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Wait List on Sessions and Drop-ins
Wait List on Sessions and Drop-ins

Add people to the wait list if a session or drop-in is full and notify them when a spot opens.

Samantha Postlethwaite avatar
Written by Samantha Postlethwaite
Updated over a week ago

You can activate Wait Lists from the Apps tab!

Even when an activity is full, your clients may still have an opportunity to register. Admins with the right permission can enable wait lists on sessions and drop-ins to keep tabs on participants who want to be notified and given priority if a spot opens.

In this article:

1. How to turn on a Wait list

In the Activities > Edit subtab, click the activity to open the edit window and scroll to the Wait list section. Click 'Enabled' to activate the wait list for all session and drop-ins the activity offers. Wait lists aren't available for private lessons.

💡 Mass edit to enable the wait list on multiple activities at once within the same program.

There are three wait list settings to choose from:

  1. Enabled: Check this box alone to enable a manual wait list. When a spot opens, admins must send emails and register waitlisted participants manually.

  2. Offer spots in order of registration to the wait list: When a spot opens, an automated email is sent to the highest participant on the list to register or remove themselves from the wait list. If no action is taken before the time allowed to claim a spot is up, another email is sent to the next participant. Waitlisted participants can only claim the spot on their turn. Once they've all had their turn, the spot opens to the public.

  3. Offer spots to everyone on the wait list at the same time: When a spot opens, an automated email is sent to every participant on the wait list to register or remove themselves from the wait list. Waitlisted participants may claim the spot on a first come, first serve basis. When the time allowed to claim a spot is up, it opens to the public.

Spots open to the public after waitlisted participants have a chance to register. If more spots open at the same time than there are waitlisted, the surplus is open to the public right away. If 3 people are waitlisted and 5 new spots open - 3 spots are temporarily reserved to those on the wait list and 2 spots are opened to the public.


2. How to add a participant to the Wait list

When an activity is full, clients and admins may add unlimited people to the wait list, as long as they're eligible for the activity. The same person can be on many wait lists. A wait list can be 'on' throughout the session, and up until the drop-in's start time (unless there are registration periods). Clients can see if an activity has a wait list, but not its settings or who's listed. Learn about notifications here.


3. How to use the Wait list page

To follow up on a wait list, go to the Activities>Registration subtab. First, click on the activity of interest and then on the Wait list tab. Wait lists for session and drop-ins are displayed separately, so use the blue button to toggle between them (if an activity has both). To change your wait list settings, click the link at the bottom of the page.

  • Participants are listed in the order (rank) they're added to the wait list.

  • Click the participant's name to jump to their client account.

  • The account owner column shows the contact info from the wait list form (it's updated to their account and across all wait lists).

  • The last email column is only for automated notifications, not emails sent manually.

  • The notes are unique to each wait.

  • Export what you see on the wait list page by clicking the download icon.

3.1 Actions - Skip, Unskip & Register 

Admins may use actions to update a participant's status on any type of wait list.

Skip

Unskip

Register

Skip the participant if they don't want the spot.

It's like saying they're off the wait list.

Reverts a skipped participant's status to 'Waiting'. On automated wait lists, they'll be notified if another spot opens.

Register a waitlisted participant in the store (even if the class is full).

Participants can skip themselves on

automated wait lists.

Participants can't unskip themselves.

Participants can register themselves during

their turn on automated wait lists.

3.2 Status column

The status column shows the actions taken by an admin, or {for automated wait lists} the participant. Participants who're notified automatically of an open spot can ignore (Time's up), register, or remove themselves from the wait list (Client skipped). You can filter the wait list page by status.


4. How do wait list email notifications work?

This section explains what happens with the contact info on the wait list form, which email address is used to send automated/manual notifications and what email(s) a waitlisted participant can expect to receive.

As usual, when someone is registered to the activity, an invoice confirmation is sent to the account owner. Keep in mind that participants can also view all the notifications they receive from the Communications tab in their personal account.

4.1 Contact info on the wait list form

Before you can add someone to a wait list, SmartRec confirms the email and phone number in the account owner's Personal Info. A confirmation is always sent to this email address to simply confirm the participant has been added to the wait list.

If contact details are changed on the wait list form, they're also changed in the account owner's personal info and across all wait lists.

4.2 Which email address is sent notifications?

SmartRec refers to more than just the contact info on the wait list form to send email notifications. Here's what to expect if the waitlisted participant is:

✉️ The account owner

All manual/automated emails are sent to the address in the account owner's Personal Info. This should match the most recent contact info provided on the wait list form.

✉️ An adult account member (18yrs and older)

All manual/automated emails are sent to the address in the account member's Personal Info. If none, SmartRec uses the contact info on the wait list form.

✉️ A child account member

All manual/automated emails are sent to the address in the child's Personal Info. If none, SmartRec uses the primary guardian's email address. If none, SmartRec uses the secondary guardian's email address. If none, SmartRec uses the contact info on the wait list form.

4.3 What do the email notifications look like?

Each time someone is added to any wait list in the store, a confirmation email is sent to the account owner with your organization's name, its logo, the activity's name and its schedule.

'View activity details' to go to the activity in the store.

