Last-Minute Registration Advice | Facebook Live With Cathy And Reid

by Reid on July 21, 2020

Last-Minute Registration Advice | Facebook Live With Cathy And Reid






Reid: Hello Facebook! It’s Reid Mihalko from creator of  And I’m here with Cathy Vartuli, the organizer tricks of sex geek summer camp and also dean of sex geek summer camp grad school. Something new that we’re doing this year.

Cathy: Yup

Reid: And we’re at Cathy’s secret lair, somewhere in San Jose. We’re having a work weekend and as you sign on, say hi from wherever you are. Where…where are you watching from? And Cathy and I were… we did feverishly, feverishly working for… I guess I should use my glasses on so I can see the phone. Working feverishly to get camp up and running because camp is less than 30 days away so we are in our last-minute preparation window and our question today is are you a last-minute kind of person? And some advice for last-minute registration and also like last-minute running of events and stuff like that. And Cathy say hi you haven’t been on the channel for a while.

Cathy: No, how is everybody doing? It’s good to see you.

Reid: How is everybody doing?

Cathy: Yeah. Hi from Berkley.

Reid: You can see that? Jesus, how do you do that? So we had some…we have questions and we’re planning emails scheduling emails to go out as we come up to camp. And as things get closer to camp, we get busier and not more distracted but we’re focused on like getting pax because we have to pack. Making sure everything shipped you know getting ready for us to disappear into the wilderness

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: and that that’s kind of a predictable thing so there will be people who have last-minute questions coming in last minute while we are swamped with getting to the event. So

Cathy: And we’ve got better. The fact is much more comprehend so that

Reid: Yup

Cathy: you’re wondering where [Inaudible 00:01:51]

Reid: Frequently asked questions didn’t kind of existed year one. And it’s normal that whenever you start something you have none of it figured out. You’re kind of beta testing something and now in year four for camp we have a fact, we’re tweaking, we’re like luxuriously tweaking some of the policies, adding some other things, nerding out on accessibility issues.

Cathy: Well, see if you think that it’s luxurious at 2:00 a.m. when we were still working on the sales pages and stuff and everything’s.

Reid: It’s fine. Everything’s going fine. But what’s some advice do you have now that you’ve run camp for three years in a row. This will be its four

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: We have advice for people who are even considering running a big event or people who are registering last-minute for camp because either they just found out about it or they just realize they could get time off from work. What do you got?

Cathy: So if you’re just registering for camp, congratulations it’s fabulous actually. I would go to the camper fact, you’ll get an email after right after you sign up and there’s a link to that. Go and actually read it there’s a lot of details in there that could help you go, “Oh my god. I wasn’t going to bring the sheets but they charge $20 at the campgrounds to get sheets” or “Oh bug spray,” it can help you like remember things you would forget.

Reid: We have a packing list, we have all kinds of stuff now. So what Cathy just referenced is there’s actually two FAQ’s. There’s the one that’s at, which is and this is something I would recommend for your events. If you’re going to do annual events and if you launch if you do launches for your events, I would recommend creating an FAQ page that has all the basic FAQ’s and the registration buttons. That’s kind of like the quick page it’s not the one where somebody has to watch a video for 40 minutes.

Cathy: Especially on the ad when people are like I need to jump on this.

Reid: Yeah. So, so one of the things that sex geek summer camp has is if you go to you can sign up for free video trainings where you get a sense of who I am as a person, you get some fun tips around business and then you get invited to check out the…the sales page for camp. And that sequence is like 5 or 7 days long so where that’s a problem is if somebody signs up via the week before camp

Cathy: and that way didn’t get to the buy button.

Reid: They don’t get the email where they can register until like 5 days later. So I have an FAQ page which is you know which has the buy buttons to register for camp has most almost all the questions there because that’s the FAQ that we build out more and more and more and then we add that to the other sales page. So I would recommend having a quick registration FAQ page for everybody that’s kind of evergreen and then when people register there’s the FAQ you know number two,

Cathy: The camper, the secret camper.

