When you’re checking in thousands of attendees at an event, every second counts. Even if you have less than 1,000 attendees, a delay of a single second for each check-in amounts to over 16 minutes of lost time. In this post we’ll share some pro tips that will help speed up your check-in process and ensure that you ace your next big event.
Update all FooEvents plugins and apps
This might seem obvious, but in our experience it is a step that is often overlooked. We recommend that you update all your FooEvents plugins and the FooEvents Check-ins App on all the devices that you will be using to check-in attendees about 2 weeks before your event to ensure that you have the latest version of the products. It’s also very important to test that everything works correctly well ahead of the day of the event!
Configure the FooEvents Check-ins Apps for faster check-ins
By default, the FooEvents Check-ins App update the ticket listing screen after scanning a ticket. This is to ensure that the check-in status of all attendees are updated should you have multiple entry points. If you are running an event with thousands of attendees, updating this list after each scan can take up valuable seconds and slow down the check-in process. However, you can avoid this by configuring the app to perform auto check-ins. This means that when a ticket is scanned, it will automatically check-in the attendee and return to the scan screen which significantly speeds up the check-in process. The app will not need to return to the ticket list every time a ticket is scanned so you won’t need to re-sync each time.
To enable this setting follow these steps:
- Login to the FooEvents Check-ins App
- Go to Settings
- Enable Auto Check-in
Use FooEvents Express Check-ins with an external barcode scanner
The fastest and most reliable way to scan a barcode is to scan the ticket using a 1D barcode scanner with the FooEvents Express Check-ins extension. Much like the app, the FooEvents Express Check-ins interface offers an auto check-in option. When enabled, the interface will auto check-in an attendee if a ticket ID is found in the system. This is by far the fastest, most reliable way to check-in attendees at your event.
Plan for the worst case scenario
Anything could go wrong and planning for the worst case scenario will help you weather the storm and prevent a catastrophe. Make sure you are prepared by having various methods of managing attendees at the entrance. Start off by using the FooEvents Check-ins app. If the apps experience technical difficulties or your devices are damaged/stolen, use the FooEvents Express Check-ins interface as a fallback. It is accessible on most devices such as computers, tablets and mobile phones by logging into your WordPress Admin Area. If the Internet goes down, be sure to have the attendee list available as a spreadsheet on multiple devices. If the power goes out and your battery runs flat, be sure to have multiple hard copies of the attendee list available so that you can check attendees in manually. We recommend ordering the data in the printed list by ticket ID as this will make it easier to find the tickets.
The attendees can be exported as a CSV file and printed as a spreadsheet. Here are the steps:
- Browse to the event in the WordPress Admin Area
- Go to the Product event tab
- Click on the button labelled Download CSV of Attendee
- This will generate a list of attendees who have been allocated tickets for this particular event
Ensure that your website is optimized for heavy traffic
Your website will likely get very busy when tickets go on sale as well as closer to the day of the event. Ensure that your website is running as fast as possible by implementing an effective caching service. There are various caching plugins available, however, we have found WP Rocket to be the easiest to use and most robust in terms of its compatibility with other plugins and themes.
WP Rocket also includes these other website optimization features:
- Leverages browser caching
- Google Font optimization
- CDN support
- Database optimization
Make sure that you have a reliable internet connection
For large events you might need to have more than one person scanning barcodes and checking attendees in. The FooEvents Check-ins App allows you to log into the app on multiple devices at the same time. If you are using the FooEvents Check-ins App on multiple devices like this then it would be best to ensure that each device is connected to the internet so that the app can communicate with your database in real-time to make sure that an attendee was not checked in using one of the other devices. The FooEvents Check-ins App does have an offline mode as well but this feature works best if you are only using one device to scan barcodes.
Please note that if you are using physical barcode scanners then you will need to use one barcode scanner per device. It is not possible to connect multiple barcode scanners to the same mobile device running the FooEvents Check-ins App.
Sell tickets in-person at the event
FooEvents POS (point of sale) is a web-based point of sale plugin for WooCommerce that runs on your own server and enables you to sell and print tickets in-person. You can also use FooEvents POS to sell physical products with advanced point of sale features. FooEvents POS can be purchased individually or as part of the Point of Sale Bundle for additional savings.