The RD Q+A series addresses real world questions from real world race directors and event organizers. These are questions that we think are worth sharing.
What is the best way to set up online race registration for next year?
I'll assume that you mean, "Since you're always talking about making my life easier, how can I set up online registration for next year without having to repeat all the work I did last year?"
This is one of my favorite questions. Partly because I love things that make life easier, and partly because the answer is: you have options.
And depending on your needs, picking the right option can save you from a big headache down the road. Here they are:
Copy last year's event (most popular option)
Update the event (second most popular option)
Create a new event from scratch (You don't want to do this. We don't want you to do this. Don't do this.)
What are the differences?
Copying an event does exactly what it sounds like. It makes an exact copy of your existing online race registration setup.
The benefit to this method is that you can edit that new copy to your heart's content while keeping the previous setup exactly as it was.
Because each copy is its own independent event, this gives you more flexibility than any other option.
Updating (aka upgrading) your event setup keeps all of your event information for all years under one single event.
The biggest benefits you'll see with this are that it helps keep your dashboard uncluttered, and it gives you slightly better year-over-year reporting. On the flip side, you won't be able to see the event setup from previous years. Once you change it for the current year, you've changed it for all previous years. For good. No undos. You also won't be able to use multi-event discount codes with previous years in the same event.
If you do this, you are starting with a totally blank slate. You'll be able to see the setup for previous years, but you will have to manually re-enter all of your online registration settings.
Don't do this unless you a) just really like doing things the hard way or b) are setting up an entirely different event and every single piece of information is different.
Though the copy/update debate is slightly less emotionally charged than say, the Ford/Chevy or Ohio/Michigan debate, it's worth knowing your options before you set up registration for next year.
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