Planning an event can be a stressful affair, especially if your volunteers are giving you grief. Unfortunately, most of them are inexperienced and may cause you to worry unless you do your part in ensuring that everything operates smoothly. Even though it’s impossible to keep any event entirely 100% under control considering that unpredictable things can always occur, it’s still possible to make it less stressful with proper volunteer management.
While volunteers can be a necessity for running any sizeable public or charity event, there are tradeoffs to using their help, as they are often inexperienced and are only trained for a short time. They make mistakes, which then requires someone more experienced to rectify matters, which results in loss of time and valuable effort. To avoid a volunteer disaster at your next event, here are some tips that can help you with managing event volunteers:
Clever Delegation of Work
The delegation of work is an essential concept of management in general, but many event organizers and planners might neglect it sometimes. Proper commission of work doesn’t only mean ensuring that everyone has something to do. There’s also the aspect of making sure that every person has a job suited for their capabilities, which they can get done without much effort and without having to require clearance from an event organizer.
When assigning work and roles to volunteers, you should take their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their interests into account. You can accomplish this by offering them a survey to fill out during the recruitment stage. This way every volunteer will be well-suited to their task, and will also be more motivated to perform their task.
Recruiting and Training on Time
One of the most efficient ways to manage volunteers and ensure that there will be no issues during the event itself, is to recruit them and start right away with training. Hiring and training in advance gives you a better chance of finding the right people and providing them with the skills they will need to do the job efficiently.
Setting the process in motion might take some extra effort, but it will pay off as soon as you realize how much it decreases the stress of event management. Being able to trust your volunteers to do the best they can is immense, and you’ll accomplish this by getting them acquainted with your organization and event, and providing them with the tools and skills to do what you need. Set your volunteers up for success by sharing your expectations with them in advance.
Keeping Expectations Clear and Motivation High
When a volunteer knows what they need to do, when and how to do it, as well as how much time each task usually takes, they’ll be much better prepared to perform well at the event itself. The same goes for motivation, which is necessary for good performance.
Even though they do volunteer, there should still be a small reward for a job well done to keep your event volunteers motivated. Sometimes, gratitude and maintaining positive relationships is enough, but other times you may want to emphasize the experience they will be getting from volunteering at the event as a desirable motivator. Free movie passes, clothing swag or exclusive access to the event can be good motivation.
When it comes to managing event volunteers effectively, nothing beats experience and the industry know-how. Here at Bright Ideas Events, we have three decades of experience and will be happy to contribute to your next event with our expertise and creativity.