We go through great lengths here at Event Wizard® to bring you features that make it easy to create and manage your event. One such feature is the ability to automatically create and include a downloadable calendar file, (.ics) that your registrants can add to just about any digital calendar app. While this is sufficient most of the time, you may find the need to customize and/or include extra event details in your calendar files, or just include a download link in your confirmation emails. This is where creating custom .ics files comes into play.
There are multiple ways to create .ics files in various applications and online services, but for this example we are going to cover the two most popular ones:
While this method varies slightly depending on which version of Outlook you’re using, the basic process is as follows:
- Start by creating an Appointment in Outlook by going to the Calendar panel and selecting “New Appointment”.
- Enter the event title, location, start/end date and times, time zone, and any other information you wish to include, then click Save.
- With the new Appointment selected, click the File menu, then Save As.
- In the “Save As” dialog, navigate to the desired folder, give it a file name, ensure “Calendar Format (*.ics)” is selected for the file type, and click the Save button.
The .ics creation process is much simpler in the Mac-native Calendar app:
- Start by double-clicking the date in question.
- Enter all the event’s information in the popup, (title, location, time(s), etc.) and click anywhere outside of the popup to save the details.
- Then, simply drag and drop the newly-created event on to your desktop to automatically create the .ics file.
If you don’t happen to have a Mac or have Outlook on your PC, you can try one of the many online third-party .ics generators, such as:
NOTE: Event Wizard® has no affiliation with the above sites. They are simply examples and are to be used at your own risk.
Using Your .ics File
Once you have your new .ics file, you’ll need to upload it to My Files in Event Wizard® so you can reference this link later. You can use this download link in things like confirmation emails, site pages, or anywhere else you’d like to share it. This process has already been covered in another blog post, so in case you missed it, you can check it out here.
One of the most useful features of Event Wizard® is the ability to create multiple pages for your registration site. It allows you to organize and present information in a very appealing way without the need of a separate website hosted elsewhere. You can create pages for things like agendas, contact information, photos, or in the case of our example today, a simple Welcome/Introductory page.
Getting Started With Pages
Head over to the purple section of your event task list and select “Website Pages” from the submenu, then “Edit Custom Pages”.
Here you will see a list of all the pages on your site and whether they are visible or hidden. By default, only the Registration and Thank You pages are enabled, since they are the only ones required for all registration sites. Event Wizard® does create a Welcome page for all new events, but it is left hidden for simplicity’s sake. Since it’s already there, let’s start by unhiding the Welcome page and adding some content – click the Edit icon to do so.
Before adding any page content, it’s a good idea to start at the top with the page’s properties and options, just to make sure it’s set up the way we want it:
- Page Title: appears in the browser’s toolbar and when the page is added to favourites.
- Page Type: tells the system whether it is a special kind of page, (we don’t need to worry about this for now).
- Navigation Link Text: represents this particular page in your navigation menu that, when clicked, will navigate to this page.
- Enter password to protect this page: useful for password-protecting pages with sensitive content, (again, not something we will worry about for now).
- Introduction message for password page: a simple message that appears above the password input on a password-protected page.
- Hide this page?: when checked, this renders the page inaccessible and hides it from the navigation menu.
- Open in new window?: when checked, clicking the navigation link for this page will open it in a new window/tab in your browser. This is used mostly for links that will take visitors away from your registration site, so we will leave it unchecked here.
- Make this my default page: when checked, it sets this page as the first page visitors will see when landing on your site through the standard https://event-wizard.com/events/[EVENT_CODE]/ link structure.
The first thing we will want to do is make sure the page is visible on the navigation menu. To do so, uncheck the “Hide this page?” checkbox. We also want this to be the first page visitors will see when they come to the site, so ensure “Make this my default page” is checked before moving on. You can also customize the Page Title and/or Navigation Link Text values, but we will leave them as is for this demo. Once your properties and options are ready, go ahead and add some content before clicking Save at the bottom of the page. If you’re unfamiliar with the online editor, we have a short but comprehensive help video on how to use it to add contents to your page.
