When you join Lone Star Region PCA you will see references to ClubRegistration.net to sign-up for events and activities. Once you create a login account, you’ll see menu items for Store, Track Insurance, Classifieds, (PCA) Membership, and a link to Contact Us. On that page is a brief About Us informing what services are available.
But who is behind this useful service? That would be Chris Alvarado, who lives right between Austin and Houston and is an active participant in Lone Star Region PCA activities.
LSR: Thanks Chris for agreeing to answer some questions for us.
Chris: It is my pleasure to help out the club in any way. We all have a passion for the marque and club.
LSR: First question, tell us about Chris Alvarado and how you got ClubRegistration.net going. Did you create ClubRegistration.net or was it someone else who started it and you purchased the business? What is the history of the service? When was it started? How was the need determined to create it?
Chris: I actually started off as the Hill Country Region Registrar for HPDEs. Being a nerdy computer guy I didn’t use paper. So that leads us to electronic registration in 2003. It was used by the Hill Country Region for two years before I decided to make a real business out of it. Our first event was Sept. of 2005 which was promptly canceled due to a Hurricane. What a start! We were originally referred to as “CR.net” but after many years we had to stop calling ourselves that because people would look up CR.net and never find us. Now we just go by “ClubReg.”
LSR: Currently, how many groups does ClubRegistration.net service?
Chris: ClubReg handles the bulk of PCA including Canada and Puerto Rico. In addition, we also support smaller clubs around the country. Some are even televised which is a real badge of honor for us.
LSR: How many people are on the ClubRegistration.net “staff”?
Chris: Including myself, we have two others in the office with three more working remotely. It is a blessing to have such talented people supporting the clubs.
LSR: If a group wants to sign-up with ClubRegistration.net, what is the process?
Chris: We keep everything as simple as possible. While we are on the phone an account is set up and they have immediate access to all of our services.
LSR: Take us through how a typical event is set up, who does what when, and how.
Chris: Oh wow, where to begin with this one.
It may come as a surprise to most just how many people work hard to make the events run so smooth. Including the Corner Workers and Instructors, I think I once counted over 100 staff to execute an HPDE successfully.
First, we discuss the fees because there are so many different ways on ClubReg to set up an event. Once we have an understanding of how a club wishes to charge for services then we can put all the pieces in place. We have one club who, in addition to their fees, has around 25 options that can be purchased.
After Fees and Options are defined then we can work on the other items such as Event Questions, Run Groups, emails, etc. These are typically all done by the Registrar.
After registration opens for an HPDE the other club staff start showing up. The Chief Driving Instructor will begin Run Group assignments. Then comes the Instructor Team Leads who will do the actual assignments of Instructors to Students. This, of course, takes several weeks to complete.
During that time the Event Chair will log in and take a look at the finances to make sure revenue is where it needs to be to satisfy the event budget.
Close to the end of Registration, we will be contacted by the Treasurer to transfer funds.
Now imagine all of this going across several hundred events nationally. It gets mind-boggling real fast.
LSR: What other sites do you operate/manage?
Chris: ClubReg has been an absolute joy to oversee its growth. I’ve started several other websites throughout the years thinking I could run more than one site at a time. My desire to sleep occasionally proved me wrong.
We currently maintain one other site which we call WITR. WhereIsTheRace.com lists as many events around the country as we can find. While it is a non-revenue generating site we are happy to support its data content for the benefit of the car club community. We list all events regardless of whether ClubReg does business with them or not. Think of it as one massive calendar.
LSR: Is the new TrackLaps.net part of your website group?
Chris: The folks over at TrackLaps are great. We do not have any business relationship other than advertising for each other. I’m looking forward to using their site at my next event.
LSR: What next? Any plans to expand ClubRegistration.net into a site like TrackDayZone.com?
Chris: We dabbled a bit with articles on ClubReg and WhereIsTheRace.com but honestly they take a lot of time to write if you are using original work. The event listings are already taken care of by WITR. It is in our plans to expand the Social Networking aspect of our event listings.
LSR: One last question. You have the humorous “You know you’re a racer if…” posted throughout the site. What is your single favorite one?
Chris: Oh man! There are so many from which to choose. I’ll have to go with my personal addition.
I was showing my son how to change a tire on his bicycle. A good father/son moment in life. But do we use a standard wrench? No. I bring out the cordless impact drill. “You know you’re a racer if… You’ve ever used an impact drill to remove a children’s bicycle wheel.”
LSR: Thanks Chris for fielding our questions.
Chris: Anything for the club! Thank you.