Pro tips

Here are a few ways to improve your booking and gate processes, and use Gatekeeper more easily:

  • If you have an online booking system, it's really handy if you still maintain a local "master" booking spreadsheet. From time to time, append a copy of the new records from the online system into the local spreadsheet. That way, you can edit those local records to reflect changes in plans, payments or partial payments, late info like shuttle bookings or A&S offerings, cancellations and so on. Generally, online booking systems have no way to record any of this - but your local spreadsheet will be fully up to date and Gatekeeper can use some of this extra info to make for a very informative sign-in experience.
  • One example of useful extra info you can maintain locally is a BALANCE DUE field - Gatekeeper allows you to specify amounts that need to be collected from attendees, assuming you support pay-at-the-gate. Even better, if someone's due a partial refund, Gatekeeper will recognise a negative BALANCE DUE and prompt your gate staff to give it to them (naturally, you'll have to brief your staff on that, and provide funds!). And of course it records the fact of such payments.
  • Want to remind people to sign up for chores, or display the chores someone signed up for ahead of time? Got some people who are exempt from chores? Gatekeeper can handle all these cases with either action fields or reminder fields - have a look at Bookings CSV file format details in Gatekeeper.rtf for more information, or contact the support team
  • Want to provide your "gate procedures manual" in electronic form? No problem. If you provide an RTF file with the exact same name as your event (e.g. Gate Wars II.rtf), Gatekeeper will show an "Event-specific info" button which will display that RTF file when they press the button.
  • Let's say a family or group walks up without a booking - Gatekeeper can keep track of the total amount they'll need to pay once you've signed them all in - see the Group sum field in Gatekeeper.rtf.
  • Are you collecting Car Reg info but the person signing in doesn't know theirs? Save their record and let them go find out. When they come back you can find and click on their record in the Booking list and quickly update their Car Reg (and Gate Notes if needed). Hint: you'll first need to temporarily turn off the "Hide people already signed in" checkbox.
  • If you're forward-thinking enough to ask for their Car Reg info on your booking form, see the Car Reg action field for a way to automatically copy that info into the Gate record at sign-in - it can still be edited there if they ended up bringing a different car.
  • If you need a unique record number for, say, a transaction reference ID in an external payment system: look at the record number shown on the Save button just before you click it.
  • If you have a very large event, or one where there will be a very busy peak sign-in period, you can use two or more Gatekeeper computers - see the notes under Hardware Requirements at the very end of Gatekeeper.rtf.
  • One very friendly but often-overlooked feature of Gatekeeper is its Expired button, which allows you to remind attendees who booked as members - but who are no longer current - to renew their membership. If your booking deputy uses Gatekeeper, they can press this button a couple of weeks before the event to generate a list of attendees whose membership has expired - plus sample text for a gentle reminder email to send them. This should save them having to pay extra Event Membership fees at the gate, making both them and your gate staff much happier!
  • On very rare occasions someone might be able to show a receipt or other proof of recent membership payment, yet Registry data still shows them as "expired". In such a case, hold down SHIFT when you click on the Event Member button. This will turn it green without charging them an event member fee.
  • The Gate Records display has a button to export a spreadsheet with all the sign-in records. It's actually a CSV (comma-delimted) file, hence it cannot contain the spreadsheet formulae you need to work out totals for event attendance, etc. No problem, just refer to the Gate Reconciliation & Report section of Gatekeeper.rtf for a set of suggested formulae you can use and tweak.
  • If you're configuring Gatekeeper for multiple events, an optional command-line parameter helps you manage things nicely. Create a Gatekeeper folder with just the EXE and RTF file in it. Below that, create a folder for each event, e.g. GateWar, and put its Gatekeeper.INI and any other event-specific files in there. Create a shortcut for each event with something like the following command line:
    fullpath\Gatekeeper.exe GateWar\gatekeeper.ini