How Conference Manager Transforms Institutional Event Management

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University of Minnesota is a OmniUpdate + Destiny Solutions Conference Manager user.

How Conference Manager Transforms Institutional Event Management

Case Study

Conferences and events are a hallmark of the offerings delivered by colleges and universities. Some institutions have entire conference centers dedicated to these, while others run them out of smaller departments.

What’s true across the board, though, is that effective conference management requires a tool tailor-made to support these efforts in a way that’s unique to the context of higher education.

To serve this need, Destiny Solutions® + OmniUpdate® developed the Conference Manager, event management software that streamlines conference creation, registration, and management so staff can set up and manage engaging events—both in-person and online.

Conference Manager is designed to help colleges and universities grow their revenue and reputation with event management software that leverages business best practices. It allows staff to easily set up new conferences and events, manage CEUs and accreditation letters, and offer a simplified registration experience (both for individuals and for groups).

Pennant

University of Minnesota logo

The flagship University of Minnesota (UMN) Twin Cities is the state’s land-grant university and one of the most prestigious public research universities in the nation. With over 30,000 undergraduate students and over 16,000 graduate and professional students, UMN is ranked by Forbes as one of the 10 best educational employers in the nation.

By the Numbers: Conference Manager in Action at the University of Minnesota

In 2015, the University of Minnesota (UMN) adopted the Destiny One® Student Lifecycle Management system to support non-credit programming across the Twin Cities campus. They also adopted the Conference Manager system to simplify and improve their event and conference management efforts.

The Conference Manager tool has been incredibly valuable for UMN. Over 1,700 conferences have been hosted in the system, supporting over 385,000 registrations, and generating millions of dollars in revenue. Conferences and events of all sizes are hosted in the system. The average number of participants in a conference is about 100, but UMN has also hosted events with over 4,000 registrants.

Behind that success are some core functionalities of the Conference Manager product, according to Theresa Anderson, a Business Analyst in UMN’s Academic Support Resources-IT team. The three biggest benefits of the Conference Manager tool are:

  1.  Creating Brand Consistency
  2.  Simplifying Event Registration
  3.  Supporting Efficiency and Effectiveness
     

Conference Manager provides college and university administrators the tools they need to develop, launch and manage successful events that minimize the burden on staff while maximizing the quality of the experience for attendees.

 

1. Creating Brand Consistency

At most institutions, individual departments and colleges manage conferences and events independently. While this ensures subject matter expertise, it can lead to inconsistencies in how external audiences engage with the institution and its brand.

“The registration experience sets the tone for the entire event,” Anderson said. “It's crucial that the same level of detail that goes into planning the actual event is also spent in setting up the registration site.”

With the Conference Manager, you can publish branded registration websites easily and apply all consistent branding from a single location. This means conference and event websites will conform to institutional branding standards and all prospective attendees are confident in the quality of the event from their first touchpoint.

The registration experience sets the tone for the entire event. It's crucial that the same level of detail that goes into planning the actual event is also spent in setting up the registration site.

Theresa Anderson — Business Analyst in Academic Support
Resources-IT Team, University of Minnesota

 

2. Simplifying Event Registration

Once your consistent and high-quality website is in place, it’s important to ensure folks can progress through the necessary stages to register for the event.

Unlike a course enrollment, it’s possible for conference attendees to need to be registered by someone else.  To accommodate this, the Conference Manager’s capacity to facilitate batch enrollments is incredibly important in delivering a simplified and high-quality experience to attendees.

“The Conference Manager greatly simplifies the process of registering multiple people,” Anderson said. “This allows an admin to go in and register other people from their office for a conference or events, which is a major functionality people expect. In fact, most of our conference registrations are processed that way. This is a great selling point for our units on campus.”

What’s more, the registration process itself is enhanced with eCommerce best practices, ensuring registrations and online payments are secure and simplified. The system also facilitates exhibition and sponsorship package purchases, adding another layer of convenience to the conference management experience.

The Conference Manager greatly simplifies the process of registering multiple people. This allows an admin to go in and register other people from their office for a conference or events, which is a major functionality people expect. In fact,
most of our conference registrations are processed that way. This is a great selling point for our units on campus.

Theresa Anderson — Business Analyst in Academic Support
Resources-IT Team, University of Minnesota

 

3. Supporting Efficiency and Effectiveness

Beyond streamlining registration and branding, the Conference Manager tool simplifies a range of back-end administrative tasks that can often complicate the process of planning an event.

For example, the system can create participant schedules, distribute relevant materials and even manage on-site registration and check-ins. This means the system also simplifies the issuance of CEUs and attendance credentials.

Simplifying and streamlining all these arduous and often manual tasks allows staff to focus their time and energy on delivering a phenomenal experience to attendees.

“The tool is so simple and easy to learn,” Anderson said. “Because of that, it allows our staff users to get creative and think of other opportunities to use the system."

Conclusion

Conference and event management has always been part of the institutional repertoire, but the quality of the event management needs to match the quality of the event itself.

Conference Manager provides college and university administrators the tools they need to develop, launch and manage successful events that minimize the burden on staff while maximizing the quality of the experience for attendees.

If you host conferences or events—either on-site or on the web—Conference Manager can help you deliver the experience your key stakeholders expect while supporting efficiency for your staff. Request a demo of Conference Manager today!

Request demo of Conference Manager

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