This is an edited version of an email sent out to current and recent users of our systems.
I thought it was time to reach out with one of my irregular emails on what I have been noticing around the enforced sports shut-down and club administration, and on some of the changes & plans here at EML Sports.
It has been interesting to speak to, and read the thoughts of club administrators and meet directors across a variety of sports. There has been a wide variety of responses to the temporary cessation of most sport in Australia. From a virtual hibernation to survive through to some very proactive attitudes of re-examining structures, communication, technology and what will be best for memberships in the future. In some ways it is the professional and semi-professional levels of sport that have been the hardest hit with staff layoffs, forced leave or reduced hours on admin staff to help their clubs and associations to survive an unknown length shutdown. For the volunteer run clubs I have seen more positivity after the initial disappointment. Some have taken the chance to talk to their memberships, do some longer term planning and be really prepared when restrictions start to lift. For reasons of less travel or less work, many people now find themselves with more time, and some is being put to use around sport. Coach (self) education, injury rehabilitation, creative training and player trick moves. And don’t forget everyone has become an expert on video conference software.
From the EML Sports side we have been busy helping meet directors with the heartbreaking task of dismantling months and even years of hard work with refunds for cancelled meets and events. We have developed new processes and technology to help in the technical elements of moving money the opposite way to usual. I do hope we don’t have to make a lot of use of that work again.
From April 30 there is a change to our refunds policy. After that date any registrations that are refunded through the system will not have their registration processing fee returned, where currently it is partially returned to the club. For a club not to be out of pocket from refunds we do suggest they charge a refund administration fee to the entrant. A number of our clubs already do this.
EML Sports was already part way through enhancements and upgrades to our software for 2020. We have reviewed those plans and with some tweaks are redoubling our efforts to bring this work forward. Our membership system will get the biggest upgrade in functionality, but we will not be neglecting the event registration and ecommerce sites. In fact, they will work better together in the future.
Another area clubs have been asking us for help is around easier communication tools with members and event registrants. Our enhanced platform will remove the need for external services and the exporting/importing of files of personal information. This is still in the early stage of development, but if you would like to be one of the first users, drop me a line, and we will let you know when its ready.
Sorry if that was all a little long. I truly hope you are all safe and well. All our competitions, leagues and meets will be back. It’s just a matter of when. Personally I am really missing the thrill of competition, but we will really appreciate how lucky we are when its back.