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Event Management FAQ

Event Setup

I have a lot of different fees. How do I organize them so it is less confusing?

You have three tools at your disposal:

  1. you can hide fees from the main fee listing (see next question)
  2. you can edit the sortkey to re-order the fees so that they appear in a more sensible order. If you use the "sort fees" tool, you can drag-and-drop your fees into a new order, which will update all sort keys in one operation.
  3. you can group the fees, by specifying a group heading in the “Fee Group” field

If you use the last option, the sortkey will order the fees in that one group, and the groups themselves will be ordered alphabetically. (If alphabetical sort does not work, you can prefix A., B., C. etc. to your fee group names.)

How do I hide comps from the main list of registration fees?

Set the fee visibility to “hidden”. In your admin fee listing, there is a “link” button on the far right. Use this button to get a link to the hidden fee. You can then email or manually link to this URL as necessary.

How do I make a second registration page, and put some of my fees there instead?

First, go to the fees you don’t want to appear on the regular registration page, and set their visibility to hidden.

Next, create your secondary registration page, and add whatever text you require. To make the registration links, go to your fee listing, and using the “link” buttons on the far right to get the URLs to your hidden fees. Use these when creating your own links or buttons to register.

How do I make a spouse or guest registration type that only appears after you are already registered?

Set the fee’s “Available To” setting to the main fee type that it is conditional upon. For example, to set up a guest registration type that should be available to regular delegates, set the “Available To” of the guest fee to point to the delegate registration type. You will need to do this for every main fee type that is permitted to bring a guest.

How do I allow spouses/guests to attend social events, but not workshops?

Set up fees for the social events that are “Available To” the spouse/guest fees. Remove any workshop fees that are available to spouse/guest fees.

How do I allow non-member conference attendees to register for workshops, but not the AGM?

Set up fees for the workshops that are “Available To” the non-member fees. Remove any AGM fees that are available to non-members.

How do I change the close date of registrations?

You can edit close dates on individual fees by editing the fee.

If you have a general close of registration date that is shared by numerous fees, you can use the schedule tool to change them all at once. You may also need to move the open date of the next registration round while you are at it.

How do I make a bulk change to all fees?

Click the “edit all fees” button under a group of fees. In the left-hand column, select the fields you want to modify, and specify the new setting in the right-hand column.

How do I add a new social activity after the event has already been set up?

First, add the activity in your event calendar. Then go to the main fees listing in the Event Registrations module. Your new activity will be at the bottom, with no fees. Click "new fee" on that activity.

  • If all registrants can select this fee at the same price point, just set up a single fee, using the new registration fee form. Leave the "Available to" field unset, so that it is available to all.
  • If this activity is only available to some registration types but not others, use the "fee setup wizard" instead. Set a cost, and check off which registration fees can select this activity. If there are further rules/customizations, those new fees can be edited further after they are created.

How to I set up streams or concurrent sessions?

You can group your activities using the "Fee group" option in the fee setup. This will present them together as part of a particular stream to make it easier for registrants to find and select them.

You can optionally use combo fees to allow people to register for everything in one stream in a single step.

Normally a stream is set up so that the activities follow each other in a manageable time format. If registrants decide to "stream-hop" they might try to register in other activities that are at conflicting times. Use the "time-exclusive" option in the fee setup to protect against this. If a registrant selects a "time-exclusive" fee that overlaps with another fee they are registered in, the registration system will refuse to accept that registration until they delete the clashing item from their cart.

How do I set it up so that people can register in French?

See our guide to multilingual events.

Registration is so complicated! How do I reduce the number of steps to check out?

There are 2 different processes here:

  1. registration/selection of events
    1. selection of main fee
    2. fill out form
    3. selection of activities
    4. selection of merchandise
    5. repeat 1-4 for each guest
  2. checkout and payment 
    1. enter/confirm billing info
    2. confirm adjusted total after taxes and discounts
    3. select payment method
    4. pay

The actual e-commerce/checkout process is shorter than the registration process, so it is important to understand which steps are actually making the whole procedure complicated.

Here are some ways to simplify the registration part of the process:

  1. Simplify your registration forms. In particular, you usually do not need to collect detailed contact info. That information is already collected at checkout, so why make people enter it twice?
  2. If you do collect contact info on the registration form, use standardized form field short codes (like "email") so that the registration system can recognize these values and use them to pre-populate billing screen contact info.
  3. Use "ticket" registration types to make it quicker to purchase certain types of registrations in bulk.
  4. Use "combo" registration types to automatically register people in activities without requiring them to manually select them.

You can eliminate the shopping cart checkout part of the process entirely using "instant registration". Choose the "instant registration if possible" option in the fee setup. This only works if the fee has no cost, if there are no activities to choose from, and you are using a registration form that collects information about the registrant that would normally be collected at checkout.

