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Onsite Check-in and Badge Printing Overview and Timeline
Onsite Check-in and Badge Printing Overview and Timeline

A start-to-finish timeline with tips and instructions for what to do and when to do it

Daniel Murphey avatar
Written by Daniel Murphey
Updated over a week ago

Onsite's dynamic in-person event check-in, badge printing, and session check-in solutions give you a level of customization and personalization found nowhere else in the industry. Advance preparation is key to making sure the people on your team are prepared for check-in.

Whether you're using Session Check-in, Event Check-in, or both, this article gives you specific timelines, recommendations, and tips. Where relevant, you'll find links to our comprehensive Webex Events Academy courses, help articles, and videos to guide you along your journey. 🚶

Session Check-in

Using Session Check-in is really simple, so it doesn't need its own timeline. However, the following tips are critical to making sure Session Check-in is a success:

  • Decide whether you want Session Check-in staff to use their own devices to check attendees in, or if you want to buy or rent devices.

    • Onsite supports iOS 14.0 or later, and iPadOS 14.0 or later.

    • If you're buying or renting iPhones or iPads, make sure they're at the venue a couple days before the event starts so staff have enough time to download the Onsite app, select Sessions, and get familiar with the check-in process.

  • Add Sessions to your Event and configure them for Session Check-in no later than a week before your event.

  • Communicate clearly with all check-in staff before and during the event so they know where to be and what to expect at the venue.

    • Give each staff member a list of the sessions they're in charge of and where the sessions are located in the venue.

    • Provide staff with a generic Webex Events platform account that everyone can use to access your Event in the Onsite app, or create platform accounts for each staff member. Learn more in our article about inviting admins to your team in Webex Events.

  • Send Session Check-in staff the following articles to help them set up their devices:

If you're only using Session Check-in, then you're all done with this article. Bye! 👋

If you're using Event Check-in, read on! 📖

Event Check-in

12 weeks to go...

It's time to buy! Purchase Onsite no less than 12 weeks before your event so we have plenty of time to work through the details of your event and custom badge or equipment needs if you're using Event Check-in. By week 11, we'll know exactly what you need in your Onsite kit and exactly where to send it.

If you want to purchase your own Onsite Event Check-in equipment, buy as soon as possible to get ahead of potential back orders and long lead times. Learn about what you need in our Onsite Equipment Purchase Guide.

If you want our staff to assist with your event, we recommend ordering professional services around 16 weeks before your event starts and no later than 12 weeks before. Availability may sell out during peak event season, so secure this service as early as possible. Learn more about what Professional Services has to offer!

11 weeks to go...

It's time to learn! Onsite is very intuitive. However, there's always nuance. That's why we have a Webex Events Academy course all about Onsite and articles dedicated to each part of the Onsite process. 📚

We highly recommend that you choose at least one member of your team to be your Onsite expert. For events larger than 1,000 people, we recommend at least two experts. They'll learn how to configure the Onsite App, create badges, deploy the equipment, and help print badges. Once you've picked an expert, give them these resources to get started:

💡 Keep in mind, if you don't have an Onsite expert on your team and need help, consider hiring our Professional Services team. We're happy to help build your check-in app, design badges, create custom rules, configure Onsite Session check-in, order hardware and venue internet, and more. Reach out to your Webex Events contact for more information.

Once your Onsite expert has gathered some knowledge, it's time to start setting up Onsite and configuring the app.

Remember, Webex Events Registration is the ultimate pairing with Webex Events Onsite for ease of use and reduced maintenance. If you're using a different registration system, make sure you have a planned date for finalizing and uploading your attendees, with plenty of time to spare for testing.

Whatever registration system you use, be sure to ask any questions in your registration form that check-in staff might ask when they're on-site at the venue. Add these questions to the Check-in page to speed up the check-in process. 🧠

10 weeks to go...

It's time to build! By now your Onsite expert should have started setting up Onsite and configuring the Onsite App in the platform with custom colors, graphics, button labels, and any other customizations you want.

Now it's time to learn how to design badges. Badges can be as simple or complex as you like. Whatever the case, these articles have everything you need to know:

    • (Optional) Onsite Visibility Rules (Article) - If your badges are one-size-fits-all with no information to be printed for specific groups of attendees, you likely don't need Visibility Rules. It's a good idea to read the article anyway so you know what's possible.

What you learn about Onsite badge design should help you make decisions on exactly what you want on your badges.

For example, because the printers print only in black and white, you may decide that you'd like some elements pre-printed on your badge stock. Start making designs and playing around with customization options — nothing is final until we submit the badge stock order. Along the way, don't hesitate to reach out to our Support team with any questions.

Build your team

Start thinking about building your Onsite team. You'll need more people than your Onsite expert to manage the check-in table(s) and equipment, answer attendee questions, and help with lanyards and badge holders. Even if your attendees will use the iPads or iPhones to check themselves in, plan to have more people than you need for each device so that some can act as "floaters". Floaters can fill in for no-shows and relieve others when they need to take a break or direct someone to the help desk.

Don't worry about training yet — simply start the process of staffing your check-in tables. Recruit tech-savvy people who are excited to work with your attendees and help manage the check-in process. Effective pre-event communication with staff is crucial so everyone knows where to be and when. Plan your staff communication and sign-up methods early.

9-8 weeks to go...

