Company/Tool Name: InitLive
What is the “problem” that your tool seeks to solve?
Using email and excel to set up and manage your staff and volunteers at events is time consuming and a waste of paper. There are existing tools that help you with input of volunteer details and schedule, but on the day of the event, when up to 30% of your volunteers don’t show up, you are left scrambling to figure out who they are, and who to replace them with.
Using walkie-talkies as a means of communication on the day of the event is very limiting and can be a security risk. When you have a lost child, do you really want to announce it over the air? If your event is spread out over miles, as is the case with races, walkie-talkies don’t work. You need another alternative.
What is the best audience for this tool? Corporate events? Social? Other? Large? Small?
We can handle any size event, anywhere there is cell phone service and/or wifi. The more spread-out the event the more valuable InitLive becomes. For example, events such as golf tournaments use volunteers that are spread out over the course. Being able to communicate with the right people at the right time is of immense value, especially if a problems occurs, or if there is a weather delay.
What does your tool help event planners do better?
InitLive takes a mobile-first approach to managing events and the most mobile of resources – the team on the ground. Our solution shares all key event information via mobile devices, including schedules and contact details, eliminating the need for paper. InitLive is the only company that equips managers with both a real-time communication system and a comprehensive scheduling service.
Our patented cloud-based system includes:
1) A web service permitting the manager to create their own roles and skills, set up one-day/one-venue or multi-day/multi-venue schedules and easily connect with volunteers/staff and track sign-up progress. The web service also allows volunteers to sign up for an event and select their roles and shifts. We provide one button click to email volunteers their own personal schedules. All information is saved for reuse at your next event.
2) A free native app for iOS and Android devices that provides volunteer check-in, and facilitates day-of communications and last minute schedule updates for both managers, staff and volunteers.
On the day of the event, managers can quickly find out when volunteers don’t show up for their shift, effortlessly find the appropriate information to contact a volunteer in a specific role and immediately see problems as they occur for timely issue resolution.
Volunteers and staff automatically receive personal reminders to know where they should be and when. The team can also can quickly access their upcoming shift and role details and instantly report issues without having to leave their post.
Aside from reducing planning time and eliminating paper copies, our tool keeps planners more organized. It allows them to communicate with volunteers in real-time and make on the fly schedule changes during the event. This provides a safer environment for event volunteers and participants, making for an overall greater experience for everyone.
How is your tool different from/better than the competition?
We are in the cloud, therefore the service is accessible from anywhere.
We will soon be supporting multi-languages on both the mobile device and the web service.
Another differentiating feature is in the real time communication system in our app. We allow volunteers and planners to contact each other from anywhere on site by various different means. Also, our smart-scheduling system allows planners to see problems and quickly make changes right from their smartphone. No other tool has the real time and mobile communication and schedule changing ability. We are also developing some new system roles specifically for drivers and security people, so they can report on their status with one button touch.
What is the single coolest feature of your product?
Filtered group broadcasts (which is covered by our patent). This feature allows planners to send messages based on check in status, roles and locations. Event planners are able to contact the people currently in a role (or at a location), without having to remember who they are. In the future, we will be applying this to a phone-based walkie-talkie and conference feature (also patented).
Anything else we need to know?
We have successfully launched the product and have some great events under our belt like the Toronto Jazz Festival, Girls on the Run, World Junior Girls Golf Championship, and a large US university convocation.
This weekly series spotlights a new tech tool that is designed to help make planning events much more seamless. Whether it’s using event software to track every detail from start to finish or mobile apps that deliver content to attendees’ fingertips, these technologies allow planners to divert their stress to more critical issues like deciding which napkin color looks best.
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