Hosting conferences and events during the summer is an excellent way to generate revenue, showcase your campus, connect alumni, and act as a recruitment tool during the off-season. To reap the maximum benefits, however, you need an efficient conference and event management solution that integrates with your housing operations and keeps the entire process — from quote to execution to billing — running smoothly.
Loyola Marymount University (LMU) was voted one of the top 10 most beautiful college campuses in America by Business Insider in 2019. Its picture-perfect scenery and proximity to the city of Los Angeles make it a popular venue to host conferences and events during the summer, when many students are gone.
Delighting and Retaining Clients
“We have about an 85% return rate,” said Matthew Jauregui, Associate Director of Conference & Event Services. “We do host some conferences that travel around to a different university each year, so that’s where we get that drop off. But I would say in the past 15 years, we’ve only had two clients not return.”
Matthew credits much of that success to the StarRez Conference & Events Management solution. He and his team have been using the tool since 2013 to manage approximately 240 overnight conferences and 300 day events — everything from industry-specific meetings to swimming lessons to fundraisers for local schools.
“We can actually encode our cards directly from StarRez through an automated interface,” said Matthew Jauregui, Associate Director of Conference & Event Services.
“Prior to using StarRez, we used a system that seemed like it was built in the 1980s and was never updated since. It didn’t communicate with Onity or Blackboard, so we were working in three systems to give room access to people: one for the booking, to know where they’re living; one to give room door access; and then another system to give access to the front doors. Now, StarRez talks to both of those systems, and we can actually encode our cards directly from StarRez through an automated interface.”
The result? Faster, more efficient processes with fewer errors.
“It decreased human error a lot because StarRez automatically picks the room and the specific template that is assigned to each person. Before, say you’re encoding 500 key cards and you’re just kind of going through the motions. You might accidentally assign someone to room 102 instead of 101. But you would have no idea that you’ve done that, because you just stick the card in the machine, it spits it out, then you package it. In StarRez that isn’t even an option because the entry is linked to the booking, which is linked to every system.
“It was also very time consuming, going in between all the different systems. And there was only one person trained on all of them. So, if something went wrong and that person wasn’t available, we seemed incompetent to our clients.”
Matthew added that after implementing StarRez for conferences and events, his department began getting paid 30 days faster than before. “I chalk that up to StarRez, too,” he said, “because we use a lot of targeted reports and billing.”
How does it work?
A potential client completes an inquiry form on LMU’s website. The information is processed by the StarRez Conference Inquiry module and is sent to the appropriate people via dynamic lists that Matthew has set up in the StarRez Email Scheduler. A quote is generated from the system and Matthew’s team delivers a contract to the client. Once signed, the remaining details of the event — including reserving meeting spaces, catering, housing, and guest registration — is handled from within the StarRez system.
The Power of Integrated Housing and Conference Management
Using the occupancy graph in StarRez, it’s quick and easy for Matthew’s team to see when students are moving out and which rooms they can sell to overnight guests. When it’s time to book, the group booking tool makes it happen in just a few clicks. Leveraging the same integration housing operations uses with other on campus systems such as Onity and Blackboard makes building and room security seamless and accurate.
“Having the same system for housing and conferences makes both of our lives a lot easier,” said Matthew Jauregui, Associate Director of Conference & Event Services.
“Housing owns StarRez on our campus,” Matthew said. “We’re different divisions at the university, but we work really closely together in terms of what buildings I can use for summer conferences. Having the same system for housing and conferences makes both of our lives a lot easier.”
What are the StarRez Conference & Events Management Solutions?
StarRez allows you to create and manage end-to-end conferences and events on campus with an easy-to-use solution that integrates with your housing operations and other on campus systems.
- Complete event management
- Online attendee registration
- Online payments for attendees
- Online event inquiry for prospective events
- Flexible reporting and communications
- Invoicing and quoting
- More Information
Come Join Us at Conference Connect – October 15 -16, Chicago, IL
Conference Connect brings together our conference community for a full-day of action-packed learning, networking, best practice sharing, and industry insights PLUS additional time to meet with the StarRez team on the second day.
- See the debut of PortalE, our new conference online attendee interface!
- Preview enhancements to StarRez communications functionality.
- Network with new and existing conference and event users.
- Connect with StarRez experts.
- Customer Registration
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