Event set-up is so complicated! How can I set up my event faster?

Event setup goes much smoother if you have all of your fees and forms ready to go before you begin. Then you can set them all up in one go using the fee setup wizard. Altering registration flows after setup is complete is much more complicated.

If you have a similar event already set up, it may be easier just to copy that event and edit the copy.

Use the My Event module for smaller events with simpler registration flows. You can use either module to manage your events, so you can start with My Event's quick setup wizard to get going quickly, and then switch to Event Registrations to enable more advanced features.

If your event is too complicated for My Event, then you just have a complicated event, and there isn't much the software can do about that :-(  It will probably help to review our Advanced Conference Setup Guide to be prepared for all the issues that will come up.

Comps and discounts

How do I set up a comp/free registration type?

Just create a regular fee, but set it’s cost to $0.00. Note that “comp” is not really a registration type; it’s more like a billing method. So your comp fee should be “Same As” some other fee type so that the registration system understands the rules that should apply to the comp.

How do I set up a discount?

There are 2 methods:

  1. Just setup a regular fee, at a discounted price. You can hide this fee, and only give out the link to people who quality. You can also put a password on the fee, and only give the password to people who qualify.
  2. You can also use the Billing Adjustments module to create a coupon code that can be used at checkout. When configuring the coupon code, set the sales code to EVENT, the Object Type to “evt”, and the Object ID to the event ID.

Note that the 1st method is more reliable if you charge taxes on your event.

I didn’t make a comp fee. Can I still register someone but not charge them?

Yes. There are two methods:

  1. Have the person register themselves, but select pay by invoice. Inform them that you will cancel the invoice when they are done. Cancel the invoice using the Payments tool. Then go to the event roster, find their unconfirmed registrations, click on the registration #, then on the “confirm” button.
  2. Register them in the administrator back-end.

How do I set up a free or discounted delegate fee that is only available to exhibitors?

There are two methods:

  1. Configure the exhibitor fee to include complimentary registrations. Click into the exhibitor fee, and use the the "comps" tool. Set the comp name and description, which is what will show up on registration forms and receipts. Set the cost (leave as $0 for full comps, or the discounted price otherwise), and the number of comps the exhibitor gets at this price. Lastly, you must make the comps equivalent to a regular registration type (eg. a comp is a free "Delegate" registration).
  2. Alternatively, set up a delegate fee that is only available to exhibitors, and put whatever price you require on it.

The first method allows you to limit the number of discounted delegates they can bring. The 2nd method allows them to add as many as they like. You can use both methods together, for instance up to 2 free delegates, plus any number of extra delegates at half price. 

Cancellations and refunds

Note that cancellation and refunds are different operations that must be performed separately. This is because refund policies can change from event to event, so it is left up to you make those decisions.

How do I cancel a registration?

In the roster, click on the registration # (leftmost column), then click the "cancel" button. If you cancel a main registration, the activity registrations under it will also be cancelled. If you cancel an activity registration, other registrations will not be affected.

How do I un-cancel a registration?

Include canceled registrations in your roster to find it. Then click on the registration # and re-confirm it.

How do I refund a registration?

In the roster, click on the account name to go to the purchaser's account statement in the Payments module. Find the invoice with the registration, and use the cancellation/refund tool to do the refund. To refund activity fees only, you will need to use the "Manual Refund" option to refund specific line items.

Should I delete canceled registrations?

No. They are automatically ignored by the roster. It can be useful to keep that history around in case of customer support problems later.

Deleting test registrations or other junk data is okay, however.

Modifying registrations

How do I add someone to an activity after they are already registered?

Find their main registration in the roster, and click on their registration # (left-most column). Use the "add to registration" button to return to their registration session and add any missing activities. Note that this will generate a new invoice for the changes.

You can make this feature self-serve for your users by creating an "Add to my registrations" page, and putting the Event Registrations module with the "Add to registrations" option onto that page.

Sometimes this feature does not work. Registration may be closed, or you may need to put them in something they are not permitted to register in, or the feature just doesn't do what you need. In this case, use our guide to Altering completed registrations to force them into activities.

Some groups make use of by-pass fees to skip over the main registration and add yourself to social events only. To do this, you can add a main fee called "Social events only" or "Banquet tickets only" or something like that, and make it $0. A user who selects this will move on to activity registrations where they can add their social events. This method does not work if you have registration limits on the main event, however, since those "Social events only" registrations will also count toward the event total.

How do I transfer a registration to a different fee or event?

If the new fee is in the same event, click on the registration # in the roster, and then on “configure”. You can change the fee here.

