Ways to Use Barcodes for Events and Conferences
Now that you know how barcodes work, we outline 2 ways to use barcodes for events and conferences. Barcodes will allow you to verify, check in and track your attendees. We also provide you with factors to consider when looking at barcode scanning equipment and providers.
1. Check-In People As They Arrive to the Event
The easiest way to set this up is through an online event registration system that supports barcodes for events and has their own Mobile App.
3-Step Easy Setup
- Add a barcode to the confirmation email or set up an e-ticket. Make sure the barcodes are big enough to be scanned.
- Instruct attendees to print the email/e-ticket or have it ready on their mobile device so that you can check them in.
- Install the Mobile App from your registration provider on phones and/or tablets being used by event staff
As barcodes are being scanned, the App will bring up the registrants’ data so that they can be checked in. The best part of this method is the minimal setup, all you need is a mobile device and internet connection. Since the App and attendee database are synced and updated in real time, you can have the App on multiple devices and it will alert you if a duplicate barcode has been scanned.
ePly’s Mobile App
We’ve designed an Mobile App with event planners in mind that works with our registration system. You can try it by creating a free account and following the steps to create an e-Ticket. If you need help, feel free to contact us at 1-800-507-3759 or email email@example.com.
2. Track Attendance at Individual Sessions at a Conference
This is a another common use of barcodes, but becomes more involved depending on how large the event is and the number of concurrent sessions an attendee is registered for.
If you only need to know who’s attended the session, you can get away with just having a scanner. Simply scan the badges as people go into a session and then download this data to your computer rather than using a manual sign-in sheet. Alternatively, you can pre-load data to a scanner to check in attendees registered for the session.
Larger Scale Setup
If the event has multiple sessions where several scanners will be operating at the same time, you will need a more sophisticated system that brings a database, scanners, and barcodes together. This will allow real-time tracking and all the devices that the event staff are using will have the same information. For systems like this, most planners will work with a company that can provide all of the equipment needed as well as on-site or remote support.
Factors to Consider When Looking at Barcode Systems
Consider the factors below to make sure that you use a barcode system that suits your event:
- Database Location – there are pros and cons to each option.
- Local (running on a computer that you have with you at the event) – you may have more control over the database, but you are also responsible for making sure that the computer is set up and running correctly. There may be limited support from the supplier if you need it.
- Cloud based (running on a server in a data center) – this option is increasingly becoming the norm as it makes registration data more accessible. It makes it easier for the supplier to troubleshoot problems and support you. The only catch is that you require a reliable internet connection. Some venues may charge a steep fee to use their wi-fi, so get pricing ahead of time.
- Ease of Use for Your Event Staff
Scanning barcodes shouldn’t be a chore and anyone should be able to do it. Ask to see a demo of the scanners and related software to get a sense of how it will work.
- Quality of Equipment
The scanners should be reliable and sturdy. If they break, that would definitely put a damper on your event.
Having someone as your lifeline to support you before, after, and during your event can give you confidence in your chosen system. Find out if the supplier’s support hours line up with your event times and what they can and cannot help you with.
For more help with barcodes for events and some recommended suppliers for scanners and related equipment and support please contact us at 1-800-507-3759 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.