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Old 04-16-2014, 01:23 PM   #1
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Default Mandatory pre-registration???

I'm going to bring this up again. I know Sunday will probably be our biggest turn out of the year, but it'd be nice if we were able to handle large numbers more easily and cut down the wait time (and therefore increase the number of runs available) at registration. Robyn and her "staff" were moving it along as quickly as they could, but with the new requests from National there are so many steps involved that registration is bogging down in paper work (wrist bands, check driver's license, weekend membership, membership number, car/number/class/work assignment, pay, tech). Then of course timing has to enter the data into the computer. I'd like to try and help everyone out by moving into the now - or rather, the on-line.

If we required pre-registration on-line with Motorsportreg for our Solo events Robyn could at least get a head start with work assignments, membership numbers (members would be able to by-pass everything but paying at Reg when they show up. Maybe one line for paying, one line for weekend memberships?) Axware supposedly interfaces with Excel, so in theory a spreadsheet could be downloaded Friday night and would give Chris a head start on entering participants in the computer (most of us are in there already). Of course not everyone who shows up will have signed up on line, mostly Novices and a few Luddites. But if we could cut the line - and wait time - down by leaving it to mostly Novices and a few procrastinating usual suspects, I think everyone would be less stressed.

To make it work we would need to make it a requirement; perhaps as an incentive we could charge an extra $5 for those who don't pre-register on-line and just show up Saturday/Sunday morning?

Many regions require on-line registration for their events, and I can see why. Like the 6 Million Dollar Man, we have the technology and should think about using it.

What's everyone think about this?

With all that said a big thank you and congratulations to Cory/Chris/Robyn and the Solo crew for the weekend's work, you all did great. And I promise next time I work grid I will remember to bring all of my brain with me.

Last edited by dsmith; 04-16-2014 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 04-16-2014, 03:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
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What's everyone think about this?
It doesn't matter what we think, it is what our registration and timing volunteers are willing to do... We can get them on MSR, if they are not already, but they will have to do the work.

AXWare supports full digital paperless registration and worker assignments and imports from MSR. Throw a printer at it and it should even print out worker sheets. We even have the network module so you can have 2 machines accessing the common event information simultaneously...

It all just takes time, energy and such.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:07 PM   #3
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The problem seems to be that everyone wants to run in the morning. If we can get more people in designated run groups it will definitely help. Maybe limit how long you can run novice.
Online registration will help but I think we need to bump people to the afternoon if they are not in designated run groups and the morning groups fill up. Maybe close registration 1/2 hour before the meeting and reopen it after the meeting for the afternoon run groups. You snooze you lose! Just my $.02.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vic View Post
The problem seems to be that everyone wants to run in the morning. If we can get more people in designated run groups it will definitely help. Maybe limit how long you can run novice.
Online registration will help but I think we need to bump people to the afternoon if they are not in designated run groups and the morning groups fill up. Maybe close registration 1/2 hour before the meeting and reopen it after the meeting for the afternoon run groups. You snooze you lose! Just my $.02.
Closing reg would not have been fair for the people who were standing in line before the cutoff time.

I agree with what Dean said, it is ultimately up to Reg and Timing and Tech Chiefs.

Besides automation some other ideas I heard offered:
Have pre-printed paper Novice #'s that are issued at Reg. When a Novice arrives at the worker assignment step, they are given paper numbers and then signed up on a separate novice sheet. After reg closes, post them to a run group sheet in order to balance run group size. Cost impact: paper and printing costs.

Have 1 person assigned to each run group worker sign up in the morning. So one person will man the run group1 worker sheet, another person to man group2 worker sheet. If we don't have as much demand for afternoon run groups, then one person could handle both.

I don't think the waiver step is as much a bottleneck, as getting people signed up for temp weekend membership, or the worker assignment step. (For this first weekend, we were also issuing the loyalty program cards, that time requirement should go down with many people already having their card now.) The worker sign in sheet now requires the member # to be added. So, what kinds of automation can reduce the manual work there?

