InteliScout Features

Introduction

InteliScout provides many useful tools to event participants as well as event administrators. Many of these tools and features are presented below.

Participant Features

Participant features are those used by InteliScout users in preparation for attending an InteliScout hosted event. Some features are common to all event types, while others apply only to more complex events requiring class selection and scheduling.

General Features

Online Distribution of Event Information

InteliScout provides a great way to learn about events before signing up. Every event has its own information page that tells you about the event including when and where is will be held, who will be coordinating the event and their contact information, and how much it costs to attend the event. More information such as maps, course offerings, and other information are often made available through the event information page so that you can make informed decisions prior to registering for the event.

Online Individual and Group Registration

InteliScout allows individuals as well as groups of individuals to sign up for events. Examples of a group may be several members of a den all attending Pow Wow together, or several troop leaders attending University of Scouting. For many events such as Merit Badge College, Summer Camp, etc., a group is referred to as a unit (e.g. Troop123, or Den11 are common unit names to represent groups of scouts.)

Once a group or a unit is registered the members of the group or unit can all be managed by a single contact person (often a scoutmaster or den leader) who keeps the group informed, collects fees and distributes schedules, maps, etc.

Online and Manual Fee Collection

InteliScout allows participants to pay fees online using credit or debit cards. Support for manually paying fees is supported through a form that is generated by the system, printed, then mailed or dropped off at your council office along with payment.

Please note that InteliScout only supports payment for entire groups, not individual group members. Typically, the group representative or contact person will collect the fees from group members and make a single payment to InteliScout. Of course, payments by individuals who register themselves is supported.

For some events like Philmont, Wood Badge, or Summer Camp, the payments may be large. As a result, partial payments may be made over time. If your event does not support partial payments you should email your Event Administrator asking for this feature to be enabled.

Trading Post

InteliScout supports a trading post for each event. Through the trading post items such as patches, mugs, t-shirts and optional lunch tickets can be purchased. The items for sale in the trading post for each event is determined by the Event Administrator.

Event Update Notifications via Email

Event Administrators have the ability to easily send notifications to participants via email. This feature is often used to send out reminders such as "Do not to park in parking lot C," "Print your final schedule and bring it with you to the event." When you register for an event, watch for emails with subject lines matching event names because they probably contain important information about the event.

Events With Course or Merit Badge Selections

Events such as Merit Badge College or Summer Camp for Scouts, and University of Scouting or Commissioner College for adults require that you make your selection from a list of offered courses. It is up to the Event Administrator how you will be assigned a class schedule from the courses selected.

Scheduling

The most common method of producing a schedule for an event is by selecting which types of courses or merit badges you want to take. Because many events are large and schedule is complex, most Event Administrators choose to auto schedule each participant once they have selected their preferred classes in prioritized order. If this is the case you will be immediately informed whether which classes you have been scheduled into, and whether all classes are full. This gives you the opportunity to add and remove courses or merit badges to obtain the best schedule possible at that moment in time.

If you are a unit or group leader you will repeat this process for each scout or member of your troop or group.

Printing Schedules

InteliScout gives you the option to print your schedule once you are satisfied with your class assignments. If you are a unit or group leader you can print the schedules for everyone in your unit or group at once, with each schedule printed on a different page.

Draft Schedules

For many reasons, it is often necessary to delay final printing of schedules until just before the event. If this is the case then the Event Administrator will enable draft scheduling. If you generate a schedule and it has a "DRAFT" watermark that means that your class locations, instructors, even periods, may change when your final schedule is ready to print.

If draft schedules are enabled, you will be directed via email when to print your final schedule.

Blue Cards

Some events like Summer Camp and Merit Badge College require that each merit badge class be accompanied by a Blue Card. InteliScout allows Blue Cards to be handled completely electronically. Once instructors have completed blue requirements unit leaders will receive an email to print the blue cards for each scout in your unit.

Event Administrator Features

There are many tools available to the Event Administrator designed to give you the ability to run the event as you see fit while providing active or passive access to information related to the event.

When you log into an event site as an administrator you are presented with an Admin Control Panel that gives you access to all of the features below.

Information Page

The Event Administrator decides what information should be presented to prospective participants when deciding whether to register for your event. This is done through a simple interface that works much like Microsoft Word or similar word processing programs. From this browser interface you can change fonts, text color, text size, insert links to other web pages or to documents with important information to be downloaded.

The Information Page of your event can be changed at any time you like, most often when registration is closed just prior to the event.

Welcome Page

When someone registers for your event for the first time they are shown the Welcome Page. The interface to creating this page is the same as that used for the Information Page. Typically, a special welcome message with instructions to the new registrant is presented in this page.

Like the Information Page, links to pictures, websites and documents can also be inserted into the Welcome Page.

Popup Window

Each time a registered person enters your event's site a popup window may be displayed with up-to-date information or directions. The interface for this page is the same as for the Information Page and the Welcome Page. As the Event Administrator you have the ability to disable this popup window.

Class Periods

The Event Administrator enters the start and end time of each class period for events that require them. All classes are then assigned one or more periods for scheduling purposes.

Managing Groups/Units

A Group or Unit view of your event shows you all registered units including unit name, contact person information, number of group members or scouts, fees due, last date and time they logged into the site, and whether the members/scouts have been scheduled.

From this view the Event Administrator can log in as though he/she were the group/unit leader to help diagnose any problems they may be having. The Event Administrator can also send an email to a group/unit leader.

