The latest installment of Mazévo Connect features Kymberly Nielsen, senior event manager at the University of Texas at Austin. In the live event, she shared how her team has streamlined the process for requesting space.
Her presentation is full of information and insights for any organization that takes room requests. You can view “How We Streamline Requesting Our Facilities” in its entirety online.
Managing Several Buildings and a Large Volume of Events
As Kymberly explains, UT uses Mazévo to manage space in multiple facilities, including four student union buildings and others under the university’s Student Activities division. Between the two entities, they take care of 1,200 student organizations and 13 UT colleges that have 170 units within them, on a campus that has 40,000 students and 20,000 faculty and staff.
With those kinds of numbers, it’s easy to see why UT needs to handle requests efficiently!
An Epiphany in the Sandbox
At Mazévo, we create free “sandbox” environments for prospective customers who want to get a feel for our scheduling solution and how their organization could benefit from using it. UT took us up on that offer, and as Kymberly points out, it was an eye-opening experience.
“One of the things we learned was that we all have different needs from Mazévo. We all process everything very differently, and that started to become an issue,” she says. She goes on to explain how Mazévo founder and CEO Dean Evans introduced UT to the concept of “tenants” in Mazévo. UT’s tenants essentially represent the ways that different campus entities process reservations.
Handling 6,000 Bookings Per Year in Just 2 of UT’s Buildings
Kymberly and her team are responsible for events in the Texas Union and the Hogg Memorial Auditorium. More than 6,000 bookings, large and small, are scheduled in those two facilities alone each year.
Not only does her group need to manage the details for those events, but they also have to apply the appropriate pricing from among several options—departmental, sponsored, student, etc. So, handling requests properly from the start and getting things moving in the right direction is critical.
She explains that there is a day in May and another in November that her team circles on the calendar and marks as “System Open Day.” Those are the first days when people can request reservations for the fall and spring/summer, respectively. As she describes it, “we all sit and watch the requests come in” as the floodgates open.
During UT’s transition to Mazévo, Kymberly’s campus partners thought these days would be difficult for people on campus who would be confused about how to request space, where to request space, etc.
She laughs as she describes a meeting about this issue. Concerned attendees proposed a series of explainer videos, step-by-step instructions, and so on to help requesters. As the meeting progressed, one of her student workers slipped her a note. It said, “While you guys were discussing how to teach us to be requesters in the software, I made four reservations.”
Kymberly says her takeaway from that was, “Trust the software.”
All Roads Lead to the Mazévo Launch Point
UT makes reserving a room easy by having links to Mazévo in many places on the university’s website. When website visitors click a link, it takes them to a window where they can select the tenant (UT Austin, Texas Union, for example) where they want to request a room.
As Kymberly notes, some students pop into and then back out of multiple tenants just to educate themselves on what’s available. Others, like the officers for student organizations, have had information given to them by departing officers. Consequently, they know where to go to find the rooms they should reserve. Either way, it takes just a few minutes for someone to determine how to request space for their event in Mazévo.
“We get very few calls with there being any confusion as to where they should have their event,” she says.
Asking the Right Questions to Make Reserving Space Simple
Kymberly’s group makes great use of the Event Questions capability in Mazévo. She explains, “This really allows us to vet our reservations.” Not only does UT use questions to get important information, but they also use them to share information.
For example, in a question about whether an event will have catering, they explain that event hosts must use the building’s exclusive caterer.
“I cannot tell you how much the questions, and giving information in the questions, has cut down on our phone calls,” she exclaims. “That’s one of my favorite parts about Mazévo.”
The feature is particularly helpful on System Open Day. Even when the Omicron variant was causing people to rethink their event plans in November 2021, Mazévo logged 137 requests in the first hour!
UT’s Method for Reviewing Requests Efficiently
As her Mazévo Connect presentation continues, Kymberly provides specifics about how her department reviews requests and determines which will be approved and denied, both on System Open Day and throughout a semester. She notes that the three people in her office who are “approvers” each have different preferences for how they do their work. However, different Mazévo features can accommodate all of them.
She also notes how easy it is in Mazévo to generate “confirmation” documents to send to requesters. In particular, she and her team love the ability you have as a system user to change the wording at the top of a confirmation to reflect the information within it.
For instance, you can have it say “Request Denied” if a requester isn’t allowed to have the space they want for some reason. It might also say “Further Information” or “Final Notice Before Cancellation.” Documents with those types of headings prompt students who might otherwise ignore the document to call “within minutes!”
Check Out This Informative Mazévo Connect Session
Our thanks to Kymberly Nielsen for her interesting and enlightening presentation! Be sure to check out the full session below as well as other great presentations on our YouTube channel.
And if you have questions about fielding requests in Mazévo or about the system in general, feel free to contact us anytime!