Two years ago, we experimented with using iPad for check-in. It worked well, but it didn’t seem like it’s something that would work every week. Fellowship One, the software we use for check-in, doesn’t have a mobile app, so to make it work on an iPad requires being creative. Two years ago, we used a remote desktop client that essentially allowed the iPad to take control of a check-in station. Having the iPad didn’t “add” a check-in station, but essentially replaced one.
This is the time of the year when our crowds get pretty crazy, so we decided to beef up our check-in. We placed two new check-in stations that we hadn’t started using yet and put them in a central location in our lobby. We used two iPads using the “Real VNC” app for the iPad. We installed “Real VNC” on the two computers and from there, it was piece of cake. Each iPad took control of of the check-in station. We put one volunteer at the printers to manage the labels. We had two volunteers in the courtyard with the iPad catching families before they entered the kids building. Parents were pleasantly surprised and enjoyed getting checked in outside, avoiding any kind of line.
Again, I’m not sure it’s a long term fix as it required a computer that can’t be sued for anything but supporting an iPad. However, I have a volunteer working on a better solution. One computer that could run 3-4 session of widows at once, sharing one printer. This setup would allow many iPad to connect to one computer. We haven’t tried it yet, but we’re interested in seeing if it works. That would be a good solution for iPad check-in. Otherwise, using Fellowship One on the iPad is more of a novelty at this time… just not quite worth the effort.