The South Side Soup Contest is an annual volunteer-driven event in the South Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Each February soup lovers spend one Saturday afternoon visiting different retail locations to sample soups made by local restaurants. As part of this event the attendees are able to vote for their favorite soup in different categories.
In the past the event organizers used paper ballots to capture the votes. Ballots would be collected at each retail location, tabulated separately, and then reported to the event organizers who would compile the totals and determine the winners.
This method was not only extremely time-intensive for the volunteers it was very susceptible to human error. In addition, the number of event attendees who voted was only 12%.
Remove the vote tabulation burden from the volunteers and increase participation in the contest voting.
By working with JA.TXT the event organizers were able to setup a text message voting system for four different awards. Attendees cast their votes one at time by texting keywords and soup ID numbers to the designated shortcode. A web dashboard let the organizers and volunteers view real-time voting results.
- Attendee voting participation went from 12% the year before to over 50%.
- Many veteran volunteers commented that working the event was much easier this time without the burden of counting the votes.
- Attendees enjoyed receiving notification of the winners via text message immediately following the event, rather than remembering to check the website or Facebook page later in the day.