With 21 campuses across the city and close to 50,000 students, Houston Community College (HCC) is one of the largest community colleges in the United States. As a result, HCC departments regularly hold events for hundreds of students, faculty, and other staff members.
And while more events help facilitate connection and build student morale, they also create complexity. Here's how HCC is using idloom to deliver consistent communication and provide a unified event experience.
The Situation: Increasing Event Complexity
"Our events are typically in the hundred range," says Craig "C.J." Gambrell, IT Business Analyst at HCC. "While 70-80% of our events are now in person, we also have calls for hybrid events through our community learning program, which require both a physical location and a meeting link."
The increasing variety and frequency of events can create challenges for event staff. Some of the most common include manual sign-up sheets and forms that lend themselves to human error or digital registration pages that are overly complex. While adopting an event platform can help address these issues, Gambrell notes that not all solutions are created equally. "Is it easy to train non-tech staff who are managing the event? Is the platform easy to use? Does it have built-in security?"
The Solution: Delivering Consistent Communication with idloom
Gambrell puts it simply: "Effectively communicating to registered users solved 99% of the problems."
Before HCC had idloom, HCC had no comprehensive events platform in place. "We didn't have a solution," says Gambrell. "So it was more on the manual side. Some people were using Eventbrite, some were using Evite. idloom provides more consistency."
Sherman Harness, Senior Programmer and Analyst at HCC, notes, "We went toward idloom because we wanted to rein in the activity of different folks trying to use their own event
platforms. We found some circumstances where money had been collected. We need to know about that."
idloom made it possible for HCC to create consistent communication while reducing overall complexity. "We can easily communicate with registered users," says Gambrell. "If someone makes a mistake on the event webpage, we can easily correct that." He notes that creating an event page takes "about a minute", and that it's easy to train non-technical staff on the basics.
"Every department has used it at least once," he says, "and idloom is accessible to users with all different levels of technology experience."
The Results: Providing a Unified Experience
For HCC, idloom made it possible to replace fragmented processes with unified operations.
"From an IT standpoint," says Gambrell, "we can give departments event pages. We don't have to partition out resources, since idloom has security built in." He also highlights idloom's QR code system. When users register for an event, they get a QR code right away. This code makes check-in easy. Attendees can show the code on their phone or tablet or print out the code and have it scanned on-site. In addition, idloom easily connects with gateways such as CASHNET to help streamline the payment process. Gambrell also highlights the benefit of pairing single-sign-on (SSO) with idloom for increased control over rights and access roles.
As noted by Gambrell, the versatility of the idloom solution has driven campus-wide adoption. From registration to event page creation to payments and attendee management, idloom offers something for every department. "It was a shock to me how many people were using it," he says. "And people are constantly asking me if they can use it for their event."
Harness sums up the impact of idloom for HCC: "We want to make sure our events have a consistent voice. With idloom, we can." Reach out today to learn more about how idloom can help streamline events management for your institution.