McKee is a show secretary? Things make soooo much sense now.
It seems to me that show secretaries might want to do some costing and figure out how much labor this saves them. I don't think an exhibitor is going to enjoy the logic of "Pay an office fee and then pay for a form of entries that speeds up the office's work, with no reduction for the saved labor passed along."
If it were true that you could walk into the show office and hand them a blank entry form and say please fill this out for me then you'd be making a really valid point.
The convenience to the exhibitor is that they put their information in one time and create entries from then on in about 30 seconds. They then get feedback into their account electronically from the show on the status of their entry/stall. If the show is set up for credit cards they can pay their deposit without mailing a check.
The system was created for the convenience of the exhibitor, any convenience the show derives is incidental.
Sportdata whats the office fee for then? Why should people pay an additional fee when they are already paying an office fee?
Horseshowing.com will begin charging a fee, as described in the OP, on December 1st to be able to keep the lights on and to be able to continue to provide the service. The terms of service, which anyone who signed up had to certify that they read before being allowed to create an account, clearly states that "The online entry service is free to the exhibitor for the time being. Some reasonable charge will be required for the service in the future". The service has been free for a year and thousands of dollars have been spent to make it available.
We understand that you guys get hit with a lot of fees, but the idea that there is any connection between the fee for online entry and those other fees is just false.
Each individual will have to decide if the convenience of the service justifies the cost. Some will go back to paper entries and if they do they may realize that it is worth it to them, especially if they value their time.
I find the pricing structure a bit confusing, frankly. Over on the Dark Side, there's a similar popular online entry system, EventEntries.com, which charges a flat yearly fee (~$10) for storing your signatures, coggins, etc. and allowing you to do entries online. I have to wonder if there wouldn't be less complaint if Horseshowing.com just did a flat-rate annual program as well, for riders/trainers who want to make use of it, rather than a somewhat confusing per show day fee structure.
Honestly, I think the ability to do entries online is far overdue, and is a great step forward for both competitors and organizers. And not just at the national level; I've loved being able to do entries online for the local dressage GMO, and all they've been using is a simple online form and a flat, per-entry fee. I just think that there needs to be a flatter, simpler fee structure for it, either a flat rate per year or per entry.
One of my short comings in life is not reading things thoroughly.
I guess this thread is a good example of that. If I have to pay for the service I will. I find it to be valuable service and a time saver.
As much as I agree that I hate having to pay yet one more fee, the schedule info and count info for each class is priceless to our farm in that it allows us to plan a lot better without calling the show secretaries 100 times. And when you look at the fact that you probably spend more than $5 a day at a horse show for coffee (or is that only me :)?), the cost is not bad at all.
We had a year of data to analyze to determine the fairest way to do this. People can put the show days into their account for what they plan to do for the year and they've made an annual payment if that's the way they prefer to do it. And it's an annual payment tailored to them, not one size fits all.
The minimum purchase that can be made is 5 show days, because of the way credit cards work, for the largest single set of users that $5 payment will be the only payment they need to make for the entire year.
I would frankly rather pay once and be done with it. As someone doing entries for multiple horse for a barn, I now have to go chase down a dollar here, and four dollars there. A flat rate option in addition to the pay as you go model, may be the best of both worlds. Now if it were only easier to get the classes to move from the list to the entry, all of the problems would be solved, LOL.
Regarding adding the classes, because it is a multi-select situation you have to click and release or ctrl/click (cmd/click on a Mac) to make the selections before dragging. Recently some message were added that will help you with this if the system detects that you're dragging an empty list of classes.
I know that Fox Chase Farm in Middleburg, has been using this service ,and they are not happy with the new charge to their customers ,especially since they offer a discount to people for signing up on line .FC is a small business which puts on high quality local horse shows,and Horseshowing.com is making it more difficult for FC to keep THEIR lights on.
Please keep in mind that this service is only for shows that use this show software. Equestrian connect can be used by ANY horse show, regardless of the software they use. Equestrian connect can be read, and if the software has made the appropriate changes to their system, the entry data can be imported directly into their software. Now that is easy! The yearly cost per horse is not that expensive and is very easy to understand.
The idea of being charged a different rate based on the length of the show is ridiculous IMO. The entry blank is the same, the information needed is the same, why would the cost be different.
Additionally, I personally believe, as a show secretary, that having a database online that is used for exhibitors to enter can be a HUGE risk. We go to great lengths to make sure that our exhibitor data is secure, having it online for this type of online entry system is a liability I am not comfortable with.
This is not the only software that provides class counts online. I actually don't know of any software to does not have this option. Some shows may not use it, but that is the shows choice and may simply be that they do not have a reliable internet source during the show.
Well, my 2 cents...I found the service mildly interesting, the software annoying...and really no more time saving than scanning and emailing an entry. So, with the fee, as small as it is, I will no longer use the service.
You are being paid by the show managers. Regardless of your statement that the service may not be free in the future, you are not thinking about WHO your service is more convenient for... not necessarily the clients or the trainers, but the show managers. My clients who have gotten your email are already frustrated and angry.
Look - whether paper or email entries, show management charges anywhere from $20-$50 for office fees. Your program isn't perfect and, frankly, a bit of a PITA for new users and even return users. Don't charge the users, it looks like double-dipping on your part.
sportdata, I'm dying to hear your rationale on this one. Either way seems to me like you're creating ill will with your customers (the shows) and their customers (the exhibitors)