What Is Conference Management for Higher Ed?

Conference management software is a tool that helps conference and event planners with managing, reporting and logistics for conferences and events. Most conference management systems are designed for businesses and therefore don’t address the unique needs of college and university conference planning.  

A best-in-class college conference management software is designed specifically with higher ed’s unique needs and requirements in mind. Additionally, it helps colleges and universities reduce costs, improve productivity and drive operational excellence.   

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about conference management software for higher ed, including:  

What Is Conference Management Software?


You need to juggle many responsibilities when planning and managing conferences. A conference management software makes the process easier by automating many of the tasks needed for management, logistics and reporting.  

There are hundreds of types of conference management software to choose from. However, these systems are designed for businesses and therefore don’t address the unique needs of college and university conference planning. That’s why it’s important to shop around for conference management software designed with the nuances and requirements of higher education in mind. 

A best-in-class conference management software for higher ed makes it easy to: 

  • Create an unlimited number of conferences 
  • Personalize individual registration sites for each conference 
  • Budget for and manage conference operations 
  • Measure, track and analyze conference success 

College conference management software improves efficiencies, so you and your staff can focus more on high-priority tasks and less on everyday conference management. 

Furthermore, quality conference management software transforms routine association events into highly engaging revenue drivers—an especially crucial role in light of today’s shrinking budgets. 

Why Does My College or University Need College Conference Management Software?


Think about the many hats a conference manager wears. In the most basic sense, you’re a program assistant overseeing administrative aspects of conferences, combined with the more complex responsibilities of a program coordinator, who creates and manages tracks and sessions along with event registration. You’re also the in-house accounting and budgeting specialist, charged with generating reports and tracking finances. And before, during and after the conference, you’re the designated marketing coordinator, juggling promotion and publicity for all conference events. 

No wonder higher ed conference managers need quality conference management software.  

Best-in-class conference management software handles all of these responsibilities and more. Specifically, it: 

  • Streamlines conference setup with an easy-to-use conference wizard to configure participant types, packages, streams and schedules 
  • Automates management and distribution of continuing education units (CEUs), accreditation letters, academic hours and other credits  
  • Reinforces your brand with conference materials that are consistent with your institution’s brand messaging 
  • Simplifies logistics by assigning rooms and schedule, while managing multiple conferences at the same time 
  • Distributes published papers and presentations electronically  
  • Collects participant information and schedules  
  • Drives revenue growth by leveraging faculty and facilities   

Above all, quality conference management software enhances your ability to increase conference revenue and build your institutional brand.

We needed a system that would reduce the amount of labor involved in hosting the conference by automating many of the processes that we were doing manually. At the same time, we wanted to improve the registration experience for each conference attendee by giving them a more self-supported experience. The Conference Manager module accomplishes those goals for us.

Mark MrozinskiAssistant Vice President of Workforce Development and Executive Dean of Community Education, Harper College

What are the Benefits for Administrators When Considering Conference Management Software?


From planning to post-conference follow-up, conference management software for higher ed should provide seamless integration through a unified dashboard for all processes involved with conference management. This way, even the smallest conference team can manage large-scale events with ease.  

Higher ed conference administrators also appreciate conference management software that: 

  • Simplifies event registration  
  • Delivers strong web governance 
  • Consolidates financial tracking and reports  
  • Registers multiple participants at once 
  • Processes secure online payments 
  • Replaces manual processes with streamlined automation 
  • Reinforces your institutional brand  
  • Designs and publishes conference pages from a single location 
  • Enhances revenue growth  
  • Drives new sources of revenue by leveraging faculty and facilities 
  • Increases engagement with corporate clients and alumni 

Quality conference management software should make all aspects of conference and event planning easier. Eliminate the fuss, complications and bottlenecks with comprehensive and intuitive college conference management software.

What are the Benefits for Conference Attendees When Considering Conference Management Software?


Once conference attendees decide to attend a conference, they want to simply click, pay and be done. They expect the process to be easy and payment to be streamlined and secure.  

College conference management software allows attendees to do these things and so much more, including: 

  • Browsing and purchasing registration for one or more participants  
  • Browsing, purchasing and selecting tracks and sessions for one or more participants 
  • Browsing, purchasing and managing additional event items and activities such as parking passes and conference swag 
  • Providing and managing event-specific schedules and information for each participant 
  • Generating reports and emails including receipts, confirmations, certificates and receipts  

Too many upfront problems with registration can be a big turnoff to potential attendees. Eliminate any barriers by implementing a college conference management software that makes it quick and easy for people to sign up and pay.  

What Key Capabilities Should I Look For in Conference Management Software

for Higher Ed?


When shopping for a quality conference management software, there are specific capabilities to keep in mind. Use the following list to compare software to ensure you get the features and benefits you want and need from a college conference management software.   

Conference and Client Setup 

  • Manage multiple conferences and clients 
  • Set up simple events or complex conferences 
  • Host virtual or on-site conferences 
  • Define budgets and targets 

Payment Setup and Processing 

  • Process registration and secure payments online 
  • Offer group pay options 

Post-Conference Management 

  • Analyze conference performances 
  • Issue grades, CEUs and PDUs 
  • Send accreditation letters 
  • Follow up with attendees 
  • Execute post-conference marketing campaigns 

Conference Delivery 

  • Manage onsite registration, check-in and payment 
  • Track attendance and Continuing Education units 

Conference Design 

  • Build enrollment packages 
  • Define offerings for attendees, sponsors and exhibitors 
  • Set price and discount offers 
  • Structure conference tracks and sessions 
  • Assign rooms and schedules 

Scheduling and Communications 

  • Create participant schedules  
  • Distribute electronic documents and slides 
  • Email participants before and after conference   

Publish Conference Pages 

  • Brand your registration page 
  • Generate conference page URLs 

Dashboard Management 

  • Monitor enrollments in real time 
  • Use pro forma profit and loss tracking 

Cycle of Conference Management



It’s Time to Consider Conference Management Software


Successful conferences are supported by tools that automate, streamline and simplify conference planning and execution. If you’re ready to take your conference management to the next level, it’s time to invest in best-in-class college conference management software.  



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