College Events Staff Scheduling: California Athletics
The University of California Berkeley’s Athletic Department coordinates ticket sales and other sport event management personnel requirements year-round for all of the university’s NCAA Division I athletic events.
Cal’s ticket office staffs 15-25 sporting events per month. These events may need as few as 2 ticket staff, to as many as 40 workers for a home football game. The department must also schedule student workers to handle phone ticket sales at the office during normal business hours.
Like most organizations in sport event management, the ticket office sees many last minute changes in the number of required staff, weather-driven cancellations, and other event time changes. In addition, student workers have changing availability week-to-week due to mid-terms, final exams, class projects, vacations, and other factors.
Stephanie White, Assistant Ticket Manager, described her scheduling process prior to Shiftboard. “I had an Excel spreadsheet that I would update every week,” she said. “Just keeping it up to date and not forgetting things was a constant problem. We had a signup board in the office, but there was no sense of urgency. Students would sign up as they felt like it. Many students did not work in the office so they did not have a way to sign up. I would still be trying to find students by phone the day of the event.”
Shiftboard Scheduling Software for Sport Event Management
Luckily, Cal’s Events & Ceremonies department was already using Shiftboard for event scheduling during reunions and homecoming. The referral made the ticket office’s decision easy. White described the biggest benefits Shiftboard has provided her operations:
- Tracking and reporting hours in real-time: “The biggest thing is tracking the students’ hours through Shiftboard‘s reporting, to ensure they’re not going over the allotted 20 hours per week.”
- Students selecting their own shifts: “The students can now find their own shifts, as well as cancel their shifts, which takes a big load off me. If someone cancels a shift, immediately someone else picks it up because they are all looking for hours. It’s all right there.”
White now can post her schedule for the entire fall or winter season in advance. Because the system is first-come first-served, there is now motivation to sign up immediately.
“Students love it,” White said. “They can access the schedule at any time. They pick up shifts at 1 or 2 in the morning. I now have kids who are frustrated they don’t get events because they wait until the last minute. They learn quickly, because the schedules fill up fast.”
Shiftboard integrated communications, including automated reminders and mass broadcasts, are also helpful for sport event management. “It really helps for events like football games, where students sign up but we don’t know the start time until the week before,” White said. “We can send out notices and remind people all at once.”