Windsor International Film Festival, Canada

“We needed a reliable cloud-based system that volunteers would find easy to use.”

The annual Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) is manned by experienced but also new volunteers, we had to make life easier for our annual film festival.

For nine days WIFF hires the historic Capitol Theatre, a theatre that locals fought hard to save from demolition. It now attracts the festival, cinema goers and business to the area.

As with any festival it is a huge undertaking, in the month leading up to opening night there are many sleepless nights, WIFF had to simplify things. “We needed a reliable cloud based system that volunteers would find easy to use,” says Box Office Coordinator Jen Holsen. She searched online and found Veezi.

Given the nature of the festival, having a few months to test before going live was simply not an option. On opening day the festival took over the Capitol and Jen gave the volunteers a quick lesson at the counter… then left them to it.

Within minutes they could easily handle a variety of ticket options; from opening night, to after party, to student $5 rates - both at the box office and online. “This new efficiency surprised our patrons, many coming from out of town. If they don’t get to see a film at the festival they may never get to see it. Now they have the assurance of purchasing online. And we can also sell T shirts, key chains, hats and tote bags - all in the same transaction. I loaded the merchandise, colour coded each item and even added in a volunteer discount … it was a breeze,” says Jen.

With 177 screenings and up to 15,000 patrons, festival lines get very busy, nerves kick in and mistakes, like entering a ticket purchase twice, can happen. Veezi’s efficient and detailed reporting allowed Jen to drill down to the operator and the specific time an error occurred, all in a few clicks. This level of detail has not been available before and access to information only lasted for 24 hours. “The beauty of Veezi is it retains this information; as a Not For Profit this level of accuracy and accountability for the distributors is very important”.

While WIFF are a Veezi customer for short periods, the support of the Veezi team during the festival was reassuring.

With their previous software new features were an added expense. “But Veezi has all of the features, and while we did not use them all this time we will in the future,” says Jen.

“With Veezi we are future proofed and the beauty is we only pay for the period we use, it is now on the shelf until next year” and Jen is confident there will be fewer sleepless nights leading up to the event. 

 

Jen Holsen

Windsor International Film Festival