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How Events Are Boosting University Revenue

Boosting University Revenue

Using Events To Boost University Revenue

Planning for college is no easy task. It begins day one- thinking about saving for your child’s education- and it seems never-ending. With the cost of tuition on the rise, more students relying on loans. The colleges and universities are the first to take blame, but there’s more to it. Enter, the Cycle of Revenues, and its impact on university revenue.
 
It’s a widely known fact that state funding for universities and colleges has been dropping. Ergo, institutions increase their rates to compensate for some of the difference. But, then the rate of enrollment decreases as potential students cannot afford the cost. Out-of-state enrollment is on a downward slope and isn’t as large of a source of funds for universities anymore either. Some public institutions have implemented a third-tier for international students to add yet another small avenue of revenue. With these changes also come cuts in the budget. Departmental budgets are being reevaluated and it’s easy to trim the pieces not considered lucrative (arts vs athletics). 
 
University venue, events, and conference managers need to generate additional university revenue to support their facilities. They are currently an undervalued resource for those funds to be cultivated.  The problem, however, is the spaces can’t just be booked. Filling the calendar also requires: operations management, registration, administrative tasks, collection and analysis of data, and much more

The Challenges

University conference and event managers need to increase registration to generate additional university revenue. The most common problem that planners and managers alike face (before even adding to their bookings) is the amount of manual processes and the errors associated with the loss of information. The rate of fees in the registration process is a budget killer and systems aren’t mobile responsive. This is bad combination for efficiency.
 
The same could be said for the university venue managers as well. The management of campus-wide spaces and operations needs to be centralized and cohesive across all facets of the day-to-day procedures. The organization needs full visibility of these operations and open communication between the departments for execution. Avoiding over-booking is a common concern, but the underutilization of available spaces should be considered as a loss of revenue too.  
 
Whether you’re managing the events or running the venues, reporting is essential for analysis and growth. For example, venues need a robust booking calendar that can track event and space details, event orders, and all other related details in one unitized database. This data collected is then turned into reports, such as space utilization and allocation and their related revenues.
 
University Revenue

Balancing the Scales

University venues, conference and event managers are becoming more resourceful in the way additional revenue is generated. Cutting unnecessary spending is the first step in any industry but venues can look beyond the university walls at external (non-university affiliated) clients is another option. They can also fill university dorms during the summer for events. The events managers need a registration process that is quick and easy for registrants and administrators to navigate. The system needs to be able to create accounts that store demographic information for recurring registrants. With the ability to upload required forms online, the process is expedited and more efficient. Your registration form and processes can make or break your event, without attendees, there is no event. 
 
Universities are also considering administrative and personnel costs. These are basic ways to cut costs and generate revenue, but some universities are pushing the boundaries on ways to generate new revenue. Many of these attempts are very entrepreneurial, for example, some universities are creating their own catering services to accompany their venues to provide additional earnings.  

Starting from the Bottom Up

Most of the time, universities don’t have the money in the budget to invest in brand new revenue streams and need a streamlined way to improve current processes. Having a system that allows for information to flow cohesively through departments is the backbone of efficiency. 
 
Using integrated software allows you to report on items that you previously overlooked or even had no knowledge of. With a clearer view of the company and the daily operations, there is an opportunity for growth and success as you can now see the entire picture.

Continual Growth Calls for Creative Revenue Streams

The venues and events industry is in constant motion and will be ever-evolving with the onslaught of technological advancements. Managers of the spaces need to be willing and able to adapt the changes. With the proper groundwork set by purpose-built software, there is an ability to expand on what is already there and grow with whatever the future may hold. 
 
Thoughts or questions? Leave a comment below.
 

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