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Ready to Buy Recreation Software? Look For These 7 Features!

 

Your community has recreation galore! From pool memberships, summer camps, and sports teams to after care programs and community events, there are plenty of ways for people to get involved. But does your recreation organization have a good way to manage it all?

If you are looking for a comprehensive system to help you more efficiently manage your community’s recreation operations, it’s time to buy a new recreation software solution.

How do you pick the solution that will be best for your organization? When looking for new software, there are certain features you can’t ignore. Check out these 7 essential features to ensure you will get what you need from your new rec software:

  1. Activity Registration
  2. Facility Management
  3. Integrated Payment Processing
  4. Membership Management
  5. Reporting
  6. Scalable Options
  7. Customer Support

Bonus: Learn More About CommunityPass

Excited to learn about what recreation software features your organization really needs? Let’s dive into the first feature!

Recreation Software Feature #1: Activity Registration

What’s this recreation software feature?

Children get involved in so many activities. The registration forms for soccer, ballet, swim team, etc. start to pile up over time, and each form asks the same questions!

Activity registration is an important recreation software feature that makes it easy for people to register and pay online for sports, activities, classes and more.

Look for recreation software with an integrated online program catalog. This will make it easy for people to browse, search, and register for activities. People can find all the details they need in the catalog including program descriptions, eligibility, instructors, sessions, time, dates and costs. An added bonus: the catalog will be accessible online to your community 24/7 and save on printing costs.

You should also look for software with activity registration features that allow you to create customized online forms for:

  • Emergency contact information
  • Medical information
  • Media releases
  • Permission slips
  • Waivers

For the account set-up process, be sure to include all the necessary registration information for residents to fill out including names, ages, grades and contact information for all family members. 

Choose software that has the ability to save your residents’ family account information. This way, all registrations thereafter will automatically populate the same information, making the process even easier for residents. Easier registration processes mean more registrations! More registrations can lead to more revenue!

Why is activity registration an important feature for recreation management software?

Online activity registration makes the process much faster and easier for people to register and pay for different programs within their community. Online payments can be made by credit/debit card or E-Check. Say goodbye to long registration lines!

Online activity registration is also a more convenient way to collect information for your organization. Instead of keeping physical paperwork for every participant, everything is accessible online, making it easier to manage documentation, collect payments, download attendance sheets, and even reach out to registrants via email and text.

Recreation Software Feature #2: Facility Management

What’s this recreation software feature?

Community centers, parks, fields, rooms and gyms are often reserved and rented for events, classes, sports, birthday parties, family picnics, and maybe even the local high school dance. But how do you keep track of who has access to which facility and when?

Maybe you keep track with a calendar on your website, or use a physical calendar in your office. There is a much easier way: recreation software with facility management capabilities.

Facility management one important recreation software feature that makes it easy to view available facilities, request and approve reservations, and avoid costly double bookings! A centralized master calendar feature informs people in the community which facilities are available and when.

Online calendars are not only great for showing when facilities are in use, but also can help spread the word about different events and programs as people browse.

Why is facility management an important feature for recreation management software?

Facility management software makes it easy for people to request facility reservations. For example, if someone wants to reserve a soccer field for a tournament, he or she can check the calendar to make sure the field is available and fill out an online request form within the same recreation software.

Look for recreation software that allows your organization to require administrative approval in order to reserve facilities. With this feature your administrator can review, update, apply charges, or add requirements to a facility request prior to approving or declining it.

This software feature also helps to minimize the requests your organization denies because people can easily see the unavailable times on the calendar.

Recreation Software Feature #3: Integrated Payment Processing

What’s this recreation software feature?

Online payments are the norm in this digital age and processing these payments has become a seamless part of the registration process. So why not integrate payment processing into your recreation software?

Look for payment processing that is directly embedded into recreation software so you have one complete, fully integrated and secure solution. This solution should:

  • Enable people in your community to easily register and pay for purchases by credit card, debit card, or E-Check.
  • Make it more convenient for your organization to monitor and manage the funds collected for registrations and purchases.
  • Maintain PCI (payment card industry) compliance standards in order to keep data safe. This will ensure that credit card transactions are secure and legitimate, and that fraud protection is in place.
  • Manage refund requests and chargebacks.
  • Be supported by the software provider’s customer service team who should be responsible for answering any requests or questions you may have regarding payment processing on an ongoing basis.

Remember to ask software providers any questions you have about PCI standards or general payment processing.

Why is integrated payment processing an important feature for recreation management software?

Integrated payment processing facilitates convenient, secure online payments for individuals in your community and makes payment collection easier to manage for your organization.