Managing Participants/Scouts

It often falls on the shoulders of the Event Administrator to correct problems related to a particular scout or participant. For this, a Participant/Scout view is provided to allow you to quickly find the participant or scout and investigate the problem. From this view you can manually place the scout or participant in any class you choose. This is particularly helpful for special case, last minute or "at the door" registration.

Managing Staff

For many large events, managing the staff year after year is crucial to providing a quality program. For this reason, InteliScout allows Event Administrators to retain class, contact information, and general notes about an instructor of staff member in the InteliScout database. Staff members can be active or inactive and inactive staff members can be retained in the database while being filtered out in the Staff view to retain the information while reducing the clutter.

Staff Administrators

For some very large events, deans may be set up to manage the huge task of recruiting, contacting, informing large number of staff members in a given area. For this, Event Administrators can identify a staff member as a Staff Administrator. This allows a Staff Administrator to log into the event site as an administrator but with limited capabilities. Staff Administrators can manage staff, assistants, make sure blue cards are completed, email staff members, etc. Staff Administrators cannot access anything related to scheduling, information presented to participants, fees, or any other highly sensitive information.

Assistants

Assistants can be managed just like Staff members since, with luck, assistants will be future instructors or other important staff members. So, managing assistants can be a very important part of providing a quality program year after year.

Anonymous or By Invitation Only

Events can either be anonymous or by invitation only. This decision is important since some events simply cannot handle opening themselves up to the general scouting public, or have special requirements like a commitment to provide some number of instructors.

By invitation only events require that the Event Administrator create Groups/Units in advance and give the Group/Unit name and password to the appropriate contact person. Using this information, the contact person can log into the event and begin managing his/her group or unit.

Anonymous events allow anyone who is an InteliScout user to create a Group/Unit for your event and create their own password allowing them to log into your site, add members/scouts, pay fees, etc. It is strongly suggested that any restrictions you intend to place on attendees for your event be clearly stated in the Information Page anytime you put on an anonymous event.

Auto and Manual Scheduling

When an individual, group or unit leader selects which courses or merit badges he/she would like they can be automatically scheduled and presented with the results immediately. This is preferred method of scheduling since it gives preference in a first come first served bases. Optionally, auto scheduling can be disabled and the entire event can be scheduled under control of the Event Administrator. The difficult in this method is the time it takes to notify those participants that did not make it into their preferred classes, make new selections, then attempt to reschedule again.

Another form of scheduling, Manual Scheduling, can optionally be enabled by the Event Administrator. If this feature is enabled then the unit/group leader can manually place a student into specific classes in specific periods. This feature is not recommended other than for last minute changes as it often causes problems like a unit or group taking over an entire class, effectively blocking out everyone else. Typically, Manual Scheduling is only enabled for brief periods allowing one or more group or unit leader to rectify problems that were not of their own making. A data entry error by the Event Administrator is a common example of this.

Draft Schedules

Draft schedules are a tool for the Event Administrator to allow participants to schedule classes when instructors and final class locations are still in flux. When draft schedules are enabled the schedules printed by participants have a draft watermark and a notice that their schedule may change. It is advisable to leave draft schedules enabled until everything is settled just before your event. Then, disable draft schedules and send an email to all participants requesting that they print their final schedules.

Balancing Classes

Many events will offer the same class in several periods, often with different instructors. In order even out class sizes for each of the periods the Event Administrator may elect to balance classes. It is suggested that classes be balanced while Draft Schedules are enabled (see below.)

Full Classes

As the day of the event approaches it is often useful to know which classes are full so that class sizes may possibly be increased or new classes added. This view is available to Event Administrators for easy access.

Trading Post

The Trading Post is a great way to support multiple types of registration fees, sell patches, hats, T-shirts, mugs, etc. The Event Administrator has the ability to list the items for sale, the number of items in stock, the price, and even upload a photo of the item if desired.

Checking Room Assignments

Rapidly shifting and last minute changes to room assignments is a nightmare for many events. When you show up the morning of the event only to find out that a class of college students will be occupying a room you have dozens of scouts scheduled in, what do you do (besides panic?) InteliScout gives the Event Administrator a matrix view of used and available rooms by period so you can quickly shuffle room assignments. It also allows you to reassign rooms to classes, check for collisions, and tell you which participants need to reprint their schedules to get correct room assignments.

Collecting Fees

Collecting fees is always a contentious matter for most Event Administrators. There is always the odd case of "the council lost my registration," or "I mailed it, it's your fault it got lost." To address these cases InteliScout allows payment to be made online using credit or debit cards by individuals registering themselves, or group/unit leaders. When paid online, your event database is automatically updated for you.

A full accounting of all online transactions is provided and funds are transferred to a specified bank account, or a check is sent, when requested. Funds may be transferred any number of times prior to an event or requested in one lump sum once the event is closed out.

Not all councils support online payment of funds. In this case InteliScout provides a form to the user that is printed and mailed to the designated address with a check for the fees. The Event Administrator will need to be notified that payment has been received and manually enter the payment in the event database to keep it updated.

Admin Notifications

Event Administrators can optionally receive automated emails each time someone registers for their event or pays online. This allows you to passively monitor what is happening without having to log into the event site yourself.

Database Management

InteliScout performs nightly backup of event database. However, you can backup and restore a database yourself as an Event Administrator. This is useful when you are attempting something new and do not wish to accidentially delete or change anything in an active database. You can also lock an event database preventing anyone from logging in an modifying anything while you are performing some task.