In just a few months after purchasing the Event Check-in App (ECIA), St. Edwards University (SEU) has gone above and beyond in successfully implementing use of the app on campus, training students, on-boarding partners, and integrating its use into overall campus culture. Administrators at SEU say by the 6th week of the semester, the Event Pass had become a consistent part of the student and student leader experience. This article summarizes the various initiatives and resources they utilized to accomplish their goals.
Marketing and Branding
SEU administrators created a consistent marketing campaign around the Event Pass, including posters and signage, social media graphics, and a graphic for TV screens around campus. Each marketing piece is branded in the same way, creating recognition for students. The marketing encourages students to visit the Engage community, known to students as the CollegiateLink site, to access their event pass and save it to their mobile phones.The image on the left of the hand holding the event pass is become widely recognized on campus. Student leaders have even asked for access to the graphic to use for their own meetings and events!
The initial launch focused on first-year adoption, implementing use of ECIA at new student orientation. One orientation session focused on the various mobile applications that are important for SEU students, including the Event Check-in App. Certain sessions required the event pass to check-in, helping students become comfortable with both how it works and it being a consistent part of the student experience.
Sophomore + Upperclassman Adoption
Carey Mays, Director of Student Activities at SEU, says getting first-year students to adopt was not difficult, but bringing sophomores and upperclassman on board was a bigger challenge.
To introduce the pass to the rest of the student body, they decided to focus on their biggest campus events, including Friday night programming, the involvement fair, and their annual Fall Fest. Targeting these larger events introduced a wide number of students to the pass in shorter bursts of time.
At the Involvement Fair, check-in stations were set up throughout the fair where students could receive swag if they showed they had downloaded their event pass and scanned in. Tying incentives to usage of the pass is a great way to quickly increase adoption.
For the Fall Fest event, the Student Life office created a different event in the Engage community for each activity at the festival and required students to scan into each activity they took part in. This method allowed them to verify that only students were accessing parts of the festival that are limited to current students. In addition, they could easily count and track how many people took part in each individual aspect of the fest, helping them see what they are getting a good return on, as well as being able to see how quickly they were able to get people through activities. In this way, use of the app spans beyond attendance tracking, helping administrators use data to make smarter programming decisions.
Student Leader Training
Buy-in begins with students, and SEU included ECIA training in various aspects of student leader training during its initial implementation. During an involvement fair preparation session, they taught student leaders how to download the application to check users into their individual organization stations.
ECIA training has also become a part of organization training. In organization leader training, staff members had students download the app, use the code for an "Organization Leader Training" event, and scan in their neighbor. In this way, they took attendance at the training by allowing students to scan one another in! We love this idea of putting ownership on the students to learn how to utilize the tool in a hands-on way.
SEU developed a great presentation to introduce students to ECIA and how to utilize it.
Creating a culture on campus requires buy-in across departments and divisions. The Student Life department at SEU has been intentional about providing demos of the check-in app to offices across campus, including campus ministry, campus recreation, and community engagement. Each department is finding ways to implement use of the app on campus.