Virginia Tech Chooses Our Robust Conference and Events Solution

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  • Efficient
    Saves time and money
  • Robust
    Offers a single source of truth across our operations
  • Bespoke
    Able to tailor to a wide variety of event requirements
  • Streamline
    Managing your entire event cycle
Virginia Tech hosts a variety of conference and events programs over the summer period with around 15,000 guests staying as part of their conferencing operations. Conferencing stays are comprised of a mixture of guests, such as research students, athletics camps, and orientation stays.

Their largest group, Founding Farmers Association (FFA), is an agricultural camp of 1500 that stays for a week each summer. Virginia Tech also hosts commencement housing for graduation where they offer students’ families and friends the opportunity to stay on campus due to the school’s location in the small town of Blacksburg, VA. Virginia Tech graduates about 6,500 students each spring, and with very few hotels available in Blacksburg and the surrounding areas, the University offers an on-campus living experience for students’ families. With this occurring every year around mid-May they have a very short window of seven hours to turn their rooms around, meaning that it is all hands-on deck to accommodate the such a large group of guests. With such a diverse offering of conferences and events, Virginia Tech had to ensure that they had a system that was robust and efficient enough to enable all in-house teams to work together in unison.

Prior to Virginia Tech using StarRez they were using another conferencing Software platform. As time progressed, their previous system plateaued, meaning that they had to make a move.

“The difference in the two systems just isn’t comparable.”

– Darryl McCallum Assistant Director for Housing Administration – Virginia Tech

Positive Impact of StarRez Conferencing & Events

The biggest impacts of using StarRez conferencing and housing is how the two modules communicate with each other. Having the conferencing module can also help with eradicate instances of double bookings, cleaning, and turnaround of rooms. Having one single source of truth across your operations really enables teams to work to the best of their ability and have full clarity of you wider business operations.  

“I know what my housing assignment colleagues are doing without talking to them and we could survive if all communication broke down”

- Darryl McCallum Assistant Director for Housing Administration – Virginia Tech

Managing a diverse events program

Virginia Tech’s summer conferencing, camps, and events are very diverse, all having unique requirements, so using StarRez conferencing allows them to manage different event schedule simultaneously. One example would be the FFA camp which houses agricultural students for a week each summer. FFA’s presence on campus requires Virginia Tech to expand their dining room availability as most of these students are early risers. Having grown up mostly on farms, they generally eat at 6 am, so the system allows them to coordinate their schedules around specific group requirements.

Virginia Tech’s daily conference schedule can be incredibly busy. There are often days when multiple 100-plus participant groups are checking in at the same time a group of 400 is checking out. With an operation as large as Virginia Tech’s, having constant turnaround is an enormous challenge; having the StarRez conferencing system to support their various camps and events has had a huge, positive impact.

“Having to do something like that via spreadsheet would be impossible, if we didn’t have StarRez in place it would be impossible to manage.”

- Darryl McCallum Assistant Director for Housing Administration – Virginia Tech

Switching from a manual process

The Conferencing module offers a wide range of functionality within, as the system will allow you to have a visual representation of all your events and associated rooms. You can arrange meal plans, timelines of events, and all event functions in between. The Attendees section allows you to manage all information about event participants, and you also have the capability to manage event billing via the Conferencing module.  

“There’s always obstacles but if you have the capabilities and resources to use the conferencing module then it’s a no brainer.”

- Darryl McCallum Assistant Director for Housing Administration – Virginia Tech


Virginia Tech was one of the early adopters for PortalE with StarRez, meaning that they were able test and use its functionality before most of our other customers. They had previously been asked by camp and conference sponsors if there were ways for event attendees to efficiently register online. This was something that Virginia Tech struggled with for a while, so they were keen to jump on board with the PortalE EAP. Virginia Tech also used PortalE for their culinary school camp, taking billing for them via PortalE, which has saved them a great deal of time and administration.  

“Portal E really helped with the billing piece and really gives us that peace of mind as we can just point people towards Portal E for registration.  The end user experience is really important to us”

- Darryl McCallum Assistant Director for Housing Administration – Virginia Tech