Managing Contact Tracing Using Spektrix: Collecting the Lead Booker's Details (UK)

Anne Harvey
Anne Harvey
  • Updated
This article may now be outdated given the latest guidance on Test & Trace for England in April 2021. Please see this email for our most up-to-date information.

The UK Government and NHS have recently released guidance on how businesses should maintain records of visitors to their venues in order to support the NHS contact tracing scheme. This is known variously as:

  • Test and Trace in England
  • Test and Protect in Scotland
  • Test, Trace, Protect in Wales and Northern Ireland

You can read full guidance for your country in detail on the appropriate government websites: for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

For contact tracing purposes, you should collect the following information for visitors to your venue:

  • Visitor name
  • Visitor telephone number
  • Date and arrival time of visit (and, where possible, departure time)

To help make contact tracing most effective, it's crucial that the visitor information you hold is up to date, and that you're able to report on it quickly if necessary. As an organisation who regularly welcomes customers, you may have already started thinking about how best to record visitor information in accordance with contact tracing guidance.

Fortunately, you've got tools at your disposal to help you: your existing ticketing processes are already set up to collect some of the required information from your visitors. Where you need to collect additional information, we've provided guidance below on how best to do this.

Should you need to collect information for visitors who aren't going through the usual booking processes (e.g. popping into your venue to pick up a programme or have a cuppa), we've made recommendations on using Spektrix for this as well.

Finally, we've explained how you can extract a visitor's information from Spektrix using a custom report that we've built for this purpose (which you will need to request from the Support, Training and Consultancy team). This will allow you to respond quickly to NHS requests for visitor data for contact tracing purposes.

In this article, we'll cover:

Collecting a visitor's name

The guidance recommends recording the name of each visitor; however, where someone is booking on behalf of a group, it's fine to only record the lead booker's information and the number of visitors in their party. Customers who book online are already required to provide their name, but you should make sure to consistently capture this for bookings made in the Sales Interface, too:


NOTE: remember that using the Counter and Counter Quick Sales Channels in the Sales Interface don't enforce adding a Customer to the basket, while Phone and Web do.


Collecting a visitor's phone number using Order Attributes

It's more than likely that you already have phone numbers stored against many customer records – these are typically collected at the point a customer first creates their account with you online. However, the data you hold on customers for contact tracing purposes must be the most up-to-date, and returning customers will not necessarily think to update their phone numbers (nor will they be prompted to do so, even if they haven't provided one before). Additionally, it's possible that some customers may wish to share their phone number with you for the purposes of contact tracing, but not for other purposes.

For these reasons, we recommend not using the default phone number in customer records for capturing contact tracing data, and creating a Custom Order Attribute for this purpose instead.

Why use an Order Attribute to capture customer information? Firstly, you have the ability to force Order Attributes to collect information in the booking journey, both in Classic and Express Checkout. This means that whether a customer is new or returning, if they make a booking (for any Event that's been linked to the Order Attribute), they'll be asked for their phone number for contact tracing purposes.

In addition, you can provide the Support, Training and Consultancy team with custom text to appear at this step in the booking journey; you can use this custom text to contextualise why you're asking customers for their phone number and to reassure them that you won't use their telephone number for anything but contact tracing.


Setting up a Contact Tracing Number Order Attribute

You can create a new Order Attribute from within the Settings Interface. Navigate to to Attribute Templates > Order and click New Attribute Template:


NOTE: the images we're using here show the new Settings Interface. If you're using the old interface, simply open your Control Panel from the bottom-left of your Spektrix window and select Go to New Interface from User Options:



From the New Attribute Template pop-up, you'll need to give this Attribute the name Contact Tracing Number:


Using the name Contact Tracing Number means you can make immediate use of the custom report we've built to quickly extract contact tracing information from your system.

NOTE: this Attribute name is case sensitive and should contain no trailing spaces.

Once you've given your Attribute a name, you can proceed straight to the finish – just click Create Attribute Template in the bottom right of the window to save:


In the image above, you'll notice that the following options are not selected:

  • This attribute is visible in your API integrations
  • This Attribute is visible in your iframe integrations

This is because making the Attribute visible in the API and/or iframe by default will mean that it appears for every order, even if the customer is only making a donation and not purchasing tickets. If it's always required by default, you won't have the ability to make it required for certain ticket purchases and not others. Leaving these options unticked in the Attribute setup allows you more control at an Event level, as you'll see below.


Forcing an Order Attribute for certain Events 

Your organisation may be ticketing virtual or remote Events as well as in-person Events. For this reason, it's key that you can specify which Events require customers to provide their contact tracing information (because they will be visiting your venue), and which don't.

To enforce Contact Tracing Number collection for specific Events, you need to edit the Order Attributes settings against each Event. This must be done for each Event one-by-one, and cannot be done automatically or in bulk.

