How to scan ticket barcodes and QR codes using FooEvents and WooCommerce – FooEvents for WooCommerce

How to scan ticket barcodes and QR codes using FooEvents and WooCommerce

One of the biggest challenges experienced by most event organizers is managing attendee access. Ensuring an organized and steady flow of attendee check-ins is critical, and if not done efficiently, it could lead to lengthy lines and angry customers. To help speed up attendee check-ins, FooEvents automatically adds a unique barcode to each ticket. These barcodes represent a ticket ID and can be used by FooEvents to identify and check-in attendees at your event.

This article outlines everything you need to know in order to successfully scan barcodes and QR codes using FooEvents.

  1. What are barcodes and QR codes?
  2. Purchasing a scanner
  3. Connecting a barcode or QR code scanner
  4. Configuring your scanner
  5. Scanning tickets
  6. Bonus tips
  7. Additional help resources

1. What are barcodes and QR codes?

Barcodes and QR codes are simply images that represents alphanumeric values. The image is scanned using a scanner, which is essentially just an input device, much like a keyboard. When the scanner decodes the image to determine the value that the code represents, it sends the value back to your computer or mobile device. Using barcodes or QR codes will save you from having to manually enter the ticket ID using a keyboard and will speed up check-ins and reduce the likelihood of human error.

While QR codes do offer certain advantages over barcodes, in terms of scanning tickets generated by FooEvents, barcodes and QR codes serve the same purpose. That said, you might find that QR codes are easier to scan, especially in lowlight conditions, which would help to speed up attendee check-ins.

FooEvents uses barcodes by default but you can enable QR codes via the main FooEvents settings. To do so, login to your WordPress admin area, navigate to FooEvents > Settings > Ticket Design and check the option Enable QR codes.

2. Purchasing a scanner

There are a few things to consider when purchasing a scanner:

  • FooEvents supports both barcodes and QR codes, however, not all scanners support both formats. It is important that you purchase a scanner that supports the format you will be using.
  • If you plan to use the scanner with the FooEvents Check-ins apps on an iPhone, it is important that you purchase a Bluetooth scanner as iPhones do not support USB scanners.
  • If you plan to use the scanner with the FooEvents Check-ins apps on an Android device, it is important to check that the device supports Bluetooth or USB before purchasing the scanner.
  • Some scanners also support a wireless option that uses a USB wireless dongle. Be sure to first check that your device supports this before purchasing the scanner.
  • If you are using barcodes, ensure that the scanner supports 1D code-128 barcodes.
  • See the barcode and QR code scanners that we recommend

3. Connecting a barcode or QR code scanner

Bluetooth scanners

Bluetooth scanners are paired in the same manner as a Bluetooth speaker, headphone or keyboard. You will need to go to the Bluetooth settings on your device and ensure that Bluetooth is turned on. You can then find the Bluetooth scanner in the list of available Bluetooth devices. You will then need to connect/pair the scanner to the device.

Once connected, open a basic text editor application such as Notepad or TextEdit and scan the barcode or QR code to make sure that the device is working correctly.

1. Pair the Bluetooth scanner to your device

2. Scan any barcode or QR code

3. Ensure the code outputs to your device

USB scanners

USB scanners work in a similar way to USB keyboards. Plug the scanner into the USB port and you should be able to scan straight away. You can test to see if it is scanning correctly by opening a basic text editor application such as Notepad or TextEdit and then scan any barcode or QR code. When you scan a barcode, a number should display in the text editor which is what the barcode represents.

4. Configuring your scanner

Scanners are made by various manufacturers and come with different default factory settings. Your scanner should come with a manual or page that includes a series of barcodes. Each barcode will perform a different command when scanned which makes it possible to calibrate and configure your scanner as needed.

This is an example of a scanner setup sheet. Setup differs depending on the manufacturer. If you have lost your setup sheet, try Googling the make and model of your particular device and add the term ‘Setup’ or ‘barcode setup sheet’.

