When an auction committee spends six months to create a nice event, with wonderful decorations, fantastic food, and terrific auction items, why would they let all that effort go down the drain because they did not pay attention to what the guests want? So often I see what should be spectacular events get off to a slow start because the guests are forced to stand in a long check in line. Then, at the end of the event, the process is reversed and now the same guests, who have rewarded the cause with generous bids, are forced to stand in an equally long cashiering line! What a terrible thing to do to your guests!/SPAN
One of the easiest ways to reduce or eliminate the cashiering line is to get the payment information, typically the credit card imprint, at the time of check in. However, this can merely create a further bottleneck at check in as registration helpers must ask for an imprint of the credit card the guest wishes to use for auction purchases. The old "knuckle-buster" machines have been replaced recently by an electronic "swiper" terminal which eliminates the paper receipt forms, but still rely on a paper tape print out of the bidder and the credit card information. The swiped transaction is more secure than the paper receipt system, but it still takes time to swipe a card through the terminal, print a slip of paper to be signed by the guest, then print a second copy for the bidder to keep. Also, terminals are not real user friendly, require a bit of training, and must be rented. Recently, our sister company, MaestroSoft, launched what I think is the next generation of payment processing - qCheck.
What sets qCheck apart from all other payment systems is that credit card information can be gathered at the time of the RSVP, or at least many days prior to the event, so the number of people who must have their card "swiped" through a reader the night of the event is greatly reduced. In fact, it is now possible to greet the "pre-checked" guests at the valet parking area and hand them their name badge or bid number there, and thus let them bypass the check-in area altogether. In this manner, both the check in line, and because the card is already on file, the check out (cashiering) line are eliminated. Throughout the evening, volunteer "runners" deliver copies of bidder forms to the successful "qCheck'd" bidders who then can go direct to the pick up area at the end of the evening to retrieve their items. Going to the cashiering area is left to those who opted out of the pre-check or the qCheck.
Getting rid of the lines has always been the best way to say thank you to your patrons. Until qCheck though, the check in line was a requirement in order to eliminate the check out line at the end of the event. Patrons now can benefit from having no lines at all, and isn't that really the best way to say "thank you for your support."?
For more information about MaestroSoft's qCheck system, click here or on the logo above