For the past 9 years we have used the event management system software and computer servers of the largest online professional event registration and management company in the world — Regonline.com. We will use them again this year. When Madrona registration opens and you go to the Madrona website to register and click on the red button “Begin Registration”, this link takes you off our website and onto the large powerful servers in Colorado maintained by RegOnline on which we have programmed the Madrona registration process. Thousands of professional event managers use this system and more than a million attendees are registered each year at conferences and programs of major corporations, universities, organizations and associations throughout the world.
As you know, registration for us has not always been a flawless process. With RegOnline we have tech staff continually available 24/7 and we have worked extensively with them. They tell us that our registration is the most complex that they encounter. Yes, way more complex than the tens of thousands trying to purchase concert tickets online through Ticketmaster for a single event. Why is that? Our registration is like registering for multiple events at the same time. It is a product of the individual choices of registering multiple days and more than 100 classes, the number of functions that the software must conduct, and the small number of spaces available for each class selection (15-25). This could be managed just fine except for the avalanche of numbers of people wanting to register at the same time. It all combines to produce the “perfect storm.”
You can be our partner in making sure that registration goes smoothly by following some suggestions and instructions.
- We ask you to be sure to follow the Do’s and Don’t’s for registering that are on the Madrona website Registration Instructions page. We ask you to move through to finish your registration quickly and to limit the functions of the process. This means do not use the “Recalculation” or “Make Changes” buttons and never move back to a previous page. Corrections can be made by emailing us after you finish your registration.
- Look at the schedule carefully and read all the selections. Madrona is more than any single class. We put together an array of classes, some are repeated and some are similar but taught by different teachers. Cornie and I know that Madrona is important to you and you look forward to it as a bright spot in the deepest part of the winter months. As more and more of you discover us we are humbled and honored but we also know that not all can get everything they would like.
- There are many free activities and we welcome attendees whether you have signed up for a class or not. We feel it is important to maintain the community atmosphere at Madrona that is accessible to all and fosters many connections, friendships, learning and sharing. That’s why we have lots of free activities: places to hang out together, demonstration booths, mentoring and free clinics. Entry to the market and the Thursday and Friday evening events are all FREE. We want as many of you as possible to find a way to participate in Madrona and feel that everyone who walks through the door is an attendee. We have no special or exclusive packages. You can sign up for just one class or more. Everyone has equal opportunity. We charge only for classes and the banquet and offer a separate Mini Class registration the end of January for those who want a taste of Madrona in a 90 minute class.
- Please give yourself space in your schedule while you are at Madrona. This will help you and us and allow more people to register for classes. If you give yourself breaks during the time you are at Madrona, you can learn from each other, enjoy the market, practice what you are learning, finish a class project, take part in a free clinic or demonstration and have time to savor the atmosphere and community of friends! Do not overschedule yourself. Relax!
- We have never fully sold out all the classes offered at the Winter Retreat. Of course, some classes are more popular than others and seem to fill immediately. If you find a class you really want is full you can put yourself on the wait list by filling out the Wait List Form. We are diligent about using the wait list and putting people into classes as openings occur. BUT there are rules which mean you cannot be on a wait list for a class and register for another class that has the same time slot. If you need to make any changes to your registration you must fill out the Registration Change Form.
- Keeping you informed – watch our website. We will send out notices of information you need to know to those on our Mailing List and also post those same messages on the website. You can sign up for our mail list by clicking on Mailing List in the header at the top of the Madrona webpages. To make sure that our email messages get past your spam filters list us in your safe contact list: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Keep an eye on our website!
BE INFORMED! HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE FOR MADRONA 2014 REGISTRATION
- Please read all the Do’s and Don’t’s on the Madrona website Registration Instructions page before you register. Limit functions and move through the registration process quickly. The classes you pick aren’t yours until you click the FINISH button after payment. This means, don’t click on any “Make Changes” or “Recalculation” buttons or move back to any previous page using your “Back” browser button. We can correct anything after you register!
- We will open registration during the morning hours of Wednesday, November 20, 2013 PST. This is a week later because Thanksgiving Day is a week later than last year. We will not be giving you a specific time or send out an email when registration opens.
- You will know registration is open when the big red button “Begin Registration” at the bottom of the Madrona Website Registration Instructions page appears. Click on it and you will then be linked to the Madrona registration on the RegOnline servers in Colorado.
- Be sure to refresh your browser frequently while you are waiting for registration to open or you may miss it!
- We will NOT send out an email message to tell you registration is open. You cannot rely on receiving an email message to inform you when registration opens.
- The Hotel Murano will begin to take reservations for the special price Madrona room block when Madrona registration opens on November 20th. To make reservations you must go to the “Make Hotel Reservations” page on the Madrona website. Be sure to read all the instructions. Reservations are available ONLY online. On November 20th when class registration opens you can make hotel reservations by clicking on the green Hotel Reservations Button on the “Make Hotel Reservations” page. This will take you to the special webpage the Hotel Murano has set up for Madrona attendees to make their reservations directly with the Hotel Murano.
- We will do a totally separate registration for the Mini classes the end of January and continuing during the retreat. The schedule and description of mini classes will be announced in the beginning of January by email message and also on the website. Mini classes are 90 minutes with a 10-12 person limit.
We hope you now have a greater understanding of the complexities of registration for Madrona and ways you can help. Cornie and I strive to build a community atmosphere and make the four days of the Madrona Winter Retreat as welcoming and filled with interesting events and activities for each of you. Whether you register for a class or not, we know you look forward to coming together as a community of very creative and enthusiastic fiber passionate folks. Cornie and I hope you will join us again this year for our time together at Madrona.