This was posted in 2012.
Both of these features came about during our first day of Vacation Bible School. Yes, we actually made a programming change on the same day we were having VBS with over 3,000 kids and teachers on campus!! Crazy, isn’t it? But that’s how we do things. We let usage define the software, and usage indicated that there was a need.
First, let’s set the stage. Most of our VBS workers and children register online. However, we normally have about 300 children come that first day who have not pre-registered. So, the first few days of VBS, we use our checkin kiosks to register those who have not already registered. We add them as visitors to the appropriate class so we can print the Guest labels: Location Label (for the parent), Allergy/Guest Label (for the Allergy Roster in the classroom), Child Label (for the roll sheet in the classroom). Using checkin is SO much quicker and more efficient than trying to find the appropriate classroom and have the parent complete a paper form. Remember, we have about 150 VBS Organizations with classrooms spread out over a very large campus.
What we needed was a good way to prevent full classes from displaying in the list of available classes on the checkin screen, but also a way to allow for exceptions – that is, be able to add a visitor to one of those classes in certain cases.
1st Grade #1 is almost at capacity, so we do not want to keep adding visitors to it. However, Ginny is enrolled in that class and brings her good friend Sarah who also wants to be in that same class. This is where we came up with the idea of Suspended checkin. If that box is checked on the Settings-Attendance tab of the Organization, that class will not display in the list of classes for Sarah to visit. However, when you press the Magic Button, those Suspended classes will display, allowing you to add Ginny’s friend Sarah to her class.
Check this out. Go to an Organization-Settings-Attendance. Notice that there is a new checkbox named Suspend Checkin. If you check both Allow Self Checkin and Suspend Checkin, you will be able to see (and select) that class only when the Magic Button is selected.
Because all the new children were added as Visitors during checkin, we wanted a quicker way to make all of them Members. Of course, clicking Join for each child is very easy, but when you are doing this for so many classes, it can become a bit tedious. So, we added a shortcut on the Meeting page. After recording the members’ attendance, while still on the Meeting page, select the gear icon on the Meeting page, and then select Operations > All all Guests to Org. All the Visitors on that meeting will instantly become Members.
While this met a need for a large church, I’m sure both of these features will come in handy for all of you at some point.
Thank you, David, for responding to the need!