Utilizing Conferences and Summer Programming for Income Growth


Conferences and summer programs offer institutions an opportunity to generate revenue that can reduce the financial burden placed on students during the academic year. And it’s not just housing – a strong, efficient summer program brings revenue to other campus entities as well, including dining services, athletics, facilities, and even academic departments. Developing these programs to really work for your campus takes creativity, research, and planning.

Erik Elordi is the Director of National Conference Services for COCM. He specializes in reviewing campuses’ summer programs and providing support, direction and management of the implementation of a tailored plan via a management partnership. His passion for approaching campus revenue with an entrepreneurial mindset drives him to help campuses solve the problem of generating revenue over the summer months. While the summer of 2020 brought a set of unique challenges, Erik is looking to summer of 2021 opportunities and currently building a small library of resources for student housing professionals to learn how to leverage the campus amenities during summer months.

For universities and colleges that do not have a management agreement with COCM, our corporate team can help by taking our Fresh Eyes Consulting approach and focusing specifically on conference and summer programming. Our team provides for those interested in knowing how much more they could be making off of the summer months outcomes, reports and implementation plans to help put conference services together or help grow and build on the ones that the campus may already have in place.

Why do so many campuses miss out on the opportunities that the summer months provide for revenue? For a lot of institutions, conferences are a secondary thought – which makes sense. It often falls to the student housing department, and that task often falls behind because during the academic year the student housing department is so focused on making the student experience great for the students. Then, summer becomes a scramble.

By having Erik as a dedicated person, he is able to help campuses think about these opportunities all year round and leverage those summer months as much as possible. COCM encourages campuses to put in the time to prepare for the summer months so they don’t leave money on the table by not using all of their campus assets during all twelve months.  

Topics Covered

  • Erik’s background experience in housing in Oregon and Washington
  • Why he takes an entrepreneurial approach to summer months and why that excites him
  • Seeing summer housing as opportunity to keep rates lower for students during the regular year
  • How his team at Cornish College of the Arts built and developed a conference program from the ground up
  • How summer programming also helps with recruitment and a pipeline into the college into the future
  • The story behind Erik’s entrepreneurial approach to building summer revenue
  • Why building resources for others looking to develop similar programs is so important to Erik
  • How COCM can take a look at your own campus housing through the Fresh Eyes Process providing recommendations on how to grow that
  • Why a lot of campuses are missing out on these opportunities and the questions they have about the potential
  • Why COCM takes the approach of thinking about potential summer revenue opportunities year round
  • How any campus can connect with COCM to get their questions answered and talk about the opportunities for conferences and summer programs

Connect with Erik

COCM’s Conference Services
Erik on Linkedin
Erik on Twitter

Connect with Leigh Anne & COCM

Student Housing Matters
Student Housing Matters on Facebook
Student Housing Matters on Twitter
Capstone On-Campus Management
Leigh Anne on LinkedIn
Email media@cocm.com