Using EHQ's Advanced Bulk Import tool is the easiest way to quickly upload your existing community database into EHQ.

This tool can also be used to upload any new participants who's information you have collected offline. It is often used to upload information about community reference groups, staff or even citizens jury members.

The main advantages of using the Advanced Bulk Import tool include;

  •  the ability to upload extra information about your community, according to your sign up form questions. This ensures that you can upload new people to your database and automatically complete their user profiles.
  • Have control over whether or not your uploaded participants receive a notification email.
  • Add participants for single-sign-on participation.

If you only require a simple import of participants, use our article on Bulk importing participants into EHQ.

NOTE : It is important when bulk uploading/adding participants that you have their permission to do so. 

1. Select the People link from the top menu of EHQ and click on Participants from the drop-down menu.  

2. This displays the Participants page.

3. Click on the Upload button to bulk import participants into EHQ. 

The following Import Participant page is displayed.

4. Click on Advanced Participant Import, which is a Beta feature. The 3 steps to perform the participant import are displayed. These include;

  • Download CSV Template
  • Upload CSV File
  • View Import Status

If you do not see this feature enabled get in touch with us via support@engagementhq.com. 

As the first step, read the instructions, then download and complete the CSV Template. The template you download here contains columns for all your demographic questions from your Sign Up Form. 


A few things you need to consider when filling in this template.

  • Make sure you have values for ALL required fields from your Sign Up Form. This means that you will be required to enter in the details for each of your uploaded participants matching the options for each of the questions from your sign up form. It's important that you remove any spaces after commas in your csv file. For checkbox questions where participants might have multiple responses, use a comma (,) to separate the options. 
  • Blocked participants cannot be updated
  • Project Administrators cannot be updated
  • If any of the answers to a checkbox question on your sign up form contain a comma eg, a) Places, Space and People, then you will need to ensure that each response containing the comma is put inside quotation marks in your csv file. eg. "Places, Space and People","Economic Development, Housing and Design"
  • If you use the date field, please ensure the format is DD/MM/YYYY
  • If your site is in Australia or New Zealand and you are using the suburb question, the correct format is SUBURB, ST(ate). So Claremont in WA would correctly be identified as CLAREMONT, WA
  • Contrary to the simple upload, you can NOT set the password for a user. This has been left out deliberately. It is not good practice to ask or advise people of their passwords. The better option is to let participants set their own passwords. 
  • You will find a field called 'External ID' in this template. We strongly recommend you ignore this field and leave it blank at all times unless you make use of our API.
  • Although conditional questions show in the Excel file, you MUST leave them blank. They upload including conditional questions will work, however, participants will not be able to change their response to a conditional question.

5. As the second step, Upload the completed CSV template and decide on these options -  

  • Add all participants for SSO (Single Sign On) authentication: This means that people can log in with the username and password from your internal system. This only works if we have set this up with your IT team. If you are unsure, please check with us. 
  • Send activation email to imported users: Contrary to the simple upload, you can choose at this point if you want to send the activation email to the participants you are uploading. The activation email can be configured in your Site Settings --> Text and Emails. If you choose to NOT send an email, the participants account is activated immediately. If you do choose to send the email, which we usually recommend, then an email will be triggered inviting people to activate their account and set their own password. 

Click on the Begin Upload when ready.

6. Once the import starts the status will be displayed. Below is an example of a failed upload, none of the participants were imported. The reasons for the failure will be listed. You can correct the details and try again.

Below is a screenshot after successful import of the participants.

7. You can view the imported participants in the Participants page. They will be marked Imported as highlighted below.

You can create a group of these participants for future use or reference, follow the detailed instructions in the article Create a group of your imported participants.

Advanced Participant Bulk Update

As part of the advanced import you can also update profiles in your database in bulk. The principle behind this is pretty straightforward. If you try and upload a participant that already exists, based on their email address, the data you upload will replace his/her values in the profile. 

Read our article on  Participant Management API to explore what you can do with our Participant APIs or get in touch with us via support@engagementhq.com. 

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