What Does Your Registration Area Say About Your Event?

As you have probably heard, it only takes 3 seconds to make a good first impression and for someone to form an opinion.

But this doesn't just apply to opinions of another person, this is also the same for other things. A first impression of a home, a business, a hotel and of course your events.

My career in events started in the corporate world. Running networking events, round-table discussions, and conferences for CEOs, Directors and Executives. Even though these events were content-driven, the "attendee experience" was extremely important.

What opinion do your guests and attendees form as soon as they are greeted at registration?

Venues usually provide a table and a couple of chairs for the registration desk. On which we would lay out the delegate packs, name badges and guest lists.

As soon as we saw an attendee arriving, a member of the team would stand up from their chair, verbally welcome the guest, tick them off the list, then lean over the desk to find the correct name badge and delegate pack.

Then it hit me.

One day I looked at this scenario from a distance and realised how cold and unwelcoming this appeared. The chairs we sat on made us look lazy and the desk was a barrier between us and our guests.

Time to shake things up. At my next event I made two simple changes to great effect.

The chairs were removed and we stood in front of the desk. This had a massive impact on the event welcome.

  1. Because the physical barrier of the desk was removed between attendee and organiser, there was a much friendlier vibe in the room

    and importantly...
  2. It was easier to have conversations and shake hands with each guest as they arrived

Feedback received was really positive. Our guests said the welcome was energised, focused and they were immediately in a good frame of mind for the rest of the event.

Next time you're running an event have a look at your registration area and ask yourself:

"What kind of impression of your event...and ultimately you...is the registration area creating?"

I'd love to know what you're going to change in your registration area to make more of an impact, please tell us in the comments below and share with us.