If you want to move them to an entirely different event, then follow this procedure:

  1. go to the event you will be transferring to, and click on the fees tool
  2. select the particular fee you want to transfer the registrant to, and note the Event Fee ID
  3. go to the event you will be transferring from, go to the roster, and find the registrant
  4. click on the registration #, then on configure
  5. to the right of the Fee field is a link for “all events” - click that, and the fee selector (which lets you choose fees from this event) will change to a text field that lets you enter the Fee ID from any event.
  6. In that fee field, enter the Event Fee ID from step 2, and submit.

How do I transfer a registration to a different person?

In the roster, click on their registration #, then on the configure button. You can change the name here.

That still leaves the purchase tied to the original purchaser’s account #. If you also want to connect the registration to a different account # (so that it appears under a different member’s registration history, for instance), you can also change the Purchaser Account ID on the configuration screen.

If there is registration form information that needs to be changed (such as contact info or meal options), click on the Response ID in the roster, then the edit button. You can change the registration form answers here.

How do I edit/correct registrant information?

In the roster, click on their registration #, then on the configure button. You can edit the registrant name, and account # here.

Information entered on the registration form can be viewed by clicking on the response ID in the roster. Use the edit button here to change the responses on the form.

How do I change a meal choice?

Click on the response # in the roster. You can edit registration form responses here.

Roster management

How do I get a simple registration count?

The event listing when you start the Event Registration module shows a simple count of completed+unconfirmed registrations.

The Overview summary shows a breakdown of registration counts for each major fee type, and each activity.

The roster shows a summary count of all registration types and statuses at the bottom of the roster. Normally only completed and unconfirmed count toward the registration total.

What is the difference between active and unconfirmed registrations?

Active/confirmed means they completed the registration process, and no further action from the registrant is expected. This is because they already paid, or the registration did not require payment, or the administrator waived payment by manually confirming them.

Unconfirmed usually means the registrant completed the registration process, but has not paid yet. Normally this is because they selected to pay by invoice. When their payment is recorded against that invoice, the registration will automatically be updated to "active". If payment was waived by cancelling the invoice, or payment was received some other way, or even if you just want them to be confirmed on the roster before payment is processed, you can manually confirm them by clicking on the registration # and then the "confirm" button.

What are inactive registrations?

Some people start to register, but never finish. Maybe they changed their mind, or they could not complete their e-commerce payment, or they decided they didn’t have enough information to complete their selections at this time. Inactive registrations can be ignored, but it is sometimes useful to be able to look them up if someone is having difficulties.

What does “2nd try” mean?

If someone starts to register themselves, and then abandons their first incomplete registration and starts over right away, the second one will be marked “2nd try” so that it can be distinguished from the first one.

If a user makes mistakes and then starts over, the registration screen says they are previously registered. How do I clear those out?

It usually is not necessary, since they will be ignored if they never checked out with them. Furthermore, they will be forgotten entirely in a day or so. If you want them to be forgotten immediately, go into the roster and mark them as canceled.

How do I get contact info for registrants?

Go to the roster, and in the roster options pane, you can include:

  • purchaser contact information (for address info entered on the billing screen)
  • registration form responses (for information entered into the registration form)

You can also export contact lists for your event, using the Contact List tool. See the contact list questions, below, under Communications.

How do I get a roster for one activity or registration type only?

  • click into the activity (from the Overview screen) and use the roster tool there
  • or, from the main event roster, open the Roster Options pane, and choose the sub-roster for the activity or fee there
  • from the fees listing, click the roster button by the fee of interest

When you have multiple fees that are “Same As” another fee, choose the roster for the main “Same As” fee to get all of them combined.

When I include all the options, the roster gets really complicated; can I get a simplified version?

Yes - in the Registration Reports tool, use the Compressed Roster. This tries to eliminate extra rows and columns to make the roster more compact.

In some cases, this can lose information. For example, if you collect contact information in the registration form, that may be redundant because it is also collected at checkout. The compressed roster will only show one set of contact information. Normally it is the same in both cases, but some registrants might enter contradictory information. You will need to use the full roster to see both sets of contact info.

Badges

How can I make conference badges?

In the Registration Reports module, use the Badge Report. This extracts information that is likely to be useful on conference badges. You can export these and merge them in a badge template using your office software.

How do I customize the information I want to include on my badges?

Make sure your registration forms have fields with short codes that are recognizable to the badge report, as shown on the badge report screen.

Merchandising

How do I sell add-ons and merchandise to my registrants?

You can enable merchandise sales under Event Preferences > General. A Merchandise tool will appear in the toolbar after you do this.

The Merchandise tool allows you to create miniature online shopping stores in your Product Catalog. You can make stores for all registrants in your event, or for particular registration fees only (such as Exhibitors). Once you have created a store, click the link to go to the store, which opens the Product Catalog application. From there you can add products to that particular mini-store. Those products will be offered to registrants at the time of registration.

