For your event to be successful, you need to have an efficient process in place for ticket buyers to enter. If the wait is too long, people will be unhappy. They’ll start sharing their displeasure on social media almost immediately, and their complaints will continue even after your event is over.
If you ever hope to hold the same event or a similar event in the future, the negative word-of-mouth marketing that a poor entry process can generate could damage the success of your future events. In other words, you need to get the entry process at the door or gate right. Part of being an event organizer is organizing every aspect of the event – including getting people into the parking lot and through the gate or door.
Here are five common mistakes that event organizers make at the door or gate that you should avoid if you want your event to be a success.
1. No Ticket Scanning
Are you still checking people into your events manually? If so, you’re slowing down your lines and making attendees unhappy. Considering that most people check in at the door to an event within approximately 15 minutes of the starting time, a manual check in process will probably mean some guests will enter after the event has already started.
Instead, you should be using ticket scanners that can scan paper tickets or mobile tickets using barcodes and QR codes to quickly verify tickets for authenticity and duplication. Make sure you use scanners that are able to scan at least one ticket per second.
2. Poor Signage
People won’t know where to park, where to enter, where to get their bags checked by security, or where to get wristbands unless you tell them. That means you need clear signage that tells attendees exactly where to go, and your signs have to be placed in multiple, easy-to-see places.
It’s important to make sure your signs are posted high enough that attendees can see them above other people’s heads when they’re in a crowd. Put signs above each entry gate or door, and post signs that explain what guests should have ready before they get in line. For example, if they need to have their ticket and ID out, include those instructions on your signs. If there are certain items they can’t bring into the event for security reasons, explain the rules in your signs so they can take the items back to their cars before they get to the security check area.
3. Not Enough Staff
You must have enough paid and volunteer staff to keep traffic and lines moving, so people can get through the gates or doors as quickly as possible. Your goal should be to ensure no one has to wait more than 10 minutes to get into your event, but the more you can shorten that time, the better.
Your staffing needs depend on whether you have a drive-in gate or a walk-in gate. For example, for a lage outdoor event with a walk-in gate, you need at least six staffed lanes to check tickets, but for a drive-in gate, you need 12-16 staffed lanes. Also, for drive-in gates, you need at least two traffic direction people to ensure cars don’t pile up in the middle lanes, which will significantly slow down the entry process.
If you’re putting wristbands on attendees when they check into your event, you should have different people take tickets from the people who put on wristbands. Plan to have twice as many people to put on wristbands as you do to take tickets. Another good rule of thumb is to have the same number of ticket sellers as ticket takers if you’ll be selling tickets at the door or gate.
4. Not Enough Security Staff for Checking Bags
If you’re checking purses and bags as people enter your event, you need to have enough security staff on hand to move people through this line quickly. Typically, you should plan to have twice as many bag inspection stations staffed with security members as ticket-takers.
Keep in mind, if you’re security staff is expected to check attendees for knives, guns, and other weapons or items, you should hire professionals who will bring high-speed wands with them. This not only speeds up your line but also gives you and your guests peace-of-mind that the event will be safe.
5. Poor Internet Coverage
If you need to be able to access the internet at the gate or door (for example, to scan tickets) make sure the internet coverage will be adequate in advance. For outdoor events, the coverage at the gate won’t be the same as it would be at the door of an indoor venue. Also, the number of people using their smartphones just before your event will spike, which could make it difficult for you to access the internet even if coverage in the area is usually adequate.
You can prepare for this by using ticket scanners that work in offline and online mode or by having modems from multiple providers running at all times. You can follow the link to learn more about solving ticketing problems at outdoor events.
Your Next Steps to Create a Door or Gate Entry Process for Your Event
The key to developing a smooth entry process at the door or gate of your event is to communicate with your guests. Make sure they know what they should be doing by providing enough signs and staff to answer their questions before they have to ask. Furthermore, ensure you’re using technology effectively to increase check-in efficiency.
Many things can go wrong at check-in, but if you develop a solid process in advance, you’ll reduce those problems, cut wait times, and increase attendee happiness. As a result, people will share positive reviews about your event across their social media channels, which means your future events will have a better chance of being successful, too.