Introduction to Advance Organizing
After you've organized a few events, you'll probably start to notice that you're doing a number of repetitive things that it would be awfully nice to simplify or even automate. You may have also encountered a few problems that you'd like to prevent from occurring in the future. (We hope that you haven't encountered any difficulties, but we have noticed that when problems do occur, they seem to be the same ones or at least variations on a theme.)
This section addresses both streamlining the process and avoiding common problems.
Start here! You can continue to collect only the Basic Information Needed from Site Contact provided under Basic Event Organizing if you wish, but many experienced organizers find that having a bit more information up front can make the whole event go smoother, so we've provided you with a list of common pre-event queries. Remember, if the question doesn't apply to your event, just don't ask it!
Start here! even if you decide to continue using the Basic Information Needed from Site Contact. You'll benefit from beginning your Advanced Organizing by reading over the discussion included with the Advanced Site Checklist as a number of helpful suggestions are covered there.
Once you've set up an event at a site, sending a Confirmation Letter with the details you discussed is a ensures that you and the site have the same expectations — and gives you a written document to which to refer if the event doesn't turn out as you expected.
You may continue to use the Basic HSA Event Notice, but many organizers find that a few tweaks to the HSA Event Notice can both simplify things in the long run and help avoid some of the more common problems.
You'll find that in general, the easier a registration system is to set up, the more work it takes to maintain. Conversely, the more effort you put into initial creation, the less effort it takes to maintain it.
- via email
- Email registrations may be the easiest method to set up but they are also the hardest to maintain. An email registration template is included in the HSA Event Notice template at Basic Event Organizing.
- via a HSAdventures Yahoo Group Database
- This is second easiest registration method to set up, but it does still require some effort on your part to maintain.
- via a HomeschoolRecess Field Trip
- Some people reporting finding HomeschoolRecess a bit complicated the first time through, but the process quickly becomes familiar and it automates much of the maintenance — including registration data collection, event reminders, and payment receipts. Please ask for assistance to get started!
- via a Facebook Event at the Facebook HSAdventures Group
- Facebook Events are easy to set up and a great way to spread the word about an event, but if you need more than a rough estimate of interest for your event, you'll want to combine it with another method. You'll need to be a member of the Facebook HSAdventures Group to post events there.
- via a Google Docs form
- Google Doc forms are highly customizable and thus a good way to collect detailed information, but they require the same level of effort to maintain as the Yahoo Group database and a bit extra care on your part to ensure your participants privacy.
Getting fully reimbursed for the cost of an event is the biggest concern that organizers raise in discussions. Most people send their payments promptly and take reimbursing the organizing very seriously, but when problems arise, you want to make sure the cost doesn't come out of your own pocket!
We cover the following issues under Getting Reimbursed
- Ensuring communication between organizers and participants
- PayPal Pitfalls
- Handling Delinquent Participants
An emailed reminder to participants shortly before the event can prevent forgetful no-shows and ensure that everyone arrives with any important details fresh in their minds — and any required supplies as well.
This section under construction.
- Last Minute Cancellations
- Check-In Process
- Name Badges
- No Shows
- Disruptive Behavior
- Disruptive Parents
- Disruptive Children
- Difficult Staff Members