Another thought, if we could get the forms (temp weekend membership and/or tech card) into people's hands before they get to the table, they could fill out most of their information, instead of tying up time at the table to do it. This might be as simple as having a waiver person also go down the line and hand out clipboards.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:38 PM   #5
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Most of that can be done with on line registration before they even get to Stead.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dknv View Post
Closing reg would not have been fair for the people who were standing in line before the cutoff time.

I agree with what Dean said, it is ultimately up to Reg and Timing and Tech Chiefs.

Besides automation some other ideas I heard offered:
Have pre-printed paper Novice #'s that are issued at Reg. When a Novice arrives at the worker assignment step, they are given paper numbers and then signed up on a separate novice sheet. After reg closes, post them to a run group sheet in order to balance run group size. Cost impact: paper and printing costs.

Have 1 person assigned to each run group worker sign up in the morning. So one person will man the run group1 worker sheet, another person to man group2 worker sheet. If we don't have as much demand for afternoon run groups, then one person could handle both.

I don't think the waiver step is as much a bottleneck, as getting people signed up for temp weekend membership, or the worker assignment step. (For this first weekend, we were also issuing the loyalty program cards, that time requirement should go down with many people already having their card now.) The worker sign in sheet now requires the member # to be added. So, what kinds of automation can reduce the manual work there?

Another thought, if we could get the forms (temp weekend membership and/or tech card) into people's hands before they get to the table, they could fill out most of their information, instead of tying up time at the table to do it. This might be as simple as having a waiver person also go down the line and hand out clipboards.
The point I was trying to make is to have morning and afternoon reg that closes 15-30 min before the meeting. (just like tech) The people in line prior to it closing would still go through. Others get bumped to the afternoon. Most of all post it on the schedule.
Maybe 2 lines, 1 for designated run groups, and 1 for novices, rnp's, and walk on's.
Anything to keep from having 100 drivers in the morning and 30 in the afternoon. More like 75/55. Just a suggestion.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:46 AM   #7
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I don't have an issue with it from a tech prospective. My questions would be do online registrants still have to pay and get a tech card from registration (if they don't have an annual) before heading to tech? Or will tech be issuing the tech cards?

The problem we ran into at tech was people just showing up and parking their cars in the tech area then getting in line to register (which happens at most events). This makes the tech line get longer and longer as people aren't at their cars and actually ready to get the car tech inspected (e.g., crap still in the car, no numbers etc.). Granted this first event had a ton of new and novice drivers, but some of the "veterans" are doing it as well.
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:57 AM   #8
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i was watching closely (had nothing else to do) and i don't think tech was the problem. Tech was keeping up easily with the rate that entrants were leaving Reg.

What is clear to me is that the registration system must be revised. We simply can't start events two hours late and expect that everything is fine. Can you imagine going to a movie, waiting in a line for an hour, and having the event start two hours late? You would not go back there. Well, the same will happen to the club if this problem continues. New folks won't come back, cause the driving was fun but the time payback just isn't there. regulars like me will think hard about whether this was worth the time.

I support Don's original premise, online reg with a cost difference. You reg online and pay less, if you reg on site it's $5 more. Forms for tech can be preprinted, payment can be done online, computer lists can be made ahead of time so there is limited lag in the bus. You still have to deal with weekend memberships on site, but that's a limited group, only a few per weekend. Those folks also have to be entered into the timing computer, but if it's only a few the time is minimal (can happen during the driver's meeting).

I don't agree that it's up to the timing and reg folks. It's bigger than that, it's a matter of club survival. If you want the AX program to be made up of 20-30 cars with only regulars then by all means make no changes. I talked to at least 15 folks on the grid Sunday, to a person they all said 'Why aren't we doing this online?'. If you want the AX program to grow to the capacity of the site (100 cars at least), teach folks how to utilize their cars safely, provide an outlet for those who would normally drive crazy on the street, all of the things AX is supposed to do, then these changes MUST be made.