Here are a few common setup options that might need to be configured (differs between manufacturers):

  • Barcode encoding – Depending on your device, it might scan barcodes in a different format/encoding by default. Make sure that your barcode scanner is set to Code-128.
  • Enable/disable new line return – Be sure to configure your scanner so that it doesn’t add a new line when scanning a number. This might cause issues since the barcode numbers won’t match because of this extra character.
  • Language – Make sure that the barcode scanner is set to the correct language or else it might return unexpected characters when scanning.

The best way to test if your scanner is scanning correctly, is to open a basic text editor application such as Notepad or TextEdit and scan a barcode or QR code to make sure that the output is correct.

Once you have connected and configured your scanner, you are ready to start scanning tickets.

5. Scanning tickets

There are three ways that you can scan tickets using FooEvents:

  1. FooEvents Check-ins apps + built-in device camera
  2. FooEvents Check-ins apps + Bluetooth scanner
  3. FooEvents Express Check-ins + Bluetooth scanner or USB scanner

FooEvents Check-ins apps + built-in camera

Using the FooEvents Check-ins apps you can scan tickets using the device’s built-in camera. The following video demonstrates how to do this:

Play Video

Scan tickets using the device's built-in camera

  1. Open the app and connect to your store
  2. Enable the Auto check-ins feature to speed up check-ins
  3. Navigate to the event listing or select the relevant event
  4. Select the barcode icon at the bottom of the screen and start scanning tickets
  5. A camera view will display, hold the device approximately 10cm – 30cm (4″ – 12″) above the barcode
  6. Scan the ticket and check-in the attendee
  7. You can also scan tickets directly from the main screen of the app. This will search all events for a matching ticket number. This is useful if you are running multiple events concurrently at the same location.

FooEvents Check-ins apps + Bluetooth scanner

If you would like to use a Bluetooth scanner to scan tickets, you can connect it to your mobile device and enable the Bluetooth option in the FooEvents Check-ins apps. The following video illustrates how to do this:

Play Video

Scan tickets using a Bluetooth scanner

  1. Connect the Bluetooth scanner to your device.
  2. Open the FooEvents Check-ins app and login
  3. Go to the app Settings
  4. Enable the Bluetooth barcode scanner setting
  5. Navigate to the event listing or select the relevant event
  6. Select the barcode icon at the bottom of the screen and start scanning tickets

FooEvents Express Check-ins extension + Bluetooth or USB scanner:

The FooEvents Express Check-in plugin is an extension for FooEvents which makes it possible to search for attendees from your WordPress admin area using a paired Bluetooth or USB barcode scanner. You also have the option of automatically checking in attendees to further speed up the process. FooEvents Express Check-ins can be used on your desktop computer or on a tablet device with a connected barcode scanner. The following video illustrates how to connect a Bluetooth scanner to an iPad and scan tickets using the FooEvents Express Check-in interface.

Play Video

Scan tickets on your desktop or tablet

  1. Connect a USB or Bluetooth scanner to your desktop computer
  2. Go to your WordPress Admin Area > FooEvents > Express Check-in in your desktop browser
  3. Enable Auto Search – The search box will automatically display data as you type
  4. Enable Auto Check-in – The attendee will automatically be marked as “Checked In” if a ticket ID is found that matches the search criteria. This is intended to save time, especially when using a barcode scanner
  5. Place the cursor in the text box
  6. Scan a ticket and the ticket ID will display in the text box

6. Bonus tips

    1. If you are experiencing difficulties using regular 1D barcodes, try using QR codes, as they generally produce less scanning errors and can be printed smaller without any negative effects.
    2. Ensure that there is enough light and contrast when scanning and try to avoid scanning in lowlight environments.
    3. Ensure the barcodes or QR codes are not positioned too close to each other as they might confuse the scanner.
    4. Enable the Auto Check-in option to speed up the ticket validation process.
    5. Test, test and test again. Make sure that you fully understand the checkout workflow and that you are able to scan barcodes in the event environment.
    6. Anything can happen so make sure to have a solid backup plan. Depending on the size of your event, it might be a good idea to export a list all attendees and have the data available as a spreadsheet in both printed and soft copy formats. This could save the day should your phone go missing, there’s a power failure or the internet goes off.

7. Additional help resources

We would love to hear your feedback so please get in touch if you have any questions.

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