A new form type, called attendance, is available to let people check themselves in for an online event which they have previously booked for. Then it redirects them to the event’s web page.

Don’t provide people with bookings with the URL of the event location (on Zoom, Teams or whatever). Instead, give people the URL of the page on your website which embeds the attendance form. The form acts as an intermediary to the actual URL.

This means you:

  • Can record attendance (and use that attendance list later for statistics or targeted email),
  • Can send a personalised link to the event even when there is only a single URL identifying it. Keep the URL you distribute within your own website.
  • Do not have to obtain or decide on the actual online service you’ll use until nearer the time. You can deliver the link to the event as early as in the booking receipt, without having booked the service to host it.
  • Don’t have to wrestle with the third-party service to get an attendance list out of it. Nor do your attendees have to separately sign in to the event (unless the service requires this). Their personalised link to the attendance form is sufficient to identify them.

The workflow

Here’s how it works:

  • You send an email to people who have booked for an event saying how to join it online. This includes a link to join in, a personalised link to a page on your public website (not a direct link to the service providing the meeting, such as Zoom).
  • That page embeds a Cameo attendance form. So when they follow their invitation to join, they see a message saying they will be transferred to Zoom or wherever (you can customise the message in the form). At the same time the form automatically checks then in to the event.
  • When you set up the form, you say which event it refers to, so they are checked in to the correct event. The event also knows its venue, and the venue contains the real link to the event, on Zoom etc. This is how the form is able to transfer the to the online event.

Event set up

An online event differs only from any other event in having a URL where the meeting will be held. This is set in the Venues section for the event. However, the One Off Event button in Events can now set this for you when it makes the venue. It can also create an attendance form at the same time.

This URL (or a placeholder) needs to be set before you can customise the attendance form. If you don’t know the URL of the event yet, use a place-holder, such as https://example.com.

Using One Off Event

Click the Add One-off Event button and fill in the event details in the usual way.

When doing that, tick the Online box (Fig 1: 1). This reveals:

  • a field to enter the URL where the event will be held (on Zoom for example; Fig 1: 2)
  • a further box to tick to make an attendance form to go with the event (Fig 1: 3).
Fig 1: using One Off Event to make an online event with attendance form

Manually setting the event’s URL

The easiest way to get at an existing venue is to click the open venue link in the event (Fig 2). This takes you to the venue. Just enter the URL in the box provided (Fig 3).

Bear in mind that a venue may be shared by more than one event. In that case you may need to copy the venue to enter a different URL when one is already set. Then adjust the event to use the new venue. The Venue section tells which events are using that venue (as shown in Fig 2).

Fig 2: open venue
Fig 3: online event URL

The attendance form

If not already created for you by One-off Event, make an attendance form in the usual place, in the list for New Form, in the Manage Forms section of the Forms menu (Fig 4). It’s right at the top, being first alphabetically.

Fig 4: new form: attendance

The form only works when personalised. To set it up you need to have have made a booking for the event in question. This should be in the name of someone (probably you) who has been sent an email recently. That uniquely identifies them; it doesn’t have to be a booking receipt or other mail related to the event: any email will do). You can always cancel the booking later if you do it as a test.

Select this person (you can click their membership number in the reservation; if you use someone else it will tell you they don’t have a booking for the event). Click personalise form above the form preview in Manage Forms.

When One-off Event makes the form, it already knows the event it applies to. If not, use form settings to identifying the event. This is how the form knows which event it is checking-in for. You can find it in:

  • each event booking,
  • in the event details when an event is selected in the Reservations section, or
  • in the definition of the event in the Events section.

(The form tells you if this is not yet set; you can also click on those blue bars to set them: Fig 5).

Fig 5: setting the event instance in the attendance form

Once set, Manage forms shows you details of the event and the booking (Fig 6; this blue box isn’t visible in the real form, but you can substitute the event name in the form text if you want, as shown in Fig 6). You can now edit the text the visitor sees, including adding a header or footer if required.

Fig 6

The real form has a time limit prior to the start of the event before which people cannot check in. This is 60 minutes by default, but you can change it in the form settings. Late-comers can continue to check in until midnight on the day of the event.

However, Manage forms does not apply this time limit when previewing inside Cameo. This is so that you can set up the form as they will see it. The redirect to the event’s URL also does not happen in this form simulation.