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

Occasionally, we got a feedback from our customers that checking in using our iOS or Android Checkin apps is a bit slow.

First off, we strongly suggest using any standard barcode scanner accompanied by our Barcode Reader add-on if you are expecting large number of attendees (hundreds or even thousands) 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 Checkin app even in those situations for whatever reason and run to some common issues in scanning tickets, here's what is behind it and how you can overcome those issues.

Not sure what Tickera is? Go here to find out!

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 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 Checkin app is going to work on any Android powered device, often a budget device will have it's corners cut on integrated camera. Issue you may encounter with that kind of device would be a slow focusing and sometimes you won't be able to scan ticket at all.

Now, 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. And that leads us to our main 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, etc... But testing it that way is just plain wrong.

The best scenario would be if you could visit the venue where your event is taking place and test it there in the conditions that will be the same 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 camera and ticket since sometimes that can do the trick.

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 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 on using for checking in. Once you have determined that, go ahead and put everything else. Do not fall to despair if you can't have everything on that one page since Tickera now supports multi-page ticket templates and that second page can be really handy for, say, terms and conditions, right?

Also, we suggest you to think 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 Checkin 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 include QR code AND a barcode to your ticket, so once the event day comes, you can opt in using whichever you like: Checkin apps or barcode scanner or EVEN BOTH since there is no limitation in Tickera on how many devices can be used for ticket check-ins.

Next thing you can do to make the whole check-in process as seamless as possible is to make as many check-in points as possible. That will result in lower number of attendees per check-in point and the whole thing will run more smoothly. If there are limited number of doors to the venue, you may consider placing two people with Checkin apps or barcode scanners on each door and cut the time waiting in line to half.

So all in all, there are number of things you can do to help people "at the first battle lines" to make checking in as fast as possible and by helping them you will certainly help your attendees too as waiting in lines for ages will make anyone nervous.