This article provides guidance on how to use the new Session check-in module (v.6.0.0 onwards), available starting January 16, 2024, on all newly created workspaces.
The Session check-in module is an advanced (paid) module that replaces the formerly known Attendance tracking module, that will be fully deprecated starting March 5, 2024.
You will need to install the Session check-in module (v.6.0.0 onwards) from the SpotMe Marketplace in order to use it, and make sure that you are using the latest app version available for your event (minimum iOS v.2.27.0 and Android v.2.23.0)
Important: If you wish to use this module on a workspace created before January 16, 2024, please contact SpotMe support in order to have it installed.
Workspace templates can all be updated with the new module starting January 16, 2024. All existing workspace templates will be automatically updated by SpotMe (including organization-specific templates) on March 5, 2024.
The Session check-in module is used to manage the access and track the attendance of participants to agenda sessions.
Whether or not an attendee can access a session is determined based on the following questions for the session:
- Is there a limited number of seats for the session, and if so what is the maximum capacity?
- Can all event attendees join the session, or do you want to only admit registered attendees?
- If the session capacity allows it, beyond the registered attendees, do you want to allow unexpected participants (walk-ins) to attend the session?
Based on the above questions, among others, event organizers can:
- Configure the criteria for accessing a session in Backstage.
- Choose what check-in methods will be used for the sessions: assisted check-in (performed by hosts/hostesses) or self check-in (performed by the attendee).
With session check-in enabled and used on your event, all session check-in data is compiled and included in the attendance tracking report. This report is available in the workspace dashboard, and will provide valuable insights into how your audience attended your event.
This article you will find explanations on:
- What’s the difference between assisted check-in and self check-in?
- Basic principles and definitions
- Using assisted check-in
- How does assisted session check-in work?
- Configuring the assisted check-in on Backstage
- Choosing the attendee information that will be displayed in the dashboard on the app
- Setting up an app user as a host/hostess for session check-in
- How to use the app’s session check-in interface as a host/hostess for assisted session check-in.
- Using self check-in
- How can I access the session check-in data in a report?
Assisted check-in or self check-in?
There are two methods that can be used to check-in attendees at agenda sessions:
- Used to manage access to a session and track session attendance (session check-ins only).
- Performed by a host or hostess using the dedicated session check-in interface in the app.
- Hosts or hostesses can scan an attendee’s user QR code or search for the attendee in order to identify them using the specified user metadata.
- Used to track session check-ins (and check-outs if using PIN codes).
- Performed by the attendee without any assistance, via the app.
- Attendees can scan a QR code that is present in a session room in order to check-in to the session, OR
- The attendee is provided with PIN codes during the session, that they can enter into the app in order to check-in and to check-out of the session.
Only the assisted check-in approach can be used to manage who can access a session, based on registrations and walk-ins. Self check-in can only be used to track session check-ins (and check-outs if using PIN codes).
Basic principles and definitions
Below you will find some explanations regarding the terminology used in this article, to better help you understand the session check-in functionalities.
Session (room) capacity: This is an optional setting that can be added to an agenda session, so that the system can know the maximum number of attendees that can register or be checked in to a session via assisted check-in. Once the maximum session capacity is reached, attendees can no longer register or be checked in to a session unless the maximum capacity is increased via Backstage. If enabled, the session capacity is visible in the host/hostess app dashboard for assisted check-in.
Expected attendees for a session: For sessions that require attendees to register, this is the number of attendees who are registered for the session, and will also include any non-registered attendees (walk-in attendees) that are checked in to the session via assisted check-in. For sessions that do not require attendees to register, the expected attendees will correspond to the number of attendees that are targeted by the session. The number of expected attendees is visible in the host/hostess app dashboard for assisted check-in when registration is used, or when targeting is used. If neither registration or targeting is used, then there is no value for the expected attendees.
Walk-in attendee: A person that shows up at a session that they did not register for, and where the host/hostess decides to check them in to the session, therefore registering them and allowing them to attend the session. Walk-in attendees that are checked-in will count towards the session capacity. Walk-ins can only be enabled on sessions that accept registered participants only).
Session that accepts registered participants only: This is a session where only the attendees who have previously registered to the session will be able to check-in. Walk-ins can only be enabled on sessions that accept registered participants only.
In this case, expected attendees = registered attendees.
