Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas at Austin is comprised of five state-of-the-art theatres, rehearsal spaces and meeting rooms located throughout the campus. The venues range in size from 200 to 2,900 seats.

Intelligent Admission Pedestals Speed Entry Process for Guests


Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas at Austin is comprised of five state-of-the-art theatres, rehearsal spaces and meeting rooms located throughout the campus. The venues range in size from 200 to 2,900 seats.

Ticketing Systems Manager, Dianne Whitehair, was searching for a new way to validate barcoded entry credentials. The wireless mobile handhelds the venues had used for years were not performing well. Scanning performance was less than desirable, especially when validating digital tickets on mobile phones. The difficulty scanning digital barcodes often required attendants to handle guest phones in order to position them so the barcodes would scan. Wireless connectivity was also an issue. The handhelds did not consistently maintain their Wi-Fi connection, resulting in a high number of offline scans.

All these problems slowed throughput and caused inaccurate throughput counts. In addition, when entry credentials wouldn’t validate properly, guests would vent their frustration at the staff and volunteer ticket collectors.

Diane had seen Alvarado’s portable entry pedestals at an industry event and found the idea of allowing guests to self-scan entry credentials compelling. She believed that guest self-scanning would improve throughput and, additionally, allow staff to focus on guests and customer service during the entry process. She also liked the fact that the Alvarado equipment integrated directly to the Spectra Ticketing and Fan Engagement platform.

She reached out to Brian McNeill, Vice President of Alvarado’s Sports & Entertainment division, to schedule an onsite demonstration. After discussions, Alvarado provided an IntraQ Portable Pedestal for testing at a live event – the opening of a popular and well attended musical playing at the performing arts center.

The device was an instant hit with guests and staff. Guests found the IntraQ very intuitive to use and the pedestal validated the digital and printed barcodes flawlessly. The throughput was twice what attendants using handhelds could achieve.

Dianne was so impressed with the performance of the IntraQ that she sent photos and video to her colleagues in athletics. The athletics group was having the similar handheld issues as performing arts. In addition, because many athletic events are outside, the athletics group was encountering an additional problem with the handhelds overheating and then not working properly. This required attendants to carry one and sometimes two additional handhelds which they could switch to when the original device would not work.

After seeing the materials, Phil Scott, Event Support Manager for Longhorn Athletics, reached out to Alvarado to schedule additional product demonstrations of Alvarado’s TAS12-AS1, which is designed for indoor and outdoor use.

The pedestal was tested at several events, including the busiest gate at a Longhorns football game. As expected, the pedestal passed with flying colors.

Guests took to the device immediately, validating both printed and digital tickets with ease, even in the bright Texas sun. The TAS12-AS1’s wireless communication was flawless and the throughput rate of the pedestal was two to four times higher than nearby ticket takers validating tickets with handhelds.

Based on the highly successful tests, The University of Texas at Austin will use Alvarado portable self-scanning pedestals to validate barcoded ticket media and student IDs. Performing Arts has purchased eight IntraQ portable pedestals. Athletics will use a mixture of portable TAS12-AS1 and IntraQ pedestals for access control at perimeter entry points and interior premium/club areas.

Alvarado manufactures a wide suite of intelligent admission control devices for entertainment facility use, including portable turnstiles, portable pedestals and pedestrian gates. Portable turnstiles and pedestals operate over twelve hours on a single battery charge.

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