Can’t Run Your Event as Planned? Here's How to Manage it in WildApricot

Events April 17, 2020

Catherine Chea

By Catherine Chea

Planning an event is hard enough, but even more so when the unexpected happens and you're faced with tough decisions.  


Should I reschedule the event? Cancel it? Issue a refund?  


But before you go ahead and make changes to your event, it’s important to weigh up your options so you can minimize the impact on attendees and your organization.  


There are many ways to go when it comes to updating your event. Having to choose your best option can certainly be overwhelming. To help you come to a solution, I created a flow chart with questions and decision points regarding your event. 




Which option did you end up choosing? 


If you’re still on the fence or want to learn more about the options available, this blog will cover the following: 

  1. Edit to be virtual
  2. Rescheduling events
  3. Postponing events
  4. Canceling registrations
  5. Deleting events 

1. Edit to be virtual

Virtual events allow for social activities and learning while social distancing – so if it’s possible, have a virtual event instead using platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting or Webex. Here's how you can modify your event in WildApricot.


Editing your event

If you want people to see that your event is now virtual, one of the first things to do is to rename your event to reflect this. You can do this by hovering over the Events menu, click on and then updating the title field, location, and description (as seen in the fictional example below).


Under Location, enter text indicating that this will be an online meeting (e.g., "Zoom meeting - link to be shared").


I don't recommend adding the event link in the description since it allows anyone to join without registering or responding. Instead: 


If your event was created as an advanced event, you can paste the meeting link in the Additional event information field. This information will be automatically added to the Event Registration Confirmed email template using a macro – so, when registrants sign up, they will automatically receive a confirmation email with the meeting link.  


Click here to learn more about setting up online events in WildApricot. 


Changing the admission price

To encourage more participants to attend the virtual event, many organizations have also opted to reduce the original admissions price. If you're planning to do the same, I recommend taking the following steps:

  1. Disable your existing registration type(s) to make sure no one new signs up at the old prices. Please note: if you choose to delete this registration type instead, you must remove everyone from the registrants list and the waitlist first. To disable:
    • Select the event from the Event list.
    • Click the Edit button.
    • Select the Disabled status.
    • Click the Save button.
  2. Create a new Registration type with the new admission price for your virtual event (see screenshot below as an example):
    • Select the event’s Registrants types & settings tab.
    • Click the Add type button. 
    • Fill out the required fields with the updated price.
    • Click the Save button.
  3. Move registrants to the new Registration type (so they won’t have to register again).
    • Select the registrant under the Registrants & Invitees tab.
    • Click the Edit button.
    • Select the new Registration type.
    • Click the Save button.

    Please note: If registrants have not paid for the event, their invoices will be updated.

  4. When you move registrants to a new Registration type, their old invoices will be voided. You will then have to apply their credits to pay for this new registration. For any credit left over, you can leave it as a credit or refund it. See the Canceling Registrations section for more information on refunds.

Emailing registrants regarding changes

Registrants won’t know that you’ve made any changes to your event—whether it’s changes to the registration fee, invoice, description, or location—unless you send them an email. 


You can let existing registrants know about the event changes by either customizing the Reminder emails under the event’s Email tab or by clicking the Email registrants button and creating an email. Below are some snapshots highlighting these options.  




In the image above, I made sure the subject line lets recipients know about the event change, so they can see this information even if they don’t open the email. 


If you want to send your registrants an email with their new invoice, here’s how:

    • Select the Registrants & Invitees tab.
    • Click on the registrant.
    • Select the Financial Transactions link.
    • Click on the new invoice you want to email.
    • Click the Email button, where you can then add a personal message before sending out the email. 

For more information on emailing event registrants, click here.


2. Rescheduling events

If you have a new date in mind for your event, you can easily reschedule it. To make this change in WildApricot, simply go to the Events details screen of your event, add the new date and click the Save button. 


Like the above point, registrants won’t know about your new date unless you send them an email. You can schedule Reminder emails with the new dates or click the Email registrants button and build an email by following the steps in the email editor.  


3. Postponing events

If you’d rather not cancel your event but don't have the reschedule date, consider postponing your event. That way, registrants can choose to cancel on their own, but at least you won’t have to cancel the entire event and refund everyone. 


In the Event details screen, you can set a tentative that’s far in the future (as it's a mandatory field). You can then let people know the date is tentative in the title and description.  


As mentioned, registrants won’t know about changes to your event unless you send them an email.  You can do this by clicking the Email registrants button for the selected event, and then building the email by following the steps in the email editor.  

4. Canceling registrations

If canceling your event seems like the best option for you, then I strongly recommend not deleting the event. You can’t restore events that you’ve deleted, and it also eliminates the attendee list and void all invoices. 


Instead, you can cancel the individual registrations rather than the event itself:

  1. Disable registrations for the event (doing so automatically voids any invoice).
  2. Change the name of the event to Canceled: [Name of event].
  3. Cancel each registration individually. 
  4. Click Send notification to let registrants know. 

Here's a video to show how this is done:  


What if attendees have paid for your event? There are a couple of ways to address this:

  1. Allow registrants to keep the registration fee as credit for a future event or payment.
  2. Issue refunds. 

When you issue a refund, you do so from your payment processor, not within WildApricot. Recording refunds in WildApricot simply updates the records in your WildApricot to reflect the refunds issued outside of WildApricot.


Whether a refund issued outside WildApricot is automatically recorded in WildApricot, without you having to record it manually, depends on your payment processor. 


Click here to learn more.


5. Deleting events

Your last option is to delete your event. I don’t advise doing so since deleting an event will automatically delete all registrations.  Plus, a deleted event can’t be restored. 


If you do have to delete your event, I recommend sending an email to all event attendees first, since the attendee list will no longer be available once the event is deleted. 


To delete an event, follow these steps:

  1. Hover over the Events menu and select the Event list option.
  2. Click the name of the event to be cancelled within the events list.
  3. Click the down arrow beside the Edit button and click the option.
  4. You will be prompted to confirm the deletion by checking the I understand and want to delete checkbox, then click the Delete button. 

Visit here for more information on deleting events.  


Making event decisions is not a walk in the park for most, but, hopefully, this blog will help make things easier. If you still have any questions, the WildApricot Help site has a dedicated section on Events.  


Good luck!  


For more advice, look at these related articles and posts:

The Membership Growth Report:

Benchmarks & Insights for Growing Revenue and Constituents

Get the report now!

Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.


About results ( seconds) Sort by: 
Sorry, an error occured when performing search.