Gate efficiency – A look at barcode scanners
Like any technology, barcode scanners are constantly changing. What never changes is the need for your event to be cost effective and profitable. We'll quickly take a fresh look at how ticket barcode scanners increase gate efficiency and reduce patron wait times.
Why do we blog this? Whether your venue has one entrance or several, the use of barcode scanners to validate tickets is now pervasive and very cost effective, but only when used with the correct software to connect them together with your sales data.
Time, time, time
The situation is a familiar one. You have expertly made everyone aware of your event, tirelessly wrangling your local market's channels and fostering the first chapter of the shared experience story. The big day has come and your event is about to start.
The reward for all your hard work? A sold out event and... a long line of ticket buyers queued up around the block?
So there's still work to be done. Your big event must follow through on its promise to the patrons and to your bottom line. Every person in line has their ticket in hand and is anxious to get in, the event start time is rapidly approaching. At this point in the story it is all about gate efficiency.
We have written in the past about the advantages of using barcode scanners for admissions and all of what we have shared before still holds true. Ticket buyers do not like to wait in long lines. Your event staff would rather not have very large crowds loiter in front of the venue for safety and security reasons. The long line out front means you are obligated to do everything that is practical to quickly get all those people admitted out of respect for their time.
Equally as important as your patron's time, is your need to get every ticket they present at the door validated and processed. The two needs are both served by using handheld barcode scanners connected to sophisticated event ticketing software.
Admission delays at the gate increase the overall event time, thereby increasing your costs. Using handheld barcode scanners to validate tickets has proven to be the best way to streamline admittance and lower costs. Not to mention that customers standing at the gate means fewer sales are made at concessions, bars, or souvenir stands
The argument could be made that barcode scanners are an additional cost that must be reclaimed for an event to be profitable, so why use them? The answer is the ever present adage “Time is money.” Any additional cost of using barcode scanners is relatively low when compared to the amount of time they save resolving myriad issues that can occur.
Lost ticket resolution
Resolving ticket issues at the gate may be one of the most vexing problems your event staff encounters. "Stuff happens" as they say. Folks forget their tickets at home, the printed paper ticket may have gotten lost en route, or it was mistakenly used as a napkin. The barcode scanner itself won't help resolve issues like these, but well-designed backend software will.
Should the paper ticket not be available, or somehow damaged as to be unreadable by the scanner, you need to have the means to poll your sales data and verify the purchase and the person - quickly. The person scanning tickets should be able to use an "order lookup" tool on their scanning page by last name, resolve the issue, and "scan" the buyer in ( see the video below ) to prevent possible duplicate entry. The backend software your event staff use to perform these verifications should not have a steep learning curve, but be just a one or two button click operation.
The same backend software that solved a lost ticket needs to be able to handle printed duplicates and outright fraudulent re-attempts as well. Once a ticket is scanned, that data needs to be written to your records then made immediately available to every gate and will-call window at your event. The military calls this “situational awareness”, you call it profitability. Venue wide distribution of ticket information is a function of the backend software that connects multiple scanners together as a network of intelligent "electric eyes".
Your ThunderTix account provides the very best in ticket barcode scanning and we have the latest in handheld devices available for your use. You can save money by renting the handhelds we have available, rather than buying them outright before knowing which make and model works best for you.
The video below provides an idea regarding how our technology is an all encompassing solution for gate efficiency, connecting handled scanners, polling your sales data to resolve paper ticket issues, securely distributing data to every entrance point at your venue.
As always, we would love to help you plan for the highest possible gate efficiency at the best value. If you have questions on how you can improve your gate efficiency and lower patron wait times, contact us!