Lessons Learned: Working with Event Registrations in Qualtrics

Qualtrics works well for collecting event registrations. But there are a number of things to be aware of. I imagine that the "issues" stem from the service being geared towards administering surveys online. However, the benefits of using Qualtrics outweigh the shortcomings.


In the previous post (Lessons Learned: Live2Lead Website and Using Qualtrics for Collecting Event Registrations), I talked about using Qualtrics to collect event registrations. While Qualtrics is geared towards administering online surveys, nothing stops you from using it for other types of online forms.

It should be mentioned that the version of Qualtrics I use is paid for by a university. The features discussed in this post may not be available in other versions of the service. I'm also a bit of a newbie when it comes to Qualtrics. So it wouldn't surprise me if there was a better way to use its features.

With that said, the features discussed below are found under the Results section for a survey.

View Reports

The View Reports feature wasn't too useful for the event registration process. My form was primarily made up of fields like first name, last name, email, etc. and the reports only show 100 responses (see Figure 1) for fill-in-the-blank questions. You'll need to go into the Download Data tab to access the rest.

Qualtrics screenshot that shows the 100 record limitation warning
Figure 1. 100 Row Limit Warning

However, the results report is nice for things like multiple-choice questions. Qualtrics shows those responses as a graph (see Figure 2) that can be customized (see Figure 3).

Qualtrics screenshot showing the default graph for multiple-choice questions
Figure 2. Default Graph
Qualtrics screenshot showing some of the option to customize a graph
Figure 3. Customize Graph

Search Submissions

The built-in search feature, under the Responses section, provides a way to find people by first and/or last name (see Figure 4). But it turns out that those have nothing to do with my form's fields. The ones used by the search engine are only good if the form requires a user to authenticate (log in) first.

Qualtrics screenshot showing the option for searching by last name
Figure 4. Response Search Form

So, when someone cancelled their registration, I ended up using the HTML view available under the Download Data section. On that page, you can use the browser's built-in search feature (Finding Keywords Quickly on Web Pages with Ctrl + F) to look for whatever you want. Then you can use the "ResponseID" to locate the submission using Qualtrics' search engine.

Edit Submissions

There were a few cases where I needed to edit someone's submission. To do that, I needed to resubmit their registration form. The problem with that is the date associated with the registration would also change. And that date was being used to gauge the number of submissions that were received per day and being compared against our marketing efforts to see how well each campaign did.

The date change was also problematic when the event reached capacity and the form was used to add people to a wait list. It would have been easier to see who was waiting by scanning through the submission dates, but I ended up tracking the list manually.

Export Results

As you might expect from an online form solution, Qualtrics has the ability to export the submissions in CSV format which can be easily open in Microsoft Excel. One issue with the export process is there doesn't seem to be a way to exclude the unnecessary fields that the service keeps track of. So every time I shared the registration list with co-workers, I needed to manually remove fields like the latitude and longitude of the registrants; the name and email address fields which are only used if people need to log in before filling out the form; etc.

One nice thing about Qualtrics' export feature is that you can indicate when the export should happen (see Figure 5). So you can have it prepare the CSV file on a specific date and time and have it notify you, through email, when the file is ready for download.

Qualtrics screenshot showing the options for delaying a result download
Figure 5. Schedule Results Download

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