Providing a Seamless Event Check-in Experience with Onsite Badge Printing

May 24, 2022

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As 2022 has progressed, the events industry has seen tremendous optimism for the return of in-person events. At the same time, the pandemic has transformed the events scene for good, with hybrid events here to stay. With more and more events taking on a hybrid format, there has never been a better time to invest in event technology that seamlessly blends the two, in order to offer an excellent experience to both in-person and remote attendees.

The last two years have, unsurprisingly, seen significant innovation in the virtual events space. At the same time, however, face-to-face events have largely been left on the backburner, putting organizers under pressure to rethink how they provide a premier attendee experience at in-person events. Onsite event badge printing and check-in software are essential solutions for making that possible, and here’s how:

Making a Great First Impression

Events are all about experiences. Those experiences begin the moment an attendee checks-in at your venue so, naturally, long queues and convoluted badging procedures instantly make a poor first impression.

Badges are an important component of any professionally organized event, since they identify attendees and encourage networking. In the past, these badges were typically pre-printed in black and white, and weren’t exactly aesthetically  pleasing. However, modern event badges can include social media handles, photos, QR codes, and more, complete with custom colors. With integrated badge designer software, you can even design different attendee badges for different attendee categories. That way, when an attendee arrives at the event, they’ll receive a personalized badge that will give them

Best of all, badges can be printed locally on-demand to reduce waste and facilitate a seamless check-in process. One of the most important reasons to switch to onsite badge printing is to streamline the check-in process. It might sound like leaving badge printing for check-in would slow down the process, but this is not the case. With a badge-printing system that integrates with your event check-in and registration software, printing a badge onsite is almost instant. By contrast, pre-printed badges are typically stored in filing folders, which must be intricately organized and handed out in-person. If one gets mislaid or contains an error, then the check-in process can get held up for everyone.

Over the past couple of years, people have grown increasingly used to high-tech virtual events to the point their expectations for the return of face-to-face events have significantly increased. The traditional method of check-in and badging is cumbersome and slow, so it is not likely to leave the best first impression. By contrast, using a seamless high-tech solution sets the right tone for the event from the very beginning.

Tracking Event Attendance

One of the inherent advantages of virtual events is the fact that every digital interaction leaves behind a trail of data. Machine learning software can translate that data into actionable insights that drive informed decision-making that make your events better every time. As such, tracking key metrics is essential for the long-term success of any event organizer.

Tracking important metrics is a little more complicated in the case of in-person events. Hybrid events can also suffer from the same problem, since it is inherently more difficult to provide a consolidated experience through both physical and virtual channels. However, onsite badge printing can help unify the attendee experience by making it easy to track attendance.

Of course, you could look at your registration data and then compare it to any badges which were left behind after the check-in closed to deduct no-shows. But this takes time, and is much less reliable, since it might not account for walk-ins. With an integrated onsite badging and check-in system, you can instead collect high-quality analytics in real time, and feed them into the very same system you use to manage your remote attendees.

With a truly integrated badging and check-in solution that exists as a native function of your event management software, you can also use your existing database of attendee registration data. You can then identify attendees as they arrive and track their attendance using a combination of barcode scanners and wireless printing for ID badges on the spot. The entire experience can be delivered in the form of a self-service kiosk or in-person where preferred.

The Value of a Flexible All-in-One Solution

The most comprehensive event management software should provide everything organizers need to host any kind of corporate event across in-person, virtual, and hybrid formats. For onsite attendees, this means having the ability to deliver a seamless check-in experience which supports attendance tracking and badge customization. It is also highly recommended, for the sake of efficiency, that you offer a self-service check-in option.

For example, a seamless iPad-based check-in solution allows attendees to check themselves in simply by scanning in their QR code or manually inputting their credentials. Then, the system will print their personalized badge. Alternatively, you might offer an admin-guided check-in experience, which might be more suitable for smaller or more intimate events. Ideally, you should offer both.

A truly flexible check-in and badging solution should also be mobile. With support for wireless printing, there’s no need to worry about routing and hiding cables or being restricted to certain check-in locations. With a mobile-first check-in app, you can easily expand the check-in area or even change the location altogether. That level of integration and flexibility offers everything you need to provide a top-quality attendee experience right from the start.

With Stova BadgeNow, event check-in and badge-printing have never been easier. Our all-in-one solution ships directly to your event and comes pre-configured with iPad tablets running the Stova Check-in software that works in both kiosk and admin modes. Request a live demo today to see it in action!

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