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How do I import contacts from my third party event registration system such as Zoom, EventBrite or GoToWebinar?

Neoserra and eCenter Direct work together to help advertise your events and capture online registrations. Using eCenter Direct you can ensure that you capture all the necessary demographic information from your attendees to meet your funding entities data requirements. However, OutreachSystems is aware that there may be times when a third-party event registration system is employed to capture online registrant information. Neoserra will allow you to import the attendees from a CSV or Excel file and add these attendees to a specific training event. If the attendees are not yet in the Neoserra database, then a new contact record can be created using the information found in the file.

Depending upon your permissions, you may either be able to import only attendee contact data or potentially you may be able to import the entire client record. However, this feature of importing clients is not available to all users and should be used with caution because there is great risk to creating duplicate client records in your database and thus affecting the integrity of your data.

In this FAQ we will discuss:

How to import a file

To import a file with attendee details into Neoserra, you will first need to create the event record in Neoserra to which you want to import the attendee data as discussed in the FAQ titled: How do I create a new Training Event with one or more instructors?.

To import the attendee information from an third-party online registration system such as Zoom, GoToWebinar or EventBrite you can scroll to the attendee list at the bottom of the screen. There are several ways to populate your attendee list, in this FAQ we will discuss the import from a file feature:

Neoserra will try and identify duplicates based upon contact name; phone numbers and/or email addresses. If Neoserra identifies a possible duplicate then it will let you select the existing contact to be added to the attendee record, instead of creating a new record. If the new record being imported does not match an existing Neoserra record, then you have the option to create a new contact record with the information provided in the file. If should be noted, that the registration file from third-party applications may (or may not) include all the information required per your internal policies and procedures. Thus, you may create contact records that are technically non-compliant with your more stringent intake procedures. It cannot be emphasized enough that the import feature should be used with extreme caution!

To import the details from a file simply click on the Import|From a File menu option and depending upon your permissions, you may either see the option to import Contacts only, or you may see the option to import "Clients + Contacts". If you do not see the "Clients + Contacts" option then you probably do not have the necessary permissions to import client records. You can contact your lead center for more information, OutreachSystems cannot change your permission settings:

Note: The importing from file feature (whether importing contact or contact+clients) is ONLY available to those users with edit permissions to the training event records and add permissions to the contact records.

In this FAQ, we will only discuss the importing of contact records. Please refer to the FAQ titled How do I import clients from my third party event registration system such as Zoom, EventBrite or GoToWebinar?

Data file requirements for contacts

Neoserra will be able to import data from a .CSV file or an Excel file (either .XLS or .XLSX). It is vitally important that each column in the file being imported into Neoserra conforms to the data type in each corresponding Neoserra field. In other words, if you are importing an email address then the field must contain data that follows standard email address structure of username@domainname.extension. For example, is not a valid email address. You will need to manually edit the data to the proper format, prior to importing.

While the file may contain as many data elements as you want, Neoserra will only be able to import the following system-defined fields on the contact record:

  • First Name (column mandatory)
  • Last Name (column mandatory)
  • Email Address (column mandatory)
  • Secondary Email Address
  • Work Phone Number
  • Phone Number
  • Cell Phone Number
  • Address, City, State, Zip and Country
  • Preferred Language*
  • Business Owner*
  • Gender*
  • Race*
  • Hispanic Origin*
  • Veteran Status*
  • Date of Birth
  • Disabled/Handicapped*
  • Preferred Language*
  • Notes

* Generally speaking text, date and numeric/currency fields are relatively easy to import, because they map directly from the import file to the field in Neoserra. However, the same cannot be said for pick lists. Neoserra can import some pick list options, but certainly not all. Since import files may have different values or different abbreviations from the choices supported within Neoserra, only some common terminology can be mapped over during the import process.

Below you will see the chart for each pick list field and the value that will map to a corresponding choice in Neoserra. The data in the field in the import file must start with a specific string of characters in order for the data to be mapped as shown:

Neoserra Pick List Starts with... Imported As...
Gender Starts with:
  • F...
  • W...
Starts with:
  • M...
  • H...
Veteran Starts with:
  • Vet...
  • Y...
Starts with:
  • Disab...
  • SD...
Service-Disabled Veteran
No match Non-Veteran
Race Starts with:
  • Ak...
  • Alaska...
  • Eskimo...
Alaska Native
Starts with:
  • Asian...
  • Chinese...
  • Orient...
Starts with:
  • Af...
  • Bl...
Black/African American
Starts with:
  • Native American...
  • American Indian...
  • Indigenous...
Native American
Starts with:
  • Pacific...
  • Hawaii...
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
Starts with:
  • Wh...
  • Caucas...
Hispanic Origin Starts with:
  • Hisp...
  • Latin...
  • Y...
Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin
No match Not of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin
Disabled/Handicapped Starts with:
  • Disab...
  • Handi...
  • Y...
No match No
Business Owner? Starts with:
  • Y...
  • Si...
Checked Yes
No match Checked No
Preferred Language Starts with:
  • Es...
  • Sp...
Starts with:
  • En...

In addition to the above listed system-defined fields, Neoserra can also import data into some user-defined fields. You can import additional data if your file includes information that corresponds to an existing Neoserra user-defined field that has one of the following data types:

  • Currency format
  • Date format
  • Text format
  • Yes/No format

Alternatively, you can import any extra data from your import file into the Neoserra "Notes" field. For example, user-defined information that does not have a corresponding user-defined field in Neoserra could be mapped to the Notes field so as to retain the information.

