Convention Data Services’ Onsite Wireless Will Call Tool Streamlines Reg Process

June 2, 2013

Getting buyers onto the showfloor is without a doubt one of the more important elements of a trade show or expo, but getting them through the on-site registration and badging process quickly and smoothly can sometimes be an issue.

Convention Data Services’ Onsite Wireless Will Call tool may be able to loosen up that logjam by reducing attendee wait time in registration lines.

At the 2011 FABTECH show, maximum wait times at registration were hovering at about 25 minutes. In 2012, that number dropped to 10 minutes for attendees using the traditional system.

CDS reported that FABTECH attendees taking advantage of the Wireless Will Call system had a maximum wait time of less than one minute to scan their confirmation barcode and get their badge in hand.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the onsite experience for our attendees and exhibitors,” said Betsy Bonnell, Registration Specialist, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (a sponsoring partner of FABTECH).

She added, “The longer an attendee or exhibitor is standing in line waiting for a badge the less time they have to accomplish their goals at the event, be it education, networking or purchasing. By using Wireless Will Call, we decreased the wait time for badge pick-up, moving people out of registration and onto the showfloor quickly.”

How does it work? Wireless Will Call is an app that runs on smartphones, tablets and handheld units. Staffers scan the attendee’s confirmation bar code with the Wireless Will Call device and information is sent straight to a designated badge printer.

If an attendee does not have their confirmation bar code handy, the on-site staff can locate the attendee information in the system via their name or email address. Attendees then pick up their badge and go directly to the show floor or conference sessions.

With the wireless devices registration can be done anywhere. CDS suggests bar codes can be scanned on the shuttle busses and hotel lobbies. This way when the attendee gets to the convention center they need only walk up and grab their badge.

Corporate exhibit managers know the pain of booth staffers arriving late for their first shift because they are often stuck in a long registration line. With Wireless Will Call, registration staff can check in all registered booth staff right on the showfloor

“By using Wireless Will Call, we were able to go onto the show floor during setup and work with the exhibitors to get their badges printed for them,” Bonnell said.

She added, “This allowed us the opportunity to provide a more personalized, higher level of customer service to our exhibitors.”

CDS also reported shorter wait times due to Wireless Will Call at the 2013 New York International Gift Fair. Fifty-five percent of the attendees at that show took advantage of the new technology and never waited in a line or even went to a computer. More than half the 14,616 badges were printed using Onsite Wireless Will Call.

According to the CDS FABTECH case study, the biggest difficulty was convincing attendees to leave their place in line.

The case study, “Using Mobile Tools to Efficiently Process Attendees and Reduce Lines in Registration” is available for download.

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