February 20, 2024
By Mike Fletcher

Creating a great first impression when the doors open to your event starts with registration. Nobody wants to begin their day standing in line waiting to receive their badge. Attendees want to get into your event without a fuss and feel relaxed before your content programme begins. 

The solution to putting your attendees in the right frame of mind from the outset? On-demand badge printing. Getting attendees badged up quickly and efficiently will also stop you from worrying about last-minute list changes and cancellations, freeing you up to focus on more important aspects of managing your event. 

If you’re still carrying out badging manually the night before, this article will help you make the case to switch to on-demand printing. Plus, we’ll explain the technology you need for success. 


6 reasons why you should switch to on-demand badge printing

1. Create a more professional impression

On-demand badge printing makes your event more flexible, cost-efficient, and professional. You can get an attendee through the door in seconds and accept walk-ins and last-minute registrations. 

2. Be more sustainable 

Printing out all your badges the night before, only to find that some people don’t turn up or names need to be changed, is a waste of paper and printer ink.

Self-check-in kiosks and on-demand badge printing mean you only need to print badges for those people who turn up. You can also ensure they’re printed on recycled paper.

3. Ensure a faster, more efficient arrival

As soon as someone registers, they can download your event app and access their personalised QR code. Let them know that this is the fastest way for them to check in and download their badge on arrival. 

With a simple scan of the QR code, their badge will be printed, their attendance recorded, and they’ll be free to enter and enjoy the rest of their day. 

4. Capture valuable data 

Once you’ve recorded a registrant’s arrival at your event via the onsite badge printing process, you can track that person’s engagement and see what sessions they attend. 

Each time someone’s badge is scanned or they complete a survey, participate in a poll or ask a question through the app, their engagement score will update, giving you real-time performance analytics of your event. 

5. Be more flexible

On-demand badge printing also allows you to accept walk-ins and leave your registration open longer. It also lets registrants make changes to their profile details in real time. 

Maybe someone has changed companies or job roles since they registered or made a spelling mistake on the registration form. By having self-check-in kiosks and friendly staff behind your registration desks, all last-minute alterations can be dealt with smoothly. 

6. Increase sponsorship opportunities

Imagine the value to a sponsor of seeing their company name and branding printed live each time an attendee arrives and scans their QR code. Badge sponsorship is a great way to up-sell to an existing partner or attract extra sponsorship around your event. 

💡Check out how onsite check-in and badging technology works below:

Onsite badge printing in action

EXPCON gets onsite registration to under 30 seconds per delegate

eXp Realty is one of the world’s fastest-growing, entirely independent virtual real estate brokerages.  In 2019, its annual conference attracted 2,500 attendees. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of agents grew by 72%, so for EXPCON 2021, a scaled-up registration process was needed. 

eXp Realty’s previous event management platform simply couldn’t scale to match the growth of its events. “It was drastically difficult to manage changes in attendees and groups,” notes Ciara Baker, Senior Event Manager. 

This was especially true when managing attendees for invite-only events. Baker also needed to improve the onsite experience by eliminating long registration queues. 

Using Cvent’s onsite check-in and badging technology, OnArrival, created a seamless onsite experience for attendees. It also provided a consolidated view of event data for the eXp Realty team. 

Ultimately, attendee wait times were reduced by more than 50% overall. “We certainly hit our goal to eliminate long registration queues,” says Baker. “Check-in was less than 30 seconds per person, which was awesome to see.” 

Morningstar Investment Conference (MIC) 

In 2021, Morningstar saw over 2,600 attendees register for its conference, with over 1,070 attending in-person and more than 1,550 viewing online. This included over 800 first-time attendees. 

Onsite, Morningstar ensured a speedy check-in experience by using Cvent OnArrival. This created a fully contactless check-in experience where attendees could scan a QR code and receive their badge immediately. 

It not only eliminated lengthy queues but allowed the onsite staff to check in attendees quickly and efficiently. Morningstar then used session scanning within OnArrival to capture session attendance, monitor capacity, and even track attendance for continuing education credits. 

“We have tracked the attendee journey for several years through session tracking, and we use that data for marketing,” explains Caroline DeCamp, Director of Events and Operations at Morningstar. “We’ve created efficiencies and saved ourselves a lot of time using Cvent’s tracking capabilities.” 

DeCamp estimates that using the automated OnArrival solution has saved her team “hours and hours” of time over a manual effort.

badge printing

Getting started with badge printing

As these examples show, having onsite badging and check-in technology like Cvent OnArrival helps eliminate onsite chaos on the day of the event. It also provides you with an in-depth understanding of how attendees are engaging with your event. 

Quick and seamless check-in 

Providing self-check-in kiosks will help you to reduce staffing needs and allow registrants to access their badge by searching their name, email address, company name, or confirmation number.


  • The ability to access or modify attendee details via desktop, phone, or tablet 
  • Real-time check-in alerts 
  • Processing different guest types or complex event setups 
  • Walk-in registrations or self-serve kiosks 
  • Secure payment collection

Print badges on-demand 

Manually printing badges can be a tedious and time-consuming experience. Dealing with last-minute changes, alphabetising names, reprinting any errors and laying them all out for collection, only to find that some never get picked up, is not good for your blood pressure. 

With OnArrival, you can:

  • Edit attendee contact details on the fly
  • Print badges wirelessly and in real-time 
  • Design badges with sponsor or event branding 
  • Go green and make your event more sustainable

Track attendance and control session capacity 

If your sessions require pre-registration or other attendee verification, check-in technology like OnArrival lets you easily identify which attendees to let in or turn away. You can also monitor session capacity and track continuing education credits with a quick scan of someone’s name badge.

Take control by:

  • Managing session check-ins and controlling capacities
  • Tracking session attendance
  • Syncing attendee data into your CRM or marketing automation platform 
  • Deploying self-check-in kiosks or mobile scanners
  • Tracking signatures for education credits and legal compliance

Real-time data and reporting 

Check-in technology enables you to make data-driven decisions and to analyse how your event is performing. Using a dashboard, you can view live check-ins and participation reports to understand where attendees are engaging with your event.

Real-time data includes:

  • Event check-ins versus registrations 
  • Session attendance
  • Attendance at social events or receptions 
  • Engagement scores
  • Updates every 15 minutes

Go on-demand for a better badging solution

On-demand badge printing is more sustainable, gives a more professional impression, reduces queues and improves efficiencies. It also gives you better insights, greater flexibility, and more opportunities to provide a seamless event experience. 

Cvent OnArrival is our solution for managing the entire onsite check-in and badging process. With OnArrival, you can quickly check attendees in, register walk-ins, collect signatures and fees, print name badges in real time, track session attendance, and more. 

For more insights on how to enhance your in-person event experience, check out our Ultimate Guide to In-Person Events

Mike Fletcher

Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.

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Guide to In-Person Events
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