Major new features
We now support recurring memberships. Your customers can now sign up and enter their credit card details once and we will automatically invoice them on a recurring interval. We support billing on any number of weeks, months or years.
In order to support our new recurring membership support, we've partnered with Stripe. Their fees are the same as our other payment provider, Braintree, but their APIs allow us to support recurring memberships. If you are interested in transitioning your membership base to recurring payments, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can assist you with setting up new membership types and creating a Stripe account.
Events and Equipment Reservation Merge
Previously in our system, we had distinct records, with separate records and separate calendars for equipment reservations and events. We've heard from almost all of our customers that this led to duplicate data entry for any events that had equipment (such as a sailing class). We also heard that many of you would like to be able to have members sign up as participants or crew on other members' reservations. Finally, we heard that many of you wished to take payments with reservations.
To accomplish this, we've merged all equipment reservations into events, as what is an equipment reservation, but an event with some equipment? You'll see all of the existing equipment reservations have been migrated to events with the "Equipment Reservation" visibility and can now, optionally, show on both the Events Calendar, as well as the Equipment Reservation Calendar. Especially for smaller organizations, this will give you a more complete one-stop view of your business. We've triggered the visibility for each of you based on our understanding of your business needs, but feel free to contact us if you would like the events to be hidden or shown differently.
The calendars have stayed the same. You will still see all your events on the Events Calendar. You will now also however, see all events that use equipment on the Equipment Reservations Calendar as well.
When creating or updating an event, you will see a new section, Equipment where you can pick the "usage" and particular equipment to associate with an event. Once you pick a schedule on the top part of the page (same as before), you will see the "reserve equipment" widget update to show you the availability of the particular equipment you want to use. It will also show you if any equipment is "secured" or broken and unable to be reserved.
When creating a reservation via the reservation calendar (as it was in previous versions), we offer a more compact form for your members to use to reserve equipment. Internally it creates an event, but hides many of the more advanced options. All the form requires is picking equipment, usage and a schedule. That said, when creating a reservation, you can now:
- Pick multiple sessions under one reservation.
- While you can still create recurring reservations, you can also create one reservation with multiple dates. This allows you to say reserve a boat for a whole race series. If information changes, you can easily adjust all the sessions, without having to edit each one individually. Using a recurring reservation creates multiple events, each of which is independent.
- Let your members open up reservations to other members.
- This functionality allows you to let your members post public events with participant slots. This way, other members or guests can sign up as crew/participants on their reservation.
- This feature is disabled by default. Contact us at email@example.com if you want it enabled.
Which form (full vs. basic reservation) a user can use depends on their permissions. Members with the "create events" permission can create events using the full form. To edit events, they need either "edit events" or "edit own events". Members with the "create equipment reservation" permission can use the basic reservation form. An important note: the basic form performs rating and membership checks on a reservation, the full form does not. If you give members access to the full form, they will be able to reserve equipment they are not necessarily rated on and/or can create events past the expiration of their membership.
Combining reservations and events also exposes payment functionality to reservations. We don't offer self-service payments on reservations yet, but admins can create an event with linked equipment that requires payment as a way to collect payments for equipment usage. We explain that in more detail in "How to set up a paid boat charter".
Finally, for some organizations, you may wish to not reserve equipment when creating an event, but rather allow a user to reserve equipment when they register for an event. An example of this might be a kayak trip. Each person will have a preference to the particular boat they want to use, but you won't know that until they register. To use this feature, when creating the event, rather than selecting specific equipment when you create it, select allowable categories people can reserve:
When a member/customers goes to sign up for the event, they will now be prompted to optionally reserve equipment:
This equipment is linked to their particular registration, so if the user drops their registration, the equipment will be freed.
Finally, equipment can also be linked to an event template. When instantiating a template, you can also reserve additional equipment not linked to the specific template. This allows you to have one template for a class of events (such as "J/24 Lesson"), but only pick the boat when actually creating the event. Once you pick the event schedule, the "create event from template" page will show you equipment availability during the new event timeframe.
Tree-form event categories
Previously in Club Manager, event categories had two fixed levels, "category" and "sub-category". For most clubs this worked fine, but some requested the ability to have more granular control over categories, specifically to better handle prerequisite ratings. Categories are now managed in a "tree" format. No longer does every category have to have a subcategory, but any category can have any number of subcategories and parents. This will allow you more control over event prerequisites, calendar display (since colors are linked to categories) and reporting. You'll notice new category selection widgets throughout the system.
Equipment Inventory Export
You can now export your equipment inventory to Excel for reporting purposes. Click the "Export Equipment" button on the "Equipment Inventory" page, pick the fields you want in your export and enjoy.
We've made a bunch of smaller enhancements in this release. Some highlights are:
- The old events calendar (pre 5/3 update) used colors to show the status or visibility of events. In the 5/3 update, we changed this to instead use colors to represent different types or categories of events. This allowed you to easily distinguish by a glance of the calendar what types of events you were offering. We heard from a few people that you missed the status indicators, so we now added those back via icons on the calendar.
- You can now add Event Questionnaires to event templates to save the extra step when creating events based on a template.
- We have the option to hide participant counts on events for non-admins. If enabled (contact us), non-admins will no longer see counts on the Open Event List or on an event page, but only if the event is open or full.
- We now offer the option to disable the requirement for mailing addresses for all customers.
- Member-based custom fields can now be printed on event rosters.
- We added new quick links on the top right of the page to purchase a membership or sign up for an event, the only actions the majority of your users will ever use.
- We've added caching in a number of places in the system to drastically improve page rendering. This is especially helpful on certain nights when some clubs send thousands of members to our system all at once.
- We've added the ability to save event searches. This allows you to add custom lists of events to your website. Contact us if you would like one set up for you.
- We've added some security improvements to improve the audit trail in our system.
- You can no longer edit any information about the "root" user or impersonate them.
- We have disabled the user impersonation feature for everyone. If your club wishes to utilize this feature, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can turn it on for your specific club.
- We now show the total amount a person has paid for an event much more visibly on the event page. Users with the "view financial reports" permission will now see the following:
As with all releases, we used this opportunity to squash a number of bugs in our system. Some notable ones include:
- We noticed a number of crashes when someone is either impersonating a user or when an admin has switched their view to a different location/club. We added a new error page showing this and allowing you to retry your action in the correct club/user context. It also has a much nicer look and feel and some more fun as well.
- We fixed a bug where organizations with wider logos would see their logo either overflow or be cut off.
- We fixed a bug in the "Invitation to Pay" feature that caused people who were already registered and partially paid (paid a deposit) who received invitations to be prompted to repay a deposit instead of the event remainder.
- We fixed a bug where event participants might be prompted to fill out a post-event survey before an event started.
- Regardless of how a member registered, if they owe money for an event, we show them in yellow or red on the event page (depending if their payment(s) are overdue).
- We fixed some mobile display glitches.
As always, we greatly appreciate feedback from all of our clients. As you read through these notes, almost all customers will see a feature or fix they suggested. Many of our development ideas come from you, so please please reach out to us at email@example.com if you have any suggestions on how we can improve Club Manager!