Automated wait list - When a spot opens, an email is sent to those who are 'Waiting'.

Manual wait list - When a spot opens, you must send emails manually.


5. Frequently Asked Questions

Which permissions are required to manage the wait list?

Admins require one or more permissions to access the wait list page and to perform certain actions. By default, account owners can access everything.

🔑 Clients section:

  • View client accounts: See the email and phone number under the Account owner column, as well as click on the participant's name to jump to their profile in the Account members subtab.

  • Invoicing: Gives access to the Skip/Unskip/Register buttons.

🔑 Programs and activities section:

  • Activity registration information: This is necessary to view the wait list page, edit the Notes section and export the wait list report.

  • Modify activities: Use a link in the wait list page to change the wait list settings.

Can I enable a wait list for just sessions or just drop-ins?

If an activity offers both sessions and drop-ins, the wait list must be turned on for both.

Can I turn the wait list off or change the settings at any time?

Yes. On the bottom of the wait list page, click the Summary of current wait list settings to make changes at any time without losing any wait list data.

  • If a wait list is turned off, the spot(s) are no longer reserved for waitlisted participants.

  • If a manual wait list is changed to automated, notifications are sent when the next spot opens.

  • If a wait list that offers spots in order of registration is changed to offer spots to everybody, notifications are sent when the next spot opens.

Can I add an ineligible participant to the wait list?

No. Admins can bypass restrictions to register them in the store, but it's not possible for anyone to add a participant to the wait list if they aren't eligible for the activity.

How does a spot open?

When an activity is full, spots can open when:

  • An admin adds more spots to an activity in the back office.

  • A client cancels their registration or replaces the activity for another.

  • A spot was in a client's cart, but it was removed, or the cart timed-out.

Can someone on the wait list claim a spot after the activity has started?

Waitlisted participants may claim an open spot under these conditions:

  • They can register to a session after it's started, but not to a drop-in after it's started.

  • The registration period must be open or undefined. They can't register themselves if the registration period is closed (admins can bypass this restriction).

If two spots open at the same time, can two people on the wait list register?

If two spots opened and there's at least two participants waitlisted, the spots are closed to the public and reserved for those waitlisted until they've had a fair chance to register.

  • If the wait list offers spots in order of registration, only one spot becomes available at a time. In this scenario, one spot is offered to each participant on their turn. After everyone has had a turn, the second spot is offered to participants with a 'Waiting' status. If there are none, the spot opens to the public.

  • If the wait list offers spots to everybody at the same time, up to two waitlisted participants may claim the spot in the store at the same time.

  • If the wait list is manual, an admin registers the participants.

What happens if I unskip a participant?

The participant's status reverts to 'Waiting'. This means that if the wait list is automated, the participant will be notified the next time a spot opens. Remember, automated notifications are only sent to participants with a 'Waiting' status.

Can I send emails manually even if the wait list is automated?

Yes, but you must draft the contents of the message and the send date isn't recorded in the 'Last email' column. Instead, you can track the email in the Communications tab.

What if I want to add extra spots but don't want to notify waitlisted participants?

If you don't want to notify participants on an automated wait list, click the summary of current wait list settings at the bottom of the wait list page to go to the Activities>Edit subtab. Scroll to the Wait list settings and uncheck 'Send an automatic email notification when a spot becomes available'. Save the activity. This disables the automated notifications. Now you can add your spot(s).

❗ Wait a few minutes before enabling automated emails again in the Wait list settings.

What are the main differences between manual and automated wait lists?

Wait list page

Manual wait list

Automated wait lists

Automated email notifications

None

Yes. The admin can still send emails manually

Register

Only the admin may register a participant on a manual wait list

Participants 'Register now' from the automated email

Admins may also register the participant

Skip

Only the admin may change the participant's status to 'Skipped'

Participant may select 'Remove me from wait list' from the automated email

Their status changes to 'Client Skipped'

Unskip

Only the admin may

unskip a participant

Only the admin may

unskip a participant

Last email column

Never updates

Updates when an automated email is sent to the participant

Can clients see who is on the wait list?

Clients can't see who is on a wait list, except for members in their account. A grey label shows up next to their name when you're selecting a person to add to the wait list.

Only organization administrators have visibility of the Wait list page.

Does a wait list 'restart' if other spots open?

An automated wait list will restart after everyone has had a turn, but only if someone registered to the previous open spot. In addition, only participants with a 'Waiting' status are notified of the new spot.

In wait lists that offer spots in order, participants with a Time's up status will not revert to waiting if another new spot opens.

Does a wait list work if the activity is hidden in the store?

A wait list can be turned on for a hidden activity in the store. However, if the activity reaches full capacity and a spot becomes available, wait list notifications will not be sent to participants while the activity remains hidden.

Is a wait list spot reserved a full calendar day, or for 24 hours?

The wait list counter works by counting 24 hours for a day, rather than looking at the calendar day.

Does the wait list work if the activity is hidden?

If a spot opens on an activity that is hidden, the wait list isn't triggered to send to notifications. An activity must be visible (i.e., normal) in order for the wait list to work as expected.

* Last updated in March 2023

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