Better Volunteers for Your Event
As Director of Client Success at SpinGo, I get to work with many talented event makers as they prepare for their events. We talk through better ways to manage vendors, setting up clear event schedules, creating urgency for ticket sales, and beyond. However, there is one portion of event planning that always seems to get put on the back burner: Volunteers.
It can be hard to focus on getting great volunteers while you have a million other things on your plate, but volunteers are one of the first things attendees encounter at your event.
The fact is, volunteers can make or break your event.
Here are some things that I suggest to help you have better volunteers for your event:
1. Offer Incentives
People always want to know “What’s in it for me?”. Create a compelling story on your website that explains why someone would want to volunteer for your event. A page that shows images of volunteers having fun and wording about how volunteering for your event will be rewarding can help convince potential volunteers to sign up. Incentivize volunteers by offering event tickets, gift cards, or cash for their time. Just make sure you don’t send them these items until after they have volunteered! This will keep you from losing money or comped tickets if they volunteer doesn’t show for their shift.
2. Look Where People Are Short on Cash
My first suggestion? Colleges. Colleges are full of young, tech savvy individuals that are typically short on cash or looking for ways to make a little extra $$$. Scout and flyer at the nearest college to find volunteers for your event. College students are also more likely to encourage their friends to volunteer (or even attend the event) with them.
3. Make the Application Process Easy
Build an online application in Event Master for your potential volunteers to fill out. Distribute the online application link on your website, email blasts, your Facebook page, flyers, or anywhere else potential volunteers can see it. Ask specific questions on the application that you’d like to know about your volunteers (ie. Can you lift 25 pounds? How would you handle an angry customer?). You can review, accept, and deny applications through the software.
Make sure your volunteers know when, where, and what they will be doing at the event. Keep and open line of communication between you and your volunteers. Stay organized by assigning each volunteer to specific shifts and areas using the Event Master volunteer manager. Volunteers will be able to login to see and accept the shifts that you’ve assigned as well as any training materials you’ve included.
5. Create Training Materials
Videos, PDFs, booklets, etc. If there is information you’d like your volunteers to know, create materials for them to review. Make these materials available to volunteers BEFORE the event by uploading them to the volunteer training portal (Volunteer Manager> Volunteer Setup> Volunteer Training). Have your volunteers review these materials before your event date.
6. Have a Training Day
This one may be hard to do with a busy schedule, but it really will make all the difference. Plan a training day for your volunteers before the event. Review rules, event policies, venue, check in technology, and other items that will help your event to run smoothly. This will eliminate some of the chaos of trying to train your volunteers on the day of the event. Encourage volunteers to show up to the training day with pizza. Everyone loves pizza.
Volunteers are important to focus on as you plan your event. We wish you the best of luck as you search for volunteers!
For more information on how you can better manage your volunteers, visit the Event Master section on our website.