Just in time for the Holidays, I am about to “Present” you with one of the best kept secrets that will make your next event a “breeze” to prepare for.
I am passionate about planning events, so unless you’ve planned an event yourself, you wouldn’t believe how many intricate details go into organizing one — selecting the venue, establishing the budget and timeline — is only the scratches the surface. It seems like I’m always looking for ways to improve the process.
Event Planning is Slowly Evolving
In the past (and sometimes even today) event planners often use an excel spreadsheet to track the project details. But now specialized software tools are available to help us track the complex logistics and changing nuances to manage the planning process. I personally like Smartsheet, a great software to get acquainted with. Check it out www.smartsheet.com.
Although, when it comes to syncing event registration with badges, unfortunately this seems to have taken back seat. I don’t think improvements in this area were given much thought, so issuing badges naturally has taken a low priority — even for event planners. Unfortunately, it ends up being the last mundane thing to do before the party begins. “Let me tell you, it can cause a lot of stress and bad things can happen too”.
Reducing the congestion at the registration desk is usually handled by offering pre-printed badges for pre-registered guests. But non-registered guests, on the other hand, is normally taken care of on-site- at the event, manually. Make sure to pack an arsenal of supplies such as a marker pens (lots of them), Avery badges, and a clipboard with a sign-in sheet. After you get the materials organized, get ready to record the attendee on the sign-in-sheet, collect the fees, issue a receipt –and oh yeah, don’t forget to make a note of the funds you just received. Are we there yet? Let’s face it, any way you look at it, this is a cumbersome process — it takes too much time.
In some cases, event planners need to hire extra staff just to handle the registration and badging process (at an additional expense to your client). All too often you’ve seen this organized into 4 or 5 registration lines; A through E, F through K, L through P, etc. No worries, your guest will find their way to the correct line. (Not! It’s always confusing.)
Our intention is to improve these processes, so we began a journey and a three-month odyssey of research until last August when we discovered “the best kept secret” right here in our backyard!! This was the moment of truth and our greatest wish became a new life mission “to share this well-hidden knowledge with the event planning world”.
The next event to organize was in September where I met Theresa Shafer at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View to set up for the Annual PRG Symposium. This event typically attracts 300 attendees, and the history of this special occasion tells us there is a good % of these invitees that show up at the door without registering.
My role was to register those guests that just show up, along with the opportunity to participate in a case study. I had my fingers crossed to see if using this new equipment we recently discovered would be “the answer to the secret” — to improve the registration process.
Just a Laptop and a Power Strip
Theresa introduced me to EZBadge, a small, lightweight badging system. I connected my laptop to the small device and much to my surprise I was instantly connected to the EZBadge software. That’s it – the system allows either you or the guest to directly enter all the registration information. It was so simple to use, and it took only a minute to prepare each attendee prior to entering the event.
Using the EZBadge equipment for our case study turned out to be a big success. Finally, we’ve evolved from the manual clipboard sign in sheet. This wonderful new badging system proved to work out perfectly, without a glitch. I just couldn’t wait to share it with the world.
If you are interested in learning more about all the benefits of using the EzBadge, go to www.ezbadge.com today. Here are some discount codes you can use (limited time offer).
May your Holiday be Merry and Bright!
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