Ticketor - How to: Gate Control & E-Ticket Validation

Gate Control & E-Ticket Validation

In this section, you will learn about different methods of gate control and ticket validation.

To learn about compatible equipment and to purchase one, check out Find / Buy Box-Office and Scanning Equipment

To learn about running the application in kiosk mode, also known as single app or pinned mode, check out Running the Gate Control and POS app in kiosk mode

The concept:

The purpose of gate control is to validate tickets at the gate and admit valid tickets to your event while distinguishing and rejecting all invalid and duplicate tickets.

  • Invalid Tickets: Tickets that are generated fraudulently or belong to another event or another performance of this event or they are purchased but later refunded.
  • Duplicate Tickets: Tickets that are printed or copied more than once and are being used to admit more than one person to the event.

To achieve this goal, each ticket has a unique, hard-to-generate numeric code. The code is printed on each ticket as human-readable numeric value, right below the barcode. The same code is also printed on tickets, in a machine-readable format, as both a barcode and a QR code. So in other words, the barcode, QR code and the number printed below the barcode, all represent the same code.

At the gate, the code should be read from the ticket and validated against a list of all valid codes for the event. If the code exists in the list, the ticket is valid.

Then the code should be checked off the list to indicate that this ticket is already used and so it cannot be used by potential duplicates of the same ticket.

Besides accuracy, one of the important factors in gate control, is the speed. A good gate control solution, should be able to read the code and validate it as fast as possible to avoid delay in admission.

Another concern, if you have more than 1 gate, is the synchronization. It is important that the admission checklists from all the gates be in sync and when you check off a ticket from a list, it is reflected in all other lists at the same time.

Ticketor offers different gate control methods to support events as small as a party with a dozen guests up to concerts or festivals with tens of thousands of attendees and you can choose the one that best matches your needs

To get more information and familiarize yourself with the concept please check out this article

Method 1: Admission List

In the most basic method of the gate control, proper for small events with one gate only, you can print out an admission list from Control Panel > Events & Venues > Admission List, which is a checklist of all valid codes for the event with the buyer name and information. Then read the numeric code on each ticket and find it in the checklist and check the code off the list.

Method 2: Use a smartphone/tablet/laptop with an optional external barcode scanner

In this method you can use a smartphone, tablet or laptop (going forward we will call it the "device") and an optional Bluetooth or USB barcode scanner

You will use either the device camera or an external barcode scanner to read the barcode or the QR code. If you are using an external barcode scanner, the barcode scanner will read the barcode and transmit the numeric code to the device for validation.

The device communicates with Ticketor's server through internet to validate the ticket against a central list and shows the validation result on the screen. This method ensures that all gate control devices validate against a single, central list and they are always in sync. Moreover, they have access to the most recent information which means you can keep selling tickets, adding new tickets or making returns, even after you open the gates and the devices accommodate for all the updates. (for offline validation options, in case there is no internet access at the gate, continue reading)


Reading the code

  1. You can use an Android or IOS device in conjunction with our "Ticketor Gate" app from the Google Play or App Store to read the barcodes or QR codes.
  2. You can use any device with a modern browser (Chrome for Android and Windows or Safari for IOS) in conjunction with our in-browser, white-label gate control app, located at "Control Panel > Events & Venues > Gate Control" or directly from: https://www.Ticketor.com/gate
  3. In either case, you can either use the device camera or an external barcode scanner. To use the camera, the device must be equipped with a high-quality camera.
  4. Using a phone camera as the sole method of scanning is not recommended for larger events since the camera may be slow in focusing and scanning tickets. The quality and speed varies depending on your camera and if the camera supports auto-focus. In using camera, you will experience much faster and more accurate result by scanning the QR codes as opposed to the barcodes. Scan a few tickets before the event to make sure your phone and camera gives you the speed you require. To scan the tickets faster and more professionally, you can use an external barcode scanner. The barcode scanner device will read the barcode or the QR code faster and from a longer distance, then transmits the numeric code to your device using either Bluetooth or USB. If you are using an external barcode scanner, you really don't need high-end devices and can do validation using very affordable low-end Android phones or tablets.
  5. You can buy a barcode scanner or a barcode scanning device from Ticketor's store.

Some notes:

  • Cameras can scan from both the paper tickets and the buyer's phone display.

  • Cameras have much better performance scanning QR codes than barcodes. So always try with a QR code if possible.

