Tech in check-in: Wow your guests with iPad reception greeters

Mar 30, 2015

Every now and then, an innovation comes along that radically transforms the event industry. We're talking about iPad check-in.

First, let's recap the old way.

Guests hand their car to a valet and grimly join the crowd around a skirted table manned by a harried bunch of reception workers. Each has one, two or several versions of a guest list print-out, alpha by last name, alpha by table, alpha by company name etc. “A-thru-H,” “I-thru-R” and S-thru-Z” signs are barely visible in the crush, so guests end up waiting in the wrong queue. They hunch down over the table and shout their name to the receptionist, who makes a check mark or a line or an asterisk by their name with dried-out sharpie. Last-minute RSVPs have not made it onto the list, of course. The person whose job it is to give lei to the VIPs doesn't; know the boss from the busboy. The host has no idea when his honoree arrives, so that poor fellow is wandering around alone trying to find someone to tell him where to go. Or just trying to find the bar, for Pete’s sake.

Now, let’s experience the wonderful new world of iPad check in.

Guests arrive and glide straight to any one of up to 10 beautiful ladies standing at intervals along the entrance, each holding an iPad on a swivel sleeve. They give their name and are confirmed immediately. RSVPs that were authorized 10 minutes ago are in alpha order on every list, easy-peasy. The event host is notified via text the minute his VIPs arrive, and greets them graciously with a glass of champagne at the entrance. Guest count is tallied in real time and updated across all devices instantly. We know exactly who came, who replaced whom, and who no-showed. A thank-you note with fabulous event photos is automatically emailed to all attendees the next morning. Guests' socks are knocked off.

Nice, huh? That’s iPad check-in. We love it, and you will too.