By Kristina Michel
Every organization that holds an event at the University of Houston wants it to be successful. However, measuring that success can be difficult. Pictures of large crowds gathered at an event or positive verbal feedback from a few attendees are all helpful, but nothing attests to the success of an event better than hard data.
With the help of the Cougar Card Office’s wireless device rental service, organizations and departments on campus can easily collect that data. They can rent wireless card reader equipment that allows attendees to their campus events to check in by swiping their Cougar Card.
“Our wireless reader service was spread by word of mouth,” said Tramaine Johnson, manager at the Cougar Card Office. “Customers would hear about it from other departments or groups that had used the service. Now, we have added additional service and support to the program and are trying to do more to get the word out to customers about this valuable service we provide.”
There are two wireless reader rental options: a Cougar Card tablet reader and a Cougar Card wireless swipe device, which requires customers to have a laptop. Rather than having to rely on lengthy sign-in sheets at check-in stations – which can lead to long lines and can be hard to decipher later on – event organizers can set up the Cougar Card wireless device reader on their tablet or laptop and have attendees quickly swipe their card at entry. The tablet option allows for increased mobility, especially at events where setting up a large check-in table may not be ideal.
“Our office has used the tablet equipment at our events. It’s user-friendly, fast and able to generate the necessary data at all our events,” said Melissa Halstead, sustainability coordinator at the Office of Sustainability. “The tablet already has swiping technology embedded in the iPad, which makes it convenient to travel with during our events. After our events we were able to gather statistics that help us manage and plan for our events in the future.”
In addition to easily collecting attendance numbers by the number of swipes, organizers can gather crucial demographic information about their attendees. This demographic information can help organizers evaluate whether they successfully marketed the event to their target audience, as well as help with the planning and marketing of future events.
“A good example of how helpful our service can be is Finals Mania,” said Johnson. “At Finals Mania, they use our wireless rental service to check-in students and also to track attendance. The event has grown each semester since it began. Thanks to our service, the organizers had the numbers to back that up and advocate for the resources needed to help keep it growing.”
Departments and organizations that have used the service also attest to how easy the equipment is to set up and how user-friendly it is.
“We utilized the Cougar Card Office’s wireless rental equipment for move-in this summer,” said Rhoda Arnes, marketing coordinator at Student Housing and Residential Life. “The entire process, from set up to getting the information, was easy. If you are looking to collect data for an event, I highly recommend using the Cougar Card Office.”
The Cougar Card wireless device rental service is available to all departments, student groups and organizations affiliated with the University of Houston.
For more information about the service, including pricing, contact the Cougar Card Office at 832-842-CARD (2273) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.