The check-in sets the tone for the entire event. It should be extremely friendly, fast and efficient. And while you're at it, make it fun. Here's our suggestions:

Decor: the event starts the minute guests arrive, so don't forget decor from the beginning, such as great welcome signage.

Music: We recommend having music at check-in and valet so there is music as the guests enter the event. We consistently hear that guests love it because it sets the tone for a very fun event. See if the DJ can put speakers out at valet and at check in. If not, even a boom box playing music from the cd's we can send you helps.

Greeters: Have Shoe Guys, your event chair, and/or committee members--greeting guests as they arrive. It's fun if the Shoe Guys can walk the women in.

Clear signage designating specific sections: Break up the alphabet (A-J, K-S, T-Z) and have a VIP check-in station so they get the special treatment for which they paid.

Check-in happens over about 30 minutes, so you need to be prepared for the onslaught of 300 guests or more. Have as many check-in stations as possible. Keep the station tables perpendicular to the check-in line so that open stations are clearly visible.

If you are not sold out, have a "Walk-Ins" station so those who purchased in advance aren't stuck waiting in line with those who did not.

Designate a station to manage any challenging check-ins (anyone who lost their ticket, is using someone else's ticket, etc.).

Have a minimum of ten volunteers working the check-in area. Have one volunteer stationed at the front of the line pointing out which stations are open.

If your check-in area is outside and the sun is out, provide plenty of shade. This could be with market umbrellas, or even Shoe Guys carrying golf umbrellas or parasols.

Hand out the wine glasses to guests as they check-in or come in. The Venue Committee is in charge of renting glassware.

If you will be filming the event, have Film Release documents in a couple prominent places at check in and ask guests to sign. For a sample Film Release document, click here.

Include your Schedule of Events on clear signage near the check-in area. 


What if your Check-In line backs up?

Send roaming volunteers with clipboards and credit card slips into the line to check people in by hand and deliver that information to be processed later when you're not so backed up.This will make the line move much faster and the guests feel welcomed.

Send Shoe Guys out with glasses and wine for guests who are waiting.

Important Note: Once the first hour to hour-and-a-half of the event has passed, the check-in area can be rotated to check-out. Put a sign up that says "Auction Winners.”