In Admin > Events, you can search for specific Events to update:


Select the Event you want to edit by clicking its title. You'll then see the Event Details page for that Event, where you can select Order Attributes from the menu on the left. Click Edit to make changes, then simply tick the check boxes for On Web and Required next to your Contact Tracing Number Attribute:


Once you've ticked both these check boxes, click Save. This will force customers to complete this field before purchasing tickets to the Event you've just edited.

Here is a reminder of how that will look to the customer in the Classic Checkout (bear in mind your iframe styling will be different):


And here is how the Contact Tracing Number Attribute will appear to a customer if your website uses the Express Checkout:



NOTE: to add/edit the text that explains how you'll use customer's data, head to Settings > System Setup > Custom Website Message and add it in the field marked Custom message for the Additional Details tab on checkout.aspx (i.e. for Order Attribute by Event).

To learn more about Attributes, have a read of this Support Centre article.


Allowing customers to opt out of completing this Attribute

Following the steps above, a customer cannot proceed with the order without completing the Contact Tracing Number field. This field is a free text box, so a customer could (in theory) enter any value. We'd therefore recommend reviewing this data before each Event.

It's worth noting that, in England, government guidelines have been updated and now mandate that contact tracing details must be collected by hospitality venues. If a customer doesn't wish to give their details to you, they should be instructed to scan a Test and Trace QR code to check in when they arrive. Information about Test and Trace QR codes can be found here.

You might also want to refer to country-specific government guidance if you're based in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.


Recording the date and arrival/departure times of a customer's visit

In most cases, the start and end times of your Event Instances will be sufficient markers of your visitors' arrival and departure times. However, sometimes you'll need to record more precise, real time arrival and departure times.


Recording arrival and departure times using Event duration

We recommend that you give all of your Events a duration to give you a good idea of when customers have been in your venue. You can do this when you're first creating an Event, or edit an existing Event to add one.

This information is recorded in the Basic Details tab of the Event Details page. In Admin > Events, click the Event in question and, in Basic Details, click Edit to make changes, t hen enter your Event's duration in minutes:


Once you've added this, hit SaveTogether, your Event Instance's start time and the duration of the Event will be sufficient to record your visitors' arrival and departure times to ticketed performances.  


Recording real time arrival and departure times using scanning metrics

In some cases, you may want to be more precise about your visitors' arrival times (e.g. if you are ticketing an exhibition, or something without firm start and end times where a visitor might arrive later than the Instance is scheduled to begin).

Additionally, people may visit your venue without having made a booking for an Event Instance (if they're stopping in for a drink in your cafe, for example). In these cases, it's still vitally important to capture visitor information, including the time they spent at your venue. You have the option of doing this with something as simple as a sign-in sheet at your reception; however, if you'd like to capture these visitor details in Spektrix, we'd recommend following this process.


Recording real time arrival times

Firstly, create an Event called something like Walk-In Visitors with recurring Instances for each day of the week your venue is open to the public, an unreserved Seating Plan and a £0 Price List. Make it visible and on sale in the Sales Interface only, and set the required Order Attribute against it as outlined in the section on collecting a visitor's phone number above. 

This will give you the ability to capture walk-in visitors' details by issuing them a 'ticket' when they arrive, and recording their Contact Tracing Number at this point, just as you would with any regular ticket Event.

Because visitors can arrive at any point throughout the day, you won't be able to rely on the start time of your Events to tell you when walk-in visitors were in your venue. Instead, you can use scanning metrics to capture this information – even if you don't use scanners. 

If you use scanners, you can simply scan tickets as normal to capture these metrics. If you don't use scanners, you have the option to manually mark tickets as ‘scanned' as visitors arrive. Doing this will capture an exact timestamp for when the visitor was checked-in. We'll cover how you go about reporting on this information later in this guide.

Much like manually marking tickets as printed, you can also mark tickets as scanned in the Sales Interface. Simply navigate to the appropriate Event Instance, then click the dropdown Actions menu within the Instance and select View sales:


This will show you a list of every visitor with tickets to this Instance: 


Click on the ticket order for the visitor you're checking in, and you will see their Order Details appear. From here, you can simply select their tickets to the current performance and, from the menu of actions below their order, choose Mark as Scanned. A green tick will appear over each ticket you've selected. 


You'll just need to repeat these steps for each party you need to check in. 


Recording real time departure times

Recording a departure time is as simple as re-scanning your visitor's ticket when they leave your venue, or repeating the same steps outlined above to mark it as scanned in the first place. Spektrix records every scan on a ticket, whether you've scanned it with an infrared scanner or simply marked it as scanned in the Sales Interface.

