City of Barrie, Ontario
Prior to finding a suitable digital solution to manage the City of Barrie’s special event permitting process, applying for a permit was a long, arduous and frustrating experience for everyone involved.
In some cases, event organizers were required to submit their permit applications a minimum of six months before their event to allow sufficient processing time. After they submitted an application, they then had to call the City—often following-up with multiple departments—to try to confirm the status of their application. Internally, the lack of communications between departments was also time consuming for the Special Event Office. Staff were manually tracking all communications and repeatedly following-up with approvers to complete their reviews. Unfortunately, as a result of these inefficiencies, the City was unable to plan for the future – they weren’t able to collaborate with partners on future major events, implement new event policies, or measure the impact of events on the city.
With the implementation of Eproval, these inefficiencies and pain points have been resolved. Furthermore, the permitting office can now capture and report on metrics using Eproval’s customizable application form and survey tools. For example, the Special Event Office is now able to measure the amount of funds generated by all events and determine the economic impact on the City.
The Special Event Office has also experienced the following benefits using Eproval:
- Event organizers can now communicate directly with various departments using the digital solution on any device, any time. They receive email notifications directly regarding changes and updates to their applications. This has drastically reduced the number of phone calls and e-mails to the permitting office.
- Processing times have accelerated significantly, particularly for returning events. Event organizers for recurring events view the “Duplicate Application” as one of the most valuable features as it saves them a lot of time and effort, year after year.
- The City can now track all requests, concerns, and approvals with a valid time and date stamp, and staff no longer have to archive massive numbers of email files. This allows staff to accurately track timelines for applications and track any issues or concerns in real time. It has also reduced the amount of time the City’s IT department previously spent managing archived email files.
- In less than one year after implementation, the City improved processing times so significantly that they were able to start processing applications for the following year. Organizers no longer have to wait for a new annual PDF application form before submitting for the upcoming year.
Overall, Eproval has helped to free up significant staff time at the City of Barrie, enabling them to focus on other priorities, and it has helped the City better understand the economic value and impact of events on its communities.
“Moving our special event permitting process into Eproval has been a transformative move for our Special Events Office. It has also improved our customer service and reduced the workload and burden on our community’s event organizers. Our experience with Eproval and the team has been exceptional, and we’re looking forward to launching three more permit applications in 2020.”
– Lindsay Robbins, Community Events Programmer, City of Barrie –