What Are the Options for Ticket Scanning Software?

In the olden days, people purchased and received hardcopy tickets.  When you arrived at the event, they are sure would tear off a portion of your ticket for 2 reasons: to ensure ticket is not reused, and to have a record of how many people came to the event.

With computers, and with people printing tickets at home, tickets usually no longer have a tear-off portion.  Instead, event organizers who wish to ensure that tickets are not reused and/or wish to keep track of who actually attended the events, use barcodes or QR codes and ticket scanning software to achieve that purpose.

Why Use Ticket Scanning Software?

The purpose of scanning tickets is to achieve the same objectives that the tear-off portion used to achieve: prevent the reuse of tickets, and keep track of who or how many people attend the event.  Let’s explore each:

Security

For general admission events, it is critical to scan print–at–home tickets for security reasons.  When someone prints a ticket at home, he or she can photocopy that ticket as many times as they wish.  An unscrupulous person who thinks they can get away with it could decide to give their friends copies of the ticket.  If he or she thought the event organizer had no mechanism in place to prevent the reuse of tickets, they may be inclined to do so.

For reserved seating events, there is a bit less potential for fraud because the ticket will indicate the row and seat number, and two people cannot sit in one seat.  However, if an event is typically undersold, and there are plenty of open seats, the unscrupulous ticket buyer could give copies of his tickets to friends and tell them to sit in an open seat.

Information

The other reason to use ticket scanning software is to collect important information.  Most current online ticketing systems store the name of the purchaser as well as the ticket number.  So scanning the ticket not only gives you information about who attended, but also generates statistical information for your reports.

What are some ticket scanning software options?

Most current online ticketing systems give you the option to have a barcode or a QR code printed on your tickets when the ticket buyer prints them at home.  A barcode is the traditional code seen on all grocery store items – a set of vertical bars.  A QR code is a square code that can store far more characters than a barcode.

With respect to ticket scanning software options, what you use depends on whether you’re using barcodes or QR codes. If you are using barcodes, chances are your ticketing software has the ability to receive the barcode number from a barcode reader in order to indicate whether the ticket is valid, and, if so, log the fact that the ticket has been used.  Barcode readers typically sell for approximately $150 and can be easily connected to your computer – much like connecting a keyboard.

If you are printing QR codes on your tickets, you will likely be using a smartphone to read the QR code and redeem the ticket.  There are many standard QR code reader apps on the market.  The one we use with TicketPeak, for example is simply called “Scan”.  Using the Scan app with the TicketPeak online ticketing system allows you to redeem tickets using smartphones.

Tips

We generally recommend using barcodes and barcode readers to redeem tickets because they are faster than smartphone readers.  With the latest technology, you can actually connect a barcode reader through Bluetooth to a smartphone and achieve the double benefits of speed and mobility.

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