NOTE: creating new custom pages is basically the same process, except you’ll need to click the “Add New Page” button at the top-right, (or in your event task list) before proceeding the same as above.
Enabling the Navigation Menu
To enable and modify your site’s navigation menu, head back to the purple section of your task list, select “Form Fields & Site Layout” in the submenu, then “Edit navigation menu properties”.
Once again, we are presented with some properties:
- Navigation Width: sets the physical width of your navigation menu in pixels or percentage – it is matched to the width of your page contents by default.
- Navigation Position: allows you to position the navigation at the top or left side of the page – by default it is placed at the top, (under the header).
- Navigation Link Alignment: sets the horizontal alignment of your navigation links within the menu box itself – they are centre-aligned by default.
- Disable Navigation Menu?: shows/hides the navigation menu.
Most of the above will be fine to leave as is, but again, since new events are only created with one active page, the navigation menu is disabled by default. Let’s enable the menu by unchecking the “Disable Navigation Menu?” checkbox and clicking Save.
NOTE: keep in mind that any pages that aren’t hidden are still accessible to anyone with a direct link, even if the navigation menu is disabled. To hide them from view, ensure the “Hide this page?” option for that page is checked.
The last thing we may want to modify is the order of the links within the navigation menu. To change this, head back to the same section of your task list and select “Edit/manage navigation menu links”.
Here you’ll see all of your site’s pages, listed in the order they will appear in the navigation menu, (Top to Bottom for side navigation = Left to Right for top navigation). If you’d like to reorder them, simply drag and drop them in the order you’d like and click Save.
You can also create links in your menu to pages or documents that are outside the scope of your event website, such as social media pages, PDFs, etc. Do this by clicking the “Add New Menu Item” button in the top right, (or on your event task list) filling in Label, (navigation link text) Link/URL, and the properties, then clicking Save.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the page/navigation systems in Event Wizard®. As always, if you have any questions not answered here, we’d be happy to help!
Take a moment to reflect on the last event you attended. Whether it was a conference, trade show, gala dinner, or concert, chances are tickets were involved in some shape or form. In conjunction with our mobile scanner app, tickets are an easy way to keep track of not only your event’s attendance, but also various pre-paid items and services you may offer during its course. The app can be used on multiple devices for multiple events without data conflict, and best of all, it’s free!
Before using the app, you’ll first need to ensure you’re using tickets in your event. This can mean either enabling general admission tickets and/or fee-based tickets, depending on what your event requires.
How to Scan Barcodes
Once you log into the app, you can choose from a list of events currently in your Event Wizard account. After selecting an event, you’ll notice two different sections on the next screen: Attendees, and Tickets. The green “Attendees” section pertains to the event-wide general admission ticket option, and the purple “Tickets” section refers to fee-based tickets, both of which we mentioned earlier. Depending on which kind of code you’re scanning, tap the corresponding scan button and use your device’s camera to scan the code, (you may be prompted to allow access to your camera at this point).
NOTE: The easiest way to tell them apart is by the type of code image: Attendee tickets utilize a traditional linear barcode, whereas Tickets (fee-based) utilize a square QR code. This is illustrated on the “scan” buttons in the app itself, as seen below.
On the right side of each section you’ll also notice two numbers separated by a slash: the first number refers to the number of codes you have scanned, and the second refers to the total number of codes available to scan. These values are also represented as progress bars, (one per section) that fill in white as you scan your way to your totals. In the example above, you can see that we are expecting 10 attendees in total, (none of which have been scanned) and zero fee-based ticketed items.
After scanning a barcode, you’ll see the number and progress bar change accordingly, but what you won’t see is your report being updated in real-time. To see the reports in question, head over to Event Wizard and go to the Reports section for your corresponding event. In the “Reports and Tools” dropdown, you’ll see both an “Attendance Report” and a “Ticket Scan Report”, which correspond to the “Attendees” and “Tickets” sections of the app respectively.
