Volunteers are no longer a extra convenience in running successful tournament events. Nowadays, they're essential. If your volunteer staff is not fully engaged, trained, and organized, you run the risk of producing a chaotic event that can put off both present and future attendees. So here are 10 tips to help ensure your tournament's success.
Before the Tournament
1. Prepare a logistics breakdown
Make sure volunteers know basic logistics. Don't forget these important items: volunteer parking instructions; a list of roles and the skill sets required to fill each position; any items volunteers need to bring; and a list of possible expenses or associated costs. Lastly, let your volunteers know the dress code and proper etiquette required for interacting with the public. Posting an online list of do's and don'ts for each position is also a great idea.
2. Release tournament details on advance
Start by providing an online list of the event's host(s) and their goals for holding the event, such as raising money for charity or a school trip. Include a list of everyone who's involved in organizing the event, such as sponsors, tournament officials, and parents. In addition, provide an outline of the event's format, and list all items on the tournament agenda.
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3. Post your list of expectations online
Make sure everyone involved with the tournament has online access to your expectations well in advance. Some typical items to include are: whether tournaments will take place rain or shine or whether a protocol is in place for same-day event cancellations; attendance and lateness policies; whether or not volunteers are expected to bring their own supplies; and expectations for volunteer attendance during closing ceremonies.
4. Provide technical training and safety training instructions
Post all face-to-face training sessions well in advance, and offer alternative online tutorials when appropriate. Also, have all emergency protocols in place, including: when and how to notify superiors in the chain of command; what to do in case of evacuation; where the first-aid kit is located and any first-aid or medical certification requirements; medical emergency procedures; and severe weather protocols.
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During The Tournament
5. Make sure your volunteers know the rules.
Offering a training session online with a brief quiz is a good way to ensure that everyone is starting out with a shared knowledge base. Be sure to address proper spectator and volunteer behavior during tournaments, as well as how to treat participants and officials associated with the game.
6. Post a online that instructs your volunteers on what to do when they arrive.
Let volunteers know how to clock in and to what extent they are responsible for setup. Provide common questions that patrons will ask them, and offer a list of sample answers.
7. Provide reminders for self-care and getting assistance.
Emphasize how important it is to stay hydrated before and during the tournament. Advise volunteers beforehand if limited or no water is available so that they can bring their own. And remind them about having plenty of sunscreen for outdoor events.
8. On-site Communication
Keep supervisors informed through InitLive's event day app. This volunteer management tool provides real-life communication so that volunteers use one device only for event-related communications. This way, volunteers notify their supervisors if they're going to be late for their shifts, if there's an emergency preventing them from arriving, or if a problem occurs at their station. With InitLive, all communications can be stored in one place so that supervisors don't overlook last minute messages and volunteers don't miss important updates.
After The Tournament
9. Clocking out
Provide easy ways for volunteers to clock out of their shift. Rather than a manual clock-out or sign-out, use a tool like InitLive for volunteers to sign in and out online.
10. Get post-event feedback from volunteers.
Finally, your volunteers know firsthand what worked and what didn't work, so have online post-event evaluations easily accessible. Your top volunteers will not only provide you with valuable feedback, but they'll appreciate how easy it is for their experiences to be heard. And they'll be eager to come back next time to an even better event.
For ways to ensure volunteer success at your next tournament, use InitLive. It offers direct communication between supervisors and volunteers, stores all your event documents in one place, and allows for multi-level access. For more information about how this essential all-in-one volunteer management tool can make your next event your best event yet, please contact us.