Totara 12 will no longer be fully supported from October 2023. Urgently consider upgrading to a later version.

Help documentation for up-to-date versions is available here.

Wait-lists for events without a date and time

When a Seminar Event is created without a Date/Time it will automatically become a Wait-listed Event, where learners can sign up to a Wait-list rather than book onto the Event.  When a learner joins the Wait-list they will be prompted to fill out the Sign-up form as usual, including any pre-populated Custom Fields

An Event may be created without a set Date/Time to allow training teams to assess the interest in the subject and whether it is economical to run the event or to assess demand for the training so an appropriate Room can be booked.

Should the Seminar Event have a date added, the learner will be automatically added to the Event, sent an email notification and calendar invite, and their Sign-up details will be listed against their Attendance.  Where a learner has a manager assigned (and the Manager Copy of the notification is enabled), the manager will also be sent a confirmation message.  Where approval is required the relevant manager will be requested to approve/reject their team member's booking.  (Please see Seminar Notifications for more information).

Additionally, if there is a scheduling conflict (one or more learner is already booked onto another Seminar event on that date) then an error message will appear. It will allow you to either, exclude those with a conflict in order to proceed, or change the dates. 

A More info link will display for Wait-listed learners and allow them to view all details relating to the session or to cancel their Wait-listed registration. The Cancel wait-list link will also allow learners to remove their place on the Wait-list.

Administrators or trainers cannot add attendees to an Event unless it contains at least one Session.

Wait-lists for sessions with a date and time

When the Wait-list has been enabled within the Seminar event settings, learners (and managers on their behalf) can Sign-up to an Event even when the session is at maximum capacity. Learners will automatically be moved from the wait-list to the Booked Attendee list should another attendee cancel from the session.  

The learner will receive a confirmation message that their attendance has been confirmed and where the user has a manager assigned (and manager copy is enabled) - the manager will also be sent an advice note with confirmation that a member of their team has booked into a session. Where approval is required they will be requested to approve/reject their team member's booking.

Managing the wait-list

Administrators and trainers can manage individuals on the Wait-list via the Attendees link against the corresponding Wait-listed event.   There are three bulk actions available against any or all learners which have been selected/checked: 

  • Confirm: Book the selected users into the event and remove them from the wait-list.
  • Cancel: Cancel the selected user's requests and remove them from the wait-list.
  • Play Lottery: Fill the available places on the events with a random selection of the users from the wait-list. Users who are not selected will be left on the wait-list. 

If you'd like to randomly assign wait-listed users, you can use the Play lottery feature. To do so, the Wait-list lottery setting must be enabled within the seminar global settings. Note that the Send all bookings to the waiting list setting must also be enabled (this setting is only available if the Everyone on waiting list global seminar setting is enabled). If Send all bookings to the waiting list is not enabled then event spots will automatically be filled with users on the wait-list, and the lottery cannot be played. The wait-list lottery also cannot be played if the event is currently full.

The learner's sign up note (if entered), including any Custom fields can be viewed via the eye icon and, if needed, learner responses within the Sign-up note can be edited.  (Please see Creating custom fields for more information.)


When a Seminar event has wait-listing enabled and attendees are added by an administrator or trainer, the number of users that may be booked on the event can only be within the event's capacity.  Any additional learners will remain on the Wait-list.

Administrations or users with the mod/facetoface:signupwaitlist capability will be able to confirm and Book wait-listed users from the Wait-list tab or Attendees page, where an event allows overbooking.

On this page

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Seminar Management in Totara Learn.  Here you can learn more on how to use seminars, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

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Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community?