I have a spreadsheet of data from an event we recently held that was hosted on an Aventri website. Have been banging my head on importing this into CiviCRM for a week. I finally figured out how to match people to organizations by doing two separate imports; now I'm trying to figure out how to match custom data from registration questions in the participant import.

I have a column for whether they only registered or actually attended (which I guess maps to Participant Status?), one for newsletter signup, one for donor interest, and a fourth for career status (custom text field). I've created these four fields in a profile and attached it to the event; they show up fine in the list of match fields.

But I don't see how to match the participant data to the contacts; I have last name as an option but that fails for contacts with duplicate last names. (I had to revert my database on that one, first try.) Why isn't there an email match? The only thing I can think of—which I haven't done because this can't be the right way—is to export the contacts from CiviCRM and manually put their IDs into the spreadsheet?

What am I missing here? I know I can find the tagged imported contacts and bulk register them for the event; I don't know if this is a step I take before importing the custom data.

1 Answer 1


Yes, the way to do it is to export all the conatcts with names and Contact ID and then do a look up from this list. You can do that in Excel or alternative so not all manual, but you'll also need to flag up those where the names duplicate and check those manually for the right Contact ID. You will also need to convert fields in your participant import list to the right format for Participant Status etc.

If your custom fields (newsletter signup etc) are for contacts rather than participants (which I think they should be) then you would need a separate contact import (from the same data) for these.

  • Contact ID isn't one of the match fields, either. Do I add them as participants and then match on Participant ID? Apr 1, 2022 at 8:34
  • You should see Contact ID with Partipant import (I do). Participant ID is added automatically, incrementally, when you import so can't use that.
    – Mick Kahn
    Apr 1, 2022 at 8:49
  • Ah, yes, I was looking at the wrong import form. Thanks. Apr 1, 2022 at 9:16
  • remember that to import Custom Fields they need to have been set to 'searchable'
    – petednz - fuzion
    Apr 1, 2022 at 18:14

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