Checking into an event is often hit or miss for guests. If guests are forced to stand in long, slow-moving lines just to enter the venue, it sets a negative tone for your event. On the other hand, a quick and painless check-in keeps guests satisfied and engaged. So, how can you promote a smooth check-in process when planning an event?

Include Check-in Information on Invitations

When creating invitations to your event, be sure to include specific instructions on how to check-in. Tell guests what they need to check-in (ticket, ID, etc.), when to do it, and where to go. You may also want to include a phone number that guests can call for assistance. Maintaining a high level of transparency in your event invitations promotes a smooth check-in process with fewer hiccups along the way.

Guide Guests with Signs

In addition to revealing check-in information on invitations, you should also use signage to guide guests to the appropriate check-in area. From the moment a guest first enters the venue, he or she should see signs pointing towards the check-in area. Use large signs with bold, bright letters to attract guests and capture their attention.


Don’t assume that a single worker checking tickets at the gate will suffice. Depending on how many guests attend your event, you may need several workers here. A good rule of thumb to follow is to have one worker checking tickets for every 100 guests. So if you expect 400 guests to show up, you should hire 4 workers to check tickets. This is just a general rule, however, so feel free to adjust your staff according to your own needs.

Test Automatic Check-ins

Of course, an alternative to hiring staff members for your event’s check-in is to use an automated, electronic check-in system. Perhaps guests can print out tickets with barcodes before the event, using these tickets to gain entry into the venue. Automated check-in systems such as this are a great way to save resources while facilitating the otherwise tedious process of check-ins. But if you’re going to use an automated check-in system, test it before the gates open.

Offer WiFi at Check-in Lines

Last but not least, make sure WiFi is accessible in the check-in lines. When the lines begin to back up, guests will likely attempt to pass the time by checking their email, updating their Facebook status, etc. With WiFi available, you’ll keep guests satisfied while they wait to enter.

Photo credit: John M