Data Hygiene: Ensure your Events are Configured Correctly

In "Data Hygiene: How to Keep Data Clean and Healthy!", we spoke in general terms of the basic steps you need to take to keep your data clean and healthy. In this blog post, we focus on ensuring that your events are configured correctly.

A smooth online event registration process will avoid constituent frustration and if your organization offers events with similar configurations (e.g. monthly community dinners), you can streamline the configuration by using Event Templates. Event templates minimize the amount of information you need to configure for each new event thereby reducing the chance for problems with the registration process (assuming the configuration in the template is correct). Regardless, no matter how streamlined your process is, the configuration for each and every event should be reviewed for the following:

  • While entering a Start Date and Time for an event is required, including an End Date and Time is not, but it's a good idea to enter one if it is applicable. In this way, the event will not be listed in the default Manage Events view (that shows only current and upcoming events), and anywhere else where current and upcoming events are displayed (e.g. your front-end website)
  • If you opt to Include Map to Event Location, you must be sure that you have Mapping and Geocoding enabled, and that you have appropriately configured the required API keys (as described HERE for Google users)
  • If you are configuring a Paid Event with a price set, you want to make sure that your price set is configured correctly1
  • If you configure the event to Allow Online Registration, carefully review the following settings:
    • Even if you do not need a final headcount prior to the event, it's a good idea to include a Registration End Date and Time such that event online registration will close automatically within a reasonable amount of time before the event starts - this will prevent any frustration for last minute registrants and give you enough time to communicate with registrants.
    • If you allow people to Register Multiple Participants, you want to be sure that the profile used for additional participants does not include a reCAPTCHA challenge - if you do, upon submitting an additional participant, the system will indicate that the reCAPTCHA challenge must be answered, but no reCATPCHA challenge displayed - the assumption is that if the same person (the primary registrant) passed the reCAPTCHA challenge upon submitting their registration, there is no need to challenge the same person again for each additional participant being registered
    • If you are using the Cividesk SparkPost extension AND you opt to Send Confirmation Email, you must enter a valid email address2 in the Confirm From Email field - failure to do so will not prevent event registration, but it will result in an error message displayed on the thank-you page and no email will be sent
  • Similarly, if you configure Schedule Reminders to be sent for the event:
    • the From Email address must also be valid2 - if it is not, this will prevent event reminders from being sent and may cause a fatal error in the Send Scheduled Reminders scheduled job which will prevent other unrelated reminders from being sent
    • If you toggle Repeat to enable repetition, you must enter a value in the Until field to prevent the Send Scheduled Reminders scheduled job from failing to send (see screenshot below for visual reference):

IMPORTANT TIP: Each and every event should be tested by going through the entire online registration process. You'll want to use either an incognito window or log in/masquerade as a non-admin user - this will allow you to experience the exact process that anonymous and authenticated users (without access to your CMS or Civi) will have when registering for an event. 

 

1 More detail on price set configuration will be described in an upcoming post
2 To be valid, a "FROM" email address must meet both of the following requirements: It is listed under Administer > Communications > FROM Email Addresses in the correct format and the domain of the email address must be a verified sending domain - click HERE for more details