Whisk Your Patrons through the Doors: Expediting the Check-in Process for Performing Arts Organizations 

Performing Arts organizations are well-aware of the crucial role that the check-in process plays in setting the tone for your shows. A slow and disorganized check-in frustrates patrons and gives a less-than-stellar first impression. To ensure a positive experience from the moment attendees arrive, consider implementing these strategies for expediting the check-in process and enhancing overall event satisfaction.

1. Minimize the Day-of-Show Work

Encourage ticket sales prior to day of show. Many performing arts organizations have begun charging more for tickets sold at the show. Collecting payments in advance not only ensures a smoother check-in but also reduces the likelihood of long queues forming due to on-the-spot payments. Further, nowadays, there is really no need to use will call. Tickets should be delivered to patrons’ phones – not printed and held for them to pick up before the event. 

2. Send a Pre-Check-In Email

Before the event, send attendees a pre-check-in email containing essential details about the event, including their ticket confirmation and a reminder to have their printed tickets ready to show when they arrive.

3. Get Your Ushers Ready

Ensure you have enough ushers! Calculate how many tickets each usher is likely to scan per minute, and multiply that by 15 because most guests arrive in the last 15 minutes. Let’s say each usher can scan on average 10 tickets per minute, so each usher can scan 150 tickets in the 15 minutes before showtime. If you have 300 guests, you need two ushers just for the scanning. Here is a formula you can use: 

# of Ushers for scanning =  Number of guests / (Number of guests each usher can process per minute X 15 minutes) 

There are other usher duties of course, including handing out programs and guiding guests to their seats. These are in addition to the ushers doing the scanning. Ensure enough programs are accessible and that the ushers know the seat numbering system so they can guide patrons to their seats. 

4. Separate Line for Ticket Buyers; Clear Signage

Despite your best wishes, some guests will still want to purchase tickets on-site. And you certainly want those ticket sales if you’re not already sold out! Having a separate line for them prevents them from getting stuck behind pre-registered attendees.  

Also, clear signage indicating where guests with tickets go and where guests without tickets go will smooth the patron experience and provide a more organized check-in process. This sounds basic, but I’ve been to many events where ticket holders are waiting in the ticket buying line and ticket buyers are waiting in the line for ticket holders. 

5. Use a Check-In App – A Fast One

Nowadays, there is no reason to be checking tickets manually. Most ticketing systems have a mobile device app that will read the QR code on the tickets and check the patron in. These apps streamline the check-in process by instantly verifying attendee information, marking their presence, and ensure the ticket is not reused.  

Of course, reliability and speed are critical. Otherwise, the technology will slow the check-in process rather than speed it. TicketPeak’s app can read QR codes and register the ticket in less than a second.

6. Prepare for Latecomers

Latecomers are a reality at any event. Design your check-in process with contingencies for late arrivals. Train staff to handle latecomers efficiently without causing delays for those who arrived on time. Assign specific staff members to manage late arrivals and guide them through a swift check-in process and to their seat. 

Again, basic, but I’ve seen many latecomers forced to find their own seats in the dark because the ushers only stayed till showtime or just a couple of minutes after showtime.  


In conclusion, optimizing the event check-in process for performing arts events requires a combination of planning, efficient tools, and a well-prepared team. By following the steps above, you can ensure that your patrons experience a seamless and quick check-in process. Remember, the first impression matters, and a well-executed check-in process sets the tone for a successful and enjoyable event for all. Now that you have these tools under your belt, you should be a star at expediting the check-in process and enhancing overall event satisfaction.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, check out our other blog on this subject. Alternatively,  you can visit us at TicketPeak.