waiting guests

Waiting guests: How to make sure they are happy in queues at your next event

February 11, 2019Janey DaviesEvent Guides

Sometimes queues are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean your waiting guests should be bored or uncomfortable.

A good event manager will do everything in their power to ensure guests have as short a wait as possible. However, there are some occasions where a delay is necessary. For example, if the event has security checks or if the venue holds a very large capacity. So how can you ensure your waiting guests are happy and, more importantly, that any waiting time doesn’t spoil their overall experience?

Here are 5 options to keep waiting guests happy in queues

  1. Timed entry

For very large venues it makes sense to organise a timed entry for guests. This can be done by stating the arrival time on the tickets. The time of arrival can be anything from 5 minutes apart to 15 minutes. It is best to inform guests that you are using a timed entry because of the size of the audience to cut down on waiting times. This should enable people to make an informed choice about when they will arrive.

  1. Waiting outside? Think about the weather

No one wants to wait in the pouring rain, or the blistering heat for that matter. It won’t matter one iota if your guest speaker is the biggest draw since Justin Bieber. Soaking wet-through guests get grumpy and miserable pretty quickly. And hot guests are likely to be irritated and bothered. So what can you do if the weather is against you? If guests are waiting outside in the cold weather set up patio heaters every few metres or so. The extra expense shows your guests they are valued and we guarantee you it will be mentioned on social media sites.

If it is raining provide shelter of some kind. It doesn’t have to be fancy marquees. Think about simple gazebos stationed along the route. Hot weather is much easier to control. Give out cold water bottles and pay attention to young children and older guests in particular who might be struggling with the heat.

  1. Older/younger guests

Talking of older and younger guests, these type of attendees have very different requirements. If your event is catering to a lot of older guests then think about additional seating. You can easily order extra fold-up chairs and position them so that carers or those attending with the older guests can quickly utilise them.

Children who have to wait around for long periods are prone to boredom and can become fractious. However, if there are games in sectioned-off areas they will be entertained for long enough during the waiting period.

  1. Offer food or drinks

This is a really good way of keeping waiting guests happy and showing that you appreciate them at the same time. In cold weather, a cup of hot chocolate not only warms people up but lifts the spirits too. In hot weather, frozen ice popsicles are ideal for children. For festivals why not set up a non-alcoholic cocktail stand and serve with lots of crushed ice for the adults? Another option is to hire waiters to walk up and down the queue with trays of delicious canapes to tempt your guests while they are waiting.

  1. Showcase local talent

Finally, why not hire the local talent in that area and have them perform while your guests wait to get into the venue? You can have buskers playing music or magicians doing tricks to entertain your guests. Or you can even put up large TV screens that play music videos.

Remember, the key is to keep your waiting guests occupied and comfortable enough so they forget they are waiting in the first place.