The Ultimate Event Check-In Guide
Posted in Spotlights on March 30, 2018
Welcome to the Ticketbud Check-In Guide!
The check-in process is important to master because first impressions are everything. The ideal check-in process is seamless, with as little friction as possible. Remember that people are coming from their world to enter the world of your event, so it is up to you to facilitate the transfer. In order to create a check-in process that flows smoothly, you must develop a strategy. The time-tested strategy that has been developed over much trial and error consists of 5 parts: Entry Points, Line Control, Check-In Methods, Check-In Software, and On-Site sales.
1. Entry Points
The largest priority for entry points is having clear signage as to where people will enter. When possible, utilize different lines for VIP and General Admission. This not only encourages a clear separation but encourages attendees to perceive the VIP line as “superior”. Another option is to let VIP enter the event before General Admission.
Each Entry Point must have a sign above it clearly denoting what type of line it is. We have found that it is optimal to utilize teams of 2-3 people per entrance point.
How many entrance points are ideal?
Unfortunately, there is no exact formula to determine the number of entrance points your event needs. You have to consider all of the following factors:
-Are VIP entering before General Admission? Or, is there any incentive to show up early?
-Is there more than one route that people can arrive at the event by?
-What is the structure of the event? Are there certain speakers, musicians, or guests that appear at certain times that may cause the event to be “front-loaded” or “back-loaded”?
A good quick rule of thumb would be to have at least 2 check-in booths and then add another one for every 1,000 attendees you are expecting.
2. Line Control
Did you know that people will stand in lines, without any idea as to why they’re standing in them? You must be prepared to have well-defined lines. A great way to handle this is by employing volunteers to control the flow of the line. For quick entry processing, employ straight lines. For customer service and slower lines, it is optimal have a “zig-zag” pattern to your lines.
Make sure your different lines are clearly marked and your check-in team directs attendees to the right line quickly and smoothly. It is helpful to have team members with scanners move through the line scanning tickets so when they reach the entry point they can simply hand their ticket and enter. Security must also be prepared to engage in crowd control if they start to get rowdy.
Quick thought: Rope is a great way to separate the lines and control them. Otherwise, lines can merge and cause confusion.
Quick thought 2: Entry points require lights if your event is at night.
Security can create a major friction point at your event, but for events, it is a necessity. We would recommend going with an event security company on this, as they are likely to know all best practices. In terms of creating strong first impressions, the second most important psychological lesson is that people are more likely to underplay stressors if something good happens after. Ergo, you can have security handle everything before people enter the space, and then have them get checked in. If you are preparing to receive a large crowd, security can be invaluable in calming people down.
Volunteers must be given background checks and receive basic training to help them spot and report unusual or inappropriate behavior. Through training, they can gain full knowledge on how to check in guests, resolve minor issues, and sell tickets at the door if the need arises. Finally, volunteers have to be polite with guests. Remember - first impressions. You should have water and snacks (and lunch/dinner/breakfast, whatever is appropriate), since it can often be a long day standing.
Also, if your event is all day, you need to figure out shift times (8 hours is best) and when relief volunteers are handed the baton.
The Event Operations Manager
Near check-in, have an on-scene event operations manager to help resolve issues as they arise. As already mentioned, the most important task is to keep lines flowing. The entry manager needs to be decisive, with the ability to quickly fix any problems. They should also be on scene to take a full scope of how lines are moving so that they can help move volunteers where they need to be most. A basic idea of line control is to have three separate groups of volunteers: One to direct, one to facilitate flow, and one to handle the actual check-in portion. The entry manager will be present at the check-in portion.
We recommend that you use the Ticketbud Organizer App to check-in attendees. It is the fastest way to process guests, bar none. We do also offer an online check-in and paper check-in options, but these are secondary.
Using Ticketbud’s Check-In App
The Ticketbud App is available for both iPhone, and Android. The app utilizes the camera functionality of your device to scan the QR codes on the tickets that we send to your attendees. The app also contains a list of your attendees who have bought a ticket and you can search for their name and check them in manually. It also possesses the ability to sell tickets at the door
Adding Staff and Volunteers
A week before your event opens, add any staff and volunteers that will be present to assist with the entry process. To do so, first login to your Ticketbud account. Head to your manage dashboard, and then click “Add Collaborators”. Anyone invited will receive a prompt to log in.
To get the best use out of Ticketbud’s Check-In App, we recommend you check off each of these items before the event begins.
-Private Wifi. Do not attempt to use 3G or a public wifi when you are dealing with a crowd of hundreds, or even thousands. The Ticketbud check-in app was designed to be extremely sensitive with scans, but data transfer will be slowed if you do not have a private wifi connection. When you’re dealing with 1000 attendees, an extra 3 seconds per person adds up. The best way to handle this for most events is to get a Hotspot.
-Battery Packs. Although we’ve designed the Ticketbud app to take as little bandwidth as possible, having your phone’s camera open for long periods of time will quickly drain it. You can either rent battery packs from us, or purchase some to have on hand.
-All Phones Are Already Logged In To The App.
-Each Staff Member has been trained in scanning QR codes, and at the point of sale use. On the day of your event, it is possible that some volunteers may not be present. Or, you might be getting more people paying at the door than you anticipated. Plan ahead by making sure every single person present can switch roles at a moment’s notice.
Trouble-Shooting Scanning Issues
-When you first open the app, you may receive a notification pop-up that says “Refreshing Tickets”. Do not cancel this process, it is the app updating.
-If it’s very bright out, the scanner will not be able to pick up on QR codes very well. Make sure that you have a tent, or another cover to make sure that the sun doesn’t interfere with the camera.
-If your event is at night, make sure that you have some sort of light source to allow the camera to properly pick up the QR code. iPhone: At night, tap the “lightning” option in the camera to help increase brightness.
Handling On-Site Sales
Although selling tickets at the door isn’t right for every event, you should seriously consider it for yours if you haven’t already. You should especially consider handling on-site sales if you haven’t hit your hard cap for tickets. You never know if people will show up at the door!
1. Create an area specifically for On-Site Sales. A volunteer near the entrance might be asking visitors if they already have tickets or if they are buying, and then direct them to the appropriate location. This location is to be clearly marked and differentiated from the check-in line. Ideally, once people pay, they will be let in right after without having to go and stand in any other lines.
2. Break down On-Site Sales into two categories: Cash, and Card. The Ticketbud App has the ability to record cash transactions and we recommend it be used to help facilitate this process. The Ticketbud Point of Sale can handle any card transaction. You can choose which tickets are being sold, and these will be uploaded to your Ticketbud event dashboard.
Note: Your event must be using WePay for you to be able to use the Ticketbud Point of Sale device.
Reconciling On-Site Sales
When your volunteers log Cash and Card transactions, it will all be reported (along with ticket types sold) to your Ticketbud dashboard.
Trouble-Shooting Point of Sale Issues
-When you first use the Point of Sale, you will receive a notification pop-up asking for permission for microphone and camera. Please grant access, as the Point of Sale requires sound to verify the transaction.
-Check that the card is entered in the right way if it is a chip card.
-The first transaction may take up to 15 seconds to process. Subsequent transactions will not take that long.
Do you want a free consultation on how to scan, or sell tickets at the door? Give us a call at 844-376-6061 and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.