Well, that’s it in a nutshell. More information about setting up tickets can be found in our other blog posts, so if you’re unsure about all that, be sure to give them a quick read. Otherwise, if you have any questions about attendee tickets, fee-based tickets, our scanner app, or anything else that we didn’t cover here, please drop us a line!
What is Waitlisting?
Setting a limit to the amount of registrations is standard practice for many events. For example, if you only have 500 seats available for your gala dinner, you certainly don’t want to be selling more than that. Now, normally when your event has hit its set capacity, the registration limit feature kicks in and prevents any further registrations. This is great and all, but let’s say someone cancels and now you’re stuck with an empty seat, or maybe you found some more space at the venue for another table and can increase your registration limit — this is where waitlisting comes into play.
By using the waitlist feature in Event Wizard, you can allow registrations to continue past your event’s set limit, but have them placed a list separate from the main registrants. Then, in the case of any cancellations or the like, you can bring up your waitlist and see who’s next in line. Sounds pretty easy, right?
Let’s start by heading to the main edit screen, (ie: task list) of your event.
You can find the waitlist feature by going to the purple section of your task list, selecting Properties/Info from the submenu, then selecting Enable/Disable other advanced options.
On this next screen, you’ll see a bunch of advanced options for your event that you’re probably already familiar with, but the main one we are interested in is Enable/disable waitlisting — ensure this box is checked and click the save button. Oh, and you may want to double-check your Registration Limit while you’re here!
Notification and Confirmation
After activating the waitlisting feature, two new pages/sections are created: a waitlist notification and a waitlist confirmation.
The notification portion will appear above your registration form in place of your registration page contents, (if any exist). This is to notify the user that the event has reached its capacity and their registration – should they choose to continue – will be placed on the waitlist.
The confirmation page will appear in place of the Thank You page, which is displayed once the registration is submitted. This is simply to reiterate to the registrant that they haven’t been fully registered and that they have been placed on the waitlist.
Both of these sections have been titled and filled with sample information, however they can also be customized by heading to the purple section of your task list and selecting Edit Custom Pages.
To edit them, simply do so as you would with any other custom event page by clicking the Edit icon in the tools column and modifying the contents and properties as you see fit. It’s important to keep in mind that these pages will need to be translated if you have multiple languages enabled, just the same as any other page contents.
NOTE: Be mindful of the Page Type dropdown that appears on the edit screen(s), as this is the key identifier for each one and will determine which page is being used for which function. Only change this value if you’re familiar with page types in Event Wizard.
Reports and Management
Enabling the waitlisting feature also opens up the Waitlist report, which is the main tool for managing your waitlist after you start taking registrations – let’s head over there now.
After landing on the reports summary page, open the main Reports and Tools dropdown and select the Waitlisted report.
Here you will see the registrants that came in after the registration limit was reached. It’s important to note that any names on this report do not appear anywhere else in your reports, since they are not fully registered at this point.
In order to change a “waitlisted” registrant into an actual registrant, it’s as simple as finding their name in the list and checking the box beside their name. By doing this, you’re effectively completing their registration, making them a full, proper registrant for your event — they will now appear in all the appropriate reports.
See? Told you it was easy! If you have any questions about our waitlist feature that may not have been answered here, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
We offer many different e-commerce gateways in Event Wizard® when it comes to collecting fees from your registrants. However, some users prefer to use PayPal, so here’s a quick rundown on how to set it up in your event.
Enable PayPal as a Payment Option
The first step is to enable PayPal in your event’s payment process.
To do this, head to the orange section of your event task list and select “Edit your payment options and details”, as seen above.
On the page that opens up, you’ll notice the PayPal panel on the right side.
In the first box, enter the email address associated with your PayPal account. Then, under Item Name, enter something relevant to your event/fees. This will be the name that appears during the PayPal checkout process for this event.
