Case Study: How the World Police and Fire Games solved volunteer communication challenges with Rosterfy

To ensure the successful running of a mass sporting event like the World Police & Fire Games, a lot has to go right.

In order for a mass sporting event like the World Police & Fire Games to run smoothly and successfully, numerous factors must align perfectly.

How do you assemble the perfect team and recruit a multitude of volunteers to ensure the smooth running of a mass sporting event like the World Police & Fire Games? With thousands of volunteers needed to greet guests, take care of the athletes' well-being, and create a spirited atmosphere for everyone, the task may seem daunting. But for Samantha Swiridenko, and the team at the World Police & Fire Games, they had the right strategy and the right system in place to effectively recruit and communicate with volunteers weeks before the event.

About the World Police & Fire Games

The World Police and Fire Games are an athletic event open to active and retired law enforcement and fire personnel throughout the world. This spectacular event is a celebration of sporting prowess and the service of those who protect the public.

Winnipeg hosted the 2023 event welcoming the world to watch 8,500 athletes, from 50 countries and taking part in 60 unique sports. It’s been hosted previously in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Northern Ireland, Spain and Sweden.




"With Rosterfy, when I want to send communication to over 2,000 people, no problem. You can just send your emails with templates it takes two seconds’
- Samantha Swiridenko, Volunteer Manager, World Police & Fire Games


The challenges of volunteer program communication for mass events

The allure of participating in Mass Sporting and Cultural Events is irresistible. People crave the opportunity to be part of something grand and exhilarating. These dedicated volunteers are often deeply connected to their local communities, driven by their passion for the town or city hosting the event. Volunteering becomes a powerful means to make a meaningful contribution, forge new friendships, and bask in the satisfaction of playing an integral role in the success of the event.

Communication is often the biggest hurdle to clear for mass events. 

Securing support and generating interest is just the beginning; the real challenge lies in ensuring that volunteers show up for their shifts fully prepared. From completing the necessary screening and training to equipping themselves with all the information required to excel in their volunteering role, it is crucial that volunteers are fully equipped and ready to contribute effectively.

To effectively manage a large number of volunteers, Volunteer Program coordinators must possess the capacity and agility to utilize various systems, spreadsheets, diaries, and Email delivery systems. This enables them to effectively communicate updates regarding scheduling, general news, and outstanding tasks.

Rosterfy is the go-to choice for managing volunteer programs at major sporting and cultural events. Our innovative automations simplify communication, while our intelligent platform organizes individuals based on their roles and responsibilities. This ensures that everyone involved, from the dedicated volunteers to the coordinating teams, stays informed with regular checkpoints and automated updates. The coordinators just need to set up their rules, their steps they expect their volunteers to follow and write the templates for the communication - Rosterfy does the rest.


Warming up pre-event volunteer registration

Samantha Swiridenko and her team recognized the importance of having a strong volunteer recruitment strategy for the World Games event, which required over 3,000 volunteers. They knew that building a substantial database of volunteers was crucial, but they also understood the need to start early and maintain the interest and engagement of volunteers leading up to the opening day.

They launched their volunteer registration with Rosterfy to initially see who would be interested in registering their interest to volunteer. They immediately received over 1,800 applications. That’s the sporting equivalent of hitting a great pace early and setting yourself up to be as successful as possible. 


Communication is key

The ability to group candidates and volunteers that have completed their screening and training saves hours. It allowed Samantha and her team to streamline and automate their emails and the follow up SMS messages, which they also automated meant that even if someone missed the email they would receive the SMS.

Not all emails are guaranteed to reach their recipients, especially when individuals are using their work email or if there are strict firewalls in place. Samantha emphasizes the importance of being able to effectively double up on communication by using both email and SMS messages through Rosterfy. This feature played a vital role in ensuring high attendance rates for the World Police & Fire Games.

Getting people to regularly check their emails can be a difficult task, especially if they are using older mobile phone models. However, SMS messages are a reliable and consistent mode of communication that is hard to ignore.


"Once I got the hang of Rosterfy's import feature, oh my gosh uploading shifts was so easy. We had over 4,650 shifts for many different reasons, being able to import all of those shifts was so helpful’
- Samantha Swiridenko, Volunteer Manager, World Police & Fire Games


Grouping Candidates

Rosterfy allows event organisers to group candidates, volunteers, support staff and more into groups. This means volunteers that specific communication can be sent out at timely intervals with any message that’s required. For example, Samantha and her team were able to send reminders for people to complete training, send notifications when background checks are complete or when parental consent is needed.

The Police and Fire World Games utilised Rosterfy beyond their games marshalls and volunteers, they used the system for officials and leadership groups. Our system allowed them to send invitation links to groups meaning they would be automatically assigned to that group, if for example someone in the Sports Co-ordinator team used a particular link when registering, they automatically assigned themselves to the coordinator communication group.

For more on the games visit their website World Police and Fire Games 2023


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