Any computer with an internet connection and also running a modern web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE 11).
We recommend Chromebooks as they are very cheap (around £200 and sometimes half that), easily replaceable and you can be up and running from unpacking the box to scanning tickets in 10 minutes. Any manufacturer and model will do.
You can also use tablets and phones with the appropriate adapters to connect a barcode scanner. Note that our box office cannot access webcams to scan barcodes.
If you are only scanning paper tickets you can get a barcode scanner for £20 that plugs in via USB.
Models we have tried: Tera and TaoTronics.
Various wireless models are also available. We recommend that you go for a wired model or have one as a backup.
If you need to scan mobile phone screens you will need a more expensive model that can “see” the backlit and reflective surface of a screen.
Such models are available for around £45, but we recommend the DS9208 which is around £150, or the Voyager 1400g. Ensure that you purchase the USB models (not the serial models).
You may need to configure your barcode scanner. This usually just involves scanning a barcode from the manual that changes the settings. You should set your barcode scanner to present itself to the computer as a keyboard and to press return after every scan.
This can be used for printing receipts and tickets if you are selling tickets or having people register on the day for your event and are using the box office. We recommend a standard receipt printer, the Epson TM-T20II which is £150 and prints very quickly onto standard 80mm thermal receipt rolls.
You MUST be using the Chrome browser for this printer to work with our box office as we use a proprietary feature of Chrome to speak to the printer over USB. Please also note that support for this printer is in beta, so please ask us to turn this feature on for you.
If you are only printing occasional tickets and receipts you can also use any standard printer. This will be slower and more costly, but ideal if you only need to print a handful of tickets.
Epson printer setup
You may need to enable the USB interface on your printer the first time you use it. It's a little fiddly to do, but you will only need to do this once:
- Turn off the printer.
- Press and hold the paper feed button while turning the printer back on.
- After a few seconds you will get a self test page. Release the button.
- Press and hold the paper feed button again and a menu will print.
- We want option 3: Customize Value Settings, so press the paper feed button briefly three times then hold it down for a fourth press.
- We now want option 17: Interface Selection, so press the button 17 times then hold on the 18th press.
- And option 2: Built-in USB, so press twice then hold on the third press.
- Exit the menu by pressing and holding the paper feed button then turn the printer off and on again.
Scanning with a mobile phone
You can scan the QR codes on our paper tickets or the QR code in our emails (you can turn this feature on in My Account) with any QR code reading app.
Our QR codes are regular web addresses that will take you to a page that shows the booking status.
For iOS, we recommend QR Reader by Tap Media Note that while QR-code reading apps may scan the regular barcodes on our tickets they will not be able to do anything with the data. Only the QR codes will work.
General advice and top tips
If you are dealing with a large number of people we recommend that you purchase backup equipment and have it tested and ready to go in case you have any problems. You don’t want to be dealing with a crashing laptop when you have two thousand people lined up in front of you.
When scanning a Live IT/Bookitbee ticket, you can scan either the standard or QR code via our Box Office. When scanning a mobile phone, you may find the QR code easier to scan.
If a customer has fixed a screen protector to their mobile phone, this may prevent you from scanning the barcode correctly.
Ask customers to adjust the screen brightness on their mobile phone. You will be unable to scan a dimly lit phone.
Ensure that your scanning area is out of direct sunlight. Bright sunlight may make tickets unreadable and can overheat your hardware.