Postponed Events and Deferred Entrants
2020… what a year!
Whilst it’s awesome to see some physical events being held now, we know a lot of events have been completely pushed to 2021. Some events never even opened entries and some events refunded everyone and can start fresh for their next edition of their event.
But what about events where entries have been deferred to next year?
As you may have noticed, we take data seriously and we are here to help you navigate the next 12 months and make sure you have everything sorted before your next event.
When it comes time to set up your next registration form you need to decide if you are going to just update the 2020 form which will have all the 2020 participants still in it. Or are you going to build out a new registration form for 2021?
When it comes to setting up your registration form for your 2021, will you simply update the date on your 2020 form - which already contains data of the registered participants OR will you build an entirely new form out for 2021?
Semantics? No definitely not.
If you do go for the update existing 2020 e0 form option, you need to be aware that any changes to the structure of the event will not automatically be reflected in the participant records of those already registered.
For example, if you add in several new participant questions - those who have already registered will have blank answers in the database for these new questions. Oh dear.
On the flipside if you create a new form for 2021 - you need to decide how you will honor the entries of those already registered for 2020. If you plan to move everyone across, this is fine but there are a couple additional steps you will need to take to ensure your data is still relevant:
- The existing registrants will need to be manually moved into the new event
- PLUS, you’ll need to update their Category selections.
Using a sport analogy, think of it like you have traded a player to a new team (event) but you haven’t given them a new uniform (category). This has implications when it comes to bib numbering etc.
If you don’t want to move everyone across manually, the alternate option would be to create a series of single use, unique promo codes and then using mail-merge - send them to each registrant and provide them with the registration link to your new form. The advantage is that these past registrants will receive more up to date information about your event and if they can’t make it they may even opt to give their entry to a friend.
And what if a registrant can’t make the event for 2021 and wants to defer to 2022 - that person's entry information could be up to 4 years old by then! Do you remember what you were doing 4 years ago?! Lots of things happen in 4 years - job changes, divorces, moving house - all things probably happening more and more thanks to COVID.
No matter what you decide, a key part of this process is to keep your entrants updated with the plans and what is happening - communication is crucial! And feel free to communicate with us - we are here to help.
The best advice that we can give you is put it all in writing - you will be amazed at how things can become clearer once they are written down. And then get in touch with us!