We analytically derive universal bounds that describe the trade-off between thermodynamic cost and precision in a sequence of events related to some internal changes of an otherwise hidden physical system. The precision is quantified by the fluctuations in either the number of events counted over time or the times between successive events. Our results are valid for the same broad class of nonequilibrium driven systems considered by the thermodynamic uncertainty relation, but they extend to both time-symmetric and asymmetric observables. We show how optimal precision saturating the bounds can be achieved. For waiting time fluctuations of asymmetric observables, a phase transition in the optimal configuration arises, where higher precision can be achieved by combining several signals.