Sessions with walk-in attendees enabled: This means that, for sessions that require registration, attendees can still be registered and checked in on the spot by a host or hostess, providing that the maximum capacity (if set) is not reached.
In this case, expected attendees = registered attendees + any walk-ins that are checked-in to the session.
Session with targeting: This is a session that is only visible in the app to certain targeted attendees.
In this case, expected attendees = targeted attendees.
Open session without registration: This is a session that any attendee can turn up to and check-in for, as long as the maximum capacity is not reached. In this case, there are no expected attendees, as there are no registrations or targeting.
How does assisted session check-in work?
If assisted check-in is enabled on a session, the event hosts/hostesses can use the dedicated app interface in order to check-in the attendee to that session, if the attendee meets the necessary criteria. This can be done:
- By scanning the attendee's user QR code (on the attendee’s badge, app or within an email), AND/OR
- By using the search feature to identify the attendee using pre-configured user information (metadata).
As the host/hostess scans or searches for an attendee using the app, they will be able to see if the attendee can be checked-in or not based on the below criteria, and if possible proceed with the check-in:
- The session configuration: is registration mandatory or not, are walk-ins enabled?
- The session’s potential maximum capacity: is there enough space in the session?
- The attendee’s registration status: is the attendee registered or not to this session?
Below you will find three flowcharts that illustrate the main scenarios for assisted check-in.
Please note that for the below charts, we consider that targeting is only used in order to manage whether or not a session will be visible to an attendee via the app; not for checking whether an attendee can be checked into a session or not. Remember also that walk-ins can only be enabled on sessions that require registration.
More information on the messages displayed to the host/hostesses in the app when performing assisted check-in are available in the How to use the session check-in QR scanner in the app as a host or hostess section.
Configuring assisted check-in on Backstage
To configure assisted check-in, in the workspace main menu go to Onsite logistics > Session check-in > Assisted check-in tab:
Here you can enable the options that the hosts/hostesses will be able to use to identify and check-in attendees when performing assisted check-in at the sessions:
Scan QR code
Enabling this option will allow hosts/hostesses to identify and check-in attendees by scanning their user QR codes.
Enabling this option will allow hosts/hostesses to identify and check-in attendees by searching for the user information (metadata) that is selected in the Metadata to search by field.
Metadata to search by
Use the dropdown to select the user information fields (metadata) that will be used by the search function in order to identify the attendees. You can for example select the First name, Last name, as well as the Email address in order to help the hosts/hostesses identify an attendee.
Please note that only public metadata can be used for searches (private metadata, for example “Email address”, is not supported).
Metadata to display on the list (max. 2 items)
Use the dropdown to choose what user information (metadata) will be displayed to the host/hostesses as they search for an attendee and the app interface makes suggestions based on their search entry. You can only select two user fields (metadata), for example First name and Last name.
Please note that only public metadata can be displayed (private metadata, for example “Email address” is not supported).
Here you can enable walk-ins, only for sessions that require registration. This will give the host/hostesses the ability to check-in any unexpected (non registered) attendees that turn up at a session, and allow those attendees to attend the session. If this option is not enabled, the host or hostess will not be able to check-in any non-registered attendees on sessions that require registration.
Select sessions that allow walk-ins
If the Walk-ins option is enabled, you can use the dropdown here to choose for which session(s) specifically you wish to enable walk-ins to be checked-in. Here you can only select sessions that require registration.
Metadata to be displayed on the check-in verification screen
Here you can use the dropdown to select which user information fields (metadata) will be displayed on the attendee verification screen. This screen is displayed to the host/hostess at the time of confirming the check-in of the attendee and when accessing an attendee via the “Checked-in” or “Not checked-in lists” in the app dashboard.
Choosing the attendee information that will be displayed in the dashboard on the app for assisted check-in
In the app dashboard, to help them keep track of and perform session check-ins, the hosts/hostesses can have access to two distinct lists:
- A list of all attendees who have already been checked-in to the session.
- A list of attendees who have not yet been checked-in. These are the expected attendees for the session (attendees who registered to the session OR are attendees who are targeted by the session).
In Backstage, you can configure whether or not the host/hostesses should be able to see these lists or not in the assisted check-in app dashboard. If you decide to make these lists visible to the host/hostess, you can also choose what specific user information for these attendees will be displayed in the lists.
In the workspace main menu go to Onsite logistics > Session check-in > Assisted check-in tab > Dashboard section:
Here you can enable/disable the options List of checked in attendees and/or the List of not checked in attendees, to decide whether these lists should be visible to the host/hostess in the app when performing the assisted check-in.
