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View Full Version : Competitors and Trainers - what do you want from your show secretary?



TrakHack
Jun. 6, 2011, 02:31 PM
I am a show secretary in the process of deciding whether to upgrade my own Excel-based system or purchase software specifically designed for horse shows. Before I make any decision, I want to know what people riding and training will actually find useful, not just what different organizations require for points.

As competitors and trainers, what information do you want when you check-out? Give me your wish list. I'm focusing on check-out here, but if you have other wishes please include them as well.

ParadoxFarm
Jun. 6, 2011, 03:06 PM
I always like to know what place I was (if I placed) out of how many entries in the class. I like to save these receipts for my records and see how I did in past shows.

Rel6
Jun. 6, 2011, 03:19 PM
Honestly, the thing that matters most to be is someone who is polite and nice. I know it gets really busy at the end of the show, but rushing me and making me anxious doesn't make me move any faster.

I like to know my placings out of how many for each class, as someone else stated. I want to know how much each class is, my fees, and my total. As someone who shows multiple horses sometimes, I want to know the mount for each class so I know what horse got what ribbon. I also want to know if I was champ or reserve (although I know if you check out early you're not going to be able to know that.)

goblinhollow
Jun. 6, 2011, 03:22 PM
I believe the program I had to learn to use in ONE NIGHT to do the entries for a small "c" is called "It's Show Time" ... It is a really great and easy to use in my opinion. But I have never used any other systems. I find having the program and all the things that it offers makes for a better show.

Giddy-up
Jun. 6, 2011, 03:30 PM
I like seeing things itemized. 1 stall. 6 shavings. Classes with prices listed (or by the division). all my misc fees. Then a sub-total AND then subtract my prize money. I hate when they just mix the prize money won in there cause then I have to get out a calculator to add & subtract everything so I can "see" it.

But I agree a POLITE organized secretary and a show manager who is accessible to answer questions makes a great office. Nothing like waiting in line to check out only to have a question & the show manager won't be back in the office "for awhile" and delays your leaving the show even more.

TrakHack
Jun. 6, 2011, 03:36 PM
Thanks very much for the feedback so far.

I agree completely with the request for a secretary who is polite and nice; the primary reason I do secretarial duties is because of the many not-so-nice secretaries I've encountered in my own time. My day-job is in a service industry, so I'm very sensitive to customer service.

I'm pretty handy with Excel, and my set-up is easy for me to enter data into, to get points information out of, and to check-out people and verbally outline what all is included in the final charge. I know folks find printed information helpful, though. In comparing what ShowPro provides, for my needs it doesn't seem worth the investment right now.

For placings, what would people think if you received everyone's placings in each class of the division(s) entered? I'm already set up to do this, but not to parse out individual horse/rider combos.

dab
Jun. 6, 2011, 06:40 PM
For placings, what would people think if you received everyone's placings in each class of the division(s) entered? I'm already set up to do this, but not to parse out individual horse/rider combos.I'd regret having made you kill a tree, but it's better than nothing -- I like getting this info at checkout since errors can be caught before they're submitted to USEF -- Perhaps you could just print and post the results near the secretary's desk -- I'd rather look the results up online than have to keep track of paper copies --

HunterJumperLuv
Jun. 6, 2011, 11:04 PM
As someone who works with ShowPro, I really like it. It has its bugs, as do all problems, but, once you really understand how the program works, the stuff you can do with it makes me really happy. Now, If you're only doing a one day show every once in a blue moon, sticking with excel may be your way to go, but if you're consistently secretarying, this will speed you up, in not only your set up, but also your check-out, and your results. Also, for multi-day horse shows, the stall splits, etc, is very handy. If its a circuit, you can link the shows, and it will pull prior unpaid bills from the week before. Theres a lot of little stuff that is really handy.

All that being said, there are bugs, but really any program will have them. On the plus side, every time i've encountered a bug that I can't work through (I'm a little of a computer geek) I've been able to call the programmer, and he either talks me through it, or fixes it himself. A couple times he's said "Send me the database... it shouldn't do that" and sure enough when it does, he sends it back with either a workaround to get you to the next update, or has it fixed. And many of these happen at all hours of the day :)

Not sure if that helps at all, but if you're serious about secretarying, I'd recommend ShowPro. I haven't worked so much with other programs, but we've looked into them, and have stayed with ShowPro for awhile.

Feel free to PM me any questions you have.

Hunter Mom
Jun. 6, 2011, 11:28 PM
Our local circuits use ShowPro, too, and it works well. you can get all sorts of reports with it. I've piddled with it some, and it's not hard to learn.

That said, the most important thing in a secretary's booth is the ability of the human there to be polite, patient and helpful, regardless of the computer program or lack thereof. Candy doesn't hurt either. :)

KnickerB
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:36 AM
As someone who works with ShowPro, I really like it. It has its bugs, as do all problems, but, once you really understand how the program works, the stuff you can do with it makes me really happy. Now, If you're only doing a one day show every once in a blue moon, sticking with excel may be your way to go, but if you're consistently secretarying, this will speed you up, in not only your set up, but also your check-out, and your results. Also, for multi-day horse shows, the stall splits, etc, is very handy. If its a circuit, you can link the shows, and it will pull prior unpaid bills from the week before. Theres a lot of little stuff that is really handy.

All that being said, there are bugs, but really any program will have them. On the plus side, every time i've encountered a bug that I can't work through (I'm a little of a computer geek) I've been able to call the programmer, and he either talks me through it, or fixes it himself. A couple times he's said "Send me the database... it shouldn't do that" and sure enough when it does, he sends it back with either a workaround to get you to the next update, or has it fixed. And many of these happen at all hours of the day :)

Not sure if that helps at all, but if you're serious about secretarying, I'd recommend ShowPro. I haven't worked so much with other programs, but we've looked into them, and have stayed with ShowPro for awhile.

Feel free to PM me any questions you have.

Agree with this! ShowPro is where it's at.