The registration desk at any event is usually the first point of contact your guests will have with your event. It is therefore crucial that the staff and volunteers manning this area provide a knowledgeable and positive first impression. In most cases, registration is performed by volunteers who are unfamiliar with the event world and the processes necessary to register a guest. After running the registration desk at numerous events, both large and small, I can offer the following tips for coordinating a successful registration team.
1. When recruiting and selecting volunteers for this role, make sure they have good communication skills, an outgoing personality and are familiar with using a computer (if a data entry and retrieval is part of the registration process).
2. Compile a cheat sheet with all relevant event information such as times for entertainment, dinner and last call at the bar. This sheet could also contain general information such as local parking lots, ATM and washroom locations.
3. Have a sample script of the registration process so each volunteer can follow along if they get lost or overwhelmed.
4. ROLE PLAY, ROLE PLAY, ROLE PLAY! Once you have verbally gone through the process, have the volunteers practice on each other while you and the others watch. This way, you can sort out any confusion and the observing volunteers will learn from common mistakes.
5. Lead by example. When the first guests arrive, register them yourself so that the volunteers get a feel for the process as well as your tone, delivery and approximate time with each guest.
6. Once each volunteer has registered a few guests, provide some feedback and offer suggestions. Resist the urge to jump in over your volunteer to solve a problem straight away (unless they really need it) and encourage the volunteer to solve small problems themselves. This will build confidence in your volunteers and get them up to speed quicker.
7. As always when working with volunteers, provide positive reinforcement of what they are doing right. Great Job! Good Work! You handled that guest very well!
Smooth, quick and efficient registration is the key to a successful event. These few simple tips will allow you to capture the necessary information from your guests so they can move quickly onto the fun part of the event!