If these lists are enabled and made visible, you can also choose exactly what user information (metadata) should be displayed for the attendees, using the corresponding Metadata to display on the list (max. 2 items) field. Only two user metadata can be used in the lists, for example First name and Last name. Please note that only public metadata can be displayed (private metadata, for example “Email address” is not supported).
If the lists are enabled:
If the lists are not enabled:
Setting up an app user as a host/hostess for assisted session check-in
As part of the assisted session check-in configuration, you will need to enable access to the assisted session check-in interface in the app for your event staff who will be acting as hosts/hostesses.
To do so, your event staff need to be added as app users in the workspace.
To do so, go to the host or hostesses user pages via the Users module in Backstage.
Here you can see a Sessions this person can scan for attendance tracking section:
Here you can:
- Leave the No sessions radio button selected. This means that this user will not be able to scan for session attendance for any sessions.
- Select the All sessions radio button: This means that this user will be able to scan for all the agenda sessions in the event.
- Select the Selected sessions radio button: This means that this user will only be able to scan for the sessions that are selected in the Select sessions dropdown.
Selecting All sessions or Selected sessions above will give the host/hostess access to the Session check-in interface in the app, via the app menu. Read the next section to find out how this works.
How to use the session check-in interface as a host/hostess for assisted session check-in
Please note that assisted check-in will only work if the app is connected to the internet. Attendees cannot be scanned or searched while the host/hostess is offline. The host/hostess app will synchronize automatically every five minutes in order to refresh data to and from Backstage.
Hosts and hostesses can access the Session check-in interface via the app menu:
In doing so, they will immediately see the list of sessions that they can check-in attendees to.
They can see either all the sessions, or a select number of sessions, depending on the selection made in the “Sessions this person can scan for attendance tracking” option in the Users module in Backstage:
By tapping on a session, the host or hostess will open the check-in interface (dashboard) for that session:
The interface is composed of three tabs at the top of the screen, that can be accessed to manage check-ins for the selected session:
- Dashboard: This is where the host/hostess will be able to see the statistics for the attendees who have or have not been checked-in to the session, as well as access the "Checked in" and "Not checked in" attendee lists (if enabled by configuration).
- QR scan: This is where the host/hostess will access the QR code scanner in order to scan attendee QR codes and check-them in to the session (if enabled).
- Search: This is where the host/hostess can search for attendees using the configured user information (if enabled).
How to use the session check-in dashboard
The session dashboard is the first screen that hosts/hostesses will see when they access a session.
The top part of the screen provides an overview of the session, including:
- Room capacity: Optional setting that indicates (if configured) the maximum number of attendees that can join a session.
- Expected attendees: The total number of attendees who are targeted (if targeting is applied to the session) or have registered (if registration is required). This also includes any walk-ins that have already been checked in (if enabled). The number of expected attendees is not visible if no targeting is configured or if registration is not required for the session.
- Checked-in: The number of attendees who have already checked-in or been checked in by hosts/hostesses.
- Walk-ins: The number of attendees who were not registered initially, but have been registered and checked in by the host or hostess (room capacity permitting). Only visible if registration is required for the session and walk-ins are enabled.
In the lower part of the screen, hosts and hostesses can (if applicable and enabled):
- See the list of checked-in attendees
This is the list of all attendees that have been checked-in. The attendee information (metadata) in the list is configured in Backstage. From this list the host/hostess can tap on an attendee’s name and access all the checked-in attendees’ details, based on the metadata selected in the above described Metadata to be displayed on the check-in verification screen field. Remember that private metadata such as email addresses cannot be displayed here:
- See the list of not checked-in attendees and check-in attendees
The attendee information (metadata) visible in the list is configured in Backstage. From this list the host/hostess can tap an attendee’s name in the lists to access all the attendees’ details, based on the non-private metadata selected in the above described Metadata to be displayed on the check-in verification screen field.
They can also check-in by swiping them (only supported on iOS phones), or by accessing their details and tapping the Check-in this attendee button:
How to use the session check-in QR code scanner
When they access a session’s dashboard, hosts and hostesses can tap the QR Scan tab in order to open the QR code scanner and start scanning attendee QR codes in order to check them in for that session:
Depending on the scenario, as explained in the above provided flowcharts, the host/hostesses may see the following message in the app when scanning an attendee's QR code:
Attendee is checked-in
The attendee is moved from the Not checked in list to the Checked in list in the session’s dashboard.
