Delegate Registration area
For a large conference – If delegates need to register on site you will typically need one member of staff per 50 expected guests as it is important to reduce queuing time on the first day. Allow for some extra staff to be unassigned and available to answer any questions.
- Always run through the registration process with all the staff involved on-site and have regular team meeting to go through the process during the set up and when live so every one knows what is expected of them. Regularly communicate with your staff – sort out any issues before they become a real problem. Remind staff to be welcoming and helpful to the delegates.
- Make sure that you are in communication with staff who are co-ordinating the transport logistics. If any large groups are arriving by coach make sure there are enough staff on duty. As first impressions are so important it is always best to be prepared to ensure the registration run smoothly.
- Make sure that you have registration desks divided alphabetically and clearly signed so that delegates can sort themselves before arriving at the desk.
- Put out roped divides if expecting large numbers of people at one time.
- Before the event you should have a list of attendees sorted in alphabetical and maybe company order. Delegate badges should be checked and sorted in surname alphabetical order. Lay out the badges facing the conference staff. The bags or any documentation for the delegates should be accessible so they can be easily given to the delegates. Note the names of any delegates you need to give special instructions to or collect information from, such as speakers, VIPS etc.
- Depending on the size or type of conference you may have a separate area for registering VIP, speakers, exhibition vendors etc. Some conference programmes require that the badges to be of different colours so that specific attendees can quickly be recognised.
- Have a separate area to deal with misspelt or missing badges so that those waiting to register are not held up, make sure you have a badge maker on site.
- With large groups try and open the reception at least an hour before the conference starts. Have an area open for networking where coffee and tea is being served – this is often in the exhibition area adjoining the conference.
- Some conferences open with a pre conference reception in the evening to allow for delegates to register the night before. This can be of benefit by reducing the numbers of delegates registering on the first day.
- Some conferences may use pre-registration badges with bar codes so that delegates can walk through a defined entrance to conference. Make sure that adequate personnel are on hand to swipe badges and to direct delegates to an area where they can collect their delegate bags.
- Make sure you keep a list of those who have not arrived in case you need to find out why they have not attended after the event.
- If the conference is running over several days there may not be so many people to register after the first day. In this case you can make the registration area smaller after the first day depending on the number of delegates still to register.
For a smaller conference –
- You may be able to have just one or two trestle tables covered with cloth for the registration area. The principal of delegate flow will be the same as above. It is useful to use the venue wall as a back wall and have a table against this for delegate bags or other material to be given out.
- If you are sharing a venue with other companies use corporate branding, such as a logo or conference name, on a popup banner to indicate where the company conference registration area is. Remember to have good directional signs.
During all the registration process you need to keep the hotel or venue informed of the running order of the programme. They will need to know the main conference staff contacts with their specific duties.
Good communication, and keeping everyone who needs to know informed of what is happening, is paramount.