It's time to order! At this point, you should decide on a badge size and have a solid idea about the badge design. Your Webex Events contact will advise you with tips and best practices to create the perfect badge. When your design is ready, your contact will send you a form where you'll officially submit your badge requirements and artwork (.ai file type only). Within 7 business days, we'll send you a digital badge design proof. Once you approve that, we'll submit the badge order.

💡 Keep in mind, if you want badge holders or lanyards, you must order those separately. If you're ordering your own badge stock, we recommend ordering 25% more than you need to cover reprints, calibrations, and testing.

If you're buying your own equipment, order now to make sure you get everything in time.

7-4 weeks to go...

It's time to plan! Creating a floor plan for your badge printing table(s) is critical. Consider details like:

  • Entrance locations and incoming traffic flow

  • Signage

  • Elevator access and ADA accessibility throughout the venue

  • Health and safety precautions

  • Post-check-in traffic flow and information

  • Power outlets, cables, and splitters

  • Number of tables and chairs for equipment and staff

  • Will there be separate check-in stations for VIPs, staff, press, etc.?

💡 Keep in mind, signage can make or break your check-in experience. Not enough signage or signage that's too vague leads to attendee confusion. Let each type of attendee know exactly where to go with clear signage at every entry point and major hallway.

Each router in an Onsite rental kit comes with a SIM card, so it's a good idea to test cellular strength in the location where you want to put your check-in stations. If the signal is weak or intermittent, consider moving check in to a location where your router(s) can get a solid cell signal, or consider hard-wiring the routers to the internet at your venue.

Speaking of your Onsite rental kit, it's helpful for planning to know what comes in your Onsite kit and how to set it up. If you bought your own equipment, the second article is still a great resource!

As part of planning, give careful thought to how attendees will verify certain information, such as medical status. Ask as many questions as possible as part of the registration process so event staff can simply refer to attendee answers on the Check-in page instead of asking each person for the information.

Plan to have one line of your check-in area set up as a help desk where people with badge printing issues can go so lines can keep moving. Issues usually arise because of incorrect information or duplicate registrations. Be sure to have a printer and iPad or iPhone at the help desk so people don't have to go get back in line after resolving their problem. Your Onsite expert(s) should generally be at the help desk.

3-2 weeks to go...

It's time to be certain! At this point, you should have a detailed plan of operation for badge printing. If applicable, make doubly sure that your Onsite rental kit can be shipped to the venue up to three days before the event. If storage isn't available at your venue, consider shipping the Onsite kit to your office or some other address. Reach out to your Webex Events contact if you need to change the shipping address.

If you're renting equipment from us, we'll send you the tracking information for your Onsite kit during this time-frame.

This is the best time for the Onsite expert to start training your check-in staff. Go over the venue setup plan, review safety protocols, and show staff how to correct problems with attendee badge information. Show them the video and articles linked below so they understand exactly what printing is like from the attendee perspective and know how to set up Onsite hardware:

Review your test attendees’ profiles in the platform to double-check that visibility rules are working as planned, and show the differences to check-in staff so they know what to expect.

💡 Keep in mind, make sure your Onsite expert has a Webex Events Platform account so they can log in to the Onsite App on each device on check-in day.

Week of...

It's time! You should receive your Onsite rental kit at least 1 day before your event — unless you bought your own equipment. As soon as you have access to the venue, have your Onsite expert and staff set up your Onsite hardware and test badge prints. Once testing is complete, it's a good idea to do staff check-in as soon as possible so staff and attendees aren't mixed together in line on event day.

Staff should test the night before check-in begins and every morning you open check-in. This helps staff acclimate to the process so they know exactly what the attendee experience will be like. Testing also helps clear any confusion and make sure printers are loaded and configured correctly.

Each staff member should practice loading and calibrating a printer at least once. Depending on the size of your event, staff may need to load more badge stock into printers during check-in if a roll or stack runs out. Loading new badges quickly keeps check-in running smoothly. 🏃

Testing and printing tips:

  • Pay close attention to the spacing and design of test badges and make adjustments to the printer or design as needed.

  • If you used badge rules based on exclusive groups, create a test attendee assigned to each exclusive group, and print badges for each to make sure visibility rule customizations work as expected.

  • After verifying that the test badges are printing the way you want, start printing staff badges.

  • Have staff practice opening the Onsite App’s settings and refreshing the data.

  • If you're using a distributed check-in where staff operate the iPads or iPhones instead of the attendees, rehearse the check-in process with all staff.

  • Make sure staff and attendees don't hold their hands against the printer to receive the tag as it's printing. This can cause the printer to jam.

  • Have attendees put on their own lanyards or apply their own adhesive badges to keep lines moving if check-in is really busy.

  • Timing is everything. It's a good idea to time your check-in process while you're testing and use that information to help with capacity planning. We also recommend that you time check-in during the event and make adjustments to staffing and equipment as needed.

⚠️ Caution! If you make changes to badge designs in the platform, be sure to publish them and then refresh each iPad or iPhone to finalize the changes.

If you've followed the process and timeline in this article and learned from the training material linked here, you'll be ready when your first attendee arrives at the check-in table.

During and after check-in, review the Onsite Metrics page to make data-driven decisions around staffing and check-in times so your next check-in experience can be that much smoother.

If you have any questions, your best resource is our awesome Support team. Click the Get Support button below to find out how to get in touch.

Questions? Chat Us or Email

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