Attendee has already been checked-in
The attendee was already checked-in, i.e. already present in the Checked in list in the session’s dashboard. No action is performed and the attendee remains checked-in.
QR code is not valid
The scanned QR code is not encoded with user information supported by the SpotMe platform. No action performed. More information on QR codes supported by the SpotMe platform.
Attendee is not registered to the session
The attendee is a walk-in, an attendee that is not registered to a session where registration is mandatory. The attendee can be registered and checked in to the session IF walk-ins are enabled on the session, and if session capacity permits it (if configured). If walk-ins are not enabled, no further action is possible and the attendee cannot be checked-in.
The room has reached maximum capacity, no more check-ins possible
Message shown when attempting to check-in an attendee when a capacity limit has been applied to a session and that the limit has been reached. The attendee will not be checked in and will remain in the not checked in list (if they were registered to the session). If the attendee is a walk-in, they will not appear in the dashboard at all. Session capacity can be adjusted in Backstage as needed.
How to use the session check-in search?
When they access a session’s dashboard, hosts and hostesses can tap the Search tab in order to search for an event attendee who has arrived at a session, in order to check them in or see their status for the session.
The search works based on the (public) attendee information (metadata) selected in the Search field, as explained in the Configuring assisted check-in on Backstage section. For example, this can be first name and last name:
The search results will list the corresponding attendees in the event user list, and their check-in status.
Tapping an attendee in the list will display their details and the available check-in actions that are available for that attendee for this session:
- Not registered attendee (so not expected): Here the user would only see the Register and check-in this attendee button IF walk-ins are enabled on this session:
- Not checked-in attendee (so expected, i.e. registered or targeted). Here the user can Check-in this attendee:
- Checked-in (attendee is already check-in to the session). No action possible/needed.
How does self check-in work?
When you configure the Session check-in module, you can choose to enable self check-in for your sessions.
Self check-in is used to track session check-ins (and check outs if using PIN codes). It is performed by the attendee without any assistance from a host/hostess, via the app:
- The attendee scans a QR code that is present in a session room in order to check-into the session, OR
- The attendee is provided with PIN codes during the session, that they can enter into the app in order to check-in and to check-out of the session.
Remember that self check-in can only be used to track session check-ins and check-outs. Only the assisted check-in approach can be used to manage admittance (who can access a session), based on the configured criteria for capacity, registrations and walk-ins.
How to configure session self check-in?
To configure self check-in, in the workspace main menu, go to Onsite logistics > Session check-in > Self check-in tab:
Here, you can configure two methods for self check-in:
- Attendees self check-in by scanning a QR code that is displayed in the room.
- Attendees self check-in and check-out using PIN codes provided during the session.
Configuring session self check-in with QR codes
For each session, you can generate and associate a dedicated unique QR code that will need to be scanned by all attendees that were present at the session in order to check-in.
To generate a QR code for a session, in the Self check-in tab, go to the QR codes section in the side panel. From here, click on New QR code:
This is the name of the QR code and is only visible in Backstage. For ease of use, you can for example name it according to the session that it is associated with.
This is the title of the customizable message that will be displayed to the attendee in the app when they scan the QR code. In the image below, this corresponds to the "You have successfully checked-in" text. If the check-in fails, the scanning area will appear red and no message is displayed.
This is the body of the customizable message that will be displayed to the attendee in the app when they scan the QR code and their check-in is approved. In the image above, this corresponds to the "We're thrilled to have you join the session. Feel free (...)!" text. If the check-in fails, the scanning area will appear red and no message is displayed.
Use this field to select the agenda session that the QR code will be associated with. Only one session can be selected per QR code.
This field can be disregarded as it is not used.
Click on Save once you have finished adding the above information. The created session QR code is now displayed in the list of self check-in QR codes:
In the list, you can access and edit the self check-in QR code’s details by clicking on its title if needed.
To export the created QR codes, you can click on the Export QR codes button. Doing so will download a .zip file containing one .png file per session QR code image. Each session QR code image is named according to the title of the QR code in Backstage.
Once created and downloaded, you can for example display these QR codes in the session room to allow attendees to check-into the session once they have arrived.
