How Queue Management and Virtual Waiting Rooms Helped a Charity Bless 320 Kids With Gifts | NextME Waitlist App

How a Local Charity Teamed up with NextME for Their Annual Toy Drive

How Queue Management and Virtual Waiting Rooms Helped a Charity Bless 320 Kids With Gifts | NextME Online Waitlist

How Queue Management and Virtual Waiting Rooms Helped a Charity Bless 320 Kids with Gifts

1 Village, a non-profit organization located in metro Atlanta, has the fundamental goal of “helping communities better themselves”. Each year on Christmas Eve, they host a much anticipated toy drive for families in need. 1 Village works tirelessly throughout the year gathering donations and building sponsorships. Even the Spyder Squad ATL (motorcycle club) dropped off loads of gifts for the event this year.

The Problem: Health and Safety Measures. Outdated Check-in Processes

They had the gifts and sponsors but organizers were facing tough challenges this year due to restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic. They needed to tackle their intake and check-in process. 1 Village decided to digitize the way they held events to ensure everyone’s safety. The answer? A modern waitlist solution with a Virtual Waiting Room and QR codes. 

The Solution: A Queue Management System with a Virtual Waiting Room

1 Village teamed up with NextME to employ a waitlist management system for the event. They customized their Virtual Waiting Room and Self Check-In features based on their specific needs. And after some quick and friendly onboarding from NextME staff, the organizers we’re ready to take on the event. (we supplied our service for free)

How Queue Management and Virtual Waiting Rooms Helped a Charity Bless 320 Kids With Gifts | NextME Waitlist App

How It Went

“The app was definitely helpful and fairly easy to use... Overall it was a good day. We were able to bless 320 kids with gifts. - Niesha (Nikki) Hicks, Co-Founder

  • The organizers had implemented a pre-registration process ahead of the event (to ensure they had enough supplies for the demand this year)
  • When a guest arrived at the event, they checked in by scanning a QR code on one of their many check-in signs located outside. 
  • The guest filled out their custom form and jumped on the waitlist
  • Organizers filtered each guest coming on to the waitlist into their respective queues, based on their party size and pre-registration status
  • While the guest waited in their car, they were engaged in the Virtual Waiting Room - updating them on their spot in line, highlighting different sponsors, and capturing their emails in order to reach out to them for future events. 
  • When space opened up inside, the organizer simply notified the next guest in line via the NextME App.
  • The guest received the final text to come inside, with instructions on where to enter the building. 
  • Gifts and smiles all around - with an email to attend their next event on the way. 

1 Village plans on using NextME at all of their future events, pandemic or not. From a managerial perspective, NextME increased throughput and efficiency which helped the event run smoothly. And from a guest perspective, the Self Check-In and Virtual Waiting Room features provided them with a better guest experience - and that made their day a little more special. 

If you’d like to donate to 1 Village, contact Nikki at [email protected]

Request a demo or give us a call at (877) 639-8631 for more info!


How to Plan Great Gaming Events by NextME Waitlist App

How to Plan Great Gaming Events

How to Plan Great Gaming Events by NextME Waitlist App

Tips for Planning Amazing Gaming Events and Conferences

PAX. Playthrough. London Games Festival. E3. Gamescom. Tokyo Game Show. BlizzCon. MineCon. HaloFest.

What do all of these gaming events have in common? Crowds. More specifically, a need to manage the masses of people seamlessly.

If you've ever been to a gaming event, you probably understand the frustration. You don't want to lose your place in line, but you don't want to have to stand around all day waiting either. There are a million things to do and see, and you have to divide your time well if you plan to get to all the essential ones.

If you're running one of these mega cons, or even a smaller, local gaming event, it's a big problem. You want the whole experience to run smoothly, and you want to keep your gamers happy. Fortunately, we have a few tips to help you manage your next gaming event seamlessly.

Build a Community Before the Event Starts

How to Plan Great Gaming Events by NextME Waitlist App

It’s easy to think that a gaming event is all about the game. But here’s an inside secret: it’s all about the community.

Gamers can play their favorite games in the comfort of their own homes. They don’t even have to put on pants to do so. So what’s the point of getting dressed, going out, and attending a live gaming event?

The biggest draw is the opportunity to bump elbows with fellow gamers.

So how do you build a community during your event? You can’t. The community has to start before you ever open the doors to your event.

In the days, weeks, and months leading up to your event, it’s time to step up your social game. Use social media, gaming sites, twitch.tv, and other online options to engage with the players who will be attending. But more importantly, give them the opportunity to engage with one another.

Rivalries, alliances, and networking can only happen if you lay the groundwork. And they’re essential for a noteworthy gaming event.

Allow Attendees to Plan Their Time

How to Plan Great Gaming Events by NextME Waitlist App

The devil’s in the details, right? Well, better get busy nailing him down.

Sure, you could wait until the last minute to plan out the schedule, map out your space, and get on top of those nagging details. But you’d be missing a huge opportunity.

Want to build buzz? Release as many concrete details as you can. Let your gaming community plan out their time at your event weeks in advance. Let them know what your tournament schedule is going to look like. Give them details on everything that’s going to be happening on the day. Tell them about sponsors, vendors, giveaways, even what foods are available onsite and nearby.

In short, give them lots to think about and lots to talk about. They’ll thank you for it by sharing their excitement with friends and fellow players.

Manage Waitlists and Times Without the Tether

At any decently-sized event, there’s going to be waiting time. It’s pretty much inevitable. There will be lines for check-in, lines for panels, lines for booths. The last thing your attendees want to do is stand in line.

Fortunately, there’s a better option. Using a service like NextME allows your gamers the freedom to wander around while they wait. They can go browse vendor booths, grab a snack, or cheer on their friends who are playing elsewhere.

Once they check in for a tournament or booth, they’ll receive a quick text message with a link. There’s no app for visitors to download. They’ll click through to a browser-based page where they can watch their place in line from anywhere inside or outside your venue. When it’s almost their turn, they’ll get another text alerting them to come back. And they can accept or decline if they’ve changed their mind.

And since you get to control what waiting gamers see when they click, you can use the space however you want. Send them to your social media pages to help spread the word about how amazing your event is. Advertise the after-hours party going on down the street tonight. Direct them to visit your site or to engage with your sponsors.

But one thing you won’t have to do? Make them stand in physical lines.

Follow-up to Build an Audience for Your Next Event

How to Plan Great Gaming Events by NextME Waitlist App

Once your event is wrapping up and you’re getting ready to close the doors, it would be easy to think you deserve a break. But if you plan to host future events, you can’t afford to lose the buzz and energy you’ve spent all this time building!

Before the end of this event, start hyping the next one. Ideally, you should already have the dates, times, and venue nailed down. Offer a pre-registration or at least let attendees sign up to receive updates as the details become available.

Then, follow up. Ask for feedback, and then actually listen. Keep your community strong with online events or giveaways. Don’t let a month go by without communicating with your audience.

It’s a whole lot easier to maintain the connections that you’ve worked so hard to make than it is to create new ones. Keep expectations high and send out buzz-worthy messages. You can expect your fans will share their experience and their enthusiasm with others too!