There aren’t a lot of registration software options on the market that are as versatile as both Regpack and Active Network. In this post we are looking at them head to head!
Active is valued at more than a billion dollars, has more than 10,000 employees and is traded in the stock market.
Regpack is privately owned and has way less than 10,000 employees.
But…at least once a week, one Active Network client moves to Regpack.
Another 2 or 3 tell us to contact them on X date when their contract ends with Active since they want to move to Regpack. Sounds crazy, right?
It just goes to show that when an organization is considering their software options, it is not always about size, but about smarts. So here is our little David and Goliath comparison.
Why to even compare Active Network to Regpack?
Most registration software companies out there are focused on one or two things – like summer camp registration software or sports league management software or membership management software. But Regpack and Active Network pretty much do it all, from nonprofits to membership to sports to camp and almost everything in between!
They are the only two general registration software options out there. Active needed millions in investment to achieve this, Regpack just needed a really smart way of saving and manipulating data. I already said David and Goliath, right?
Now let’s get into the similarities and differences between Regpack and Active Network.
Let’s start with what is unique between Active Network, Regpack and all the rest: they are general registration tools.
How do the two manage to do this and why are they the only two?
Active Network achieves this by having multiple systems. What they have been doing for years is buying out companies that do a specific process like RegOnline and Activia. They buy the company and add it to their overall offering. This means that if you use Active for multiple purposes you will need to learn multiple interfaces and worse yet, you will not be able to share the data between your events, camps, non-profit or anything else.
Regpack takes a totally different approach: to actually create technology that can do general registration in one space. Regpack is built on the founder’s Ph.D. in data structures and saving mechanisms (yes I know sounds terrible). Basically, what Regpack managed to do was create a database that has no structure and therefore is able to morph into any structure needed. Remember the liquid robot in Terminator 2 – Regpack is like that (without being evil).
This means that when you are creating multiple registration processes in Regpack, you really are using a general registration tool. This means that everything is shareable and information can be moved from one registration to the next. Limitation of resources creates the most engaging solutions.
Online Registration Features
Now that we have the ability only Active Network and Regpack have out of the way, let’s look at the comparison chart below to see how they stack up to each other on all other aspects.
Check out the comparison chart below to see how Active and Regpack stack up against each other.
Regpack and Active Network are pretty much equal when it comes to the big name features most companies are looking for when they are in the market for registration software. These include:
- Email Communication Tools
- Integrated Payment
- Customizable Forms
- Purchase Protection
Solicitation and Marketing
Regpack doesn’t sell or advertise or solicit to your users. Active Networks may advertise or solicit your users, with a function to turn it off per user. When it comes to user data, a great question to ask any registration provider is who owns the data, and what rights does the registration software company have when it comes to your data, if any.
Active Network works with a lot of organizations and offers up a free listing to their events database to their clients, which is great for marketing. On the flip side, Active has been known to sign-up attendees up for an Active “membership”, and many attendees are frustrated by this. This is a big reason Active clients look to Regpack as an alternative after this happens to their attendees.
Active also signs up attendees to their Newsletters, automatically so attendees must opt-out. Depending on the user experience you are wanting to pass on to attendees, this is a consideration.
The basic idea behind conditional logic is it sets up a logical flow of forms and questions for every individual applicant. For example, if you have a camp that offers before or after care, you might ask “Do you wish to enroll in Before and After care?”. If the answer is no, then the flow continues to the next form. If the answer is yes, another set of forms will be added for the parent to select which aftercare options and complete any paperwork specific to this program.
This makes the registration process flow perfectly for every unique family. A family not doing aftercare will have a shorter process and won’t be shown any forms that don’t relate to the program they are registering for. This makes registration easy to follow and understand.
Regpack takes conditional logic a step further and activates it for filtering and reporting on applicants. Essentially you can allow conditional logic for any data point, including forms, products, payment plans and more. With Regpack you can also stack conditions on top of each other. For example, if you want to see all campers who have completed an aftercare form, who are male, and have not yet paid their full balance, you can do that with Regpack!
This is a very powerful tool that makes managing registration, campers and payments MUCH easier. It helps to build a big picture of all your data, including demographic information and financials.
Pricing: Regpack vs Active
Regpack has the advantage of being more affordable for most businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses. The pricing models of each differ.
Regpack charges a monthly fee for each administrator who accesses the system. Plans start at $89.
Active doesn’t charge based on admin access, but per participant who registers for your program or event. You can choose to have the participant pay the processing fee, but that basically ups the price of your offering and you might not be competitive anymore due to that.
With Regpack, you can receive payments as soon as the next business day deposited directly into your bank account. With Active, you are paid every 2 weeks. Refunds can’t be processed automatically through Active, they instead must be handled by you and your client. Refunds can be automatically issued and processed with Regpack. There are pros and cons to both of these procedures and the better choice is ultimately what makes the most sense for your business, which will differ for everyone.
Month to Month Contracts vs. Annual Contracts
Another reason Regpack gets clients from Cvent or Active is because Regpack offers month-to-month pricing vs other registration software options that offer only annual, or sometimes 2 year minimum contracts.
Whether you are an organization that is seasonal and you don’t need an entire year of a registration software OR you want the flexibilty to leave a software if it isn’t meeting your needs, signing on to a month to month gives peace of mind, and can save you money.
Regpack does offer an annual plan that comes with a 10% discount if you sign up, but that is not required, and any organization can take advantage of month to month. Many Regpack clients suspend their accounts for the months they don’t need it. This is a great option for an annual event where registration only spans a few months, or a summer camp.
Embedded on YOUR Website
This is actually a unique feature in the camp registration software space. As you can tell from the full chart up at the top of this post, only Regpack and Regpoint offer this feature.
Embedding your registration allows you to place the registration forms and process payments, right from your website, instead of directing them to another website. This means applicants stay on your website and your registration process is consistent with your branding.
Embedding the process doesn’t cost extra, and you can still have Regpack or Active host your registration on their website if you don’t have one or prefer it not sit on your URL.
As always, when choosing a registration software, follow these steps:
- Define your needs, then your wants. Make a list of what you need from a system, as well as things that would be nice.
- Compare options to see if what you NEED is offered.
- Once you get a nice handful of options that give you what you need, reach out to them and schedule demos. The best way to see if the software is a good fit for you is to do a demo and see the system. Is it user-friendly? Intuitive?
- Compare costs. And not just the price of the system, but the total cost. With Regpack and Active, you see their pricing models differ greatly. Unpack the true cost of the system, ask questions and understand your number of users, your needs and how you will use the system – what is the real cost of using that software. What looks cheaper initially isn’t always (but sometimes is!) the most affordable option.
- Go with your gut! There is no science behind this, but often times if you’ve narrowed down your choices enough, there is one that just stands out. Go with it!
If you want to learn more about how to choose a registration software, check out this handy eBook. Bonus? It’s totally free!