Sorry if this sounds snarky, i was very frustrated on Sun. i tried to bring in an online reg system last year and was told to go away. This past event shows just how necessary it is to change the system. This is my chosen sport, and i want to see the club succeed. i'm willing to help, but only if the current system is updated.
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:01 AM   #9
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Indeed there needs to be a change. We've been talking about it off-line, and taking in all of the discussion here. All of the input is greatly appreciated.

Quote:
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...Sorry if this sounds snarky, i was very frustrated on Sun. i tried to bring in an online reg system last year and was told to go away...
You definitely DON'T sound as though your attitude is poor to me Andy. Last year's Registration Chief was very set in his ways, and I apologize for your feeling like you got shrugged off. This year's Chief is much more open to change and advancement.

I have fear of letting the run groups auto-populate online, since there are a host of our participants who want / need a particular worker assignment, and a handfull of people who are experienced / eligible to work certain others (timing, safety...). Other that handling that, I don't see a problem at all with online registration.

I can also name names of a number of people who I know for a fact cannot or will not use the online reg., and it's my job to have in mind the idea that they may feel scorned about having to pay more on site, simply because they do not have access to the discount. I do entirely understand the idea of giving an incentive for pre-reg. though.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:41 AM   #10
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As in most things, there will always be those who oppose change of any kind. But, they are in the minority, and if a change betters the club overall then they have to buy into it, even if it means kicking and screaming. I think Reno SCCA could be on the brink of getting back to our salad days - pre Great Recession and Surface Crisis - and we can't afford to remain in the techno dark ages to appease a few members/participants. Besides, once people realize how convenient it will be, and how much less time they need to spend in line at the track, they will come to like it.

Just my $.01 worth.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:27 PM   #11
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I was on motorsports.reg earlier (Crows Landing event!) and was looking at the earlier events I signed up for and had forgotten we did pre-reg for some Reno Region events in 2012! lol. Don, was that you who set those up?
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:24 PM   #12
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No I think It was Tim, I had all those sign ups too. I don't think we ever set up a direct upload to the axware though
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
I don't agree that it's up to the timing and reg folks. It's bigger than that, it's a matter of club survival. If you want the AX program to be made up of 20-30 cars with only regulars then by all means make no changes. I talked to at least 15 folks on the grid Sunday, to a person they all said 'Why aren't we doing this online?'. If you want the AX program to grow to the capacity of the site (100 cars at least), teach folks how to utilize their cars safely, provide an outlet for those who would normally drive crazy on the street, all of the things AX is supposed to do, then these changes MUST be made.

Sorry if this sounds snarky, i was very frustrated on Sun. i tried to bring in an online reg system last year and was told to go away. This past event shows just how necessary it is to change the system. This is my chosen sport, and i want to see the club succeed. i'm willing to help, but only if the current system is updated.
If by saying it is not up to the people volunteering to do the work, then can we assume you are volunteering to do the work??? That is how it works in a volunteer organization. If you don't like how things are being done, feel free to step up and take a leadership role and do the work you think needs to be done.

Otherwise, you need to respect the incredible effort and hours the people who are doing the work are putting in so you can enjoy your time at any of the events.

Maybe I am being a little snarky, but when people can't be bothered to bring in their own empty water bottles or manage to put their radios back in the box without breaking or mangling them, those of us who do put in those hours wonder why we bother...
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith View Post
As in most things, there will always be those who oppose change of any kind. But, they are in the minority, and if a change betters the club overall then they have to buy into it, even if it means kicking and screaming. I think Reno SCCA could be on the brink of getting back to our salad days - pre Great Recession and Surface Crisis - and we can't afford to remain in the techno dark ages to appease a few members/participants. Besides, once people realize how convenient it will be, and how much less time they need to spend in line at the track, they will come to like it.

