We’ve all been there. Excited to see a show but the long queue is such a drag! It’s worse when made to wait in line in the rain or in the scorching sun.
So how do we keep guests comfortable and entertained in the inevitable lines that come with large events, trade shows, and festivals? In addition to using pre-registration and mobile check-in to speed things up, planners are offering interactive entertainment, fun beverage options, and other tricks to keep guests happy. Here are some go-to moves.
1. First things first: Keep everyone informed as much as possible.
With an event app like ours, mobile push notifications let people know if panels are full. The use of dedicated social-media handles, such as @KLCClines, can be used to update attendees.
It’s helpful to have a staff member ‘man’ the end of the line or breaks in a line to confirm what the line is for and any other questions the guests might have.
2. Make the actual check-in process as smooth as possible.
Don’t stinge on manpower and check in stations. Mobile check-in and pre-registration online help too. “If you have the budget to incorporate the technology, let guests check themselves in—then they can just come in and get their badges and speed the whole process up.”
3. See if timed entry makes sense for your event. Just like going to the cinema, some events, such as art shows and festivals, timed entry works.
Guests are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes before their timed entry, and staffers with mobile devices walk the line to check everyone in.
4. If there’s no way to avoid a long line, make sure guests are comfortable. Avoid your guests complaining about the heat or soggy by using tents. Hire staff members to stand in queue when guests need to pop into the loo or grab a quick bite by using a dedicated social media tag. Set a limited time to hold spots in lines so that the guests come back in time.
Make sure you have a special line for the elderly or or those with special needs.
Offering food and beverage is, of course, another option; cold water bottles on a hot day can go a long way—as can a glass of juice.
5. Offer interactive entertainment. Distract the crowd with a little entertainment. Have a live band or street dancers to engage with the crowd.
Look to the theme parks for examples of ways to make the line feel like part of the event. Theme parks have mastered the art of keeping you entertained and distracted. With entertainment and decor tying in the overall event design, guests’ eyes, ears, and minds are occupied with wonder and awe.