Configuring session self check-in (and check-out) with PIN codes
For each session, you can generate and associate dedicated (unique) check-in and check-out PIN codes. These PIN codes, once generated, can be shared during the session with the attendees, who can check-in and out of the session by entering the code in the app.
To generate the PIN codes for your session, in the Self check-in tab, go to the PIN codes section in the side panel:
From here, enable the PIN Codes option, and click on Save. Once enabled, the check-in and check-out PIN codes are generated automatically with random characters, for each individual agenda session in the workspace.
The codes for each session can be found in the Agenda module, in the Session view page, by clicking on the Edit attendance PIN codes button, located in the Session check-in section:
From here, you will find:
- A PIN code for IN attendance, used by attendees to check-in to the session, and
- a PIN code for OUT attendance, used by attendees to check-out to the session.
You can copy the codes from here, and also edit them if needed (should you need to change a code for a session). These generated PIN codes are unique, and can only contain upper case letters and numbers, no lower case letters.
Once PIN codes are enabled for self check-in/out, if needed you can regenerate new PIN codes for all your sessions at the click of a button:
To do so, go back to the Session check-in module, in the Self check-in tab, go to the PIN codes section in the side panel. Here you can click on the Regenerate all codes button:
Editing or regenerating the PIN codes for sessions will mean that any PIN codes previously shared with attendees will no longer work when they attempt to enter them in the app. They will need to use the newly edited/generated codes to check-in or out of sessions.
How to perform self check-in as an attendee?
Self check-in as an attendee via QR scan
To scan the QR code and check-in to the session, attendees simply need to access the
QR & Scan app menu item, and scan the QR code:
The text of the message displayed in green is customizable as explained in the Configuring session self check-in with QR codes section.
Once they have scanned the QR code, the number of scans for each session QR code is displayed in the list in Backstage:
Additionally attendees can go to the My attendance section in the app (via the app menu) to see what sessions they have self checked-in to. More information below.
Self check-in as an attendee via PIN code
To enter a check-in or check-out PIN code in their app, attendees need to go to the My Attendance section of the app menu:
This app menu item is added by default when installing the Session check-in module, and points to a content page in the app where the attendee can enter any check-in and check-out PIN codes that they have received during the sessions they attended:
The sessions that they have checked-into will appear in the My attendance list. This includes any sessions that they have been checked in to (self check-in and assisted check-in).
How can I access the session check-in data in a report?
All the data pertaining to session check-ins is available in the session attendance sheet in the report. It corresponds to the fields that have an asterisk (*) below:
- First name / Last name / Email address + any other fields selected when downloading the report.
- Session name: The title of the session.
- Session ID: The ID of the session.
- Session date and time: The session date and the start time.
Session attended: Did the participant attend the event based on the configured criteria? Yes or No.
- Session watch-time threshold (in seconds): The number of seconds of watch time that the participant needs to have watched during a live session, in order to be considered to have attended a session. Only applicable if the “event type = virtual or hybrid”, and to participants who have “Attendee type = virtual”.
- Session watch-time (in seconds): This is the number of seconds that the participant watched the live session. Only applicable if the “event type = virtual or hybrid”, and to participants who have “Attendee type = virtual”.
- Event type: This is the type of event, per the event settings: in-person / virtual / hybrid
- Session type: This is the live session type: in-person, virtual, hybrid.
- Attendee type: How is the participant attending, per the value in the “Attending” field in the user profile (“In-person” or “Virtually”).
- *Targeted user: Is the attendee targeted by the session? Yes/No.
- *Registered user: Is the attendee registered to the session? Yes/No.
- *Walk-in: Is the attendee a walk-in? Yes/No
- *Host/Hostess: Who was the host or hostess that checked-in the attendee to the session?
- *Check-in type: Did the attendee: self-check via QR scan (Self: QR scan) / or self check-in via PIN code (Self: Pin code) / or get checked in by a host or hostess via QR scan (Assisted: QR scan) / or get checked in by a host or hostess via the search or via the “Not checked-in” list of attendees in the app dashboard (Assisted: Lookup).
- *Check-in date and time: This is the date and time when the participant checked-in to the session (self or assisted check-in).
- *Check out type: This is the method that the attendee used to check out of the session. This can only be done when using a PIN code (Self: Pin), if enabled.
- *Check out date and time: This is the date and time when the participant checked-out of the session.
- *Attendance time: This is the session time that has elapsed between the check-in date and time and the check-out date and time.