In the reports we've built to extract arrival and departure times, we've used the very first scan of a ticket to indicate when that visitor arrived, and the most recent scan to indicate when a visitor departed. You can see the scanning history of a ticket by selecting it from within its order, then choosing View Scan History from the dropdown menu below:


Once you've clicked on View Scan History, a window will appear to display the scan history for that ticket; the dates and times of each scan, which user scanned it (or marked it as scanned) and whether the scan was successful:


For more information about making the most of your scanning tools, please refer to our guide on Contact-Free Ticketing.


Reporting on visitors

If you are asked to provide visitor information for the purposes of contact tracing, it's important to have a prepared method for extracting the necessary information, so you can act quickly. 

We've prepared two custom reports for this purpose which you can request from the Support, Training and Consultancy team. Both reports will produce the lead booker's Contact Tracing Number (collected from the Order Attribute discussed above), the lead booker's name, the timings of the Event Instance they attended, and their email address (if they have one).

The second version of the report also includes the scanning metrics that correspond to their visit, so use it if you plan to make use of scanning metrics to keep track of real time arrivals and departures, especially for walk-in visitors.

Please get in touch with us to ask for these reports to be added to your system. Doing this now should mean less worry later, if you're asked by the NHS for a visitor's details for contact tracing purposes.


Contact tracing reports

Event Instances Contact Tracing report

The Event Instances Contact Tracing report can be run by Event, by Instance or by Instance Start Date. It displays the date and starting time of the Event Instance, the Instance's duration, the lead booker's name, the lead booker's Contact Tracing Number (the Order Attribute you've created) and the lead booker's email address:


It also provides seating and contact information for other visitors who may need to be contacted by the NHS if they were in the proximity of a visitor who later tests positive for COVID-19.


Event Instances Contact Tracing (incl. Scanning) report

The Event Instances Contact Tracing (incl. Scanning) report can be run by Event, by Instance or by Instance Start Date. It displays the date and starting time of the Event Instance, the Instance's duration, the lead booker's name, the lead booker's Contact Tracing Number (the Custom Attribute you've created) and the lead booker's email address. In addition to these, it includes columns for Scanning Metrics to indicate what time a person checked in (i.e. their ticket was scanned or marked as scanned), and checked out (their ticket was scanned a second time):


It also provides seating and contact information for other visitors who may need to be contacted by the NHS if they were in the proximity of a visitor who later tests positive for COVID-19.


Following Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions using Order Attributes and Integrated Mailings

Changes for regions in England at Tier 2 and Tier 3 

In line with the Government's announcement of a new, three-tier system of restrictions, UK Theatre shared the latest rules on households mixing in theatres in Tier 2 and Tier 3 regions with all their venues on 16th October 2020.

This confirmed that the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) have said that, as of midnight on 16th October 2020, it's the law for venues in Tier 2 or Tier 3 regions in England to ensure that no customers attend in a group unless they are from the same household or support bubble

There are two things to consider here:

  • Future bookings taken from the 17th October onwards
  • Past bookings taken before this time

Future bookings

UK Theatre have said:

Venues need to look at what changes they make to booking systems/arrangements from midnight [16th October 2020] if in an area moving to Tier 2 – for example, this could include [asking] customers to positively say that they are booking just for their household or support bubble.

There are a few different ways to consider doing this in Spektrix:

  • Adding a note on an Instance's seating plan to inform customers of this rule by updating its background image

  • Adding a sentence to the existing T&Cs in the checkout flow – you'll need to contact the Spektrix Support, Training and Consultancy team to do this, letting them know exactly what wording you'd like added

  • Adding a new dropdown list Order Attribute that is forced online per Instance using the instructions outlined above

NOTE: as before, to make this Order Attribute mandatory, you'll need to create it as a dropdown with one field, forcing people to acknowledge that they understand they must follow this rule before they can continue with their purchase:


Remember to set this Order Attribute as mandatory at the Instance level, not when creating it in Settings Interface.

Past bookings

In regards to bookings taken before the change in restrictions, UK Theatre have said:

In terms of bookings made before midnight [on 16th October] [...] there is a legal requirement re: admittance to the building only in a household/support bubble, and you will need to look at how to handle this. You will almost certainly get customers asking to move/change seats – each venue will need to ascertain how proactive to be on this depending on the terms under which you sold tickets.
If you're in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 area, you may need to contact customers who already have bookings for upcoming events to ensure they are only attending in single household groups.
To do this, we'd recommend creating a campaign in dotdigital to explain the new rules and asking them to get in touch if they need to make amendments to their booking. When creating this, you might consider specifying a forwarding address, which will receive any emails sent in reply to this campaign:
This gives customers the option to email you directly with any amendments they need to make, as well as being able to call you, etc.
You can then create a Customer List that finds anyone who has booked for the Event in question, and send this campaign to them using the Integrated Mailing function.

To request any of the above mentioned reports, or for any further guidance about managing contact tracing in Spektrix, please get in touch with the Support, Training and Consultancy team at

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