Under most circumstances, you will want to pre-register as many of your attendees as possible. Pre-registration has several benefits:
- It shortens the line of people waiting to pay and get in.
- It allows better planning for seats and snacks.
- People in charge of publicity can see how well their efforts are working.
- If seats are limited, it enforces a first-come-first-served policy for you.
- Non-members are automatically added to your chapter’s prospect list.
The ASMP Member Database provides tools to set up the pre-registration for your event, monitor the progress of early registrations, and make checklists for use by the volunteers at the entrance. This information will help you get started.
Payment at the door. If you allow attendees to register on-site, you have three options for payment: cash, check or card. Accountants and auditors always advise that non-profit groups should prefer checks or cards.
Attendees can pay by credit card if you have a computer with network access at the event. Chapter leaders can use the registration page of the Member Database, even after the event has begun. Or, with the appropriate password, you can use the Skipjack virtual terminal to validate cards in real time and, after the event, to collate totals and summaries.
However, some venues do not provide network access. As a last resort, you can accept credit cards by writing down the information on paper. Here’s a PDF form that you can use. Later you can type the information into the Member Database or into Skipjack. However, there are risks.
- The card might be rejected.
- The paper might fall into the wrong hands.
If you write down an attendee’s card info, you must treat the paper like a large amount of cash. After you have entered the information into Skipjack, you should shred or burn the paper.