Following a successful pilot with the Aberdeen branch, we are able to provide an online booking service to other branches for branch events. If interested please contact us and we will gradually roll out the service to interested branches over the coming months.
Benefits of branch events being bookable via Head Office
- a simple easy-to-use automated booking experience, with a choice of payment methods including credit/debit card or invoice. Telephone support available in office hours in case of any difficulties.
- a seamless approach for members – all Early Education events bookable in one place, and ease of renewing/joining while booking branch events
- reduced administrative load, including the facility for online or phone card payments to reduce invoicing or taking payments on the day
- easy access to delegate lists and real-time reports on bookings
- reduced need to get delegates to sign up to central mailing lists, as they can do this when booking
For the national organisation:
- increased membership take up/retention from regular branch attendees who can put through their event booking and membership in one transaction
- opportunities for increasing the awareness of Early Education’s other activities among non-members attending branch events and promoting membership
- an increased likelihood of getting those attending branch events to sign up for branch event updates on the central database, to allow us to improve and extend our mailing lists while meeting our obligations under GDPR.
How it works
1. Booking pages: As at present, the branch should send details of forthcoming events to Head Office (HO), but instead of providing a booking form or contact, the event will be set up to be bookable via the website. Details needed include event title, speaker name, venue and price. Documents can also be added eg a flyer or map of how to find the venue. There is no time restriction, so events can be added well in advance - a whole year's programme at a time is ideal as it allows members to plan ahead and make multiple bookings.
2. Pricing is up to the branch as at present - the online system allows members to book at the discounted members' rate automatically when they are logged in as members. If events are free for members a discount code is made available on the page so that logged in members can register for free, while bookings for non-members are unaffected. The system cannot currently distinguish students from other attendees, so at present for a cheaper student rate we have to ask students to contact us for a different code. In future we may be able to set up a system that automatically distinguishes student members, but non-members will always require a work around. The system cannot currently distinguish whether the booker’s membership category entitles them to 1, 5, 10 or 25 free places, so this is checked manually and if the booker has used more than their allotted places they are contacted regarding payment for the balance.
3. Confirmation of bookings Our online system generates an automatic confirmation email. We will not normally send out a further email with joining instructions for branch events due to the volume of bookings, but are happy to discuss with individual branches.4. Booking reports You will be able to see bookings in real time via the Branch Officers' Event Report (requires login, and only accessible by designated branch officers). This includes options for printing delegate lists and sign-in sheets. No contact details for delegates are included, so if you need to contact delegates eg to announce a change of programme or venue or a cancellation, please do so via HO.
5. Payments: Non-members can either pay online or phone by credit card, or can request an invoice. Normally we only invoice for amounts over £30, but there is some flexibility on this where needed. Branches may also choose to continue taking cash payments on the door if they chose to, provided this does not create confusion with the online bookings, eg if a delegate had been invoiced, we would recommend that payment is made to us via the usual channels, not via a cash payment on site.
6. Transfer of funds: The income will be held against a code in our accounts so we can clearly see the income and expenditure that relates to the branch, and we will report that to branches for each event, and transfer funds either after each event or on a termly basis.
To express interest in moving to this system, or to discuss any queries, please contact us.