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  1. We quit using paper a long while back. These days I’m not interested in who is coming unless they have signed up and paid Online. In general all of our trips and big activities (anything requiring transportation) require pre signing up online. We went to a graduated pricing structure too that really helps. One price for siting up early and a second price if you miss the deadline assuming there is space left. I also try to release myself from any guilt from a parent or student who missed a deadline or didn’t get a spot. We communicate well, often and simply. I never beg kids to sign up. Those are just a few thoughts. 😉

  2. You can use Google Forms part of Google documents to set up a form.
    The payment part gets a bit more complicated. Paypal, Authorize and Google checkout take a chunk of money off the top so you have to build that into the price of your event. Paypal is about 3% per transaction.

    We run a 200 kid soccer camp each summer and use dt register integrated into our Joomla based website. That allows for paypal payments and authorize.net payments. We have also toyed with Jot Forms and others.
    Hope that helps

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  4. I’m using EventBrite (rootsyouth.org/event-registration) for event sign-up. It’s still relatively new so the verdict’s still out. But it works for free events or pay events (I’m set-up to receive payments through PayPal on our church account).

    But it’s still a combination of that and paper.

    I wonder if shortcodes for texting would work…

  5. We’re huge fans of Youth Tracker. I know this, because our administrator somewhat jokingly threatens that if Youth Tracker goes, she goes. Events are really a snap, but we haven’t yet used the online registration system yet, because most of our events require a physical signature anyways. But one day I hope to use it to let parents pay online. We’ve got an event tonight that includes two campuses and 127 people, and it’s all on Youth Tracker. Plus, Youth Tracker tends to be really great about adding features that users request.

    One feature we haven’t yet used is you can create a Facebook event on your organization’s page, and as fans RSVP to the event, they are automatically registered.

    Some of the cons of Youth Tracker are a really clumsy email and mass texting interface, althought they still work for us. (I you’re html savvy, you can do really cool html emails…for students to never read). However, being able to track people, small groups, and events in one place, plus not having to manage a different database for texting and emailing is really great.

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