True Fact

A small team hosts an enormous event.


Traffic Jam! Swing


Branding, Tech, UX, Design, Development


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01 Overview

Traffic Jam! Swing hosts an annual swing dance workshop weekend in Chicago called Second City Swingout. In the first year of the event, they hosted over 300 attendees for two full days of workshops and three nights of dancing. One of the biggest issues with the first year's event was that managing registration was mostly done manually. We had a system in place to allow attendees to register online, but the system was difficult to manage, didn't incorporate merchandise for sale, and the entire check-in process was done with Google Docs. It worked, but there were some obvious inefficiencies. The biggest hurdle during check-in was having users sign a digital waiver on arrival. We had 4 iPads and 2 computers running it, but we were still clogged at the door. The event is back for its second year, and this year we changed up the registration system to integrate merchandise and ticketing into a single shop, which a check-in solution built in.

02 Registration

What we really needed was a shop that could integrate the ticket sales / registration and merchandise into one. We were already using WordPress with WooCommerce to host the merch shop, so we decided to expand on the capabilities of that site and ultimately integrated a system called Tickera which allowed us to set up custom ticket types, collect additional information about registrants at checkout, and generates physical tickets that can be scanned using a phone or tablet during check in.

WordPress + WooCommerce + Tickera

Previously, we were using a software built for dance event registration because we needed very specific functions including the ability to have multiple ticket types, track inventory based on variations (like which level dancers were in and whether they would be leading or following), and we needed tiered ticket pricing (e.g. the first 20 registrants get a 20% discount, the next 20 registrants get a 10% discount), but while the system we used is robust, it's complicated to set up and didn't fully meet our needs.

Tickera combined with other WordPress plugins allowed us all the functionality we needed and more.

2019 Passes view on shop

03 Merchandise

We only sell merchandise via pre-sale because we don't have the capacity to purchase in advance and keep physical stock, but originally, the merchandise was for sale on a separate site than where the registration was. Even though we included many notes in the registration form and in confirmation emails, it was still a barrier to sales. We could have included merchandise in the registration form, but then having users choose sizes and styles became complex because we couldn't demonstrate what each one was without having it take over the entire registration form.

Once we integrated the ticketing system into the shop, we were free to expand our merchandise offerings. I created new designs and we chose several new styles of shirts, added pants, and even a custom flask since they're pretty popular around Chicago and our main dance, Traffic Jam!, is BYO—it was very fitting.

2019 Merchandise view on shop

04 Check In

The first year, at the check-in table, we had to search for each person in a Google spreadsheet, which was our best solution at the time since we needed to run two check-in stations and we wanted both tables to be running off the same live document (this way we didn't have to worry about people checking in twice or having to copy over data afterwards).

The downfall here was that we still had to search for each person. This year, we'll be able to scan a barcode at the door and that person will be checked in to Tickera automatically. This has the added bonus of us being able to see how many attendees have checked in, how many remaining, etc. without having to manually add them up from the spreadsheet.

2018 Check-In List

2018 Check-In List

Check in list via Google spreadsheet

This year, we have a true ticketing and registration system. Each person is emailed a ticket upon registration and that ticket can be presented physically or digitally to one of our check-in staff. The staff will be able to scan the barcode and give the attendee the appropriate color wristband.

Additionally, we've incorporated the waiver into the online registration system, so everyone who has a ticket will already have signed the waiver—we won't be clogging up the registration desk again this year.

2019 Ticket Sample

2019 Ticket Sample

05 Results

SCS Shop on desktop and mobile

Ticket product page

ChiCameToDance product page

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