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Ticket Check-in at the Door: What do you Need to Know?

Over the years, we got a feedback from our customers about all sorts of issues with ticket check-in using Checkinera app for  iOS or Android

If you are expecting large number of attendees (hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands) we recommend using any standard barcode scanner connected to the computer that is running Checkinera web app since it speeds up the check-in process tremendously and is completely resistant to low light conditions. But don't expect any cheap barcode scanner to read barcode from the screen of the smartphone...

However, if you need to use Checkinera mobile app even in those situations you may run into some common issues when it comes to ticket scanning. So, here's what is behind it and what might help you overcoming those issues.

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Phone camera plays a main role in check-in process

While cameras on the iPhones are not that much of an issue since those are always the same, Android devices are a whole different story. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands of Android devices on the market which results in all sorts of variations in hardware specs and while our Checkinera app is going to work on any Android powered device, often a budget device will have it's corners cut on integrated camera. With a device from lower price tier, you may encounter slow focusing and sometimes you won't be able to scan ticket at all.

Naturally, you would expect from high-end, bleeding-edge, latest and greatest flagship Android device to cope with that seamlessly and while you may be partially right there are still situations when even those cameras will underachieve. Which leads us to your biggest enemy: low light conditions!

If you ask any photographer what's the main factor in photography, you will get answer before you even finish your question - lighting conditions. And, essentially, that is what we are doing when we are scanning ticket; we are actually taking a photograph which, if the lighting conditions are poor, will yield in slow focusing time and thus will slowdown the process tremendously.

Yes, we already can hear you saying "okay, okay... I get the problem... but what's the solution?

Try scanning the ticket in event-like conditions

Most of the times, when we or our customers are testing if everything is working properly, we have nearly perfect conditions: well lit space, ideal distance between ticket and smartphone camera, no pressure caused by hundreds of impatient attendees, etc... But testing it that way is just plain - wrong.

The best scenario for testing would be to visit the venue where your event is taking place and test it there in the conditions that will be as close as at the time of your event. Print out one or more test tickets and take the actual device(s) you intend on using at your event and test it out. If the light is poor, sometimes even a plain, cheap desk lamp can do the trick. Also try different distances between the camera and ticket and try figuring out a sweet spot where device is able to perform a scan most efficiently.

So, we have somewhat won the battle with the lighting... but somehow you are still having issues. Now, what?

Size DOES matter

Often, our customers tend to crowd their ticket template and leave an extra small space for the QR code.

Okay, we know that you are obliged to have that large sponsor logo and gazillion sentences of terms and conditions but what's the use of it if an attendee cannot have his/her ticket checked at the door?

So, instead of cramming everything else before you insert an actual QR code to your ticket template, experiment with the sizes of QR codes and find out what is the smallest size that is readable by the device you intend using for checking in and then go one step larger than that - just in case. Once you have that figured out, go ahead and put everything else. Do not fall to despair if you can't have everything on that one page since Tickera supports multi-page ticket templates and that second page can be really handy for, say, terms and conditions, right?

Also, we suggest you thinking ahead prior to creating the final ticket template and going live with ticket sales.

Ask yourself how many attendees are you expecting and how much time will it take to scan all of their tickets.

If in doubt use both

Often, things are not going as planned and you might be raising the limit of available tickets. So, if you have only QR code in your ticket template, and decide in the last moment that you want to use barcode scanners instead of mobile app, you will have no choice but to buy one of those expensive QR code readers (and based on the feedback form our customers, that scenario happened quite a few times before). To prevent that, you can (and really should) include both QR code AND a barcode to your ticket, so once the event day comes, you can use whichever you like: mobile apps or barcode scanner with Checkinera web app or EVEN BOTH since there is no limitation in Tickera on how many devices can be used simultaneously for ticket check-ins.

Next thing you can do to make the whole check-in process a painless affair is to make as many check-in points as  physically possible. That will result in lower number of attendees per check-in point and the whole thing will run much smoother. If there are limited number of doors to the venue, you may consider placing two people with check-in devices on each door and cut the waiting time to half.

So all in all, there is a number of things you can do to help people "at the first battle lines"  at the door of your event and make it as easy as it gets for them to  check-in tickets fast. And by helping them you will certainly help attendees too since waiting in lines for ages is no one's idea of well organized and executed event.


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