  • Most Barcode scanner devices can scan both from the paper tickets and buyer's phone display. Check with the specification if yours can read from the display.

  • Barcode scanner devices, come in 1D (1 dimensional) or 2D (2 dimensional) variations. 2D scanners can scan both barcodes and QR codes while the 1D scanners can only read barcodes. You may get faster result with 2D scanners.


  1. Use the app:

    Use the web-app: Download and install the latest version of Google Chrome or Safari (for IOS). Then go to "Control Panel > Events & Venues > Gate Control" or the direct link at: https://www.Ticketor.com/gate. In most browsers, the browser will notify you to install the tool as an app in your device or you can go to the browser menu and select the option to add to home screen. The tool will get installed as an app in your device.

    Alternatively, if you are using an Android or IOS device, you can install "Ticketor Gate" app from Google Play or App Store.

  2. Connect the barcode scanner device (skip this step if you are planning to use camera)

    When you connect a barcode scanner to your device, it functions like a keyboard. It reads the barcode, and sends the code to your device as if it was typed on a keyboard. While a USB barcode scanner sends the data through the USB wire, a Bluetooth scanner sends the value wirelessly through the Bluetooth signals.

    Almost all smart phones and tablets support Bluetooth and can be used with a wireless Bluetooth scanner. Some laptops and most desktops may not have Bluetooth functionality and may need a Bluetooth adaptor or can use USB scanners. On the other hand, most smartphones and tablets (even though they have a USB or micro-USB port) cannot use a USB barcode scanner.

    For USB scanners, you just need to plug the cable to a USB port on your device and it should work automatically. Bluetooth barcode scanners need to be paired with the device. The pairing process is similar to pairing a Bluetooth hands-free. The process is usually to put the barcode scanner in pairing mode, then using your device search for Bluetooth devices, select the barcode scanner among the result-set and click on the pair button. The device may ask you for a pin that should be entered on the device and the barcode scanner before the pairing completes. You need to pair only once and as soon as the device is paired with the scanner, they can work together. If you are using multiple devices and scanners for multiple gates, make sure to mark your devices so you know which scanner is paired with which device.

    For more information on pairing the Bluetooth scanner, refer to your scanner and device user manual.

    In order to test if the scanner is connected to your device, just open a text editor or any application with a text field, click on the text field to make it active and then scan any barcode. The value of the barcode should appear in the text field.

  3. Use the scanning app or web app

    1. Launch the scanning app or launch the browser, and go to your site and then "Control Panel > Events & Venues > Gate Control" or directly to: https://www.Ticketor.com/gate

      The app and the gate control web app work similarly.

    2. Your browser may ask that "This website is trying to save data to your device". Make sure to allow the data to be saved. It will let you browse to load this page even when you are not connected to the internet.

    3. If you are not logged in, you will be asked to login as an administrator, event organizer, or gate controller. If you login as an administrator or gate controller, you will be able to perform gate control for all upcoming events but if you login as an organizer, you will only be able to access your own events.

    4. If you are using the app, use Ticketor.com for "Website Address"

    5. On the next page, select the event that you want to prepare for gate control.

    6. If you will have access to internet (Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, etc.) at the gate select "Online" for validation type (recommended) otherwise select "Offline" and read more about offline gate validation below.

    7. Proceed to the Gate Control page. On website, click on "Download data" before proceeding to the gate control page.

    8. Scanning:

      • Enter the barcode manually: Tap the Barcode text box to activate it. Using your device keyboard, manually enter a valid or invalid numeric code and hit enter.

      • Use external barcode scanner: Tap the Barcode text box to activate it (the box should be selected for the barcode scanner to scan properly). Scan the barcode using the connected barcode scanner. The value should appear in the barcode box and validated immediately. You don't need to hit the enter key or touch the screen.

      • Using the camera: Tap the camera icon/tab. Then hold the QR code (preferred) or the barcode in front of the camera. Hold it for a couple second till the camera focuses and scans the barcode.

      As soon as the reading of the code is done, the value is send for validation and you should see the result as either a red or green box representing the validation result. If the ticket is invalid, you will see a pop up that you need to close before scanning the next ticket, otherwise you can keep scanning the next ticket without touching the screen.

      If the ticket is valid, it will show in a green box and your device will make a success beep, if not the result will show in a red box, the reason for the failure will pop up and your device will make a failure beep.

      Avoid touching the screen for continuous scanning. Keep scanning without touching the screen unless you get an invalid ticket.

