How to get the most out of your volunteers

Image: How to get the most out of your volunteers

Planning an event?

Wondering how to keep your volunteers motivated? Here are 5 tips to help!

Volunteers often are the back bone to many events. Although volunteers are often behind the scenes, they provide tremendous amounts of support with event planning, logistics and execution. An important aspect of event management is keeping volunteers motivated and happy to ensure they continue to give their time and support to your organization. Here are 5 simple ways to get the most out of your volunteers:

1. Get them involved before the doors open. Schedule a meeting with your volunteers and get them excited about your event. Provide volunteers with background information on the event, your brand personality and where they align with the marketing strategies and tasks for the event. This is also a great way to determine whether this is something they are interested in and if they can benefit from this opportunity.

2. Motivate and challenge volunteers and make it fun: Find out what your volunteers are interested in and what skills they have to offer. Try to fit the volunteer with tasks related to their interests in order to keep them motivated. Also listen and be open to their ideas and suggestions. Even though there's lots of work to do, try to make this a fun and rewarding experience too (WildApricot).

3. Calendar and schedule the volunteer assignment as soon as possible. Respect the calendars of your volunteers. Try to give as much advance notice as possible. They will respect you for the notice and appreciate your organization! (Eventstant)

4. Volunteers have needs, too!
While volunteer positions are typically established to fill an event need, it’s important to understand the needs of your volunteers as well. Are they looking for a free pass? Special access? Cool giveaways? Asking why volunteers are interested in your event can help you add the right perks to your program (Event Manager Blog).

5. "Thank you so much."
Let your volunteers know you appreciate their help, whether they donated an hour or a week, whether they did the most difficult task or the easiest.