9 Factors of Ticket Barcode Scanners
Our guide to choosing ticket barcode scanners covers nine factors about scanning equipment to ensure you purchase the right scanner at the best price.
1. Internet Connection – Since most event ticket barcode scanners require an Internet connection, you should first assess the speed, reliability and type of Internet access your venue has. Do you have wi-fi access? Is the signal strength at the door/entrance strong enough for a mobile device? If not, you’ll need to use a USB connected unit to an Internet connection. If you are outside, make sure you assess the strength of your signal. Large outdoor areas may require signal boosters to use with wireless scanners. Be sure to review our page about ticket scanner systems to learn more about your options.
2. Speed – The larger the crowd, the faster you’ll want to funnel patrons through the door with rapid scanning. Generally, small venues can use inexpensive (under $300) USB ticket scanners. USB scanners are the fastest while barcode readers used with your cell phone may be painfully slow.
3. Duration of Use – If your staff is scanning for more than an hour, consider purchasing an optional pistol grip for your scanner. These allow users to scan tickets with their hands held in a more natural and comfortable position. For long periods of use (all day festivals, for example), an extra battery for each unit is recommended.
4. Durability – If your venue holds weekly events, rugged scanners will stand up to use and abuse. Scanners rated for four foot drops onto concrete–the height at which most scanners are held–will continue performing as without interruption.
5. Weight – The lighter the unit, the more comfortable it is to hold for long periods. USB scanners weigh just ounces, while rugged ticket scanners fitted with optional accessories can reach nearly 1.5 pounds.
6. Indoors or Out – Efficient ticket barcode scanners rely on the ability to quickly read a barcode, and this process can be hampered in strong sunlight. We strongly advise outdoor venues to place ticket scanners under cover (tents, tarps, etc) to facilitate scanning. At minimum, purchase high quality devices, and have a permanently affixed umbrella or shaded area nearby for hard-to-read scans. Our informational page on selecting the right ticket scanner system offers more insight into outdoor choices.
7. Price – Scanners range in price from a couple of hundred dollars to over $2500. For one-time events, you can rent scanners for $100-$650 per week.
8. Accessories – Accessories can double the price of your scanner, so choose additional options carefully. With ThunderTix online processing, you do not need a cradle. Cradles are used to sync data and power the batteries of your ticket barcode scanners. Choosing a power supply cord can save several hundred dollars over the purchase of a cradle. Hand straps help secure your unit from accidental drops, and are an inexpensive alternative to pistol grips.
9. Consider Your Users – Regardless of which equipment best fits your budget and performance needs, if you do not consider your users, your equipment may sit idly in the stock room if no one learns how to use it. Assess your users’ technical level with our guide What is the right barcode scanner for my venue?
A barcode scanner serves as an effective crowd management and ticket authentication tool. Determining how many scanners are required, whether to buy or rent, and the type of scanner needed will greatly depend on the number of entry points, the nature of your events, and your computer network. If you have additional questions this guide to choosing ticket barcode scanners has not addressed, please let us know.
We offer complete end-to-end solutions for your event with commercial grade barcode ticket scanning, handheld scanner rentals and upgrade purchases, plus the software to connect it all together. If you have questions, please contact us, we’d love to help you!