Online Event Sign-In Options
No matter what type of device you have or what type of ID cards your members have (or even if they have no ID cards at all), Best Attendance provides a sign-in method that will work for you. This table summarizes all of the sign-in options that are available.
|Laptops and PCs||Android Devices||iOS Devices|
|Use a barcode scanner||The barcode scanner we recommend works on all devices; see our setup instructions|
|Type member names as they arrive||This feature works the same on all devices; see our setup instructions|
|Touch Screen Sign In||This feature works the same on all devices; see the guide for our full version and mobile version.|
|Use the device’s camera to scan barcodes||Not available||Use the Barcode Keyboard app.||Not Available|
|Scan cards with magnetic stripes||Our recommended magnetic card reader works with Mac and Windows PCs.||Not available||Not available|
|Use Paper & Pencil||Learn how to print sign-in sheets for events.|
Use A Barcode Scanner
To check someone in with a barcode scanner:
- Connect the barcode scanner to your device via USB or Bluetooth.
- Click any event from the Event Calendar to open the Take Attendance page.
- Scan the barcode on the member’s ID card.
If this is a new member who has never signed in before:
- On the Take Attendance page, type the member’s name under “Add Members And Guests”.
- Click the “Add Guest” button.
- On the pop-up that appears, click the “Save And Add Details” button.
- You will see the Member Profile page. Click where it says “Click To Add” under “Member Barcode”.
- A new box will appear. Scan the new member’s ID card with the barcode scanner.
- Click the “Save And Return” button on the Member Profile.
Type Member Names As They Arrive
If you do not have a barcode scanner, or your members do not have ID cards with barcodes on them, you can simply type the member’s name to check them in:
- On the Take Attendance page, start typing the member’s name under “Add Members and Guests”.
- A list of possible matches will display. Choose the member from the list.
If this is a new member who has never signed in before, click the green “Add Guest” button to add the member to the database and sign them in to the event.
Touch Screen Sign In
When setting up new events, you can choose to make those events “required” or “optional”. When you decide that an event is required, everyone who is in one of the groups for the event will be displayed on the Take Attendance page and will be marked absent.
On touch screens, members simply touch the Present button next to their name to sign in. You could of course also use a mouse to click on the present button. Placing Best Attendance into Lock Down mode ensures that members cannot access any secure parts of the application when signing in, so you can leave the computer unattended with peace of mind. This works great on iPads and other tablets.
Use The Device’s Camera To Scan Barcodes
If your members have ID cards but you do not have any barcode scanners, you may use the built-in camera on Android phones to scan the barcodes. There are a few disadvantages to this technique:
- It requires you to install a third-party app.
- The third part app installs an alternate keyboard to your phone, which you need to enable before you can capture barcodes.
- When scanning barcodes, the camera takes a second or two to focus before taking the picture, so this method is remarkably slower than using an actual barcode scanner.
- This method is only available on Android devices. There are no third-party iOS apps that allow barcode scanning through the device’s camera.
Because of the above limitations, we highly recommend using a barcode scanner for signing in members. The one we recommend was priced under $80 at the time this guide was written. If you do want to try using the camera, follow these steps:
- Install the Barcode Keyboard app from the App Store and follow all of its installation instructions.
- Log in to Best Attendance on your smart phone by typing https://bestattendance.com/app into the phone’s browser.
- On the Take Attendance page, press the Scan button on the phone’s on-screen keyboard.
Scan Cards With Magnetic Stripes
Some ID cards have magnetic stripes instead of barcodes. These can be scanned into Best Attendance as well. Follow the same instructions as you would for barcode scanning. A few important notes on using magnetic card readers:
There are several different types of magnetic card readers. Best Attendance requires a Keyboard Emulation type reader. These card readers decode the magnetic bits on the ID card into a series of numbers, and then simply “types” these numbers into the computer as if it was a regular keyboard. Not all magnetic card readers work this way, so be sure you have the correct kind of card reader.
We recommend the MagTek 21040108 reader. We have tested this on both Windows and Mac systems; it works great on both.
Use Paper And Pencil
If you do not have an internet connection at your meeting location, paper and pencil is actually not a bad option. From the Take Attendance page, click the Print icon to print off a Sign-In sheet in advance. You can pass it around old-school style, and input the attendance data into Best Attendance when you’re back at your computer.
The fact that Best Attendance runs on all smartphones and that a high speed network is available pretty much everywhere means that you probably will not have to resort to this method too often.