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Event Attendee Names - To Require or Not Require?
Event Attendee Names - To Require or Not Require?

Learn how attendees can be missing from registrations, how to determine who the person is and how to ensure attendees appear in the future.

Pete Zimek, CAE avatar
Written by Pete Zimek, CAE
Updated over a week ago

Two Choices

When creating an event ticket, an admin must make a choice. Should the ticket require the attendee's name or should the field be optional?

AE Tip™: Once you have started registering people for an event, we highly recommend that you don't switch from the attendee required to attendee not required. Technically, this is doable, but your reporting will suffer for it.

Attendee Required

To ensure that your association has the best data, you will want to require an answer for the attendee. When it is likely that an attendee will be registering him or herself, this is an easy choice. Everyone knows his or her own name... I hope. :-)

Please Note! When your event is set up as Attendee-Based (instead of Ticket-Based), the Name field is always required.

Attendee Not Required

When there is a good chance that one person will be registering lots of people, you might want to consider not requiring attendee names. In many cases, the person doing the registration doesn't know exactly who will be attending. In this case, we believe that you're better off having no data than fake data. At least it's easier to spot.

The clear downside to not requiring attendee names at the time the form is filled out is that you very well could end up staring at an attendee roster with missing names. Perhaps that's why you're reading this article. If you are faced with this, you will want to look to the purchaser's name.

Allow "TBD" for Attendee Names

Please note the following when deciding if the Attendee Name field should be required or not:

  • If required - Does not allow TBD

  • If not required - Allows TBD

When "TBD" is allowed for the Attendee Name field, the following will apply:

  • A checkbox for "I'm not sure who is coming yet" will show up as an option on the frontend and backend.

    • If none of the attendee fields are filled out, the system will automatically treat it as a "TBD" attendee (even if the checkbox is not checked).

    • If at least one of the fields is filled out (i.e. Email), but the checkbox is not checked, then the system will leave the name blank (instead of TBD).

  • Any attendee records with this box checked will show in the Attendee list, checkout page, and confirmation emails with "TBD" as their first name (and their last name will be blank).

  • Ability to Purchase/Attend should not be locked down to "Restrict Attendee Only" or "Restrict Purchaser and Attendee" to use TBD.

  • When selected, all other fields on that attendee record will be disabled, and any required fields can be bypassed.

  • If a multi-seat ticket is purchased with unfilled seats, they will be treated as "TBD" attendees.

  • Each "TBD" attendee record will be counted as a unique attendee.

  • The unique attendee list on the backend includes a Filter to hide or show TBD attendees.

AE Tip™: If you don't require an attendee name, make sure to restrict the purchase of the ticket to Logged-In Members. We also recommend that you bring lots of blank name badge stickers to the event.

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