System Description and FAQ
Design Philosophy and System Features
- The system uses a 3rd party form provider (Cognito Forms) to collect data which is stored in the Rogaining Event Entries website database. The forms system is used to design custom forms to collect the necessary data for each event, and the website is then used to edit entries and download entry data.
- The overall design of the entry system seeks to minimise the amount of administrative effort required to manage the system, and to make it as easy as possible for rogainers to use the system.
- It is also very flexible. Each organisation that uses the system can develop their own template for their entry forms, and use different rules for categories, entry fees, late fees etc.
- If additional data needs to be collected for a particular event (e.g. numbers of campers) it can be easily added to the entry form for that event.
- As an administrator, there are two main components to the system:
- Cognito Forms – this service is used to design the entry form for each event. See here for a guide on how to set up forms. It is not difficult to set up a new event, since there are templates to copy.
- Event Administration page – this web page has all of the event data available for download as text files (for input into Navlight and for admin on event day). Do not use Cognito Forms to edit existing entries or to download entry data – that needs to be done through the rogaining website.
- As a user, the system has the following features:
- the first time you follow a link to an entry form you will be asked to log in to the website using Google or Facebook, or register a new account with a username and password. When you submit a team entry, the data you submit will be saved in your user profile and when you enter next time the forms will be pre-filled with all of your saved data (including the details of your regular rogaining partners).
- The form automatically calculates your team category, and your entry fees and concessions are adjusted according to the rules set by the event administrator.
- Payment is made in one transaction for each new team entered.
- The system allows you to edit existing entries, so you can add/remove team members, change course, team name etc.
- If additional money is required as part of a team change, it is collected at the time. If a refund is due, an email is sent to the event administrator and the administrator issues the refund via Stripe or PayPal
1. Does each participant have a unique ID? How do you track individual records? How do you get overall participation statistics?
Each website user has a unique user ID. However, since only one person registers a team, not all team members will need to have a website user number. It is easy to extract total unique participant numbers over a defined period of time from the database (based on unique names) so there’s not really any need for membership numbers in any case. QRA has developed a results database that provides a competitor’s history based on a search on their name:
2. What data does each user’s account include?
Name, Email, Phone, Date of Birth, Vegetarian Y/N, Student Y/N, Emergency contact details, plus details of up to four regular rogaining teammates. This data is only accessible to the user (via secure login) and to the event administrator via a password-protected download. Additional fields can be added on request (user address is likely to be added).
3. When a member forgets their password, how is a new password generated?
There is an automated password reset process handled automatically by the website. Users are encouraged to use the Facebook or Google login methods so that no password is required.
4. When a person enters an event, do they get a confirmation?
Yes, the event administrator can specify what confirmation emails get sent out when they set up the event form. By default, a user gets an email confirmation when they submit a new team entry and for each team change.
5. What event reports and data downloads are available?
The Event Adminstration page has all of the event data available for download, in various text file formats. Sensitive data is protected with a password that is defined when the event entry form is set up.
6. How is payment collected?
When an organisation sets up a form for the first time, the form is linked to their payment service provider. Stripe is recommended, because it has the lowest fees. If your organisation does not yet have a Stripe account, it can be set up very quickly and easily. Once it is linked, all of the fees are collected when new entries are submitted and fees are transferred by Stripe to your bank account daily. No credit card details are stored on the QRA website and they are not accessible to users in the Cognito Forms system.
7. Can people pay as individuals, or is payment collected for the whole team?
The person submitting the team entry pays in one go for the whole team. This minimises the administrative effort on the part of the event organisers. However, once a team has been set up, additional team members can add themselves and make payment as individuals. So if there is a team of two couples for example, one couple could enter the team and then the other couple could add themselves to the team (and make a separate payment for themselves at that time).
8. How are payments reconciled in the system?
There is no need for payment reconciliation because the full payment is made at the time of entry. If a refund needs to be made, or an event administrator needs to confirm payment, a search can be done in the Stripe system using the ‘Email for Entry Confirmation’ collected as part of the entry process.
9. How are team categories worked out? Can custom categories be defined?
The template forms in the Cognito system have logic built into them for working out the correct category for teams based on the standard ARA rogaining categories. If custom categories are required (e.g. Novice, Family, Junior etc.) these can easily be added by modifying the logic in the form.
10. Can vouchers be used for payment or for discounts?
Yes, there are template forms available that include lists of voucher codes that can be used for payment or partial payment.
11. How are volunteers recorded and managed in the system?
Each organisation has a different way of managing volunteers and volunteer rewards, and there are a few options for incorporating this into the system. QRA does record all volunteers in the website database, so a list of volunteers for each calendar year can be extracted. A similar method can be used for other organisations.
12. What are the costs?
Cognito Forms handles payments through a Stripe, PayPal or Square. At the moment QRA is covering the cost of a ‘Teams’ subscription for the Cognito Forms service (about $300 per year) which brings the per-entry cost down to the cost of the payment handler (for Stripe this is 1.75% + $0.30 per transaction). Most organisations using the system are using Stripe because it has the lowest cost per transaction if the transaction amount is over $66.