Calgary Stampede:

Onboarding at Scale

Much more than a 10-day long celebration with midway rides and bucking broncos, the Calgary Stampede is a gathering place that hosts, educates, and entertains visitors from around the world.

The Challenge

The Calgary Stampede is a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that hosts a 10-day festival in July to commemorate and celebrate western heritage and culture. The stampede event brings audiences from around the world and is billed as “the greatest outdoor show on earth”. The average attendance at the festival tops 1,250,000 people over the 10-day period.

The organization hosts events throughout the year with a core staff of 1,200 employees and hires over 3,500 seasonal workers to run the summer festival. The Stampede also relies on 2,500 volunteers to support an abundance of different events and tasks throughout the city during the festival. Often the final hiring and enrollment for volunteers is conducted right up until the festival start date requiring onboarding over 6,000 people in a 4-6 week period!

The Solution

Xpan has supported this massive training exercise for employees and volunteers through our XACT learning management system since 2015. We also support the not-for-profit organization with the design and development of custom eLearning modules to consistently provide an effective and efficient onboarding process. In total Xpan has developed over ten courses for the Calgary Stampede organization with content related to providing an exceptional Guest Experience, Codes of Conduct, Service Promise and Priority, New Volunteer Orientation, and Occupational Health & Safety.

In these courses, a variety of different multimedia treatments have been applied to cater to the needs of the diverse learner population. Learners appreciate the consistent use of animation and avatars throughout the modules to create an engaging narrative and embody the spirit of the festival. Video and photos have been incorporated into the modules to demonstrate tasks and to prepare new employees and volunteers for the sheer size of the stampede festival every summer. Finally, knowledge checks have been incorporated throughout the modules to test the learner’s understanding of the material and ability to apply it to different scenarios.

The Outcome

Every year the onboarding courses are reviewed and updated and successfully deployed to the thousands of learners required to support the festival operations. Xpan is proud of the continued partnership with the Calgary Stampede and the efficiencies we bring to their internal and external training programs with our learning services and software solutions

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