Convention Registration

By Robert Earl Houston


All of the National Baptist Conventions have the same problem – REGISTRATION. It doesn’t matter which convention, who the president is, the process has become cumbersome and marked by dramatic lines at all of the conventions. No one asked me, but these are some helpful suggestions from someone who has been on both sides of the table, taking into consideration that this is 2019:

1. Make Online registration available throughout the convention to the close of business on Thursday evening/Friday morning. An area can then be designated for pickup of materials.

2. (Announced in late night last night): Make registration available at the Late Night Services, therefore registration can literally be from 7 a.m. to Midnight (why not???).

3. Partnership with a computer firm (or a partner) and place 10-15 registration kiosks in the registration area, similar to what is in our airports nowadays.

4. Recycle delegate badges – make them generic and at the end of the session, allow delegates to drop them off at various areas for use at the next session.

5. Have more credit card readers or utilize online credit card inputs for processing of credit cards (no one should have to wait in line and then have the person doing the registration wait in another line to use a credit card reader).

6. Use Givelify for Church and Personal registration with an option and link it to the Church registration code.

7. Utilize some of the young people, who are very computer literate and savvy to work the computers. This should not be done by anyone who is not familiar with computers and their functions.

8. Design the registration process and eliminate everything at one station. Why not try three step process – check in at one desk, pay at another, and pick up materials at a third station.

9. Have a separate station for State Conventions and District Associations – and encourage them to register online as well.

10. Partnership with a vendor and offer water and/or juices (or something healthy) to those in line. Also, consider a number system where people can sit down and wait for their number to be called (similar to DMV) – helpful especially when you have a lot of senior delegates.

This is not a knock of anyone’s convention and I regret that when I talked about the registration process I was in yesterday, someone used it as a personal attack against a convention leader (which I swiftly removed when I was made aware of it). Not interested in being negative – I love (and have been a member) of all four of the traditional baptist conventions. I just want to see us do better! I support NBC and President Young; NBCA and President Tolbert; PNBC and President Stewart; and NMBCA and President Sharp.

6 responses

  1. AWESOME SUGGESTIONS Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note8, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone

  2. These are on-target recommendations – I will stop developing my list to submit because yours is comprehensive. Prayerfully they will be adopted by each convention.

  3. They (leaders) need to sign up for class “computers & technology 101”. Someone like you, Dr Houston, or myself could do the training. The object of the course is to eliminate the intimidation of pc technology , security & fraud prevention, etc.
    Rev Council
    Secretary, IT Advisor & Webmaster
    Metro Atlanta Baptist Ministers Union, Inc
    Rev. Johnny B. Johnson, President

  4. terrance johnson | Reply

    Hey, my friend, it’s amazing you will get criticized for being right and on target and then have to explain yourself my goodness

  5. Dr. Nettie Walker Wood | Reply

    Well said and no, I do not think it is a negative. I think it is progress.

  6. Pastor Houston, You provided great suggestions to streamline the registration process. I hope that your suggestions would be utilized. In a world of modern technology, why not bring the churches’ organizations to be more efficient in church business? Let’s be real about this: conventions are not just about the Christian fellowship, but also about the finances (in a positive way). And yes, use the computer savvy youngsters: it may encourage them to participate more. As a former computer teacher, when young people are given computer tasks that are rewarding and fun, it makes the day (and Conventions, I surmise) go much smoother. As a PK and a minister’s wife, if the opportunity would have been available to me to be more technically involved in church business, it would have made national gatherings much more “exciting”.

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by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

About life, preaching, church, books, and other stuff.

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