In our Winter 2017 issues, we’re featuring the tech companies that were part of the 2016 ibtm America TechCollective in partnership with DAHLIA+. Because we can only fit so much in print, read on here for our full interview with Melissa Pinard, marketing manager, InitLive
InitLive is an online tool and mobile app for managing staff and volunteers at events. It equips event planners, event staff and volunteers with a real-time communication system and a comprehensive scheduling service. This reduces set up time, keeps event planners organized and increases staff communication, creating smoother and safer events.
What are some of InitLive’s outstanding features for meeting/event planners?
InitLive takes a mobile-first approach to managing the most mobile of event resources—the team on the ground. InitLive improves the way event planners manage their team BEFORE, DURING and AFTER their event, and is best suited for any event type that requires a large staff and volunteer team, particularly: festivals, sporting events, conferences and academic events.
The system includes a web service and mobile app equipping event planners; event staff and volunteers with a real-time communication system and scheduling service, replacing current tools such as excel spreadsheets, walkie-talkies, and e-mail.
In minutes, you can create and build an event on the InitLive website, then have all the details pushed to the mobile app for event day. The app allows the planner to see who has checked in, where they are scheduled to work and allows them to quickly communicate with filtered groups of people.
When faced with an emergency or event crisis, InitLive significantly improves communication with the team and creates an overall safer event. For example, when InitLive was used at a large outdoor event, the event manager was able to quickly locate a lost child. The InitLive app allowed the manager to relay the emergency message to their entire staff team and a staff member found the child within minutes.
InitLive continues to work directly with clients and planners to develop exciting features that are brand new to the market. One of the most recent InitLive projects was to implement a full localization of the system, allowing for the tool to be available in multiple languages. The technology is continuing to grow with four patents pending and has already expanded into the global market with sales in North America, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia.
What was the inspiration for starting InitLive? When was it founded and where are you based?
InitLive is the brainchild of Debbie and Melissa Pinard, a mother-daughter duo based out of Ottawa, Canada. The initial inspiration for InitLive started with an idea for communication system geared towards people who temporarily work together. With Debbie’s 37 years of experience in telecommunications and Melissa’s avid work in volunteerism, the idea expanded. After talking to many event managers they found out that they had a common pain point, managing their staff and volunteers. The direction for InitLive seemed very clear for Debbie and Melissa. The company was founded in late 2013 and launched its first product in 2015.
Do you have any numbers/figures/percentages you can share related to the technology that would interest planners?
With all of the pressures that come with running an event, it comes as no surprise that “Event Planner” made the top 10 most stressful jobs in the world. A well-planned schedule can be crippled within minutes because of the average 30 percent of volunteers who don’t show up for their shifts. Recovering from those schedule problems in real-time, without the help of technology is extremely hard to do.
Globally, 43 percent of millennials volunteer and there are now accredited university programs for volunteer management. These new users do not want, and will not tolerate the use of outdated tools.
Around the world, 7.1 billion people own a cell phone. Event managers and their team already have the means to make their event life easier; InitLive is just bridging the gap.