What We Learned at NIRSA 2012

A few of us from Active spent the end of March down in the Tampa with NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation for their 2012 conference. More than 2,000 campus rec professionals gathered to talk about the future of collegiate recreation. Check out NIRSA’s article that recaps the conference.

Here’s what we learned:   

1. Campuses don’t want to deal with PCI Compliance directly

Campuses would prefer to have Payment Card Industry Compliance handled by another company, rather than be responsible for it themselves. Payment card processors are held to regulations and can take the responsibility from their customers by running everything through their own environment.

2. Campuses prefer one-stop shop software vendors

Campuses like the idea of consolidating as much as possible into one product and working with one vendor. For campuses that have taken a best-of-breed approach and have a few different systems, it’s hard to make upgrades, troubleshoot problems, and tie all the data into one clear picture.

3. Rec departments like to give away free stuff

We talked with people about ActiveRewards. This program is designed to act as a middle man between big brands  and organizations who want to give away free samples. ActiveRewards was a big hit! Campuses like the ability to give away free stuff from Clif Bar, Powerade, Wheaties and more.

4. SIS integration is very important

It’s extremely important that campus recreation software integrates with SIS (student information systems. This topic was discussed a lot at the conference.

5. Hosted solutions > desktop solutions 

Many universities are gravitating towards a hosted solution rather than a desktop solution. By running the system in the cloud, people can access the software from an computer over the internet. Also, departments can save money on IT and hardware costs.

What other trends are you noticing in the recreation world? Comment below.