How to Import an Attendees List into Bidstation from Excel
Importing your Attendee list into Bidstation from an Excel spreadsheet can save you time and improve accuracy as you prepare for your silent auction event. Bidstation provides a convenient template for Attendees, found in the File Menu. Select File/Import/Import Templates, then select Attendee from the Import Type drop-down menu.
Select Generate and you will be prompted to save the Excel file to a preferred location. Choose the preferred import Excel format (.xls or.xlsx extension) and Save.
The template will open in Excel. It provides pre-populated headers and follows the formatting conventions required for successful importing of Attendees into Bidstation.
- Enter data in the Excel spreadsheet columns using the following required conventions, then Save:
- Enter First and Last Name data (required)
- For PaddleNumber, enter numbers only. Characters other than numbers are not allowed.
- The IfExpress column records whether or not a card has been swiped and saved on file for an attendee: 0 or blank if No Card is Saved on File; -1 if a Card is Saved on File. Do not edit or import data in this column.
- Columns may be reordered or deleted, except for the required headers FirstName, LastName and PaddleNumber (also referred to as Bidder Number).
When you are ready to import the Attendee list, use the navigation menu to select File/Import/Attendees, browse to find the Attendee list you have prepared (named Attendee by default), select the file and click Open. Your Attendee list will be added in Bidstation and a message will appear letting you know how many attendees were added.
After you have imported an Attendee list, you can add new attendees manually in Bidstation or by importing only new Attendees from a new Excel/CSV file. (Be sure to use a new template file to add Attendees as importing data in Bidstation always adds, and never overwrites, data.) If you change your Attendee list in Excel, it should not be imported a second time as it will create duplicate records. Instead, you will need to delete the Attendee list in Bidstation first and import the updated Attendee list.
Imported information can be changed within the program as required. Paddle Numbers can also be generated in Bidstation using the ‘Generate Bidder Number’ button in the top right corner of the Attendees window.
Optional Fields: Including Table Numbers and Email Addresses in your Import
You may plan to have pre-assigned table numbers at your event. This can allow for easier distribution of invoices as they can be selected and printed according to Table number, and distributed to individual tables after the auction closes. If you are designating tables at your event, you can use the field provided in the Excel template for Table Number. Use up to 30 characters with letters and/or numbers.
You can also optionally include email addresses in the Attendee list before importing. Importing email addresses into Bidstation is useful because it enables a faster Save Card on File process, as well as allowing e-receipts to be sent by Square after credit card payments are authorized. Email addresses are also used by Bidstation to send invoices if the ‘Email Invoices’ function is selected. The selection to send emails is made in the Invoices menu. (Bidstation does not store this personal information. Once your event is over your database will not be retained by Bidstation and we do not collect email addresses or other personal information.)
For more information about importing Attendee records into Bidstation consult the Bidstation™ User Manual, Section 10.