The Attendance tracking module is used to track the attendance of app users to sessions. Its main purpose is to produce an attendance document that lists all app users who joined a particular session.
Sessions attendance can also be used to control or restrict access to a session, so that only the app users registered to a session can access it.
This article will take you through the necessary steps to configure Attendance tracking in Backstage, and will explain how to use it depending on the scenario.
Additional functionalities work hand-in-hand with Sessions attendance, such as sending surveys or messages to app users based on attendance, checking in and out of a session (for example for continuing education credits), exporting session attendance data, etc.
Note: Attendance tracking is a paid module. Session attendance can only be used if the Attendance tracking module is installed on the workspace.
Once the Attendance tracking module is installed from the Marketplace, the Session attendance module appears in the Other category, in the workspace main menu.
Tracking the attendance of a session
In practice, there are three different approaches that can be used to track attendance:
- Having a person act as an attendance scanner, who scans attendee badges or devices when they physically enter the room or join the session.
- Having session attendees enter a pin code when joining and leaving the session.
This can also be used for virtual or remote sessions, and the presenter of the session would typically provide the PIN code(s) in person during the session.
- Having session attendees physically scan a QR code available in the session room.
These methods are designed to verify that the app users physically (or remotely) attend the session.
Note: Only the Attendants receive and enter PIN code(s) approach can be used to both check in and check out users from sessions. The Scanning attendant devices or badge QR codes and Attendants scan an onsite QR code approaches can only be used to check in users and cannot be used to check them out.
Scanning attendant devices or badge QR codes
Attendant tracking can be performed by physically scanning attendant QR codes on their badges or devices.
This allows the person scanning the attendees to see if that person has registered or not for the session, while also managing session capacity should there be a limited number of places for the session.
Scanning attendants will require that an app user is set up as an attendant scanner in Backstage.
Setting up a user as an attendant scanner
To set-up an app user as an attendant scanner in Backstage:
- Go to the User module and select the user who will be scanning the attendants.
- In the User view tab, scroll down and select the Can scan session attendances option.
Selecting this option will allow this person use the in-app Scan for attendance functionality (visible in the app menu), to scan attendee badges using the camera on their device.
Note: Using the Scan for attendance menu item will allow the attendant scanner to scan attendance for all sessions in the agenda. If you would like to specify which sessions the person can scan for, please refer to the Specifying sessions that a person can scan attendance for section below.
When scanning attendees into the session, the person who is scanning will be notified by the app if the scanned attendee had previously registered for the session or not.
Specifying sessions that a person can scan attendance for
Backstage users can also configure which specific sessions an attendant scanner can take attendance for. This is particularly useful to ensure that the attendant scanner is tracking attendance for the correct session(s).
To configure the sessions that a person can track attendance for:
- Go to the User module and select the user who will be scanning the attendants.
- In the User view tab, to the right, use the Choose sessions that this person can scan attendance for to select the sessions to associate to this person. You can also create new sessions here using the Create button.
Note: App users will need to use the Sessions you can scan for attendance for app menu item in order to be able to scan attendance only only for the sessions that were selected for that user in Backstage.
Configuring access control for a session
Access control can be used when you are actively scanning people into sessions, and is used to control or verify who has registered for the session when scanning attendee badges or devices.
To enable access control for a session:
- Go to the session you wish to control access to.
- Select the option Should session scanning only allow registered participants? in the session page.
When attendees are scanned for an Access Control session, the system will check if they are on the list of registered people and display a GREEN confirmation message if they are registered, or a RED warning if not.
An additional setting for Access control, available in the Session attendance mole > Preferences tab, allows you to choose one of two modes:
- Exclude targets computation in access control lists - which makes it so that only people actively registered for a session are allowed in.
- Include targets computation in access control lists - which makes it so people who are registered or targeted to a session are allowed in.
Attendants receive and enter PIN code(s)
Attendant tracking can also be performed using PIN codes.
To do so, Backstage users can generate or choose one or two PIN codes that can be physically shared with session attendees by the presenter during the sessions.
Once the attendees have the session PIN code(s), they can enter them into the app to record their attendance to the session.
When the Attendance tracking module is installed on a workspace, a new button is added in Backstage to all workspace session pages, called Edit attendance PIN codes.
Clicking this button displays the below fields:
The PIN code for IN attendance is used for when attendees join (checking into) a session.
The PIN code for OUT attendance is used for when attendees leave (checking out from) a session.
Backstage users can use these fields to enter and save their own personalized PIN codes for the sessions.
Note: These codes can only contain upper case letters and numbers, no lower case letters.
Alternatively, Backstage users can have the system generate the codes, by going to the Generate PIN codes tab in the Attendance tracking module, and choosing Generate codes for new sessions or Regenerate all codes for all sessions:
This will add the generated codes to the above mentioned Attendance PIN code fields in the respective session pages.
Once the codes are created, session presenters can share them with the session attendees, who can use the codes to register their attendance in-app, by entering the codes into the My attendance module. The codes are unique, and therefore each is linked to a check IN and check OUT action of a session.
Below, as an example in-app, we can see in the My attendance section that this attendee entered the PIN code for IN attendance at 2:21 PM for this session:
Then, the app user entered the PIN code for OUT attendance just minute later.
As the app user logs in and out of sessions, all activity will be tracked here in the app.
Attendants scan an onsite QR code
Attendant tracking can be performed by having the session attendees scan a QR code that is printed/displayed in the location (or room) where the session takes place.
A session will need its own unique associated QR code created so the attendees can scan it.
QR codes are created using shortlinks:
- In the Content category in the main menu, go to Shortlinks > Create a shortlink.
- Enter a short name for the shortlink. This will be the actual code of the QRD code image, and must start with "SL". For example SL001.
- Enter a Reference name. For example the name of the session you wish to create the QR code for:
- Click on the Actions ADD button, and associate an action to the shortlink by selecting Record session attendance, and choosing the session you wish to link the QR code to in the list:
You can also edit the pop-up message that will be displayed when session attendees scan the QRD code, selecting the shortlink and by clicking Edit the pop-up message.
- Click on Add, and then click Save to save the changes to the shortlink:
- Now, go to the List tab, the created shortlink is now displayed:
- To download the QR code image, click on the ... icon and select Download shortlink QR code images.
A zip file containing the QR code image is downloaded. This can be printed/displayed on-site for the attendees to scan when they physically join the session.
Viewing attendance for a session in Backstage
Backstage users can at any time view the session attendance for a specific session in Backstage.
- Go to the Sessions module and select the session.
- In the Session view tab, in the top right of the screen, you'll see the registration tracking for this session:
You can also view what session's a user has attended by going to the Users' module, selecting the user, and in the User view tab looking at the registered sessions section.
Exporting attendance reports for a workspace
Backstage users can download full reports for all session attendance for a workspace.
- Go to the Session attendance module, and click on the Actions tab.
- Click on the Attendance report (check-ins) or the Attendance report (check-outs) buttons to download the reports. The reports are downloaded and contain the following information:
Attendance report (check-ins):
Attendance report (check-outs):