View Full Version : Online-only registration
09-08-2008, 10:49 AM
I'm a journalist doing research for a national running magazine about online-only registration. I'm looking for examples of road races that have gone to online-only (or almost online-only) registration. Please let me know if your event(s) have done so, or if you know of others that have. Thank you.
09-09-2008, 01:06 PM
I would contact the Annapolis 10 Miler. I know this race has done 100% online registration for the past years.
09-09-2008, 01:15 PM
The Pikes Peak Ascent and Pikes Peak Marathon (http://www.pikespeakmarathon.org) use 100% online registration, as does the Barr Trail Mountain Race (http://runpikespeak.com)
09-11-2008, 02:04 PM
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom will not print any entry forms this year. We will have a downloadable .pdf version of the entry form available for downloading on the website when online registration opens. We still like to have an off line option for the few folks who don't have credit cards or don't like to do business online. We will set aside a small number of slots for the mail-in entries.
09-25-2008, 10:37 PM
I started a winter Race series that we only advertise online and charge more for mail in registrations then online. I first set the price at $7.00 + $3.00 online fee. I had a uprising. The next two races I set the price at $10.00 no online registration, I had no complaint.
I took this example to a 2000 runner event and made the mail in cost more then the online. I had about 40 people mail in registrations and 1500 register online.
I am also pushing the race directors that I time races for, to do the same. Mail in registrations should cost more then online simply for the the amount of work that is involved.
09-26-2008, 08:45 AM
Mail in registrations should cost more then online simply for the the amount of work that is involved.
This is something I've argued for some time and most race directors blow me off while continuing to charge more for the less labor-intensive process.
Right now, I'm trying to convince an RD to offer online registration for the same price as she accepts mail in registrations. I've even built the system for her. She would get about $2 less per participant but right now, she has to drive to the post office to pick up the mail in registrations, try to read and make sense of hand written forms, then manually enter the information into Excel. I'm offering her a way to, from any computer with internet access, download a file that can be imported into Excel with two clicks. The savings in time and expenses would be worth far more than the $2 she would give up but she still resists because this is "just how everyone does it".
09-26-2008, 05:20 PM
We did our own on-line registration this year, collecting the information on a web page form and then routing the transactions through Paypal. Since the cost was less than $1 per transaction, we were able to absorb the cost and thus charged the same for on-line as for mail-in. Of the nearly 1300 people who pre-registered, 908 used online registration, saving us a huge amount of data entry work, checks that didn't have to be processed, phone calls that didn't need to be made due to missing information and indecipherable handwriting, and there was no lost revenue due to bounced checks.
We used a software program called Jump Start It that I installed on our website. It worked fairly well, but we're interested in upgrading to a better system for next year (really the only problems were that the form information was not re-presented to the participant before submission to allow for error-checking, and if there was a problem on the Paypal side, there was no way for registrants to go back to their form, they had to start all over which created a duplicate registration). Still, it doesn't seem like rocket science and I'm baffled at why there aren't more programs like this available. I'm also baffled as to why event registration companies charge upwards of $3 for this service. If Paypal can make a profit by charging $1.00, companies like Active.com must be making a fortune. There are many open source shopping cart programs available for free. Why aren't there event registration programs as well? It's a similar process, after all. Collect the information so it can be exported to an Excel sheet and communicate with Paypal to confirm that payment has been made. We would be willing to invest money in a software program that could be used again and again. We don't want to give up $2 or $3 of each $20 entry fee to a company just for processing a form and running a credit card charge through.
I'd be interested in how other race directors who've done their own online registrations handle this.
09-27-2008, 10:28 AM
New guy here. I put on a small trail half marathon and 5K fun run in Alva, FL (near Ft Myers.)
We eliminated paper registrations a couple of years ago (Except for race day and packet p/u) and it's worked fine, no complaints and much less data entry. Since we reached our registration limit a week early we only had to deal with last minute changes.
We're using Abooma (http://www.abooma.com/) for online registration and we're pleased with their work.
Beach to Beacon went all online this year.
I've done it for all our races for the past several years, charging less for online registration (with the processing fee, it comes out about the same as mail-in). We have a printable "master" entry form for all our races that people can print out and mail in; we generally get 1 to 3 of these per event.
The only exceptions have been new events, where we feel having a physical entry form serves as a more tangible reminder/announcement.
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