Commencement is a Success with Trellis Events

May 31, 2022

Online RSVPs and QR code ticketing made check-in for grads easy

Graduating students checking with Trellis-generated QR codes at Commencement 2022.

Graduating students checking in with Trellis-generated QR codes at Commencement 2022.

The Trellis team was excited to have the opportunity to support Presidential Events to leverage the power of Trellis Events in this year’s Commencement ceremony. With high student engagement and quick processing time at the entry points, Trellis Events proved to be a success, given this was the first time the system was used to manage an event on a large scale. 

Graduating students have the option to attend the ceremony and should, in theory, RSVP ahead of time to register for the event. In years past, this was done through paper ticketing, and recently, virtual ticketing via QR codes through an outside vendor. All aspects of the process were in house this year, with registration through Qualtrics and virtual ticketing and check-in at the entry points through Trellis Events.

Although Trellis wasn’t involved end-to-end, it joined with Presidential Events after the initial RSVP communications had been sent to graduating students in early May. Once the deadline had passed for registration, Trellis jumped in using Trellis Events to create an unseen “ghost” event in the background to manage the list of registered students. A secondary list was created as well for those who were graduating but had not officially registered. The two lists allowed Trellis to customize the messaging to students once the QR codes were generated and track the population of registered and unregistered attendees. 

QR codes were distributed to the students on the day of commencement using bespoke messaging templates. A first email was sent around 2:00 p.m. with a follow-up email around 5:00 p.m. It was deliberate choice to send the messages on the day of to ensure that the emails would arrive at the top of their inbox in case one was accidentally deleted or filtered out. 

At the check-in points, over thirty volunteers scanned the QR codes using an app that is part of Trellis’s event package in Salesforce on iPads provided by UITS. Volunteers at check-in didn’t need to know any of the technical information behind the registration process, but simply needed to scan the code or use a lookup feature in case a student’s phone was dead by the time they arrived. “We had volunteers that were given an iPad, and had never used the app before,” said Ali Jeffords, Implementation Analyst at Trellis. “There was really no learning curve and the app itself was intuitive. I would say this is another win.”

Processing thousands of graduates before the ceremony went by quickly without any major issues. “What I was most pleasantly surprised by was how quickly it went—we had the bulk of the students scanned and in Commencement by 6:40,” said Nik Glazier Hodge, Director of Implementation Services for Trellis CRM. “I was concerned that we were going to have a good percentage of students that didn’t have a QR code or didn’t get the email. I was working all of the registration lines and every single student came to me with their QR code ready to go. That was mind blowing—the communications worked that well.  Students got it and came ready for it.”

Commencement 2023 will see Trellis managing the process from end-to-end. All invitations and content will be built using Trellis Events to manage the messaging, RSVP lists, and generating QR codes for a quick registration on commencement day.