When it comes to cloakrooms or coat-checks, they rarely seem to feature highly on the event planner's priority list. And if they do, they're usually given very little attention.
Event organizers should start placing more emphasis on this part of the event — after all, it's likely to be the first and last impressions your guests will have of the event and it's also where your guests will be leaving some of their important personal belongings.
I'm always in a state of despair when I see thousands and thousands spent on an event, but with so little thought or budget put into the cloakroom area. Here's a short guide to ensuring your cloakroom is not letting the rest of your event down:
10 Tips for an Efficient and Entertaining Cloakroom
- Logistics first — Do you have enough space, hangers, rails & tickets for the number of guests attending? And is the space in a convenient spot for guests to access as they arrive and leave the event? Approximately 25 coats can fit on one standard-size coat rail.
- Good staff are key — Do you have enough cloakroom staff to cope with the volume of guests? Not enough staff and your guests will waste time in the line; too many staff and they'll slow each other down.
- Efficient systems — Make sure the cloakroom staff have an efficient system well before the event starts. Too often a couple of staff are thrown in to man the rails at the last minute, without a clue and not understanding the system; this spells disaster!
- Styling — How are the cloakroom staff dressed? If it's a themed event, make the cloakroom inclusive by costuming them appropriately — even consider wigs, hats and make-up if it's relevant to the theme.
- Smiles are vital — Use character improvisation actors in place of hospitality staff for an additional level of entertainment for your guests.
- Theme the cloakroom — Make it inclusive to the event, not a part of the event you would prefer guests not to notice, and it'll add to a feeling of continuity, which ultimately gives a slicker impression to your guests.
- Feed & water the cloakroom staff — It's likely that the cloakroom staff will be on-site for a very long shift, and adding them to the staff catering budget will ensure they stay perky enough to send your guests home with a smile and plenty of banter.
- Branding & product placement — The cloakroom is an ultimate branding point for event sponsors or the client's own logo: Consider branded cloakroom tickets.
- Go Pro — If in doubt use a professional cloakroom company who can take the stress away from you.
- First Impressions count — Don't under estimate the importance of first and last impressions. A badly run cloakroom can leave guests with a negative mindset, even if the rest of the event was a success.