Monday, 04 July 2016 09:33

It's all about the check-in

As you will know if you have becoming on the Run for a number the day has evolved quite a bit over the years. In fact bear with me as I take you back to the start.

Back in 2007 both Pirate and I decided to come up with the Monopoly Run, initally for our own district. It was an opportunity to take the Explorers within the district away on a camp but also to teach some of the skills, such as using an A-Z, travelling around on the underground. Something that they rarely get experience of; being that we are a very rural district. The core of the day has seldom changed, i.e. the objective is to try and visit all of the properties on the Monopoly board in one day, with the option of being able to buy and rent. What has changed is how we administer the day. Our first run was powered by a very simple Spreadsheet and a couple of mobile phones, on the face of it with 10 teams that worked, although it was a lot of work. As numbers increased a change was needed, we moved over to a computer based system, using PHP and HTML. The new system worked really well and numbers for the Run broke the 500 mark back in 2012. There was no way the old mobile PBX system (a switchboard, using a mobile phone network) could cope anymore, so we had to look at upgrading to a full PBX system and thanks to Voipfone, this was possible.

CcvovlWWwAIW6PlLets fast forward to 2016, we have the most amount of people signed up to the Run ever, 950. Lots of work in the background from Kris, Dave & Mark meant that we were hopeful of a good day. Unfortuantly best made plans of mice and men, meant that dispite all of our planning and prep work we couldn't account for the tempremental internet connection which plagued us in the first few hours. We knew that this had an affect on the day for most of the teams that took part, especially at the check in stage when teams were on the phones for an unacceptable length of time.

So after lots of discussions it was decided that a new angle had to be take for the event to continue to be an enjoyable day. Over the last year we have seen the introduction of the app to help you with your day. This allows you to check you latest team stats, submit your answers to the quiz and much more. Well in addition to current functionality, the ability to check-in via the app was also coded. With it still very much in it's beta stages it was decided this year not to launch it. Lets face it nothing worse than have the check-in ability and it then breaking or worse having an effect on the data from the day.

Well we are pleased to say that in September will be hosting a mini version of the Run in our local town (open to our own district) to act as a test bed for the new check-in functionality, with the plan of rolling it out in the 2017 Run, which also happens to be our 10 year. The introduction of the check-in functionality should see:

  • Little or no time waiting on the phone to a controller
  • Better live data from the day
  • A better opportunity to visit all of the locations
  • An introduction of new functionality (more on this later)
  • And most importantly a more enjoyable day

So watch this space, so they say.

Matt

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