      Find the best distance from either the camera or the barcode scanner to the ticket. If the ticket is to0 close or too far, it may not get scanned.

Other app features:

  1. Exit for re-entry: If somebody needs to leave the venue to come back again, you can switch to "Exit for re-entry" mode and scan their ticket. It will mark the ticket as "not entered" so they can use the ticket again when they come back.

  2. Search by name, email or confirmation number: If the patron does not have their tickets on them, you can look up and admit their tickets by name, email or confirmation number. Switch to the "Name/email" tab and enter a few letters of the buyer's name or email, then select the buyer from the auto-complete list and click on "Find Tickets". Or switch to "Confirmation Number" tab and search by their confirmation number. If the tickets are found, you may then want to verify the buyer's identity to make sure they are the actual buyer (owner) of the ticket. Then click on each ticket number to admit that ticket.

  3. Status: Click on the status button to get the latest status of tickets sold and admitted.

  4. Buyer detailed information: Click on any validation result box, to see more details about the ticket, buyer and purchase information.

Behind the scene / Fast primary result / Emergency network outage

As soon as you go to the gate validation page, the device communicates with the server and gets the latest version of valid codes and if they have entered or not. Anytime you scan a new ticket, the server sends the newest update to your device. So your device keeps a copy of the latest version of the admission list at all times.

Fast validation: Anytime a code is scanned, the device performs a primary validation using the copy of the data it has locally and instantly shows the primary validation result. The primary validation result is shown in light-green or light-red. Then the device contacts the server for the final validation result and changes the validation result to either green or red. On a regular network, it happens so fast that you will not see the primary validation result. But if the network is slow, you can pretty accurately rely on the primary result.

Emergency network outage: If the network goes down, and you need to keep scanning, you can scan using the data that is locally available in your device. The list can accurately verify the ticket validity and can detect duplicates to some extent.

Offline validation:

If you don't have access to reliable internet at the gate, you can still use the gate control system with some limitation.

In the gate control app (preferred) or website, after you select the event, select "Offline" as the validation method.

Select the "Number of gates". All devices should have the same value.

Then select the gate number that each device scans. For example, if you have 3 gates, one device should be assigned to gate #1, one device to gate #2 and one to gate #3. Label each device with the gate number.

If you have more than 1 gate, since the devices cannot communicate through the network and so there is no central list to be used, each gate should only admit a subset (a range) of tickets so that duplicates can be identified. To achieve that, each subset of patrons MUST enter from a specific gate. On the e-tickets and beneath the barcode there is a value starting with "G". This value ranges from "G1" to "G10". As you select the gate number, the system will tell you which G values are being admitted by this gate/device. You should make signs that explain which gate each person should use to enter based on the "G" value on their ticket. So gate 1 may only admit G1,G2, and G3 and other gates admit the rest.

Click on "Download data" button to download the list of valid barcodes to your device.


  • Make sure to download/refresh data after all modification (add, update, delete) to the tickets are done. If you happen to need to add/delete tickets after you downloaded, you need to come back to this page and refresh the data. Selling tickets is OK and you can continue the sale after you download the date.
  • If you are using offline method, do not reload data after you start scanning tickets. The entries information will be overwritten and so the duplicate tickets may not be caught.
  • If you are using offline method, Returns and Refunds should be disabled after you download the data.

Best practice at the gate:

  1. For medium and big events, where you expect a lot of audience to show up at the same time, speed is very important. One person with bad or forgotten tickets or the tickets that do not scan or validate, may hold the line for several minutes. It is nice if you can have somebody with a bigger tablet who can handle the special cases. If the gate controller cannot scan the tickets, they can simply move the person to that special line and keep the line going.

  2. Scanning with one hand: The recommended Bluetooth scanners are designed in a way to easily get attached to the back of the phone. You can use a double tape such as Scotch® Reusable Tapes to attach them to the back of your phone.

Testing with real tickets:

You can purchase tickets from your site to test the scanning and later void the invoice and return the tickets. Alternatively you can test with tickets that your buyers have purchased from 'Sales & Invoices' report.

After scanning the tickets, to un-scan them you have 2 options:

1- Switch the scanner app to 'Exit Mode' and scan the same tickets in exit mode. It marks the ticket as not scanned.

2- Edit the event and from the details tab, click on the button to 'Reset the scan result'

Reporting the scanned tickets:

The Control Panel > Events & Venues > Sold Tickets report has a 'Scanned' column that shows if a ticket is scanned and at what time.