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Best Practice for $0 Event Registrations

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  • Best Practice for $0 Event Registrations

    I'm curious about the best practice for tracking free event registrations in Salesforce. Are most non-profits creating $0 opportunities to track these ticket registrations or are they tracking them through campaigns? Or both?

  • #2

    As we discussed in Live Support, whether or not you decide to create Opportunities for $0 transactions will depend on what you want to do with the information 'after the event'.

    Event management by itself does not add a lot of event-related information to the 'Salesforce native objects' - like Contacts, Opportunities, and the Campaigns associated with the Opportunities and Contacts.

    So why might you decide to create Opportunities for $0 transactions?

    Upsides to creating $0 Opportunities
    • if you need to report on the transaction information in conjunction with stats from Event Management. - for example, on the call yesterday one of the callers- Karen, wanted a report for the last 4 digits of the credit card numbers that were used to by tickets for the event. Perhaps so that when someone attends the event, she can let them know which payment methods they have used. The last 4 digits of the credit card is a field that is passed to the C&P transaction that's created, but it is stored in any of the Event objects.
    • if you need to send mass emails to people based on their event attendance, and whatever app you use for mass email uses Salesforce Campaigns to generate those lists
    • other apps may use Campaign data to function, so you may need that information to use those apps.
    Downsides to creating $0 Opportunities
    • You'd be creating an Opportunity record for each 'free event' someone registers for, so although it will not impact the Total Donation rollups that NPSP creates on your Contact records, it WOULD affect the NPSP rollup for 'Number of Gifts', and if anything uses that to calculate a Contact's 'giving average', it would skew the result.
    • When you choose to create Opportunities for $0 transactions, you are increasing the amount of records that Salesforce is storing, and not just by 'one for each transaction':
      • there's a record for the Opportunity
      • a record for the Registrant Alias (associated with the Contact record) if there was not an automatic match
      • a record for the Attendee Alias (again, associated with the Contact record) if there was not an automatic match
      • a record for the Registrant's Contact to connect it to the Campaign
      • another record for the Attendee's Contact to associate it to the Campaign
      • a record to associate the Opportunity to the Campaign
    So depending on the particular circumstances, tracking $0 transactions can create anywhere from 1 to 6 additional records depending on the circumstances, making it potentially very 'data heavy'. Associations to Campaigns and Alias records can add up quickly and require your organization to purchase additional storage from Salesforce. At the nonprofit where I previously worked, we did track event attendance for paid events with Opportunities, and Campaign Membership records ended up representing the vast majority of our data.

    This is why nonprofits hire our Partners to assist with implementing our Salesforce apps- ideally you are paying the consultant to be aware of these kinds of impacts, and it is why I would suggest using one of our Partners over any Salesforce consultant.

    Do you see why it's not as simple as asking 'what do most nonprofits do'? You also have to make this decision IN LIGHT OF all the custom choices your organization made as they implemented Salesforce.
    Consider sharing this with your organization's Director if you need to justify getting assistance from a Partner consultant.

    Hope that helps , Amanda
    C&P Customer Advocate & Live Support

    Last edited by CnP.LiveSupport.AB; 04-12-2019, 09:37 AM.
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    • #3
      Very insightful Amanda! Thanks!