Pre-Event Registration Checklist


Use this pre-event registration checklist to assess needs, fine-tune the registration process, and make sure you have everything you need to for a smooth onsite check-in process.

Registration Needs Assessment:

Determine who will champion the registration process

Determine who will take registrations:

Determine registration policies and guidelines

Determine how registrations will be taken:

Set up toll-free number to accept phone registration, determine fax-in number, email and mail-in address

Select registration vendor (if outsourcing)

Determine if you will be doing Pre-Printed badges or Print-On-Demand Badging.

Determine if there will be scanning of sessions or RFID scanning or Lead Retrieval

Registration Form Setup:

Determine what information you want to collect on your registration form and which questions/information is applicable based on registration types:

Workshops and Courses

Hotel / Transportation Information

Determine registration policies and guidelines:

Payment information

Set up Merchant Account and Link to software for online cc processing

Create confirmations, reminders and other email communications

Determine need for Quality Control of attendee registrations.

Test online registration form and make changes as needed

Test toll-free number and create voicemail

Create a manual registration form if you plan to accept mailed/faxed forms. Also, this is good to have as a backup onsite.

Registration Processing:

Create registration procedures and train customer service team on all aspects of the conference so they can knowledgeable respond to all customer queries and efficiently process registrations

Receive all advance registrations and enter into system via:

Enter data for all advance registrations:

Prepare and send registration confirmations (email, mail, fax)

Receive and apply check and credit card payments to registrations

Handle proper documentation of cancellations, including credit card refunds and request for check refunds 

Call any attendee who has an invalid credit card - obtain a new card number and input

Handle brochure fulfillment upon request

Send reminder emails 10 days prior to event

Prepare for Onsite Registration:

Create a budget that outlines costs for onsite registration: computer/printer(s), staffing, shipment, materials, scanners, internet, etc.

Diagram onsite registration area including set-up of computer/printer(s) for badge corrections, exhibitor check in, attendees check in, attendee check in, attendee walk-in processing, and staff/speaker/VIP/press registration

Identify onsite registration signage needs

Coordinate pre-event arrangements for accepting payments onsite (i.e., obtaining cash bags, cash, receipts, credit card handling, etc.)

Pre-Printed badges:

Determine badge specifications

Order badge stock, holders, lanyards, ribbons, tickets, and other materials used for badges.

If outside of the registration system, obtain staff, vendor, VIP, and speaker names for badge creation.

Download attendee names, titles and organization, and/or any other information that will be printed on the badges, location from registration database. Make visual corrections to your database to ensure badges print accurately (i.e., change all caps and all lower case registrations to correct case)

Print and stuff all badges

Create manual check-in reports (make copies for each onsite check in area)

Pack and ship holders for name badges

Pack and ship registration supplies (see below)

Keep tracking numbers to verify arrival of all materials

Check for any new registrations since the last print. Pull and print.

Print-On-Demand badging: 

Determine number and type of computers, printers, scanners and software.

Create RFP for local/national computer and scanner rental companies

Obtain bids from three top companies

Negotiate contract and make final vendor selection

Order computer equipment, scanners, internet ups and tech support through selected vendor

Create badge layout and order badge stock based on badge specifications

Develop badging logic in registration platform or through print-on-demand badging vendor. 

Consider adding QR code if you will have Session Scanning or Lead Retrieval (see below)

Order additional supplies needed for badges, i.e., holders, lanyards, ribbons, tickets, and other materials needed.

Create equipment/registration area diagram outlining power and internet needs

Determine type of internet connection available at the venue (if needed)

Obtain IP address from venue if using in internet access onsite

Order internet connection (and lines) through the venue

Make final arrangements for computer and scanner installation, network set-up, and software downloads. Notify computer rental vendor and venue

Verify needs one week prior and make changes to equipment orders if needed.

Make visual corrections to your attendee names and other information included on the badge to ensure badges print accurately (i.e., change all caps and all lower case registrations to correct case) one week prior.

Session Scanning & RFID:

Determine if you will need session scanning for data collection or access control.

Determine if you will need any type of RFID scanning. 

Foot traffic in session rooms and on show floors

Marketing analysis and business intelligence

Networking and lead generation

If you are interested in session scanning you will need to consult with a print-on-demand provider, registration software company or outsourced registration company to provide solutions for session scanning needs. 

If you are interested in RFID you will need to consult with a print-on-demand provider, registration software company or outsourced registration company to provide solutions for session scanning needs. 

Lead Retrieval:

If using lead retrieval, consult with a print-on-demand provider, registration software company or outsourced registration company to see if they offer lead retrieval solutions for exhibitors/sponsors. 

Generator lead retrieval order form and include in Exhibitor Resource Center and exhibitor kit.

Plan to have a lead retrieval desk onsite for device check-in/out and questions. Typically this desk is near show decorator in the exhibit hall or near registration.

Office Equipment:

Determine equipment needed for your staff office (i.e. computers, printers, copy machine, power strips, software, telephones, etc.)

Determine what equipment you will bring and what needs to be ordered

Some equipment may be ordered through the venue (i.e., phone, copier, radios, etc)

Your computer equipment/ scanners needs can be ordered at the same time as you order your registration computers

Finalize all orders

Verify orders with the client and vendor one week prior

Onsite staffing arrangements:

Determine onsite registration hours

Determine peak hours of registration

Create staffing matrix outlining the number of registration staff needed during onsite registration hours

Determine whether onsite registration will be staffed by in-house employees or by hired temporary staff

If using outside staff, identify potential providers in the area

Send Request for Proposal to local/national staffing company(s)

Select vendor and send matrix outlining staffing needs

Review agency terms & conditions and complete deposit payment or whatever is needed to confirm the contract.

Create staff training manual

Obtain staff names and contact information for the onsite supervisor

Print manual for training onsite

Send manual to staffing agency so they may send to staff prior to being onsite

Double check registration numbers and adjust staff needs one week prior to event

Verify staff with vendor 48 hours prior to event

Final Pre-Onsite Call: 

Confirm staff arrival times and hotel confirmations

Confirm critical event locations

Confirm onsite details

Review onsite payment procedure

Create a FAQ for Onsite staff

Determine who will be overseeing the temp staff

Confirm if/what reports are needed while onsite

Registration & Office Supplies:

The following is a list of possible supplies that you’ll need at registration and in your staff office. Determine your needs, then pack and ship.

Tips and Tricks

When sending mass emails out to your attendees always send yourself a test email and have a colleague approve it before sending to all attendees

Stay in the know

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