McCallum Theatre has been a Regpack client for over 3 years. They use Regpack to help manage their educational programs as well as their Festival registration every year.
McCallum Theatre previously had used paper forms, and then just an Excel spreadsheet to manage registrations, but that just wasn’t cutting it.
Below is a conversation with Michael about how he and the McCallum Theatre are using Regpack to manage their educational programs, and save administrative time that is better spent enriching their offerings!
Thanks to Michael for taking the time to speak with Regpack!
Michael, tell me a little bit about yourself and your role at McCallum theatre.
McCallum Theatre is a presenting theatre. We’ve been here in Palm Desert for almost 30 years.
I work in the education department. I’m an education program coordinator. I’m in charge of Field Trips. We bring kids from all over the area into the theatre for all kinds of different performances. We have 21 shows in total. I’m also the coordinator of our Aesthetic Education Program which originated at the Kennedy Center. We take arts education into the public school classrooms here in 3 school districts in the valley. It’s a lot of logistics!
You’ve been using Regpack since 2014. What process were you using before to manage your registration?
I was brought into the department 5 years ago to better the technology. Until we began using Regpack, we just had a lot of handwritten and printed documents to keep track of everything.
I first introduced excel spreadsheets to the department so we could sort and track things a little bit better. Then the Regpack idea came up. I thought, oh that’s even better!
What led you to seek out Regpack or another online solution? Was Excel not working?
My co-worker in the Education Department runs the open call talent competition and choreography festival, where we bring in choreographers from all over the world to compete for awards.
She was also working off paper and then excel. She had the added component of taking in money and it was very difficult to transfer that money from the Education Department to Accounting. There were just a lot of complications involved in what she was doing.
People had to submit electronic audition tapes for both of her projects as well. It was just very very cumbersome. There was no online way to do this. People would send in CD’s of their submission, then it would have to be looked at and contact back if there was a problem.
Initially, it came about due to her needs for something that would be more functional, because it was just taking up too many man hours just her two projects.
Then, our IT coordinator went online and found Regpack. After our group demo, the Director of the Department loved the idea of Regpack. We decided to use it not just for our Choreography Festival, but all programs at the theatre as well.
What features do you love most about Regpack?
Speaking for Joanna, my co-worker who runs the Choreography Festival and talent competition, Regpack has made both of her projects a lot more functional and easier.
For example, it’s much easier to send electronic versions of auditions to the committee rather than copies of it. It’s just made her projects so much easier.
Before Regpack, for field trips, people were faxing in paper order forms. Once I introduced Excel to the department, I would take that paper form and type it into an excel spreadsheet. So once we started using Regpack, it just made that process so much easier. People enter their own information into Regpack and it’s so easy to download the information customers entered and then manipulate it.
I download my data into a CSV and then can modify and edit the information there as I need.
How has Regpack helped save you time?
I can take lunch breaks!
Our department is super busy and we experience what most education programs everywhere experience: doing a lot with a minimum staff.
So to answer your question, the ability to get work done! There was a time where it was hard to take a lunch because there was so much to do and it took so long to do it.
Also, peace of mind. I can take breaks here and there and I’m not sitting here with 200 paper forms that have been faxed to me, typing in spreadsheets right now. I’m creating my next field trip spreadsheet as we speak, and I’ve already got it almost done and it took me maybe 30 minutes. It’s just miraculous!
How are you using Regpack’s email tools?
Automated emails are the best. This year, my supervisor had wanted me to switch to Survey Monkey. She figured they are only filling out an online form, that’s all they do on Survey Monkey, so let’s change to that and save money.
We started looking at Survey Monkey and we realized we can’t do automated emails, and I can’t do my job without those. It will take too much time and the customer will be contacting me “Did you get it, did you get it?”. I won’t even have time to even send out these emails manually.
The automated emails were instrumental in keeping us with Regpack.
I was able to also point out that with Survey Monkey that while we could do what we wanted to do with Survey Monkey like with Regpack, it would cost more money than Regpack does. The whole reason to switch was to save money, but it wouldn’t even do that. And I’d rather stick with Regpack since I know the system well.
You bring up a good point that switching to another system can take time and energy on your end, which ultimately costs money.
It’s paid time I could be doing other things, and it’s stressful! You still have deadlines, you still have to get it done, whether you know how to use a software or not.
Why would you recommend Regpack to other educational program directors and coordinators?
Ease of use. Regpack support is very helpful. And when you look at other options, Regpack is a reasonable price for what you get.