Since 1988, Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia has partnered with Australian health professionals to develop programs based on positive psychology principles that support the “total care” of children and teens. 

“Our vision is to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families,” said Nic Krieg, CapFest Producer of Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia. “One way we do this is through our Captain Starlight program that operates in pediatric hospitals across Australia.”

To support its hundreds of Captain Starlights, the Australian chapter hosts a biennial event called CapFest. “We employ outstanding professional performers to play the role of Captain Starlight, a superhero from Planet Starlight in outer space,” said Krieg.

CapFest is a chance for all the Captain Starlights from around the nation to come together for a week of world class, performance-based workshops and panels presented by industry professionals.

Nic Krieg, CapFest Producer @ Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia

The challenge

Help more than 100 Captain Starlights become even greater heroes for ill children, and throw the most environmentally friendly CapFest yet

CapFest aims to be better, event after event. In 2019, they set a goal to host the most environmentally friendly instance yet. Going digital would help them get there.

Help attendees connect and share knowledge

“One of the main focuses of CapFest is the national team getting a chance to share and connect,” said Krieg. 

Connection is paramount because CapFest takes place every two years. The relationships attendees make become the ones they’ll need to share knowledge and cheer each other on until the next CapFest.

Create a shared, memorable experience

Given the nature of their work, Captain Starlights have to develop strong bonds that go beyond the typical business relationship.

Whatever solution Starlight Children’s Foundation chose had to reinforce the experience shared by 100+ Captain Starlights over the four-day event.

Go green and help the planet even more

“As a team, we set ourselves the goal to make this the most sustainable and environmentally friendly CapFest to date,” said Krieg. That meant eliminating thousands of pieces of paper, which wouldn’t be easy.

CapFest’s attendees, after all, come from all over Australia. They need maps to help navigate the event. But printing all those maps, and replacements for if they were lost, meant a lot of paper waste. 

The solution

As they were looking for the right tech to help them reach their goals, Krieg found that an event app would provide the most effective solution toward achieving their goals.

With Webex Events (formerly Socio), Starlight was able to implement a fun style in their app that felt “more alive and fun!”

Connecting everyone to resources (and each other)

By using the event app, each Captain Starlight was able to access all of the resources in one easy-to-access location. By having the maps loaded into the app and being able to make them interactive, navigating the campus became an easy task. It also removed the need to print additional copies.

Recording memories

With the in-app private social wall, everyone could post photos and share snippets of their favorite moments from CapFest.

“We had people sharing photos of their state team waiting at the airport, group shots at social events, and a few random pics, which all contributed to the connection of all the Captains.”

Going green

By going the digital route, Starlight Children’s Foundation was able to reduce their paper trail for CapFest. With no need to print maps or agendas, their paper needs were cut down significantly.

They were also able to grab data and see the real impact of the app by “watching the signups roll in and seeing people check in for workshops. It was great to see the engagement rate and how everyone used the app to make connections,” Krieg said.

The results

100% event app adoption

Putting all necessary information in a central hub made it an easy decision for each Captain Starlight to download and use the app. It was a simple way to foster new connections, share memories, and know exactly where to be.

80+ social wall posts

With over 80 different social wall posts, it’s clear that the Captain Starlights were all about making and keeping their memories close.

3,500 printed pages eliminated

How much paper waste could the Starlight Children’s Foundation eliminate if they moved to digital? 

“As a team, we set ourselves the goal to make this the most sustainable and environmentally friendly CapFest to date,” Krieg said. “A big part of that was eliminating the printing of festival programs, which usually added up to 3,500 pages combined.”

With the digital agenda, they didn’t have to print even one agenda or map, successfully hitting their goal of a greener event. 

CapFest is an amazing event that shows that investing time in the people that are on the frontline of program delivery acknowledges the amazing job that they do every day and fills them with new ideas and purpose to take back to the hospitals.