I’ve talked to a lot of campus special event managers who tell a similar tale about the issues they face when scheduling events and booking spaces at their university. Let me paint a quick picture to see if you can relate:
You get two phone calls a mere 15 minutes apart from people who want to book space on your campus. The first call is from a student organization. They have a group meeting and they’re expecting 125 people to come. No problem – the room in the student union that best fits this size crowd is open. Booked and done.
The second call is from the local chamber of commerce asking if they could schedule an event on your campus. They want to hold a 150 person luncheon, and they’re willing to spend $50/seat. But, you just booked the student union space that accommodates that size crowd, so what do you do?
If you’re most of the special event managers I know, the answer is simple: nothing. The room stays booked for the student organization because scheduling events for campus and student life always come first. But, you may feel a bit conflicted because at the end of the day you still want to generate revenue for your university.
It’s about more than just scheduling
The problem is many universities use software for scheduling, but you need more than that. You need a comprehensive higher education software system that tracks the details of the lost opportunity. That way when the dean or provost asks why you’re not generating revenue you can provide specifics about how the space is being utilized and how much money was left on the table. You could even make the case for building extra space on campus to help generate more revenue opportunities.
Marquette University is one example of a campus effectively using software for more than just scheduling events and booking spaces. With a student body of over 11,000, Marquette University was challenged with sharing customer information across the organization, improving space utilization and booking efficiency, tracking and archiving data, and more. They were able to eliminate manual processes and achieve significant cross-departmental buy-in when users began to see the advantages of a single, airtight software solution. You can download the entire Marquette case study here.
When it comes to higher education software, knowledge is power
If your university is facing similar challenges, imagine what centralizing and controlling the scheduling of spaces and services could mean for you. What if – with the right integrated solution – you could unlock efficiencies throughout your university? What if – with the right reporting tools – you could capture the data you need to identify revenue losses or opportunities, how many events you schedule during a period of time, how many people attended events, who booked the most events, what space is generating the most amount of money…the sky is the limit! And with the right proof, you could ultimately make a difference that equates to more revenue for your organization.