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Customer Success Story

Academy of Country Music Awards

Using InitLive, the ACMs improved staff communications pre, during & post-event by 100%!

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The Event

The overriding mission of the Academy of Country Music (ACM) is “Improving lives by connecting fans, artists and the industry.”

The event took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 7, 2019, and is one of the world's largest awards shows. It is an entire weekend of perfectly timed events designed to help raise funds for music-related therapy and education programs, and the Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES TEAM
The success of the entire weekend of events is dependent on an events management team of 20 staff members and a supporting team of 500 staff & volunteers. Among those staff are 12 leads who act as managers or shift supervisors.

500+
Event Staff

15.5K
Attendees

415+
Shifts

2K+
Hours Worked

The Challenge

Prior to InitLive, Sheri Piecuch Vyfvinkel, ACM Volunteer Manager, was constantly on her phone, texting volunteers and responding to long queues of inquiries. Communication was overwhelming because there was no efficient way. Volunteers would miss their shifts and it wasn't anyone's fault; it was just too difficult to communicate without the proper tools.

"A volunteer manager is so much more than just a volunteer manager, we're operations. We must understand every aspect of the event to ensure we put people in roles where they'll be successful and be prepared to represent the brand,"  said Sheri. It's a dynamic position; requirements are consistently in flux and she must be prepared to respond to changing requirements quickly. Changes typically happen not 4 days in advance, but 4 hours. “It's like a puzzle that the pieces keep moving.” Sheri believes that the key to success is a team of volunteers with the right skills and attitude combined with the ability to communicate key information to ensure that volunteers know what's expected of them and have what they need to be successful in their role.

The Solution

The ACM organizers chose InitLive - a dynamic and easy-to-use scheduling and communication tool that would enable them to equip their event staff & volunteers to deliver a quality attendee experience.

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24X Faster

"A simple thing that takes me five minutes today with InitLive took a couple of hours before. It makes me feel good to know that when a team member comes to me and goes, 'Can we get more volunteers for this or change that?' Literally it takes me a minute."

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100% Improvement in Communications

“InitLive helps me communicate a 100% more efficiently and
accurately. Using InitLive, if there is any type of safety situation, I know who's checked in to the event. It’s part of our security plan: using InitLive we can pull up all the information we need on our phones. I can send broadcast messages just to specific groups or all volunteers at once.”

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Zero No-Shows & Higher Retention Rates

“I didn't have a single volunteer that didn't show up for their shift and go, 'Oh, I didn't know.'"

"Some of our volunteers have been with us for over 10 years because they feel valued and they feel like they're part of a professional volunteer program.”

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Key Functionalities

  • Custom Registration & Recruitment Process
    Using InitLive's professional looking sign-up page, the ACM was able to give a great first impression to new volunteers. InitLive's custom registration questions also made it easy to vet the volunteers to learn the positions where they would thrive most.

  • Improved Efficiency
    InitLive kept the whole volunteer program organized through helping the team respond quickly to last-minute changes. Managers could create new shifts, see which volunteers were available and reach out. “Literally it takes me just a minute,” said Sheri.

  • Reduced Event Day Anxiety
    With InitLive, the ACM organizers have reduced the anxiety of their volunteers by providing all the information needed to be prepared for their shifts. This has drastically reduced on-site questions. “They show up knowing exactly what they're going to do,” said Sheri.

  • Real-time Visibility
    With InitLive, the team at the ACM could make changes to the schedule in real-time and see who was checked in or late to proactively identify issues before they impacted the success of the event.
  • Mobility
    The ACM had multiple events & activities taking place at any given time. Team leads, posted in various locations, used the InitLive mobile app to conveniently check their schedules, monitor who should be arriving for shifts & check-in volunteers.

  • Improved Communication
    This year, not a single volunteer was late or missing. There were a few volunteers who cut it close but, through InitLive, they could send their manager a quick text & provide real-time updates

  • Information Sharing
    ACM volunteers get questions from everyone - from artists to fans wanting to know who someone is or where to go. The ACM organizers include as much information as possible in the InitLive mobile app (i.e. artist face sheets, schedules & checklists) to give volunteers confidence in delivering a quality event experience.

  • Customer Service
    “The customer service with InitLive is really good!" said Sheri. She values that InitLive genuinely wants them to be successful. Every year, the team opts to receive a refresher course to continue optimizing their use of InitLive.
Every year our event is more dependent on our volunteers, our program has grown & has a great reputation within our organization. InitLive has a lot to do with that.
SheriSheri Piecuch Vyfvinkel, Volunteer Manager, Academy of Country Music
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