This is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
I publish a lot of notices of future genealogy-related meetings, conferences, seminars, and such events. One thing that always amuses me is a statement in many of those notices similar to the following:
"You can download the registration form on our web site. Please fill it out, put it in an envelope, enclose a check, and mail it to us."
Such a statement is so 1980s! In today's day and age, it is easier to accept payment online than it is to manually handle checks. Handling orders online also allows you to receive the registration forms instantly and have the funds deposited to the society's bank account, all without a trip to the bank or even to the post office. The price for doing this is either free or a small percentage of the admission fees. It is also safer and more secure than sending checks in the mail and even safer than handling the checks after receipt.
The same service that sells the tickets also creates lists of attendees, sends "thank you" notes to those who purchase tickets, and optionally sends reminders to each attendee a day or two before the event. The online service even allows you to print name tags for each attendee with their names already filled in. On the day of the event, you simply hand each attendee a printed name badge as they arrive, and away they go.
I thought I would describe my experiences with one company that provides such services to commercial companies and to non-profits alike.
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