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.
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.
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.
We cannot stress the importance of testing your event registration form enough. This is your chance to see if something is out of place, doesn’t flow right or if you have just plain forgot something.
To test your form, click the ‘View Icon’ icon from any page.
This will open your form in a new browser window.
While in test mode you may process as many test registration as you would like. The url of the form and the way it behaves will be the same when you make it live. You will notice that your form will also display a TEST MODE note in the social media bar located at the bottom of your webpage.
You may enter a maximum of 15 test registrations into a test form. If you reach the maximum you can delete some and keep testing.
Receiving Confirmation Emails
To get a truly real-world experience when testing your form, make sure you have your desired confirmation emails enabled. The testing email address will receive the emails as a normal registrant would when you make your form live.
If you have added any merge tags to your email these will populate as normal with the relevant information from the test registration.
Are you not receiving your test confirmation emails? This could be why.
Testing Forms with Payment Processing
If you have an ecommerce gateway linked to your event so you can process credit cards, you will need to obtain the test credit card number.
- If you are using the Event Wizard Payment Gateway (DotCom Your Event Inc.) the following information can be used for testing.
Card Number – 4111 1111 1111 1111
Expiration Date – Use the default month and year that are on the credit card form
Security Code – 111
- If you are using another payment gateway you must contact your provider to obtain the testing card number for their payment gateway. View our list of payment processing partners.
Viewing Test Reports
Your reports will populate as normal when you are in test mode. To view your reports click the Reports icon from anywhere within your event’s edit menu.
Please note: Event Wizard does not back-up any test data. When you want to make your form live you will require a positive registration balance in your account.
Once you have completed your form testing it’s time to make your event registration form live!
Setting up barcodes in your event is the same as setting up any other merge tag within your Event Wizard® edit menu (task list).
Use the Event Wizard® Attendee Scanner App with your attendee barcodes onsite at your event. When barcodes are scanned for each attendee your attendance report will update real-time in your reports.
HOW TO SET-UP BARCODES
There are two areas we recommend adding barcodes; the confirmation email and the confirmation page (thank-you page). In either instance, adding the barcode merge tag is the same. Let’s use the confirmation email in this example.
The first thing to do is head into the confirmation email edit screen in your task list. Once here, click your mouse inside the editor screen so the cursor is flashing. Then select the merge tag dropdown list labelled Insert System Merge Tag.
Then select 1D barcode and the barcode merge tag will be added to the email body.
Click save and you’re done! Now, each time a registrant completes their registration and receives their confirmation email a unique barcode will be in their email.
Instruct your registrants to bring the email with them on their mobile phone or in a print out to be scanned at the door using the Event Wizard® Attendee Scanner App. Each time a barcode is scanned your attendance report will update that person in your reports as attended.
If you need assistance setting up barcodes feel free to contact us today.
During the registration form testing process you will likely be processing lots of tests to ensure the flow of your form is exactly as you want it. At least you should be, if not, it’s time to make it a habit!
When testing your form, sometimes the confirmation emails don’t seem to be getting delivered to your computer. This can happen on occasion when the email is set-up with the same email domain as your own. Setting your Event Wizard® confirmation email up with the same email address as your own, or with the same email domain as your company is very common practice and makes complete sense. However, email firewalls don’t always agree and can sometimes mistake the email for a spamming practice called ‘spoofing’.
Here is the scenario:
- You set-up a ‘from’ email address for your registration form, for ex: firstname.lastname@example.org. The @company.com is the same email domain as your own.
- When the confirmation email is sent, your email firewall sees a message coming from an external source that has an internal email domain. This doesn’t make sense to it and therefore assumes it cannot be from a legitimate source. As a result it does not allow the message through and you never see it.
So, how do you stop this from happening so you can receive your confirmation emails? The first step is to check to see if they are going into your junk folder. If this is the case you can simply mark the email message as safe and you’re done.
If the message is not there then the second possibility is that your firewall is blocking the emails as spam. A quick test is to register under your personal email address like a gmail, hotmail or another web-based service. If you receive the confirmation email there you can make a pretty solid assumption it is your company’s firewall not allowing the email to be delivered.
The solution is to have your IT department or whomever manages your email accounts to add the following three items to the whitelist of your firewall rules:
The important thing to note is that this does not affect your registrants and typically only happens to the company that has created the form. We see this in government and academic institutions but not often elsewhere.