Enable Instant Payment Notification (IPN)
While it’s not required to enable IPN, we strongly recommend doing so. If you don’t, you’ll end up having to manually check your PayPal transactions on a daily basis and manually flag each successful transaction as Paid in your Event Wizard® attendee database using the Event Wizard Reports. It is a huge time-saver, especially when it comes to higher transaction volume.
How to Enable IPN:
- Logon to your PayPal account
- Click on the Profile link under the My Account tab
- Click on the My Selling Tools link on the left side of the page
- Click the + beside Getting paid and managing my risk
- Click the Update link next to Instant payment notifications
- Select Receive IPN messages (Enabled) and enter the following URL in the text box provided:
- Click on the Save button to save your information
There are a few more steps on how to check your transactions and test your IPN integration, which we have compiled into a quick-reference PDF for your convenience.
As always, if you have any questions regarding PayPal integration or anything else in Event Wizard®, you know where to find us!
Emails can be found all over Event Wizard®, like the ones that are sent automatically when someone registers/pays for one of your events, or sent manually using the Mass Email tool in your event’s reports section. While you can’t directly attach files to these emails, you can easily create a link to the file using your online file hosting space, which is included with every Event Wizard® account.
1. Upload Your File
The first step is to navigate to My Files in Event Wizard®, which can be found in the main menu at the top of every page.
From here, you can either click the Upload button and choose a file local to your computer, or simply drag-and-drop it into the browser window. You will likely notice a progress bar at the bottom of the screen as your file is uploaded; the speed of which will depend on the file size and the speed of your internet connection. Once the uploader has finished doing its thing, you will see your new file in the list.
2. Create Your Link
For this example, we are going to use the Registration Confirmation Email.
Now that you have uploaded your file, head over to your event’s task list, open up your Edit registration confirmation email page and scroll down to the editor. Highlight the text into which you’d like to insert your link and click the Link button in the editor’s toolbar.
In the popup that appears, click the Browse Server button, which will open up your list of files in a new window. Locate your newly-uploaded file in the list, (likely near the top) and click the file name to close the window and insert the link into the URL box.
NOTE: Some older email clients require that you set the Target of your link to open in a new window. To do this, click the Target tab at the top of the popup and select New Window (_blank) from the list of options.
Click OK to confirm, then click Save to lock in the changes to your email contents.
That’s it! Now, when someone receives this email, the embedded link will allow them to download the linked file from your Event Wizard® storage. You can also use this method when linking to files elsewhere in your event; to an agenda PDF on your Welcome page, for example.
The reporting system in Event Wizard® is very powerful and feature-rich. Not only does it give you a full overview of your event’s progress, it also allows you to manage your registrants in just about every way imaginable. One particularly useful reporting feature is the Excel download function, which allows you to download an Excel-compatible file containing the report of your choice.
However, some reports contain names that use special characters, (like accented letters, for example) and depending on what spreadsheet software you’re using, it may not be able to read them properly. There are a couple different ways you can deal with this issue:
Method 1 – Convert and Import into Excel
If you’re using Excel to open your .csv file, there’s a tried and tested way of preserving special characters:
- Open Excel to a new document
- Click the Data menu at the top, then select Get External Data > From Text, (or Import Text File…, depending on your version)
- Ensure All Files are selectable and choose your downloaded .csv report file
- In the window that opens, choose Delimited for your data type, and UTF-8 as your file origin – click Next
- Finally, choose Comma as your delimiter and click Finish.
If you’re on a Mac, the above method may require an extra step in order to make it work properly:
- Before opening Excel, open your .csv file in TextEdit
- Click File > Duplicate, then File > Save to save as .TXT file, but be sure to select UTF-16 from the Plain Text Encoding dropdown in the Save dialog
- Follow the same steps as the PC instructions above, but instead of using your .csv and UTF-8, (in step 3) choose your new .txt file and Macintosh as your File Origin.
