Streamlining Event Day Check-in and Check-out

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words – which may make this live-drawn Check-in and Check-out infographic from the Thought Leadership Summit… priceless.

This visual captures the essentials of streamlining your event check-in and check-out and will give you valuable tips on improving your guest experience.

This is article 1 of 4 in this series. These graphic illustrations of best practices shared by Greater Giving team members Lisa and Siri at our 2019 Thought Leadership Summit were created live on-site by Urban Wild Studio. We share a narrative below of the graphic, and you can also view larger here.

Every event coordinator can relate to the need for communicating expectations to both the guests and your volunteers. It starts with establishing an easy-to-follow protocol with everything you can, including your event day check-in and check-out procedures. Use these helpful tips to help create a smoother event in the future.

A Streamlined Guest Check-in

  • Allow a lot of space
  • Utilize mobile options 
  • Consider using stanchions to direct traffic
  • Avoid checking in with alphabet order-use all available lanes to help prevent congestion
  • Avoid giving too much collateral – extra pamphlets, programs, and other materials tend to add clutter to your space rather than enhancing the event 
  • Use clear signage – make it easy for people to find their way 
  • Keep people moving from one space to the next
  • After check-in, your guests should only have a phone (for online bidding) and a drink

When you make it easy for people to check-in, you prevent congestion at the entry and a more structured well-run system to have guests quickly move into the event.

Choose the Right Volunteers

Of course, every nonprofit relies on volunteers. What are some of the ways to find, vet, and retain good volunteers? Many people only need to know about your volunteer opportunities, and they’ll be happy to support you. Then, it’s up to your volunteer coordinator to interview and vet the potential volunteer.

Two reliable ways to find volunteers include partnering with local universities and looking
to other community organizations.

Volunteer Best Practices

As you know, volunteers play an essential role. On the front line, they make the first impression and tell your story to guests. It’s important that they’re well-trained.

  • Training before and on the day of the event
  • Provide as much information as possible in advance of the event
  • Make sure they’re well-fed
  • Use incentives for helpers after the event
  • Be sure the volunteers are available to help guests through the item pickup process
  • Print out any needed forms ahead of time such as:
    • Bid 03
    • Package 03


Sometimes there’s congestion toward the end of an event when people line up for item pickup and check-out. There are ways to streamline this process and make it simpler for guests so they can leave quickly and with a positive final impression of your event.

  1. Have your volunteers ready to help any guests who are ready to check out – even if it’s earlier
  2. Review purchases, print or email receipt 
  3. If guest checks in with credit card (express pay), then they can be automatically billed. They don’t have to visit the check-out stations.

There are many ways to streamline the check-in and check-out procedures at your live events. Some of them are the way you design the space, direct traffic, and train volunteers. Also, integrated software saves hours. You can collect and verify supporter, auction package, and sponsor data ahead of time and even open bidding on silent auction packages with Online Bidding.

If you’d like to connect with remarkable fundraisers to collaborate, learn, and become inspired, then join us at our 2020 Thought Leadership Virtual Summit! You can register here.

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