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Check-In Methods Feature List
Check-In is a highly valuable feature to use within your ministry or organization. With multiple ways to use it, there is a 'Best Fit' here for you. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to choose the best method for you and how to set it up.
Step 1: Create and Setup Groups
You'll need to configure groups so that people can check into them. In order to enable Check-In for a group, go to the Edit screen for the group and check the box for "Track Individual Attendance" and "Use for Check-In."
- Create Groups that are representative of your classes, groups, and events that people will be attending. These are the groups that will be used for check-in.
- Make Group names easy to recognize using good naming conventions, check out our article on making great Groups here!
If you're going to print name tags, you'll also need to configure the format and number of labels.
Step 2: Create Check-In Stations and Users
Check-In stations need their settings configured before you can use them. You can create/edit stations in Settings > Check-In, but remember that you can't delete stations (you can deactivate them).
Key Settings to be aware of in Check-In Station Settings:
- Decide whether or not you would like to Allow Self Check-In.
- Decide whether or not you would like to Enable New People to be Created from Check-In.
- Decide whether or not you would like to enable Only Allow People To Be Checked Into Groups They Are A Member Of.
- Add a background image to your check-in station.
- Finally, take advantage of the Testing sections and set it to the desired date and time that your group will require check-in.
You'll also want to create your Check-In users. It’s recommended you create a record named Check-in, along with a role of the same name. Then, assign the person “Check-In” to the check-in role.
Step 3: Decide On a Physical Station
You can use a computer or iPad for Check-In, and you can allow users to check themselves in with the right settings!
Here is a quick overview:
- A computer can use browser-based or desktop versions of check-in.
- An iPad can use the Check-In app.
- Self Check-In requires the ChMS app or MinistryOne for members.
Things to consider:
- What are your resources? Do you already have laptops or iPads? If not, consider your budget when exploring additional hardware you may need (printers, barcode scanners, additional laptops/iPads)
- What do you want the experience to be? iPads and laptops using kiosk mode provide a more immersive experience, but they take a little more time than self Check-In methods.
- What is your church comfortable with? Would they have trouble with self Check-In or shy away from an iPad?
- Will your staff oversee Check-In, or will it be fully self-run?
Find a more comprehensive list of the differences between the Check-In methods using the table above.
Step 4: Setup Printers
If you're going to print nametags/labels, you need to get the right printers. If not, you can skip this step. The biggest thing to consider is the type of printer to get (we recommend Brother printers).
- If you're going to use iPads as your stations, you must use a wireless Brother printer. Otherwise, you have more hard-wired options.
- If you want to use the ChMS app for self Check-In, you must use a computer if you want to print labels.
Every printer has its own setup and troubleshooting tips. You'll want to take a look at those respective articles for further information.
Step 5: Configure Advanced Check-In Options
Check-In does more than just check people into groups. Here are some additional features of Check-In that you should be aware of:
- Smart Check-In: Automatically selects a suggested group for people who regularly check into the same groups, based on the day/time, membership, and frequency of attendance.
- Barcode scanning: Instead of searching for people by name or phone number, you can scan a barcode to pull them up for a faster experience.
- Check-Out: Particularly helpful for children's ministries, if you check a person out, you can see when they checked out and by whom.
- Status Report: View the people who have checked in today, which groups, time, label code, and even send a text message to parents.
There are many options for Check-In; to explore more, check out our Help Center!
Step 6: Check-In Checklist
There's a lot to Check-In, and there are many ways to do it. Below is a quick checklist that you can use to make sure you're ready.
- Are your groups set up?
- Are your stations configured?
- Do you have users that can use Check-In?
- Have you decided on what physical stations to use and installed any necessary software?
- If printing labels, have you purchased printers and installed the necessary drivers?
- Have you configured all Check-In options?
- Have you done a Check-In demo yourself?
Once you are able to answer 'Yes' to all of these questions, congratulations! We believe that you are ready to run check-in anytime you need it!
Step 7: Teach!
Now that you're ready to use Check-In, the last step is to teach those who will use it! Depending on your circumstances, that might mean preparing your congregation to use the app, or it might mean scheduling a meeting with staff to show them how to use the functions of Check-In and answer any questions they might have.
If you run into problems or questions you don't know the answer to, you can always reach out to our awesome Support team!