If you have any questions on this topic or need assistance with your confirmation email set-up contact us today.
When someone registers they sometimes need to send a confirmation of their registration to an alternate email address. Maybe it’s a parent that’s registering their child for sports camp and they require a copy of the confirmation. Or an Office Administrator registering a group that needs to manage all confirmations and attendee records.
In Event Wizard® you can set up your form to do this automatically by changing a simple field setting. To do this you will start by adding the filed type ‘textbox’ in the Data Collection section.
Enter the label as you normally would, then scroll down to the dropdown box labelled ‘Field Behaviour’. Select Alternate Email Address in the dropdown box. This step is very important as it tells Event Wizard® to trigger a copy of the confirmation email when this field is filled out.
Once complete click Save and you’re done. Your new Alternate Email Address field will appear on your registration form. You can treat this field like any other on your registration form and move it around or update as needed.
You are not limited to the number of alternate email address fields on your form so have fun!
If you have any questions about adding an alternate email address field, let us know.
Giving your registrants the freedom to update their own registration, rather than going through an administrator, can save you a substantial amount of time and money.
In Event Wizard® you have two options for allowing registrants to update their own registration. The first is to update all fields except anything with a fee associated with it. The second is all fields including ones with fees associated with them.
Setting up the ability for registrants to update their own registration record can be done in a few easy steps. We recommend making this decision before you launch your registration form. This way you can better communicate the ability to update registrations with all registrants.
First, navigate to your Event Properties in your Event Tasklist.
Then select ‘Edit event date, event location, and basic properties’ then ‘advanced options’. Within this section you will see two checkboxes that have the following text:
- Allow registrants to update their information
- Allow registrants to remove/add/modify fee selections during the update process
If you would only like your registrants to be able to update non-fee item fields only, choose the first box only. If you would also like to allow the removal, addition or modification of any fee items associated with your form then also choose the second option. After making your choices click SAVE.
Once this step is complete you then need to provide your registrants with a link to their registration form so they can make any desired updates. To do this navigate to your Confirmation Email editor and on the right hand side click the System Merge Tag dropdown list (note: to read more on merge tags see this post):
When you choose this merge tag the following text will be added to your editor wherever you have placed your cursor ‘[##UPDATE_LINK_START##]YOUR UPDATE LINK TEXT HERE[##UPDATE_LINK_END##]’. This merge tag will automatically add the registrant’s personal update link to their confirmation email. Make sure you customize the text that appears in the middle so the recipient knows what to do, for example:
Once this step is complete you are all set. You can also add this to your Payment Confirmation email if you choose.
One of the main purposes behind Event Wizard® is to help you better automate your online registration process. Giving your registrant’s a personal update link will keep your inbox clear of request emails so you can continue planning your event.
If you need assistance with this or any other feature let us know.
Before we dive into this post let me explain what merge tags are.
Merge tags allow you to customize your Registration Confirmation Email, Payment Confirmation Email, Registrant Update Email and Thank You Page by allowing you to add tags that automatically pull in information from your registration form.
The most common use of merge tags is to automatically address something with a person’s name, like an email. For example, if you set up your email to read, Dear [##FIRST_NAME##], then each recipient will have their first name in place of the tag. Pretty neat, right!
Now that you know what they are, let’s explain how to use them. As mentioned you have the ability to set up merge tags in the following places in Event Wizard®:
- Registration Confirmation Email
- Payment Confirmation Email
- Registrant Update Email
- Thank You Page
We’ll use the Thank You Page for this example. When you are in the Thank You Page editor look out for the two dropdown lists on the lower row:
The list on the left will add ‘Form Merge Tags’, which are merge tags based on the fields you have created for your form. This excludes the following fields: Labels, Horizontal Lines, Page Breaks and Section Labels.
The list on the right will add ‘System Merge Tags’, which are tags automatically generated for every registration form created, such as Registration Date, Event Title etc.
To add any tag, just simply click on the name in the dropdown list and it will embed itself within the editor.
By default we have added the typical merge tags to all of the registration confirmation emails that go out. However, if you do not want these tags or want to change them up in any way, feel free to go into the above mentioned pages and do so.
Let us know if you need any help!