Tech Tuesday: Optimize First Impressions with Onsite Check-In Technology

Kaitlyn Tatulli |


Finger clicking on a green thumbs to leave a 5 star review after an event

Our brains make snap judgments  of the people we meet within the first seconds to minutes of seeing them. Research has even shown that not only do first impressions last for months, but they interfere with people’s judgements, even if contradictory information is presented. 

That’s why nailing onsite check-in at meetings, conferences, trade shows, and networking events is a must for event planners. If your check-in is long and chaotic, attendees may form bad first impressions of your event or company and they won’t plan on returning to future events. 

But how can you optimize people’s first impressions? The answer may be through event technology.

Event Preparation

Integrating event technology, like barcoded badges, electronic ticketing, and mobile apps at your event can help decrease wait times, secure records, and personalize the experience for attendees. But even before attendees reach your event, you can start securing a good first impression.


Arrange an airport kiosk for clients to check-into upon landing.

Woman using a self-service kiosk at an airport

The kiosk will send a notification containing the client’s name, picture, location, and destination to a driver, so a pickup location can be arranged. The kiosk can also notify the hotel that the guest is in route to the hotel. This way, the hotel can ensure the guest’s room is ready.

Hotel Arrival

When attendees arrive at the hotel, you can set up a welcome, pre-check-in kiosk to print their event badges.

Reception sign placed on a desk with a key and bell at a hotel

In less than ten seconds, your attendee can have their badge for the next day’s event and settle any outstanding payments. Not only do these kiosks create a more pleasant experience for the users, they also decrease the wait-time for other attendees during your event’s peak check-in.


Man paying for parking using a self-service machine

You can also provide attendees with barcoded parking vouchers assigned to a designated parking space and scan the voucher upon arrival. Once scanned, a message will be sent notifying you that a specific attendee has arrived. Both you and your attendees will love this technology addition: attendees won’t have to fight to find a parking spot, and you can prepare to personally greet guests upon arrival.


Event Check-In

At your event, you can implement event technology, like kiosks, mobile apps, NFC or RFID to help create a smooth check-in for attendees.


The kiosks used to pre-register your clients can also be used the day of your event as self-check-in stations.

4 self-service kiosks placed at an event for check-in and registration

Using self-check-in kiosks empowers attendees because they can register independently. With a few clicks, they can print or scan their badge and move on to enjoy your event.

Mobile Apps

To speed up event check-in, not only can you use smartphones to scan attendee’s badges, you can automate check-in.

Line of attendees using their mobile phones as a check-in badge for an event

Simply sync your guest list with a mobile event app and guests can register in one click. Mobile event apps also allow you to accommodate walk-ins during the check-in process.

You can also use event mobile apps to keep your attendees informed during your event. Some event apps also allow you to collect live event insights and feedback from attendees.


An attendee using NFC technology on their smartphone to check-in at an event

NFC, also known as Near Field Communication, is being embedded into wearables, like wristbands, badges, and smartphones, so that attendees can check-in to events by simply touching the reader (e.g. like a kiosk). NFC technology can also be used to collect payments (think Apple Pay) from attendees.


An attendee using RFID technology on their smart watch to check-in at an event

You can use RFID technology, also known as Radio Frequency Identifies, to check attendees into your event. Using electromagnetic fields, RFID technology can automatically scan and track an attendee’s badge. All your attendees have to do is wear the badge and you’ll be able to access their information and register them for your event.

 When matched with well-trained staff, event technology, like kiosks, mobile apps, NFC and/or RFID, can help you get that good first impression you need from event attendees.

 Have you used any of these technologies on-site at your events? Let us know by commenting below. 

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This Post was Written by Kaitlyn Tatulli

Kaitlyn Tatulli is a graduate from Fairfield University with majors in Digital Journalism and Psychology and minors in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Computer Science. Currently, she is receiving her MFA from Fairfield University. Kaitlyn...

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