This survey provides recommendations for the usage of ConfTool Pro at the “Front Desk / Registration Desk” of your conference and gives an overview of the available options and settings.
Basic Hints on How to Run the Registration Desk
The registration desk is usually the first part of your event your participants will experience and it’s important to make a professional impression. Some tips may help you to make it run like clockwork and keep queues to a minimum.
To avoid that queries and troubleshooting will hold majorities of people from registering, we recommend having two different kinds of registration desks: Most desks should be designed for standard registration without additional challenges (“Check-in for Paid Registrations”), where the arrival will just be registered and name badges, bags etc. will be distributed. But there should be separate desks for participants who have not paid the conference fees, or for “walk in” guests who have not pre-registered.
In connection with the ConfTool Front Desk functions, we recommend organizers to staff the desks for standard registration with ConfTool users who have the user role “Front Desk/Registration/Student Volunteer” only, while staff at the special desks should additionally hold the ConfTool role “Conference Administrator” or “Conference Assistant” to be able to access registration and payment details.
Furthermore, you could provide desks for on-site registration where participants have the option to register themselves on a computer. It is advisable to have Front Desk staff at this desk for advice, to print name badges and invoices on the fly.
You can find more recommendations for conference organizers under the heading "Registration Desk" here.
Definition and Options
The user role “Front Desk / Registration / Student Volunteer” is usually provided for members of the organization team who work at the registration desk. These users have limited administrative rights and can access all users and participants. They can note and store the arrival of participants, check if the payment has already been received and access the registration details to give the participants the items required for their conference attendance. Moreover, they have the option to note if a participant wants to appear on the official list of participants and, if the payment was not recorded yet, has signed the participation confirmation form. This form allows you to create a document of proof that a person took part at the conference later.
Furthermore, users with Front Desk status have the option to create new user accounts and register unregistered users for participation.
Assignment of the User Role
To enable the Front Desk function, simply assign the corresponding status to one or more user accounts (see image 1). We usually recommend using separate accounts for each registration desk PC (team), so you can reproduce who did which updates. You can also create dummy accounts like “Front Desk Team 1” etc. if you do not want to use personal user accounts.
The role "Front Desk / Registration / Student Volunteer" can be assigned by authorized users with the role ConfTool Administrator, Conference Assistant, or Conference Chair. You find more detailed information on the assignment of user roles here.
Usage of the ConfTool Front Desk Function
When using the ConfTool Front Desk function, you have the options to search for participants and users, register their arrival, check the payment status, and edit some data related to their participation.
- Search for participants: After the arrival of a participant, the front desk staff has the option to find a participant’s record through the search function by name or user ID. Usually the ID is the fastest way to identify a person, but if the person doesn’t have his/her invoice at hand, you can also enter the first letters of the participant’s name into the search box to get useful results. If the person is not already registered as participant in the system but already has a user account, you also have the option to search in the user list instead by activating the related checkbox (see image 2, upper left box).
- Browse Lists: Additionally, you have the option to display the participant lists filtered by initial letter, the complete list of all participants, a list of participants only who have already arrived, or who are still absent (image 2, upper right box).The participant lists provide a survey of some important information at a glance. Members of the Front Desk team usually register the participant’s arrival and check if the payment of the registration fees has been made (see status “Paid” / “Unpaid”). If enabled, you can also see the detailed amount paid and due, and you have access to the invoice and the registration confirmation by clicking on the date in the column “Total Amount – Invoice” and to the receipt by clicking on the payment amount in the column “Paid” (see image 3, green box).
- Record Arrival – “Quick Check In”: To record the arrival of a person, please click on “Arrival” on the right-hand side of the list (see image 3, red box). Date and time of arrival will be recorded automatically. If this status has been changed by mistake and you want to undo the command, just click on “Has arrived”. Please note that these actions will also be recorded in the system log.
- Record Arrival of Participants with Outstanding Payments: Sometimes participants want to attend your event before their payment has been received, e.g. due to bureaucratic deadlines. In these cases, the direct link to “Arrival” for “Quick Check In” is disabled. This is to avoid that participants are marked as arrived without further request, even though they still have outstanding payments (see image 4a). To record the arrival of a participant nevertheless, first select the link “Front Desk Data” on the right-hand side of the participant list (see image 3). Then confirm the arrival and update the participant status by selecting the checkbox “Participant has arrived” (see image 4b).
- Register New Participants: If a user hasn’t registered as participant yet, but already holds a user account, please search the person in the list of users and click on “Register Participant” on the right-hand side (see image 5). Now select the registration date and participant status. After that, you can select events/items, enter remarks from the participant, an address for invoice and receipt, payment details, participant status, as well as date and time of arrival.
- Create New User Accounts: If the person does not even hold a user account yet, you have the option to create a user account either with or without e-mail address (see image 2, lower box). You can directly proceed to the participant registration process from this page by clicking on the button “Submit and Begin with Participant Registration”.
- Participant’s Record: You get access to participant data when you click on “Front Desk Data” on the right-hand side of the participant list (see image 3). This action opens the participant’s record and you have the option to update the participant status (“Participant has arrived”, “Participant has signed the confirmation of participation”, "Participant wishes to get on the list of participants”), date & time of arrival, and enter remarks.
- Payment status: In case the participant wants to pay the registration fee in cash, please note that ConfTool users with the status “Front Desk” usually do not have the option to manage payments. We recommend sending these participants to the desk with members of the main organization team whose members have a cash box and the required ConfTool status (e.g. Conference Assistant) to manage payments. See also: Entering payments in ConfTool Pro.
Modifying the User Options of Front Desk Users
By default, users with the role “Front Desk / Registration / Student Volunteer” have no access to the detailed participation fees (just the information if a participant has paid or not), the invoices or submissions of authors. However, these options can be enabled in the back-end of ConfTool Pro.
To do so, please go to:
Overview =>Settings= >Settings for Users Registration and User Options =>Main Settings for User Registration and Management
... and update the settings accordingly (see image 5).
If Front Desk users also hold the role “Conference Administrator” or “Conference Assistant”, they can always access registration and payment details and also update these data. In most cases, these roles are reserved for members of the Front Desk who are also part of the main organization team and have the required background knowledge, e.g. to handle such special cases.
If the registration for conference participation has been cancelled by the organizers before, “Front Desk” users (usually) do not have the option to edit this data and to register the person again. Only “ConfTool Administrators” and “Conference Assistants” are authorized to register the participant again. They can undo the cancellation if they go to the "List of All Users" and select “Reg. Particip.” on the right-hand side. The values from the original registration are saved by default, please check and update them if required.