable to answer questions about the location of a cloakroom, restrooms, or a parking lot as they are the ones asked most frequently.

If the work of the reception area is supported by an IT system, you must remember to make sure that every person is capable of using all of its functions, regardless of how user-friendly the system actually is. Reception areas can be used to hand in conference materials, in addition to acknowledging attendance. If that is the case, you should consider assigning two people to each reception area. The first person will be responsible for greeting each participant and recording attendance, while the other will hand them a package of welcome materials. And every second counts when looking from the perspective of a single participant.

Throughput of a reception area

The throughput of a reception area depends on proper division of reception area and the methodology of their work. The methodology of work is a factor that is not easy to optimise if using the traditional working tools, such as a blank piece of paper and a pen. And what we usually find helpful is advanced technology, i.e. software that has been designed to make sure that reception area will not waste their precious time. This way, it is possible to reduce the number of reception areas, and, consequently, the costs. Software that facilitates and accelerates the work of the conference reception area should allow you to do the following:

Using a keyboard will greatly accelerate your work, even if it only helps to manually search for data and handle the aforementioned tasks. However, if you want to take a step further in terms of identifying and recording of attendance, you will have to use an application that provides following features:

This way, your reception desk will operate according to the following scenario:

The entire process takes approximately 10 seconds, including the time required to locate the ID badge. However, if the pass is also an ID badge, we can reduce the time a single participant is handled to 1-2 seconds and employ CONREGO Check-in mobile app. If that is the case, it is worth providing comfortable PVC holders that participants can use to carry their passes in A6 size, thus making them more durable than 80gsm paper.

Reception of attendees is one of those processes that can and must be improved on a continuous basis.

Tomasz Chrościechowski

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