Your organization can see the status of payments right from their software dashboard to easily manage payment processing and access information like:

  • Who has paid
  • Payment method
  • Daily settlement reporting
  • Monthly statements

In addition, integrated payment processing should accommodate recurring payments by allowing people to store their card information. Keeping your card on file makes it that much easier to pay for more activities in the future or pay for a recurring membership. In order to prevent declined transactions, the software provider should also offer the option to automatically update credit cards on file if a card is lost, stolen, or expired.

Recreation Software Feature #4: Membership Management

What’s this recreation software feature?

Membership management enables your organization to sell memberships online or in-office for all types of centers, pools, tennis facilities and more.

With this software feature, you can offer benefits such as barcoded photo membership cards and keyfobs. Staff will be able to scan members in and out of a facility, which makes attendance easy to track. When you’re able to monitor which visitors are in a facility at any given time, you are better able to assure the safety of that facility.

Be sure the membership management feature of your recreation software provides you with many different types of membership packages and options:

  • Seasonal passes
  • Day passes
  • Guest passes
  • Free passes
  • Recurring memberships

When a resident’s membership is close to its expiration, it is important for your recreation software to offer auto-renewal options and expiration reminders. Plus, with automated payments, members don’t need to worry about remembering to make their payments. It’s a win-win.

Why is membership management an important feature for recreation management software?

Membership management features within recreation software enable your organization to streamline all your membership operations and enhance engagement from membership registration and payment options to ID cards and email communication.

When your organization has access to membership management features, you can easily:

  • Create ID cards and key fobs
  • Scan members into a facility
  • Offer different pricing tiers for individuals, families, residents and non-residents
  • Offer automatic bill pay
  • Send membership renewal reminders
  • Target email and text messages to specific groups of members

Recreation Software Feature #5: Reporting

What’s this recreation software feature?

It can be a real hassle for organizations to keep track of all the data they collect and put it to good use. Comprehensive reporting is a key recreation software feature to help you stay informed with real-time, accurate data.

Data provides insights to help you make more confident decisions about future recreation planning. Reporting features enable your organization to access data such as:

  • Program registrants/rosters
  • Attendance
  • Financial data and statistics
  • Audit prep

Advanced recreation software should allow your organization to access a large variety of pre-built reports as well as be able to customize reports to your organization’s unique needs with an integrated report designer tool.

You should also be able to export reports to spreadsheets and integrate data with your organization’s financial system to enable your CFO/finance department to easily access data for audit preparation.

Why is reporting an important feature for recreation management software?

Reporting is an important feature because it enables you to see trends, issues, and available funds. Reporting provides you with actionable insights to make smarter decisions that will positively affect your organization and the community you serve.

For instance, if you see a dip in recreation involvement during the winter months, you may decide to add a winter-themed program to your catalog

Recreation Software Feature #6: Scalable Options

What’s this recreation software feature?

Do you have a small community with limited recreation facilities and programs? Or maybe a larger organization with multiple recreation centers? Either way, your community has very specific needs.

Some communities will need more features and applications from their recreation software, while others will only need the essentials. Recreation software with scalable options provides the flexibility to meet each organization’s specific needs.

It also gives you the option to add new features down the road if your community expands or your organization’s needs change. Make sure recreation software providers take the time to learn about your organization and understand your unique needs so they can recommend the right solution for you.

Why are scalable options an important feature for recreation management software?

Scalable options are important because each and every recreation organization has their own unique needs. There is no point in paying for features and technology that you are not using. However, you need to make sure you have all the features necessary to accomplish your goals.

If your organization’s goals change in the future, you need to make sure that the recreation software provider you choose today has a complete suite of features to grow with you into the future.

Recreation Software Feature #7: Customer Support

What’s this recreation software feature?

Have you ever had a problem with technology and had a difficult time getting the help you needed? Make sure this doesn’t happen when you’re choosing your recreation software provider.

Your recreation software provider should become a trusted partner. Choose a provider that offers:

  • Free, unlimited technical support via phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency support
  • Professional implementation and training
  • An online library with help and training resources
  • A reputation backed by outstanding customer service reviews

Make sure your recreation software is customer service-driven and specializes in building relationships with their customers.

Why is customer support an important feature for recreation management software?

Customer support is the feature that users hold close to their hearts. It is comforting to know that if you have any questions or need help with your software, someone will be there to provide you with personalized support.

You can feel confident your questions and requests will be addressed in a timely manner when your recreation software provider is a customer-driven company.

Bonus: Learn more about CommunityPass

CommunityPass is a leading recreation software provider that offers all 7 of these software features and more. With 15+ years of recreation experience, CommunityPass is the expert in offering a complete recreation software solution that will meet the needs of your organization.

With CommunityPass you will be able to easily process registrations and payments, create and scan membership ID cards, communicate with your members, create reports, and so much more. CommunityPass was designed by recreation professionals with you in mind, and has a customer support team that is second-to-none. Check out CommunityPass for a demo!


For more information about CommunityPass and recreation, check out these resources:

 

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recreation software?

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