Where to Stick Pinsby Steve Moland
Do NOT put the boxes of PINS on the tables where folks pick up numbers, shirts or do race day entry. It's simple, put them over on some other table and let folks waste time there as they diddle and fiddle counting out pins. They are runners, they can walk somewhere else as part of the process. You don't have give them cradle to grave service for all things at one single place. That method is time-line poison for having late starts.
It's SIMPLE MATH. If it takes 5 seconds to count out 4 pins, the 13th person in line is waiting an extra minute, the 25th is 2 minutes, 37th, 3 minutes. Sadly, it actually takes about 10 seconds to count out and pick up 4 pins so the hold up for the 20th person is 4 minutes. do the math on hundreds or thousands of people.
Another sinister thing about slow lines is that anything that delays the person currently being served creates the likelihood that they will get chatty with your volunteers and politeness dictates you can't just say; "Please stop talking and let us serve the next person."
Oh yes, at this point if you "get it" about the pins, you should have figured out that putting your SHIRTS behind the number pick up table is an even bigger delay than the pins. Put your shirts across the room so all your lines have room to form.