Regardless of whether you’re on a Mac or PC, the import window in Excel provides a preview of what your data will look like once imported. If for some reason the above steps don’t work for you and you’re still getting strange looking characters in your preview, try different encoding/file origin types until you find the one that works for your setup.
Method 2 – Open in Google Sheets
This method is a bit easier than above and works on all platforms, since it’s done through your web browser. It also doesn’t require you to have Excel on your computer, so there are no software costs:
- Go to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/ and sign into your Google account
(NOTE: if you don’t have a Google account, it’s quick and free to create one through the link above)
- Create a new spreadsheet
- Click File > Import
- Click the Upload tab and select your downloaded .csv file
- Select Replace spreadsheet as your Import action, Comma as your Separator character, and then Import
You can then use your new spreadsheet as is, or you can download in a variety of file types by clicking File > Download as.
Hopefully one of these methods will help you deal with special characters in your report downloads. As always, if you have any questions about this or anything else in Event Wizard®, please drop us a line.
Merge tags are a vital tool when composing your confirmation emails, since they allow you to personalize each registrant’s emails by automatically inserting things like their name and registration info. Our latest system merge tag generates a personalized link to each registrants’ ticket, for when it comes time to check them in at your event using our free mobile Attendee Scanner app.
Adding a Ticket Link to your confirmation email is easy. Start by going to your event task list and clicking the Edit Payment Confirmation email link.
Next, click the Insert System Merge Tag dropdown in the editor’s toolbar and scroll down – you’ll notice an option to insert the Ticket Link. Once selected, the Ticket Link merge tag will be inserted next to your cursor in the editor.
NOTE: It’s important to keep in mind that the ticket will only successfully scan once the registrant has paid for their registration, so it makes the most sense to place this tag in the Payment Confirmation Email, rather than the Registration Confirmation Email.
Much like an <a> tag in HTML, the Ticket Link merge tag consists of an opening tag, link text/contents, and a closing tag. Please ensure the opening and closing tags aren’t altered, since they tell the system where to insert the custom link when the email is eventually sent out. The only part we need to be concerned with is the link text between the two tags – change it to something more relevant, similar to the screenshot above, then click Save.
It’s important to test your confirmation email to ensure the link is appearing and functioning properly. Once you receive your test email, assuming everything went as planned, you’ll notice that the Ticket Link merge tag has been transformed into a proper link, which gives access to a personalized ticket for the registrant to whom it was sent.
That’s it! Nice and easy. If you have any questions about the new Ticket Link merge tag or any other merge tags, give us a shout. Also, be sure to download our mobile Attendee Scanner app so you’re prepared for when it comes time to check in attendees at your event – it’s free!
Group registration is a vital tool for a lot of our clients, which is why we have developed one of the most powerful group registration systems in the industry. When utilizing group registration, sometimes our clients want to offer discounts based on different scenarios – this is where group rules come into play.
Below are six example scenarios of where group rules can help automatically apply discounts to your event fees.
1. 10% discount to all members in a group of 10
Say you want to offer a bulk discount to all members of your group. In this scenario, the discount will only be applied when the 10th group member registers and will be applied to all members of the group. If any more than 10 people register for the same group, the extra registrants will not receive the discount.
2. Free registration to the 6th member of a group
This scenario is similar to the “buy one, get one free” deals sometimes seen in your local department store. More specifically, this example is a “buy 5, get 1 free”, where the 6th registrant in a group gets a discount of 100%.
3. $50 discount for everyone if a group has AT LEAST 3 members
Similar to the first example above, this one applies a discount to all group members. Where it differs is that it will continue to be applied to group members, even after it hits a certain threshold, (in this case, 3 members).
4. 25% discount to a group of at least 2 members if they register before a certain date
This one is useful for rewarding group members for early registration. In this example, we are applying a 25% discount to everyone in a group, (minimum of 2 people) who registers before a certain date. If anyone is added to the group after the early-bird fee expires, they will not receive the discount. It should also be noted that you need to set up your fee with an early-bird rate in order for this to work properly.
