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Case Study

Ottawa International Jazz Festival

Festival Event Staff Scheduling & Communication


The Event


As the premier music event to take place in downtown Ottawa, The TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival continues to host the best musicians from across Canada and around the world in all genres of Jazz. The festival attracts 300,000+ attendees each year requiring over 600 volunteers to make this event a reality.

The Challenge

With growing staff and volunteer needs every year, Julian Selody, the event manager, needed to simplify the complexity of volunteer management at the event. He turned to InitLive to help him recruit, schedule, and communicate with his volunteers.

The Solution:
InitLive Staff Scheduling Software for Festival Management


Scheduling & Recruiting for the Festival

InitLive helped Jazz Festival event organizers create a comprehensive schedule that volunteers could view to self-signup for roles and shifts. This feature took most of the scheduling burden out of the equation. The organizers were even more thrilled to be able to copy shifts over to multiple days as well, making event scheduling for the 10-day festival a breeze.


Centralizing Event Staff & Volunteer Data

Over 35 years running, the Ottawa Jazz Festival organizers had a lot of staff and volunteer data collected over the years. Using InitLive, they were able to upload all staff information into one centralized platform where they could begin tracking key profile details, engagement, check-in status, hours worked, performance, and more!


On-site Communication

Communicating through broadcast messages and individual messages was an added bonus for Julian as he could easily inform volunteers of schedule changes or urgent requests. The app also kept him informed of the check-in status for current shifts - if staff were missing, he could contact them or reschedule another volunteer to fill in.


Key Benefits

  • Quick Scheduling & Recruitment Process
    Time spent making phone calls & sending emails was significantly reduced because volunteers could independently sign up for their desired shifts. And, with a more intuitive scheduling process, set-up was quicker with fewer errors (i.e. no schedule conflicts).

  • Visibility on Event Day
    Event managers could see who was on-site, access staff contact details and make schedule changes via the mobile app whenever necessary.
  • Informed Volunteers
    All staff could access their schedule, shift descriptions & important event documents any time via the mobile app. Automatic reminders helped reduce no-shows. When the event managers needed to update specific staff, SMS text message notifications were broadcasted.

  • Centralized Data
    All event managers could access the most up-to-date schedule and staff information anytime, from anywhere.
I learned [how it's] difficult to schedule & coordinate with 600 different people, and Initlive helped me seamlessly accomplish that task. I believe it did positively impact my event.
JulianJulian Selody, Event Manager, Ottawa Jazz Festival

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