I'd like to use the contactEvents method to insert external Event data into a Data Extension, and fire an Event (which in turn will start a Journey Builder Interaction).

Here's what my data relationships look like in Data Designer:

data designer

As you can see, I have created a simple relationship in Data Designer linking the ContactKey from the Contact Record in a 'Sausage Club Preferences' Data Extension which I will be using to store the Event data.

Next I've linked the ContactKey field from the Contact Record a Member ID field in the 'Members' Data Extension used by my 'Sausage Club Members' Attribute Group.

Here is my configuration for the Event that I've created:

event view

I believe this should work. However, I keep on getting an internal server error with each request. Here is the request I'm making:

HOST: https://www.exacttargetapis.com
POST https://www.exacttargetapis.com/contacts/v1/contactEvents
Content-Type: application/json
Authorization: Bearer insert-accessToken-here

    "contactKey": "103",
    "eventDefinitionKey": "sausage-club-preferences",
    "data": [{
        "key": "sausageClubPreferenceData",
        "name": "Sausage Club Preference Data",
        "id": "A0179785-6634-438D-8D0D-9A485AB0EE04",
        "items": [{
            "values": [{
                "name": "SausagePreference",
                "value": "Frankfurter"

And here's the response I get:

"documentation": "https://code.docs.exacttarget.com/rest/errors/500",
"errorcode": 0,
"message": "Internal Server Error"

After spending a few hours staring at this, I'm at a total loss what could be wrong. The 'Internal Server Error' message really doesn't give me any clues either. I've tried different permutations and checked permissions of my app in App Center and I can't figure it out.

The Mashery ID for my last request is 7bebdc6d-b499-4174-941e-c11ef8a3845f if that helps at all.

1 Answer 1


Steps to resolve this issue:

  1. In Journey Builder, open the Admin->Trigger panel, and locate the trigger you are using in the interaction.
  2. Copy the triggers "event definition key" (CONTACT-EVENT-xxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxx)
  3. Go back to Contact Builder, open the contact event, and edit
  4. Paste the event definition key into the customer key below the event name ​save that - and use the event definition key to start event.
  • 1
    Hi Kelly, who would have guessed you have to copy the eventDefinitionKey into the Event key field?!?! Yes, this method works perfectly when I follow these steps. Thank you so much. Feb 3, 2015 at 2:51
  • My sentiment exactly. Feb 3, 2015 at 2:54
  • 1
    This used to work but it appears that it's not working anymore. I'm using the Event Definition Key from the Event as my key in the Contact Builder Event but I'm still seeing the Internal Server Error (500 status code). It appears that this broke in a recent release. Is anyone else experiencing this issue? I've put together a brief video indicating this issue. Mar 30, 2016 at 2:10
  • 1
    Hey Eliot, did this end up working for you in any way? Opened ticket and waiting for response in mean time
    – Doug
    Dec 23, 2018 at 9:22

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