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5 Creative Ways to Manage Campus Visitors During Summer

6/14/2022 9:00:00 AM

Summer break presents a great opportunity for many campuses to increase revenue by hosting groups from outside of the institution. However, managing the facilities and needs of said groups can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be. Using a campus ID management system can be a great way to manage temporary access needs, dining plans and more.

Five alternative ways to use your campus ID system during breaks:

1. All-Inclusive Summer Camps

Ranging from pre-teens to PhDs, there are countless opportunities to host summer camps at your campus – athletics, educational, recreational, you name it. With your campus ID system, you can create all-inclusive experiences. Whether the camp is put on by an internal department or an outside organization is renting space, campus IDs can be set up to access lodging (using dorms as hotel rooms), restrict or grant entry to buildings and labs, and administer meal plans through campus dining halls. By managing all access and dining through the ID management system, you can easily pull reports and create invoices based on actual usage.

2. Daily Conference Groups

With all the continuing education credits needed for many professions, it’s no surprise that conferences remain popular. And the open facilities at many higher education institutions during breaks make them a perfect fit to host programs for continued education. Similar to summer camps, using the campus ID can be a great way to manage access during specific hours to buildings and meeting rooms, as well as breakfast and lunch needs through meal plans. Scanning attendees into classes/sessions and for meals provides accurate reporting on attendance to conference organizers.

3. Temporary Meal Plans

Regardless of the type of event your campus may host, you can create temporary meal plans to accommodate visitors' needs. Some groups might opt for unlimited visits to the dining hall, while others may want to limit to one swipe per meal per person. Others may want to give a per diem amount in the form of a declining balance account. With any of these methods, you can craft estimates based on assumptions, but provide invoices based on actual usage from the group. Over time, with more data on group types, size and meal plans usage, it becomes easier to accurately estimate how much event organizers should budget for meals.

4. Orientation Experience

Providing new incoming students with positive, welcoming experiences is key to setting students up for success throughout their collegiate journey. Orientation is one of the first places new students experience campus and that should include their campus ID. Beyond making sure each student gets their ID, use it during orientation to familiarize students with how they will use their ID throughout their time at school: access to dorms, preloaded declining balance to buy school merchandise, meal plan, checking items out from the library and more.

5. Construction Staff Management

We all know summer is construction central for campuses. As it becomes more important to know who is on campus at any given time, it may be necessary to account for temporary workers such as construction crews. For crews that will be returning daily for weeks or months, consider creating personalized ID cards so you can see who is on campus each day. For personnel that will only be there for one day, visitor passes are perfect.

Managing Costs of Physical Cards

Temporary cards have the tendency to walk away. Visitors forget to turn them in, they get lost, they get thrown away, etc. Additionally, if the temporary ID is printed as a visual ID with a picture, there’s no way to reuse that specific card. Institutions are getting creative with managing costs for temporary IDs including using more disposable materials such as paper cards (like mass transit passes) and wrist bands that include the same technology as more common plastic ID cards.

Temporary ID management becomes even easier with mobile IDs. If your campus is ready to go mobile, you can skip the plastic card printing and visitors can use their mobile phone to open doors, use meal plans and declining balances, and more. Find out here if your campus is ready for mobile credentials.

Benefits to Managing Summer Activities With the Campus ID

Lots of examples exist of where and when the campus ID could be used beyond standard operations to control access, provide meal plans, and other transactions. But the primary benefits are actually on the backend.

By managing summer programs through your campus ID solution, operations for access control, meal plans, and declining balances are streamlined in one place, helping visitors and staff accomplish more. Additionally, with the comprehensive reporting available, aggregated data from summer camps, conferences and other activities can help predict future needs for the campus and inform decisions that create more efficient operations.