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Grouping your Sessions’ Options

I think we have always had a very robust registration engine in the Brain. What do I mean? Well, I mean that we could always handle an incredible variety of camps, sessions, options, pricing, etc. Whether it’s something like registering per day or adding field trips or handling tiered pricing, we have been able to not only accommodate the complexity but also display it in a reasonable way to parents and registrants. We were lucky because we worked with a pretty diverse set of camps in the beginning, some with complex registration structures. It forced us to deal with questions like: how do you make a registration screen so that it suits a camp with 2 4-week sessions as well as a camp with 2 different sites, 50 sessions, 10 options within each session and a complicated pricing model.

I was thinking about this topic because we released “session option groups” in our web-based version recently (it has been in our desktop version for years). Having a simple list of options underneath a session is quite straightforward. Grouping those options and setting restrictions on them is really a whole other ball game! And you really only tackle this particular challenge when you need/want to meet the very deep needs of a more complicated subset of the camp industry.

Let’s check out some examples.

The first is a pretty simple example of providing the ability to register for individual days. Once the parent has chosen their week(s), the system pops open their options for each week. In this case, they can add on the days they want. I would note that you can set a minimum quantity here, so, if you require 3 days at least, the system can enforce that rule.

 The second example has 2 option “groups” under the session. The first group displays the available tiered prices. Note that we can default one to be selected and that the system will enforce the rule that one (and only one) has to be selected. The second group shows some add-on trips. In this case, the camp has decided only one can be selected. I think there are a few key points here:

  • This is not just a simple list of 6 items jumbled together; it is a logical grouping of 2 unique sets of options/prices
  • The options are chosen right when the parent selects the session (the screen opens up to display the extra choices)
  • Additional descriptions can be provided so that the parent understands the choice available to them
  • Rules can be enforced to ensure parents make a selection, choose the right number of options, etc. 

 

The third example is quite specific to schools and their summer programs. We used option “groups” here to distinguish between periods in the day. While you may not be able to tell from this screen cap, there are some interesting settings here:

  • For each group (or period in this example), you decide to make it mandatory to choose at least one item or leave it as optional
  • For each group, you establish a maximum number of classes that may be chosen; of course, in this example, your maximum would be 1
  • One other feature that works brilliantly here is displaying only those options applicable to the age and gender of the camper in question
  • You can set your prices at the class level (price/class) or at the session level (set price for the period of time)

 In a previous post, Family Camps and Adult Campers, I suggested that camp is clearly not just for the kids anymore. In a similar way, we have seen camps expand the complexity of their registration options, specifically increasing the number of alternatives available. Session options and their grouping is an even more important tool in the registration toolbox now.

Do you use this feature? Any other ways to improve it?

rob@campbrain.com

Love your Software,
Rob
rob@campbrain.com