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Outstanding Individual Employee Award Winner 2016

Convocation E-Ticketing project


Information Technology Services




It seemed like a straightforward request – “could the ACORN team improve the graduation experience at U of T by implementing e-tickets for guests?” The previous paper based process required that students line up in person at Simcoe Hall to obtain their allotted number of paper tickets. Electronic tickets, however, would provide students with a simple way to RSVP on-line and the convenience of obtaining electronic guest tickets regardless of geographical location. The tickets could then be easily emailed to their guests! What seemed like a straightforward request, however, involved a complex set of requirements for a new user experience on ACORN and the implementation of a new electronic ticketing process within one of our oldest buildings on campus – Convocation Hall. After many months of testing, the team soon came up with a solution involving laptops and scanners located at the various entrances for the ceremony. Guests could download their tickets and present these at the door, or display an electronic version on a smart phone or tablet. Tickets were then scanned to ensure the ticket was only used once at the door. What sets this project apart and leads us to submit this nomination was the close partnership between ITS and the Convocation Office in making this a successful application. Two to three staff members from the ITS team were on site for every convocation ceremony in November – scanning tickets, and assisting in troubleshooting issues alongside our colleagues from Simcoe Hall. The team worked in the rain, the cold, and numerous late nights, fine tuning the process, helping guests find their way, and assisting with scanner/hardware problems. The new e-ticket application has now provided a streamlined, “green” environmentally friendly, and convenient service, befitting the highlight of a student’s academic life at the U of T – graduation!

Gaye Wignall
Hossein Aliabadi
Marilee Keogh
Julia Huycke
David Yin
Terry Jones
Walter Ni