How to prepare for large events like a pro with FooEvents

When you’re checking in thousands of attendees at an event every second counts. Even if you only have 1,000 attendees attending your event, 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.

Configure the FooEvents Check-ins Apps for faster check-ins

By default, the FooEvents Check-ins Apps 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 Pro Check-ins App
  • Go to Settings
  • Enable Auto Check-in

Ensure your hosting provider does not block access to the XML-RPC file

Each time the app connects to your WordPress site to check-in an attendee, it does so via the WordPress XML-RPC file. FooEvents uses the XML-RPC file for it’s intended purpose, however, spammers often use this file for nefarious proposes. As such, some hosting providers may incorrectly flag the increased server requests through this file as suspicious and block the FooEvents Check-ins Apps from accessing this XML-RPC file. Although this does not happen very often, we recommend contacting your hosting provider and asking them to white list the IP addresses of all your devices (computer, smartphone, tablet etc.) well before the day of your event.

To check that your xmlrpc.php file is accessible, enter www.YOURSITE.com/xmlrpc.php in the web browser on your phone. You should see the following message if the xmlrpc.php file is accessible: “XML-RPC server accepts POST requests only.”

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:

  • Minifies CSS, JavaScript, and HTML
  • Removes render-blocking JavaScript
  • Leverages browser caching
  • Google Font optimization
  • CDN support
  • Database optimization

Sell tickets in person at the event

We recently integrated FooEvents with FooSales which is a free point of sale (POS) app for WooCommerce. FooSales turns your iPad or Android tablet into a mobile cash register and can be used to sell tickets in person at your event. Please keep in mind that FooSales does not print event tickets and will still send the tickets to attendees via email. You are, however, provided the ticket ID and can easily find the ticket using the FooEvents Check-ins apps.

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