I have never met a single person that enjoys waiting in line. Regardless of whether it is waiting to get into a hip club or waiting for the release of the latest Apple gadget, most people regard waiting in line as a waste of time. Unfortunately for us, queues are an unavoidable fact of life. Lines must exist to maintain fairness and order.
What is the significance of this to an event organizer or a company with a product popular enough to merit a queue? The waiting experience does not have to be boring to the point that people resent being there. Consumers should be valued. You cannot make the line move faster or make it disappear altogether. The best you can do is to make the experience as pleasant as possible.
The best way to keep boredom at bay and interest piqued is too see how the line is formed. Use stanchions wisely to control the crowd and maintain order. It should also add visual interest. Stanchions are either mobile or permanently attached to the ground.
The style and look should be consistent with the theme of the event or image of the company. You should make it consistent with the setting. The anticipation builds while waiting so the experience should begin as soon as guests arrive.
One way to build anticipation is to give them a preview of what is to come. You can set up a sign or any visual aid to keep your guests engaged while waiting. Photos give something people to look at and talk about instead of keeping track of how long they have been waiting in line. Any sign with words and photos is a welcome relief to break the monotony. It also gives them additional information and background about the event or product.
A more entertaining option is to install an LCD screen or projector. It is more engaging and the presentation can loop for as long as it is needed. If appropriate, you can flash advertisements to market your products or to support your event partners.
When done properly, a line is a frontline selling point with a strong branding effect. It is an opportunity for market conditioning. Most efforts tend to be focused indoors where the main event happens. Don’t forget that the experience begins behind the velvet ropes.