How do I get a report of the add-ons and merchandise I have sold?

In the Registration Reports module, select the Merchandise Sales report.

Taxes

How do I charge taxes on my event registrations?

You must have tax rules set up in your Billing Adjustments module. Typically event registrations are marked with the EVENT purchase type. If you need a fee to be handled differently, you can set a different purchase type under the fee preferences.

Every organization has different tax rules. Talk to Exware about getting your tax rules set up correctly. You need to consider:

  • whether tax rates should be a flat rate, or should vary depending on where the event is held
  • whether all events and fees should be taxed the same way, or whether different event types have different tax rules

If your event tax rate is determined by the event location, you can set that location in the Event Calendar. Go to your event, select “sites/venues”, and choose from your list of locations. If the venue does not yet exist in your Address Book, you can go there to add it.

How do I see what taxes are being charged on my event registrations?

Use the Taxes tool to see the tax rates being charged on each fee.

How do I make my sponsors' registrations tax-free?

Go to the fees listing, click on the sponsor fee type, and then on preferences. You can set a different purchase type for this fee. Choose one that does have a tax rule (such as SPONSOR, or OTHER).

Selling Out and Waitlists

How do I restrict the number of registrations that are allowed?

Event-wide registration limits can be set in the event details in your calendar.

Fee-specific limits can be set on individual fees. If you have multiple similar fees (eg. early/regular/late fees), those should use the "Same as" feature to gang them together as special cases of one fee. Then you only need to set a registration limit on the main fee.

When that many registrations have been completed, the "register now" button for those fees will change to "Sold out".

Can it tell me when the event is getting full?

When the event nears capacity, visitors will see something like "5 left" in the fee listings.

Additionally, a warning is automatically displayed on the overview screen when the event is nearing capacity.

To receive an email when the event is nearing capacity, go into the event registration preferences for that event, and set a % capacity threshold under "Email Settings". The admin will receive an email every time someone registers above this threshold.

How do I manually mark an event as sold out?

Configure the fees and set them to "sold out". Alternatively, set the registration limit to be less than or equal to the current registration count.

How do I collect waitlist names after an event is sold out?

Configure the fees and choose the option "enable waitlist when sold out".

How do I accept waitlisted people into the event if I increase capacity?

Go to your roster, and click on the waitlist link at the bottom in your registration summary. This lists all of your waitlisted registrants.

Note that waitlisted registrants have not completed their registrations, because it was not known at the time of their registration whether they would be accepted or not. It may be necessary to contact them to confirm their desire to attend once you have opened new spots.

To confirm them into the event, click on the registrant, and use the "Activate registration, notification, and invoice" to complete the registration. You may need to go to their invoice and email it to them to arrange payment.

To simply confirm them into the event, but ignore invoicing and payment issues, use the "Activate registration only" button.

Communications

How do I send registrants a confirmation email?

They automatically receive a receipt, so a confirmation email may not be necessary unless you have some special information to add to that.

To set up a special confirmation email, go to "Preferences" and open the "Notification Email" pane. Click to enable registration notifications, and enter your email text below.

You can include merge codes in your email text to add personalized information to the email. Use the help tool (yellow help icon) to get more information on the allowed merge codes.

How do I send a notice to all registrants?

You can use the reminder or follow-up emails under "Preferences" to schedule a mass email to all of your registrants before or after the event. These work similarly to the confirmation email, above.

If you want to send a bulk email at other times, you can use the "Contact List" tool to build a contact list of all your registrants. You can use the "email this list" tool to go to the Email module and setup a bulk email, or you can export this contact list to use with other tools. Note that the contact list will automatically update with new registrants as they appear.

How do I send a notice to exhibitors only?

Click into the exhibitor fee, and use the "Contact List" tool from there.

How do I send a notice to everyone EXCEPT exhibitors?

To exclude a fee from your confirmation, reminder, and follow-up emails, edit the fee and choose the "no notifications" option.

How do I get a mailing list for my registrants?

Use the "Contact List" tool, same as for e-mails. Choose the "mailing address" option.

Why doesn’t my mailing list have the same number of rows as my roster?

Anti-spam laws prevent you from e-mailing persons who have asked to be excluded from your bulk mailings, or with whom you do not have an established commercial relationship. Your mailing lists will therefore include your purchasers but not your guest registrants, and will exclude anyone who has opted out of receiving bulk emails from you.

If you know that your bulk e-mail is permitted under the law, you can alter these rules as follows:

  • use the "Add guests to contact lists" tool to include guest registrants on your contact lists
  • in the Address Book, configure your contact list to include people who have unsubscribed
  • in the Email tool, mark your bulk email as non-commercial, to relax its rules about who it may send to

 

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