August 03, 2022
By Max Wood

With the widespread return of in-person events, many event planners are reviewing their provisions for event check-in and badging. For many, these processes have gone long-unexamined – and it’s a great time to catch up on what’s new in this area. 

At Cvent, we’ve made a number of updates to our own OnArrival offering – our approach to event check-in and badge printing. Whatever system you adopt however, there are a number of points to consider when evaluating your needs when it comes to event check-in. 

Your current approach 

How is your check-in currently managed? Bear in mind current pain points with potential for improvement, but also its strengths. Which internal stakeholders are involved? If it is time for a change, be sure to bring all of them into the fold to create as strong a business case as possible. Identify the must-have requirements for any new process, and understand the potential barriers to adoption. 

Establish your goals 

As with any big change, when proposing it you’re likely to be asked, ‘Why?’ Prepare yourself by identifying your goals for the project, and consider streamlining them by envisaging a phased rollout with specific objectives, such as: 

“We want shorter lines at check-in; we’ll aim to reduce check-in time by 60% per person” 

“We want to phase out usage of paper sign-in sheets; we’ll look to reduce this by 50% over the next year” 

“We want to ensure compliance and introduce Terms & Conditions; we’ll look to get these in place for our flagship events by next year” 

Understand the project’s scope 

Before you roll out OnArrival or any new system, define the scope of the undertaking. Will it encompass all your events, or just particular conferences? Will it be used globally or regionally? We recommend a staged rollout with three principles, beginning with a narrow scope and gradually broadening this as the new approach matures within the company: 

Principle 1: Make time to learn and iterate 

Before launch, give yourself a long runway to build experience. Are you beginning with a high-visibility or low-visibility event? Lower is better when starting out! Will there be a professional planner on-site? 

Principle 2: Focus your efforts 

Using a consistent universal approach is an excellent long-term goal, but consider the costs and benefits of rolling out to specific markets and event types. Which events will benefit most from a new check-in process? What are those benefits (ROI, saved time, paper reduction)? 

Principle 3: Take a right-sized approach 

Your events may vary widely in their size and purpose, which will of course have implications for your check-in needs. Consider the size and complexity of the events you’re reviewing, and the investment required to update them. 

Is OnArrival right for you? 

Cvent OnArrival comprises a modern, sustainable, integrated approach to event check-in, which can be used flexibly around your needs. It offers real-time attendance data, touchless check-in and fully editable, sustainable badge templates – but is it right for you? There are three tiers available: 

OnArrival Basic 

This is available free of charge to all Cvent Event Management users, and includes event check-in, walk-in registration, payment collection, attendee information edits and more! 

OnArrival Premium 

With a Premium license, you’ll get access to: 

  • On-site badge printing 

  • Kiosk mode – Create a self-serve check-in station 

  • Photo collection – Take photos of attendees as they check in and include it on their badge 

  • Session tracking – Additional control over your session footfall 

  • Terms & Conditions – Add fine print directly to your check-in process 

OnArrival 360 

At the highest level, you’ll have full access to OnArrival’s capabilities, which include: 

  • Advanced badge printing 

  • A dedicated project manager to support you through the event 

  • All supplies provided, including printers, badge stock and lanyards 

You can control the scale of your rollout and licensing costs by only using the OnArrival you need.

OnArrival Features

You can also use varying levels of service, depending on your needs: 

  • Self-service (bring your own device) 

  • Limited Service (centrally provided equipment but no dedicated OnArrival on-site staff) 

  • Full Service (equipment, staffing, and on-site setup managed by a dedicated team) 

An additional consideration is whether to rent or buy the hardware you need. It may be more efficient long term to buy iPads, badge printers and any other tools you need for your check-in approach, but we do offer a rented Event in a Box, which covers all the hardware you’ll need for events with under 500 attendees. 

Find out more about how Cvent can support your return to in-person events.

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