Tis the season to be inviting and being invited…
Recently I was asked to assist a non-profit organization in setting up an online registration system for a mid-winter weekend conference and they needed it online by …yesterday. As a web host provider for the past few years I was just sure there would be a dearth of scripts ready made for such a task and volunteered to help them out even though they weren’t hosted on my servers. After an hour or two with www.google.com and www.hotscripts.com it became apparent that it wasn’t going to be as simple as I thought and I really didn’t have time to create a PHP solution just for them. I was please, however, when I began to look in another direction: web-based services to provide this capability. Of course! Organization Management is a huge industry, because most organizations, large and small, hesitate to spend money and effort trying to organize their own conferences and conventions. My favorite such service provider is rsvpBOOK.
My very first impression of the site was positive: aesthetically pleasing (obviously created on a Mac, I thought), easy to navigate with ample FAQ and well-written help documents, and all at a fair price – normally $99 per event with a Fall Promotion at present (I don’t know when it ends, but Fall ends Dec. 20, I think) which lets you create an event free of charge. There is an additional cost of $14.95 if you elect to customize the registration form with your own custom questions/survey.
For something as simple as a wedding shower, this might be overkill, but it would be great for a wedding banquet, graduation party, company picnic, business open house, etc.
Currently there is no way to collect payment through this system but that is currently in the works. In fact, I was very impressed when, after setting up an online registration system for my client, I sent off an email to the contact email address submitting several suggestions and I heard back within a day thanking me for the suggestions and detailing the many exciting features they are in the process of building into the service.
The administration features are quite nice; in fact one of the strongest features is that I can set these up for my non-techie clients but assign the administration and data collection to them!
If you help with setting up events from time to time, have a web site to announce the event, but don’t have a way to easily collect registrations online in a systematic and professional manner, I suggest you take a look at rsvpBOOK.
If you know of another similar service you would recommend, feel free to let me know!