Feature Release: Event Registration Upgrade!

Monday, July 7, 2014 10:26:00 PM Categories: Communication New Features Tips 4 Clients
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 Just in time for fall sign ups and launches:  Event registration features update release.  The goal with this release is to take some of your ideas the past couple of years to simplify and empower what you can do with our event registration feature.  This relates to everything that you sign people up for from your website or anywhere else - including group signups.  

This is a very important update, so please take a few minutes to read through this.  The release will be tonight, so you will have these changes effective tomorrow.  We'll upgrade a video and get it out as soon as we can after the release as well.  

Impact on current custom links
If you have links to specific groups on your website, this release will not affect those links.  When people click on them to sign up for something, they will still be able to do that as they always have done.  However, to upgrade these links, simply go to the group they relate to, then click on the blue Edit button then Registration Settings.  The link is already built for you, just copy it and replace the older links on your website.  All changes made to registration options in the future will still work with this new link.
Impact on Browse Groups page "Register" button
Your links to the Browse Groups page from your website will look normal.  However, when you click the "Register" button for a particular group, you will be using the new, improved registration process.  In the new version, registrants skip the search box.  Instead, they put in their first and last name and whatever additional information you want from them for registration (see example).  This combines two pages in the old system into one page.  

Additional information options now include any member attribute and any registration attribute.  By default with this release we included email, but you can customize that for each group independently by going to the group then clicking edit then registration attributes.  Note:  There is no longer a second link that people not in the database have to click to sign up.  So, if you want more than first, last and email on new people; you will need to add address and phone number as a registration setting for that group.  
Once people enter this information, the software will run a query to find them in the database.  If it can match the name and any other information (ex. email, phone, address), then it will automatically register that person.  If it can only match the name, then it will ask them to confirm based on the last 4 digits of their phone number or give them an opportunity to create a new entry.  

Note: Whatever member attributes or registration attributes registrants enter will overwrite what's in the database if there is a conflict.  Email addresses are merged.
More flexibility and options on Registration Settings page
This new version gives you far greater control over what happens with each group / event when people register for it.  

  1. Registration link is already built for you.  Just copy and paste anywhere.  If you make any registration settings changes you do not need to replace the link on your website.
  2. Custom instructions displayed on the first registration page (can include html and logo/images, etc).
  3. By default people have to pay to register for an event or class if you have associated cost/payment with this group/class.  Check the box if you want this to be optional.
  4. Create unique response messages to registrants and group leaders when they sign up for this group.  If nothing is put in these boxes, messages sent to registrants and leaders will revert to the default message found under settings / groups / browse groups page.
  5. Registration attributes can include member attributes as well as registration attributes. This allows you to include email, phone numbers, address, birth date and any custom member attribute to the registration.  (Member attributes are part of a person's permanent information.  Registration attributes only relate to their registration for this group.)
  6. When you log in, hover over any of these options for more information.
  7. Not shown.  When you click to customize a registration attribute there is an option to set old registration attributes to inactive so that the history is preserved but they don't clutter up the registration attributes page.
  8. Not shown.  You now have the option to filter reports based on group registration attributes
Greater ability to use the group view as an event registration dashboard
We wanted to make it easier for your staff to manage their events themselves including payments and the ability to take payments from a laptop or tablet using our group view to create a dashboard for event management.

  1. If you haven't used the group view before, it is a powerful tool to customize the information you see for any group.  Click the customize button to: 1) create new group views, 2) customize the current one, or 3) save the view as a default for this group/event.  Group views are essentially fixed reports that make a group an interactive dashboard for event management.
  2. With registration payments, click the Total link at the top of the Registration Payment column to see the total amount collected for the group/event and how it was collected.
  3. New, improved ability to see each time and method (manual or online) by which a payment is made.
  4. Manual or online payments can be taken/processed by clicking the pay button.  A receipt is emailed whether they pay in person with cash/check or if they pay online with a credit card.  The amount is open ended.
  5. New group view attribute to show related family members.  Great for VBS and other children or youth events.
Okay, now it's your turn!  Dive in there and start playing with this new feature upgrade and let us know what you think.  We believe it will make the process more simple for your people to sign up and more powerful to get exactly the information you need with the ability to communicate more clearly.