As noted above, the import file must include a separate column for first name, and separate column for last name in addition to having a column for email addresses in order for the attendee information to be imported. These three fields are mandatory for the import process. Neoserra does offer a "Name (First Last)" import option where both the first and last names can be included in the same column but importing combined names into separate fields is imperfect, at best. For example, what if the name field has "J. Edgar Hoover", or "Ms. Mary Jones" then Neoserra will make a best effort to separate the names into the correct first name and last name columns, but mistakes will undoubtedly happen:

But as you can see, the separation into first/last name fields is not perfect:

In the absence of first and last name data the file cannot be processed:

Many third party applications may generate registration/attendee files that include a lot of "fluff" at the top of the file that is non-essential to Neoserra:

We recommend that you purge the "fluff" from the file. Alternatively, Neoserra will scan the file for the first row it encounters with a properly formatted email address. It will ignore every row that does not include an email address. Next, Neoserra will look for a "header row" where the columns in the file are identified. A header row is also mandatory to ensure accurate import into the database.

Once the header row has been identified, then Neoserra will assume that all subsequent rows include attendee information to be imported.

Data files supported

Neoserra can pretty much import contact details from any comma delimited file. Most event registration software applications will generate an attendee list that cane be imported into Neoserra with a few exceptions noted below:

Application Supported Reason
EventBrite Yes
GoToWebinar Yes
JoinMe No Participant details are not separated out in the file
WebEx No, but... First/Last names are not broken out into separate fields however, this may be something you can resolve within Excel or use the Neoserra "Name (First Last)" function.
Zoom (free version) No No reporting functionality provided
Zoom (Education version) No First/Last names are not broken out into separate fields however, this may be something you can resolve within Excel or use the Neoserra "Name (First Last)" function. Furthermore, the Education version of Zoom does not appear to require email addresses for registration whereas this is an absolutely requirement for importing records into Neoserra.
Zoom (Pro or higher version) Yes Please refer to the Zoom instructions on how to obtain Attendee Reports from Zoom.

Specify data elements

Once you have selected the file to be imported and click to Continue you will be presented with the interface where you can specify each of the data elements to be imported:

In green, you will notice that the header row will not be imported as a new attendee. Also in green, you will notice that you can specify the specific information found in each column to be imported. Neoserra will make a best guess effort to identify each column, but it will be up to you to verify the information in each column. If a column is not to be imported then you may choose to "Skip" the information. Only the columns that match up to fields on the contact record may be imported, however, you may specify multiple data elements to be copied to the "Notes" field. Additionally, in the left hand column (in orange) you can choose to check or uncheck the box indicating whether the contact will or will not be imported into the attendee list of the event.

Once all the information has been verified and you are ready to proceed, you may click the "Continue" button at the bottom of the screen. Note: Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to accurately specify each data column and verify all the information! Once the data is imported it can only be deleted or edited manually - one record at a time!

Import options

Upon clicking Continue, you will be presented with the Import Options interface. Let's discuss each of the possible scenarios that you might encounter by reviewing the interface one section at a time:

  • Add new or unknown contacts to the database: Looking at the list presented below, you will need to decide if you want to import the new contacts into the database with the (limited) data available. The new contacts are those marked as "new" in the Contact column. Unchecking this box at the top of the screen will not import the "new" records and these attendees will be ignored for the remainder of this process.
  • Status: Next, you can decide whether you want to set the Status information for the attendees that will be imported into the system. Presumably you are importing those people who attended your event, in which case you will want to set the Status to "Attended." If you do not select a status, then the imported records will automatically get the status of "Registered."

    If your import file includes an "Attended" column to keep track of who truly attended vs. who was a no-show, then the first check box column will be marked for those contacts who had a "Yes" in the Attended column and they will unchecked if the Attended column showed a "No".

    Now that Neoserra knows who attended and who did not, in the "Status" drop down you can choose to import the data based upon the "Attended" setting:

  • Presence/Fees: Next, you can choose to set the fees due for all imported attendees to a fee level that applies to all imported records. And similarly you can set the manner in which they attended (in-person or on-line).

  • Matching Name: If the imported file contains a record with the same first and last name and same email address and/or phone number as an existing record in the database, then it will assume this existing contact attended your event.

    If the name matches, but not the email address or phone number, then Neoserra will let you import that person either as a NEW record, or it will let you associate the event with the existing contact's record. If multiple contact records matched the name then you will need to decide which record should be associated with this event. You can hover over the matching name to see the additional details. WARNING: Do not create duplicate records!

Once you have carefully reviewed the settings on the screen, you can click to continue. Remember, that once the data is imported, it can only be deleted or edited on a one-by-one basis, there is no undo option!

You will be presented with an interface showing all new contacts created and the status update for all attendees:

Click Continue again to see your complete attendee list:

Audit Information

Neoserra will automatically attach a copy of the imported data file to the event record:

And the newly created contact records will show in their audit view that they were imported via the "Training Event Import" process by the user who initiated the process.

And the audit view for the event is similarly updated, although it is a bit more verbose because every attendee is logged individually as it is added to the event.

Want more? Browse our extensive list of Neoserra FAQs.