Picture this: It's a beautiful summer morning, the temperature is in the low 70s, the birds are chirping, the fresh morning dew delicately kissing the grass which is still undisturbed. You have the whole day to yourself... or so you thought.
Instead of enjoying the calmness that a summer morning brings, you are dealing with disgruntled parents standing in long lines, restless children wanting to play outside with their friends, and mountains of paperwork from your manual camp registration forms.
I don't know about you, but that sounds like anything but relaxing. That's why I'm here to tell you how you can take back your summer mornings!
Read on to find out 10 reasons manual camp registration forms are outdated and why switching to online will not only make your life easier, but will improve the process for everyone involved.
1. Manual Registration Forms are Time Consuming
Manual registration forms are incredibly time consuming. Not only will parents spend a lot of time filling out registration packets, but then staff will spend just as much, if not more, time entering valuable information into a multitude of systems.
When you take your registration online, you will be amazed at how much time you can save. Gone are the days of long registration lines, waiting for documents in the mail, incomplete documents, and opening, entering and organizing illegible or inaccurate forms. Taking your registration process online can eliminate the headache of tedious paperwork for you and your employees with just a few simple clicks.
Drastically reducing the time your employees spend organizing and going through registration paperwork will allow for them to be fully attentive to the child and those relationships will develop immediately. That's what every parent wants, right?
Parents will also save immense time by signing up their children when and where it is most convenient for them.
2. Manual Forms Translate to Pesky Fees and Added Costs
While manual summer camp registration forms may initially appear to be "simple" and the less expensive option, hidden costs and pesky fees often associated with concrete payment options, printing, and miscommunication can quickly add up and break budgets.
Taking your registration form online creates the ability to save money across all channels.
For the organizers:
- With online camp registration forms, you can pass the registration fee to your registrant or split the fee between you and your registrant.
- No physical paperwork means a drastic reduction in printing. Say goodbye to those printing costs!
- Time is money. Online registration will allow your employees to utilize their time and energy towards other tasks.
For the parents:
- Parents can have access to early-bird pricing. With flexible pricing options, they will be more motivated to sign up through various rewards and discount codes you provide.
- Through an online registration form, parents can access any provided scholarship or financial assistance applications.
3. Overflowing Filing Cabinets with Important Information: A Big Data Risk
Unorganized and overflowing filing cabinets can create a sense of unease and stress within the office. There is nothing worse than realizing you have lost or "temporarily misplaced" valuable information about a camper while under your supervision.
Online registration will provide a platform for secure and centralized data management. Utilizing an online registration software will allow you to efficiently collect registrant data such as names of parents, names of campers, phone numbers, email addresses, emergency contacts, and payment information.
Online camp registration forms diminish the need for parents to provide redundant information often associated with various paper forms. As a result, you can dwindle down shortcuts parents may attempt to take as well as any associated errors.
4. Ineffective Payment Reporting
Manual summer camp registration forms and the payments associated with them can become quite a hassle. While this may not be their intention, parents may accidentally forget to make payments simply because they are unaware of what they still owe.
Online registration will allow you to have access to detailed payment reporting. In turn, you will be provided with insights into deposits, payments received, canceled, and due, amount of refunds given, how much money collected overall, and other data.
Detailed payment reporting will also allow you to create an array of payment schedules based on your camps and camper’s individual needs.
5. Lack of Opportunity to Improve Marketing Efforts
Manual summer camp registration forms are unable to market your camp towards a broader audience. A lack of appropriate marketing will hinder camp growth and future revenue-generating opportunities.
Utilizing a centralized database associated with online registration, you will be able to easily email registrants and inform them of future camps and events geared towards their interests. More personalized emails will allow you to tweak aspects of the content so that it is applicable to your entire audience.
A centralized database will also allow you to track the open rates and responses of your email campaigns, providing you with valuable and necessary information in regards to which parents you may need to follow up with via another email or phone call.
Along with email campaigns for early-bird specials, referrals, and announcements, you can also leverage the use of camp improvement and feedback surveys.
6. Jumbled, Scattered, and Unsecured Payment Processing
Not only do cash and checks provide a space for unethical conduct, but they are difficult to keep organized and tracked.
Online registration, such as Payscape Registration, provides users with 24/7 secure, online payment processing that parents confidently trust.
7. Limited Space for Creativity and Customization
Say goodbye to stagnant and boring summer camp manual registration forms that fail to provide parents with your camp spirit and theme. Keeping parents actively engaged in the registration forms will be beneficial for everyone in the long run.
Payscape Registration provides you with secure payment processing. However, it is important to note that we are just the backbone. You still have complete control of your landing page and the ability to customize it to align with the theme of your programs.
No need to be a computer wizard! Our easy-to-use online registration software also allows you to capture specific and relevant information geared towards your individual programs, including dietary restrictions and emergency contacts.
8. Hidden Financial Transactions
Forget the unnecessary complications often associated with tracking and recording multiple paper checks in your office!
Online registration provides users with a visual of their previous financial transactions and what they still owe in regards according to certain payment plans. While financial records will be secure, financial accountability will be easily accessible to both parents and staff members.
9. Stress on Parents and Guardians
What is worse than telling a parent or guardian that you ran out of their child’s t-shirt size just as they are checking in to your program and submitting manual forms? Although it may seem a minor issue at first glance, this inconvenience can leave parents with a great sense of unease about your professionalism and preparation.
Online registration makes updating information easier on the parents. It reduces the need to fill out redundant forms and allows them to easily select supplies that their children will need, such as t-shirt and shoe sizes.
10. Unorganized and Chaotic Check-In
Here is a familiar scenario that no one enjoys... parents attempting to quickly fill out manual summer camp registration forms after waiting in an incredibly long line with their children who are eager to join their fellow campers.
A highly appreciated benefit to online camp registration is decreased check-in lines. Since all camper information will already be captured online, the check-in process ends up much smoother and faster. So, parents can say their goodbyes and camp fun can begin sooner!
As you continue to research the best options for your camp registration, keep in mind all of the benefits gained by switching to online registration. These technological advancements allow your camp to work smarter than ever.
The Cure for the Manual Camp Registration Form
Behold: Payscape Registration! Save days of work with our online registration software. Create an event, accept registrations, and collect payments in a flash.
Want to learn more and get started now? Schedule some time with our Product Expert for a complete demo.