The RD Q+A series addresses real world questions from real world race directors and event organizers. These are questions that we think are worth sharing.
If I change the wording of a custom question that has already been answered by participants, will that have any effect on existing answers from registrants?
This is a great question and probably something that most have wondered at some point. I've hesitated myself at making changes even though I was 99.99% sure of what the outcome was going to be. After all, no one wants an itchy trigger finger! The good news is that making edits to the wording of a custom question will NOT affect any existing answers from registrants during online race registration. Take a peek at the example below. You can see how a simple t-shirt question shows up both on the race registration form and in your Participant Details dashboard.
Now take a look at what happens when you edit the wording of the question. You can see that there is no change in the answer that registrants have already given! Phew, take a deep breath and relax as you haven't lost all your data!
While the wording of a question can be changed, beware of removing answer options from previously answered questions. Sometimes people run out of shirt sizes and their immediate reaction is to remove the shirt size that is no longer available. If you remove an answer option from a question, you technically do not lose that answer in Participant Details. In the example below, “Medium” has been removed as an answer option but it still appears in Participant Details. The answer will also show up in any exports that you pull.
However, if you go to edit that registration in Participant Details, you will lose the data point! DANGER DANGER! Pay attention to this example if this is something that you have considered doing in the past. Example: Britney Spears selected a Medium shirt and now she needs to edit her date of birth. You pull up Participant Details, double-click her registration to edit her DOB and poof, the "Medium" shirt answer is gone! Check out the image below where you can see that “Medium” no longer shows up as Britney's selected answer! The reason that this happens is that our system respects the logic that you do not want to make "Medium" available any longer. Therefore, neither new registrants nor current registrants like Britney can select "Medium".
The best way to remain safe with your data in the off chance you need to remove answer options from your registration questions is to make sure you pull a complete export of your data prior to making those edits. This will give you a data back-up in case you need to make future edits!
Editing your registration questions can be a tricky decision if you do not know what the outcome of your changes will be! As your online race registration partner we want to make sure you are set up for success. As always, if you have any questions about potential changes you want to make, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help!
If you have any questions that you'd like to submit for a future RD Q+A feel free to drop us a note in the comments.