Reid: Yeah this is the I’m coming to the event FAQ. And this has

Cathy: All the links.

Reid: All the links

Cathy: Every secret details that are not available.

Reid: Yeah. It has it has the Buy button for the sex geek summer camp bus. So if you want to ride with everybody on a register or charge a bus from the DC airports to camp because it’s about two and a half hour drive. If you want to bond with everybody on the down the camp bus sing songs have snacks then those buttons are on the register camper page well.

Cathy: Just for me when I’m running event too and this is also children going tune in that last minute I kind of let people know, “Hey, I’m going to be off great from bit” like people that aren’t related to the event I’m like, “Hey”, the next month if I don’t get back to you please don’t take it personally and ‘coz

Reid: Yeah

Cathy: I’m going to be offline and clear the deck as much as possible because if there’s a lot of the last-minute like we thought we had a lot of things figured out and someone sent an email asking a very legitimate great question but it’s taking a lot of time and discussion to try to figure out how we might accommodate that.

Reid: Yeah, yeah. And that’s where you’re a lot of like your policies come from. Is you won’t think about all your policies ahead of time, a lot of your policies and your aha moments come hopefully from your community and the questions that they ask that’s a lot less we’re almost all the FAQ come from. Is we’re like “oh, this question has been asked three or four times”

Cathy: So let’s put it

Reid: Let’s put it on the FAQ. And then it becomes easier because when somebody emails you about a question because if you’re like me, I don’t read everything I get when I register for an event you just keep reminding them “oh go to this link, it should be there. Go to this link, it should be there.” And you just you can fire off and email really quickly and already have that question answered so one, it looks professional but two, it saves you time which is going to be valuable when it’s two weeks before your event.

Cathy: Yeah. You know, trying to think up all the answers remember what you said to other people and you want to be consistent. I also if you’re registering last minute, I encourage you to set aside a couple hours and just like book everything right away. Like we’ll… the email comes pretty quick with the….the bus link and other information and it’s when we have months, it’s easier to really put it off and like “Oh yeah. I need to buy that ticket”, the plane tickets do go up the cost cut you like in another week they’re going to start at going up pretty significantly in cost.

Reid: Yeah. Generally speaking, if people

Cathy: Reads

Reid: seem to say and it seems to still hold true that that three week window before you need to fly if you haven’t bought your ticket yet buy it then because it tends to be where things are lowest priced and then they start to steep steeply climb but then the other thing happens too is that sometimes those flights that are perfect for you, they get sold out.

Cathy: Yeah. That’s the time you try the bus or a ride or.

Reid: Yeah. Or the only ticket left is business coach and and that’s you know if you’re trying to save money then booking you tickets either super early or definitely around that three-week window seems to work best for a lot of people

Cathy: And right now like you filling out your application does take about 15 minutes and it’s important to do that because you don’t get the room upgrades about it. As of right now there are some upgrades that’s not a lot but there’s some left but we’re having record attendance this year.

Reid:  Yeah. We broke records. We’ve….we are….we officially have more people coming to camp than we’ve ever had before and we’re a month out. Like we’re 28 days out so it we’re going to get more people. So, so register soon if you can. Other things last-minute stuff I would say if you are running an event and you have a multiple pay option…

Cathy: Take it down

Reid: Take it down the month out. I mean you can always make exceptions when people really need a multiple pay but the challenge is, I mean ideally if you want all the money in your bank account by the time the event goes off

Cathy: It’s much harder to track list of someone from through 2014 that never finish paying.

Reid: Yeah. And if you’re watching, that person who still owes me $100 it from 2014’s camp you know who you are because I emailed you like since 2014. I’ve been emailing you and now come on like what’s that about? Come on if you just send me a dollar a day we would be done.

Cathy: Like, it’s like…

Reid: And everybody’s in you know some people get into weird situations

Cathy: You wanna make sure like you’re of that your event cost don’t much run camp literally cost like $490 a person to run. So like

Reid: I make seven dollars. That’s right, seven dollar bucks.

