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Ottawa University

Ottawa University leverages the power of Fonteva to make its previously manual event processes more efficient, while collecting valuable data in order to create more actionable insights through Salesforce.

With a history that dates back 150 years, Ottawa University currently serves over 4,000 students through its two residential undergraduate campuses in Kansas and Arizona, as well as adult and graduate studies campuses in Phoenix, Milwaukee, Kansas City, and online.

Key Results

Transitioned from paper forms to a digital experience

Visualized event data through reports & dashboards

Tie revenue directly to events, backed with data

The Challenge

Like many institutions of higher education, Ottawa University is challenged by the realities of data silos created by the various departments that operate under the larger university umbrella. These silos can make it difficult to make informed big picture decisions that consider a full 360 view of operations.

Administering and managing events was also a cumbersome, manual process for staff, without that effort translating into an improved attendee experience. Accessing basic details from a registration form required sorting through a stack of papers, with no recorded trail of actions taken available to reference.

As a long time user of Salesforce, and an early adopter of HEDA (Higher Education Data Architecture), Ottawa University looked to the Salesforce AppExchange for a better way to manage their events.

The Solution

After finding Fonteva Events through the AppExchange and investigating its capabilities, Ottawa University began managing its events in Salesforce. This allowed the school to move away from phone registrations and paper forms to an online experience for attendees and more insight for staff.

One of the biggest and most important events hosted by Ottawa University is the Family Fall Weekend. This event is for prospective students and their families to get a taste of campus life and also happens to be one of the most important tools to closing the recruiting process.

“Getting prospective students to visit our campus is strongly tied to deciding to commit and pursue a degree here,” said Bryce Bettin, Director of Strategic Market Support for Ottawa University. “Getting their parents and family members on campus during our Family Fall Weekend increases that likelihood even higher. All of the information needed to successfully execute this event was really challenging with all of the paper that we had to sort and manage. With Fonteva Events all the information needed to execute this event, from accommodation needs to t-shirt sizes is clearly collected during registration and easily accessible as needed, which is a big stress reliever for staff.”

With event data in Salesforce, along with other key information, staff in any department can align their own KPI with events to visualize the impact of events using reports and dashboards.

Bryce Bettin, Director of Strategic Market Support, Ottawa University

In addition to delivering a modern events experience, Bettin has found additional ways to utilize the functionality of Fonteva Events in some unique ways that have been beneficial to Ottawa University. The first is the school’s annual deposit event. When prospective students have their applications accepted and approved for admittance, they are invited to the deposit event. By registering, the prospective students are able to reserve their acceptance, placing a non-refundable deposit through the event registration.

“We are not a large university with a big endowment that we can fall back on,” noted Bettin. “Our annual deposit event is important, not only to get revenue in the door, but also because it gives us a good idea of what our enrollment for the following year will look like. We have a pretty good idea of what percentage of applicants that make the deposit end up as students, so this becomes key data for our planning.”

The Bottom Line

The success of the deposit event spawned another idea for Bettin to leverage Fonteva Events to the benefit of Ottawa University. The registrar’s office was looking for a way to improve the way it handled verification of information requests from employers looking to hire alumni of the school.

Through this new event Bettin took advantage of the Form Builder in Fonteva Events to collect the information that each employer needs to have verified. Each employer then registers and checks out of the event, paying for the verification request.

“Our verification and validation service for employers has seen a great response all around,” added Bettin. “We were able to tie enough revenue directly to these requests through Fonteva Events that the registrar’s office was able to hire an additional staff member to deal with these requests, which accounts for a little more than half of that person’s time. So ultimately it’s a net gain for their office and the university as a whole.”

As the school continues to grow and expand Bettin is sure that Fonteva Events will continue to be utilized to support those efforts.

Getting the most out of all of your tools, that’s a smarter way to operate, that’s Fonteva Events

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