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Thread: On Line Registration

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Benicia, CA
    Posts
    60

    Default On Line Registration

    All of the folks who are "web savvy" (those reading this probably) will have no problems completing on-line registrations for our races...at least I think so: let me know if that is a misconception.

    The "problem" for me this past year has been transcribing all the handwritten forms (your handwriting isn't the best) into a database to make Excel spreadsheets for Max to use to run the races. Not a problem for the 20-50 boat races (SHF, Corinthian, ...). But the 3 Bridge Fiasco with 300 entrants, that was a problem--especially since it was concurrent with 150 memberships that were renewed at the same time.

    I'd like to hear thoughts, objections, concerns...etc. about using on-line registration as our default registration of preference.
    ^=.=/\..=^
    ||==||==|| Thom Davis
    ||==||==|| SeaRail 19, SriRacha
    ||==||==|| # SR19
    ||==||==||
    v.....\/.... v


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    21

    Default

    I, for one, haven't been able to use the online registration forms.

    I'm using Mac OS X 10.5 ("Leopard"), and that OS does have trouble with some PDF files. I can view them, but I can't edit them. Worse, I can't print them! When I try to print one, the application I'm using -- web browser (Safari or Firefox) or Preview -- crashes. Tsk! (Btw, PDF files that are in "PDF/X" format, which is more "stripped down", can be printed under Leopard. But those probably don't have the interactive features that make the current ones editable, for those not on this OS.)

    The workaround I'm using, fwiw, is to use the Grab utility to capture the window where the form is displayed, and then save it to a TIFF file and print that.

    But, sure, I'd love to be able to just edit the form and not write on it with a pen, not address an envelop, and not use a stamp!

    www

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,975

    Default

    We're looking at a web-based registration process currently in use in other clubs. (Not our current on-line form that people have had trouble with.)

    The paper processing for the Three-Bridge Fiasco, combined with all the membership renewals in January, is more than we should ask one person to handle (even with help).

    Going to a website and entering your information (once) and then registering for each race would be attractive for most of us, vs. submitting paper entry forms.


    Any comments/suggestions as we evaluate this?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    315

    Default

    Good subject…I live in Roseville and prefer online registration….However I always thought it was just a glitch on my computer but I am unable to “write” on the entry form and I am using windows XP. I can print out the form then scan and e-mail back but I don’t see how that helps Thom…..

    Rick/Lightspeed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,975

    Default

    No, that PDF form on the SSS site would no longer be used, nor would paper forms.

    You would log on to a third-party website, enter your information and make payment (if applicable). All the entry data would then go to Thom and Max.

    After the first time you would not need to enter the data again; you would just go to the site and indicate you are entering the next race.

    How does that sound?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    1,399

    Default

    There are online "web stores" packages that can handle stuff like that easily.

    but think twice before you get into this. The moment you offer on-line registration, you have the hassle of how to take money. People will want to use PayPal. Do you want to deal with that?

    Many people will balk at sending their VISA or MC or AMEX numbers over the web, to pay. Those that are OK with it will still be aware that it's been done. Do you want to be the first place those people come looking when they have an identity theft issue, and $5,000 worth of unknown charges appear on their bill?

    It's a doable thing, but there are issues.

    Having a Web form that people fill in to register for races is brain-dead easy. It's the money transfer that's the nightmare.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,975

    Default

    Yes, on-line payment is still a concern for some people - I'm one of them.

    SSS already takes PayPal, which includes the ability to use your credit card when you are redirected to PayPal's site. Quite a few paid that way this year. But it is expensive for SSS. Under the new process, we would still offer payment via cards but not through PayPal.

    As to web forms being "brain dead easy," I guess all I can say is that we must be brain dead - we haven't been able to get ours to work. And over the 2-3 years since we started trying to use it, no one has stepped up to help fix it.

    The product we're evaluating would be better than a "web store" package because it is sailing-regatta specific and already in use all over the country. It would generate the forms Max needs on the race deck, the results for our website, and the other reports we need for membership. Right now Thom has to enter every piece of data, then it gets transferred to one set of spreadsheets for the entry lists, another set of spreadsheets for the race deck, and yet another to tabulate the results. Finally, Rob has to put many of those sheets up on the SSS website. This package would eliminate most of those steps.

    Keep the questions/concerns coming though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Benicia, CA
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Just an update on progress. We now have 22 entrants to the Vallejo 1-2 using the new system. It seems to be working well and most folks (even Non SSS Members) are able to fill out the required forms with little difficulty.

    The following remains to be seen:
    1) What happens at the skippers meeting when the "late deciders" come with completed forms--I hope to have a laptop at OYC so they can enter "on the spot".
    2) Can Max download everything he needs to run the race deck from the system without too much work? I expect him to do some trial runs.
    ^=.=/\..=^
    ||==||==|| Thom Davis
    ||==||==|| SeaRail 19, SriRacha
    ||==||==|| # SR19
    ||==||==||
    v.....\/.... v


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    562

    Default Registration Difficulty

    Thom,

    I'm a Mac user (OS X -Leopard) and I couldn't register without spending lots of time doing a "go around" and to be truthful, if I weren't a dedicated SSS member, I might have passed. I did pass on last year's RYC Big Pumpkin because of online registration issues, and might again this year. By the way, I'm NOT a PayPal person. My experiences with PayPal have been so bad that I just don't use it. I'm not really a computer person, so if things aren't pretty simple I give up - or screw up - or get screwed. I had to email Max to find out for sure that I'd signed up for the Vallejo Race. If you have a system, it would be nice to post entrants as soon as they sign up. That way we'd know for sure. I know paper is difficult - I assure you that over the years I've stayed up late into the night transferring info and as you say it ain't always that easy to read SSS handwriting. Pat Broderick, "NANCY" Wyliecat #28890

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    520

    Default

    If you can log in to Compete-at.com, you should get a personalized page telling you if any part of your entry is incomplete. You can also click on Entry List to see all the entries absolutely up to date.

    It's convenient to have the entries posted on the SSS web page so that we can see them without a password, but that depends on Thom sending a file to Rob and Rob finding time to post it.

    Max

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