Cathy: If you’re lucky

Reid: So the deal is, from a….an organizer perspective, at that month out take all your payment options away except for for one pay. So that you can have the most amount of money in your bank account to write the check that you need to write when you arrive on on site. Or that you can cover you know the credit card that you swipe because you want points if you’re lucky enough to be like running your event at a hotel or something and you can put on my charge card and get points for it.

Cathy: But the bus, the campground, they always want their money at the bank.

Reid: And then you know writing a check for food you know to…to pay at this point, how many people do we have coming?

Cathy: 77

Reid: 77 campers. So we’re going to have more than 77 campers to feed campers three meals a day for five days. That’s a big check in it and it helps when I have all the money already in the bank account so you don’t want to necessarily have all these pay options where it’s three or four months after your event people are still paying and you have to chase people down. It just it makes it it’s a lot of wear and tear on use so please don’t make a lot of exceptions. But payment plans are really helpful to get people to be able to attend your events. So get creative with how you can…can let people attend your events and make them financially stable. We’ve got ten percent battery power.

Cathy: It’s very typical.

Reid: So what’s…what’s a couple of other things Cathy?

Cathy: Well, Abrams Creek is great. Their campground, they do have some things you can they have a store a couple miles away and they’ve been really great about if someone forgot a lantern or bug spray or whatever, they’ve been really accommodating. They really go out of their way to make people feel comfortable. So like don’t panic, I know some people that will pack for a week and feel a little stressed. You know bring what you need, do your best but there are ways to get things from too far away usually to fill needs if you miss something.

Reid: Yeah and then you’re coordinating your you know you shouldn’t be responsible for people’s rideshares but set up a Facebook group where when people register, they can be a part of the group so that they can talk to each other about rideshares and stuff like that because there’s a couple of people that need to come in on Saturday when camp officially starts and not the early arrival bonus day which is when the sex geek summer camp bus arrives on the 28th. So like creating a Facebook group so that people can support each other that will help alleviate some of your anxiousness and or you know giving more bandwidth.

Cathy: And they can answer each other’s questions and support

Reid: Yeah

Cathy: each other and share each other on, that…that I love the Facebook group for sex a summer camp for that.

Reid: So, so as you know as an event organizer you’re trying to, you’re anticipating that there’s going to be this last-minute crunch and hopefully last-minute signups. But how do you design situations and your systems powerfully so that during that last-minute crunch which includes you getting ready to actually run or teach your event, don’t forget you’re actually a teacher too.

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: How can you anticipate your needs and your attendee’s needs for that last-minute rush and crush so that you can actually show up on site and not be a complete wreck?

Cathy: Yeah thanks Cole

Reid: Hi Cole.

Cathy: She said…they said congratulations.

Reid: Yay! I still can’t believe you can see that. I have glasses on and I can’t…oh I guess we do it this way. It look down and bifocals

Cathy: You look a little silly.

Reid: These are these trends where they call it trend… bifocals but they’re…there’s another word for them it’s a fancy word, transitional or something.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Okay, so that’s it. We get back to work. Leave your comments if you have any questions about camp go to and leave your comments for last-minute events or last-minute registration stuff.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Like also if you’re registering last-minute, once you register start packing like set stuff aside so that in the last minute whirling dervish of you having to leave for the airport, you don’t forget something important and again once you register you get a link to another FAQ that has the packing list and all this other good stuff.

Cathy: We’d love to see you there. I hope you come because we’d love to blow the record out of the water. If you want to help register today.

Reid: Yeah. Let’s, let’s make this the best camp ever. Alright. Bye everyone. Happy 4th of July weekend. If you’re celebrating 4th of July and hit some emoticons.

Cathy: Make it rain.

Reid: Make it rain emoticons, everyone, we’re just suckers for emoticons. Bye. Thanks, Cathy.

Cathy: Yeah.

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