5. 15% discount to groups with at least 4 members but no more than 6 members
Say you are trying to fill tables at a banquet that hold a maximum of 6 seats, but in order to fully cover the cost of the table you need 3 or more people at each one. The discount in this scenario doesn’t get applied until after you have hit your 3 seat minimum, but will encourage people to fill the tables to their capacity of 6. Note that you would need to set your max group size to 6 as well.
6. Pay for an entire group of 8 in one step
This is another useful one for banquets or dinners. Say you’re selling two different ticket tiers: single seats, and full tables of 8. You can set a group rule to apply a 100% discount to all but the first group member if they purchase a full table. That way, the group administrator, (first person registered per group) will essentially pay for all group members that follow. This is especially useful in scenarios where the group administrator is not only paying for, but also registering the rest of the group members. Note that you would need to set your max group size to 8 as well.
These are just six examples of how you can utilize group rules, but the possibilities are pretty much endless. Keep in mind that you can apply these rules at any time, even if your event is already open. And group rules are smart – they know when someone has cancelled from the group and will re-apply the rule to the new group. If you have any questions about group rules, drop us a line.
As an event coordinator, you want your event to go smoothly from start to finish. The last thing you want to be doing is chasing your registrants down trying to collect missing payments, but it does happen from time to time. Not to worry, we have compiled three tried and tested methods to help you collect any outstanding payments from your registrants.
1. Email Them Their Confirmation Link
It’s possible that one or two registrants simply missed the payment buttons on their confirmation, (i.e.: “thank you”) page; emailing them a quick reminder is the easiest way to get them back on track. Open up your event reports and locate the name of the registrant in question.
Click the View the Registration Details icon in the Tools column for that registrant, which will open up their confirmation page in a new window. Copy the URL from the address bar of the popup and paste it in an email to your registrant. Once received, they can click the link to come back and make payments using the methods you have enabled in your event.
Note: If you only have online payment enabled, simply replace the /thank-you/ portion of the URL with /checkout/. By sending them this link instead, they will open up directly to the checkout process rather than their confirmation page, saving a step.
2. Include the Payment Link in Your Registration Confirmation Email
Rather than waiting for any missed payments, you can take a preliminary measure by including a personalized payment link in your registration confirmation email. This is done using the Payment Link system merge tag, which uses your registrant information in Event Wizard® to generate a personalized link for each individual registrant.
When editing your registration confirmation email, click the Insert System Merge Tag dropdown in the editor, and select Payment Link. This will insert the payment link merge tag wherever your cursor is placed within the body of the editor.
The link merge tags work similarly to how <a> tags work in HTML: they consist of the opening tag, link text, and closing tag. In this case, the opening and closing tags make up the portion of the merge tag that is automatically created by the system, so you don’t need to worry about that. The portion you need to concern yourself with is the link text, which should be changed to something more relevant, (such as “Click here to pay for your registration”) so the registrant knows what the link represents. The screenshot above shows the different steps from link creation to the final email.
3. Email All Registrants with Pending Payments
If you have a lot of registrants that have outstanding payments, you can use the email tool within the reports to easily send every one of them a personalized email reminder. Start by going to your event reports and opening the Pending Payments report. Locate the Email icon beside the Reports and Tools dropdown – give it a click.
On the page that opens, you will notice a lot of the same fields from the Edit Confirmation Email page. Start by filling in the boxes with your subject, name, and email address. Next, add some content to your email.
Composing your reminder email is just like composing the confirmation email we did in method 2, only with slightly different information. You can use merge tags to personalize the email with information like the registrant’s name and registration date, but most importantly, their payment link. Once you have your email composed, click the Send Email button.
Hopefully one of these methods will help you to collect any pending payments for your event fees. If you have any questions about this, or anything else Event Wizard®, please contact us.