Just my $.01 worth.
All very true good sir. Just thinking out loud.

I just think of the times when we've done online reg. before, and I remember still having to go to the table to check in, and there was the option to NOT pay when you registered, which still leaves a line of people who have registered but still need to check in / pay. Of course even if the participant has paid online, and they're a weekend member, they still have to fill out the weekend membership paperwork when they arrive at the site. (we've converted quite a few of those weekends into annual members though! ) And everyone still has to sign the waiver, and have their driver's license / membership card checked / member number collected for the audit... I'm definitely not against online registration, it just doesn't feel to me like it alleviates all of my fears regarding long lines and wait times, since there's so much that we have to do at each event.

I clearly don't have answers here, just worries... I don't want the membership to suffer through events as opposed to enjoying them. I don't want the region to lose participation. I know there's answers out there though, because there are regions larger than ours that run successful events.
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:52 PM   #15
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How about creating multiple lines? One for weekend membership, one for registration, one for payment. The more you do online, the fewer number of lines you have to wait in.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:29 PM   #16
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I just read this post a few minutes ago. I, like others, was surprised by the turn out at event 1. Novice members are the perpetuation of our club and sport. I too was there all day Sunday. My opinion is that under the circumstances we made the best of a tough (but wonderful) situation. I think a possible short term solution might be to limit the amount of Novice class runners in the morning. First come first serve. The balance can go to the afternoon run groups. In response to previous posts: I would "preregister" if given the opportunity. Thanks to all organizers and workers.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
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How about creating multiple lines? One for weekend membership, one for registration, one for payment. The more you do online, the fewer number of lines you have to wait in.
We've got the "multiple lines" idea in implementation for the upcoming event. Afraid to try to do online reg. for the 26th and 27th, just because it's so close, but we want to put a few ideas into play to help smooth things out, and push for online registration for the May event.


Thank you everybody for all of the input, and do feel free to continue to post ideas! The Solo program is listening, and wants to know what the members would like!
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:17 PM   #18
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First off, Thank you to everyone for your patience at the last events. I greatly appreciate it! Also a huge thank you to Debbie, Rachel, and Patty for all of their help, I was swamped until they joined me! (And I don't ever want to spend 2.5 hrs registering people again!!!!)

I am not opposed to an online registration, I just think we need to find one that actually helps the process. I am not familiar with msr, but I am willing to give it a shot again. Is it possible to limit the online registration to annual members? Our weekend members will need to stand in line to complete the form anyway. I would love it if we could find a way for some technology to be available at reg to have access to this info on the spot and for names to be entered into timing automatically, but I don't know how to do that, and I don't know anything about any of the software that would be required.

I love all of the constructive input, and please know that I am listening. I have thought of so many different solutions myself and I keep running into some aspect of registration that makes it not work. I can only request that you please bear with me while we try to come up with a solution and keep giving me your ideas!

Thanks!

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Old 04-21-2014, 02:24 PM   #19
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Don't worry Robyn, we all know it's not your fault or anything like that, it's just the way the situation is. You all did a commendable job Sunday under pretty stressful circumstances, the Region is glad to have you. Every problem has solutions just waiting to be found, and you'll find the ones needed for this.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:44 PM   #20
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Wow, a good thread about improvements to the club and I haven't yet seen the "we tried that years ago and it didn't work" default answer.

On topic, talking to PJ about the Vegas region, at least to my recollection, you can register and run in any group. There isn't the idea of run groups or classes having to run at the same time. If you're so competitive you want to win you can run in both groups with your times counting, or just one or the other depending on your schedule.

The point being, that we don't have to micromanage balancing run groups or classes, that people's different schedules may balance groups, or at the very least makes it to where we have more workers in the afternoon with competitive entrants wanting a second chance.

I've heard many people say they prefer the morning, I know myself and several others prefer the afternoon. I have to think there is something to this idea. There are many larger regions than Reno, it can't be hard to find out what the difference is.
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