Great First Impressions Start at Check-In
First impressions set the tone and mood for the entire event experience.
If you have ever heard of the halo effect, which by definition is the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area, you understand that your event theme, message and experience should start from the very beginning and carry through well into post-event moments.
You want your event to go smoothly, in order to do that, you need to make a great first impression, the problem is, with all the solutions available now a days, it can be challenging knowing where to start.
Before thinking about a solution, let’s take a moment and understand the importance of making a good first impression.
Where do first impressions start?
Customer touchpoints, or attendee touchpoints are all the moments that someone interacts with your event or event brand. All of those touchpoints make a difference in the attendee experience. We as planners often look at creating those ‘Wow’ moments throughout the event; and while having those are very important, the moment of arrival is often neglected.
The very first event attendee touchpoint is the registration process where tickets are purchased, it’s typically pretty standard and completed online. The first personal interaction however, is when your attendee walks through the doors and proceeds to the check-in process or the registration process. This is the opportunity to create a great first impression by welcoming your attendee and providing them the information they need.
If we look at Hotels brand such as Starwood and Hilton, they have invested time, money and energy into creating the most seamless experience when checking in a guest. They understand the moment the guest walks through their entrance is a moment of truth; it is the first step in creating a belief and impression on the brand. Like hotels, planners should take an opportunity to map out the attendee moments of truth including the check-in process and how we can solidify the experience from the start through to the end.
Technology can help.
Looking at the check-in process, a frequent complaint is the time it takes to deliver information and direction to the attendee. If your objective is to reduce the time spent to register or check-in an attendee technology can help. There are apps and solutions available such as ‘Check-In’ powered by Concise. Created specifically for large dinners, Gala’s, or assigned seating occasions. The App lets you easily find the attendees name, change their arrival status, view and confirm dietary restrictions, or even accommodate any last minute changes.
Some events still use the poster board with names and table numbers, whereby everyone gathers around trying to find their name and read the small print. When your event size is larger than 20, it can become very busy in the entry area with attendees trying to self-navigate.
Technology such as digital signage or an IPad with a moderator can assist in alleviating the traffic and deliver the information quickly, and easily to your guests, not to mention it can accept changes in a moment and accommodate on the spot.
No matter who or how you classify VIP’s in your audience, they likely have some special arrangements made that need to be communicated, tracked and delivered. Classifying them as a VIP increases the importance on delivering a good impression to them. Based on the complexity of your special arrangement you may have que’s or need to notify someone of the VIP’s arrival.
Technology is a great way of preparing that experience, and communicating the needs and message in a unified way to all that need to be aware of the VIP’s status and special accommodation needs.
“First Impression, lasts long. Subsequent impressions, make you think. But a drastic change in expression of impression consequently leaves you, Flabbergasted.” – Sanika Dongre, Poetic.
You want to have an amazing event, setting the tone and atmosphere from the very start. Technology can help, and it doesn’t need to be complicated. If you are looking to make a great first impression from the moment your attendee walks through the door, Connect with us now.