How a ballet workshop used Zelos to make volunteers more independent

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Zelos app really did some magic. Because communication with 50 volunteers is quite demanding, you never know who’s going to be available.”

Priit Rohumaa, Chief Happiness Officer / International Ballet Summer Workshop Estonia

50 volunteers using the Zelos app
60+ tasks completed
2,000 gala attendants
Play case study

Summer workshops are a logistics challenge for even the most experienced event manager, especially if the participants come from 30 countries. The International Ballet Summer Workshop Estonia is an intensive programme designed for ballet professionals and semi-professionals, which takes place over the course of three weeks.

Facing a growing number of participants, the International Ballet Summer Workshop Estonia decided to recruit volunteers for their 2019 edition. 

Due to the intensive nature of the workshop, the staff needed volunteers that were as self-managed as possible. And that’s why they chose Zelos to make this possible.

Why volunteers need to be independent

Managing an ongoing event requires seamless coordination between staff and volunteers. Instead of coordinators telling the team what to do, people should be able to take up activities in which they know they can help out.

By promoting self-management, coordinators and volunteers can work more efficiently and require less supervision. The Summer Ballet Workshop used Zelos to post activities at all hours – including the middle of the night – while their volunteers were able to sign up for them as soon as they went live. 

Some of the activities the Summer Ballet Workshop managed through Zelos included:

  • Scheduling transportation for performers
  • Assisting teachers during ballet classes
  • Managing the sale of event merchandise
  • Helping performers with their costumes
  • Sharing event updates over social media 

How Zelos empowers volunteers to do more

Zelos is platform that engages volunteers by easily displaying what needs to be done. Volunteers can participate in private groups, sign up for activities, and report issues without needing to use another app.

Onboarding new members is easy with the Zelos platform. Team members just need to open an account and sign up to their team’s space—which takes less than 2 minutes!

Volunteers receive notifications as tasks go live, so they can decide if they can help. Additionally, they can compete with one another for points and badges. This makes volunteering a more rewarding activity for participants, who will be encouraged to sign up again.

“Like magic, people took these tasks and they did a super job! Everybody was fiercely fighting each other to get these tasks. And even the slower people said, ‘Ah, I couldn’t get any tasks, because some of them were picked in the night!’ That was fun!”

Priit Rohumaa

Chief Happiness Officer, International Ballet Summer Workshop Estonia

Why small teams like to work with Zelos

A world-class dance programme on the rise, the International Ballet Summer Workshop Estonia is organized by only seven full-time staff members. From finding the right candidates to coordinating two recitals at the Estonian National Opera, the team is constantly multitasking and on the move.

Although it has only been running for three years, the Summer Workshop has grown to the point that the core team is no longer enough to meet all of the coordination needs.

“We understood we need much more hands during the workshop. We included, we asked, we invited all the volunteers from dance communities to apply to our workshop to volunteer.”

Priit Rohumaa

Chief Happiness Officer, International Ballet Summer Workshop Estonia

Zelos allowed staff to become more hands-on by being hands-free, since they could manage the rest of the summer team using the mobile app. No matter where they were, the staff was able to add new emerging activities and supervise the ongoing tasks that volunteers were completing.

The Ballet Workshop used Zelos to delegate smaller tasks to volunteers while the team dealt personally with critical activities. This helped the entire organization become more productive and decrease the staff’s stress.

Since the workload was distributed more evenly, the staff was able to create extra activities that focused on enhancing the workshop experience for both participants and volunteers. These activities asked volunteers to attend events and network with the workshop participants. A fun win-win for everyone!

The collaboration between staff and volunteers was so great that the International Ballet Summer Workshop Estonia plans to repeat the experience next year. At Zelos we look forward to supporting them as they coordinate this event, from first warm-up to final curtain call.