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How to streamline your event check in

When people arrive at your event they will want to enter the event as efficiently as possible, while at the same time, you will want to make sure that only those who have valid tickets can enter.

Everyone wants to give their event goers the best experience possible. Having a good event check in experience is extremely important, especially if your event is going to repeat again next year. Guests remember negative experiences the most. They may not remember an efficient check in, but they will certainly think twice about coming next year if they find themselves waiting in line for hours at your event this time.

12 ways to streamline event entry

#1. Booking forms

Collect all the information you need about event entrants before the event. Add your questions to the online booking form so that you have the information as early as possible (this is particularly important if collecting dietary requirements). Avoid asking them questions when they arrive.

#2. Communicate the check in process

Tell your ticket holders in advance how the check in process is going to work. This will reduce surprises and reduce their ability to slow down the check in process for others. For example, tell ticket holders if they need to print their tickets first before arriving at the event.

#3. Identity validation policy

Ensure you have a defined policy to validate the identity of ticket holders. Depending on your event it might be enough simply to allow entry to anyone holding a ticket, or at the other extreme (perhaps for a high cost gala dinner) you might want ticket holders to also show some form of official identification before inviting them in. Again, this needs to be communicated in advance to ticket holders.

#4. Print a door list

Print a complete "door list" of the names and ticket numbers of each ticket holder. Take it with you to the event entry control area. For maximum efficiency, the door list should be sorted in alphabetical order by family name (not first name). Whatever mechanism you use to validate tickets at the check in, a paper printed door list should be your "go to backup".

#5. Use barcodes or QR codes

Use tickets with barcodes or QR codes that can be scanned for event entry. Not only is this quicker than searching for ticket numbers or ticket holder names in your door list, it also allows guests to be checked in at different entrances to your venue without having to coordinate updates to a paper master list.

#6. Scan tickets without printing

Allow electronic tickets to be scanned on the guest's phone without needing to be printed. If your process only works with printed tickets then those people that arrive without printing their tickets will need to be processed manually, breaking your streamlined process and causing delay.

#7. Allocate enough staff

Determine in advance how many staff you will need to check tickets and where they will be stationed. You may need multiple entry points to your event, each with a team of ticket checkers.

#8. Start early

Start check in early. If you have the risk of long event entry queues then consider opening the check in process as early as possible. This might require caterers to start early too.

#9. Good internet connection

If you are using an entry app (a ticket scanning app) then make sure you have a good internet connection at each of your event entry points. Slow, or patchy, internet connections slow down scanning and event entry. Plan in advance whether to have internet through mobile data connections or local Wi-Fi.

#10. Specialized group entry

Plan for group entry. If you have sold tickets to large groups of people then have a separate channel to process their event entry. Processing a large group in one action could take a lot of people out of your event entry queue and improve the entry experience for everyone.

#11. Train staff and volunteers

Train your event staff (together with any volunteers) and have a dry-run walk-through before ticket holders arrive. This is particularly important if a scanning application is being used, you will want to be sure that everyone has used a scanner before and knows how to operate it.

#12. Have spare batteries

Have spare batteries or charging facilities available for event entry ticket scanning apps. Phone batteries don't last long when a phone is constantly in use.

Event entry with Coconut Tickets

Coconut Tickets has a rich booking form builder that allows you to collect as much information as you need from each ticket buyer. This includes having conditional questions where the answer to one question determines which questions will be asked next.

A door entry list can be printed for every day of your event. It is sorted in alphabetical order by ticket holder family name to make it as easy as possible to find someone and validate their tickets.

All e-tickets issued by Coconut Tickets have an identifying QR code. These tickets can be scanned using the free Coconut Tickets smart phone app. The app will also tell you whether the ticket has been seen before, helping to identify fraudulent tickets and attempts at multiple entry.

Choose between event attendees printing their tickets on paper or displaying their ticket QR code on their phone when they reach the event. Both methods work equally well.

For all day or multi-day events, the scanning app can also be used to record the temporary exit of a ticket holder. Thus improving the event entry experience for them if they need to return to the event.

By default tickets are issued one ticket per order. However, Coconut Tickets also supports one ticket per seat which is useful if group tickets are purchased but guests need to enter individually. This is a decision to be made when creating the event and can make a big difference on both the user experience and the number of tickets that need to be validated for event entry.