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In it for Event Success

13 Essential Volunteer Roles at a Festival

Posted by InitLive on Jun 28, 2017 9:07:00 AM

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Festivals are fun to plan, but you can't do it alone. A good festival--the type people make plans to go to next year--is the result of event staff and volunteers carrying out specific duties that might otherwise be overlooked.

How do you make sure you get all your bases covered? You've got to make a list of the staff and volunteer roles you need to fill, and it's going to look something like this:

1) VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR'S ASSISTANT

This will ease your burden immensely! This person can help you screen, train, and assign volunteers (and, of course, answer questions!). 

2) SUPERVISOR

You could consider this a high-risk position in the sense that he or she will have a lot of responsibilities. Along with you and your assistant, the supervisor will make sure the rest of your staff is doing what they need to do.

3) SET-UP and TEAR-DOWN

A self-explanatory but essential part of any festival volunteer team! It helps to divide your set-up and tear-down volunteers by task: chairs, decorations, etc.

4) PARKING ASSISTANT

This person might be directing parking (so you don't have cars wandering up and down looking for the empties), or issuing parking passes.

5) REGISTRATION or TICKET SALES

You want a friendly, welcoming volunteer in this position. He or she should be able to answer basic questions about the event. The role can be low responsibility (signing people in) or high (selling tickets).

6) USHER

Ushers will guide people to their seats, or perhaps to certain booths or events. These volunteers create a welcoming environment and prevent attendees from feeling silly for not knowing where to go next.

7) BEER TENT SERVERS and ID CHECKERS

In addition to being over the age of 21, your servers and ID checkers need to be confident and responsible enough to turn people away as required.

8) FIRST AID

This is a specialized position, and your staff should be trained and certified in CPR and first aid. For certain events, you might have a nurse or EMT on duty. For an all-day outdoor festival, your first aid volunteers could be treating scratches or sunburns, and in the event of an emergency they will keep the situation under control and get the necessary help.

Are you planning a festival event? Make sure you check out our article - The Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide

9) SECURITY

Most events go off without a hitch when it comes to safety, but part of that is because you've got qualified security guards on duty. You will likely want someone with security experience, perhaps an off-duty or retired police officer. 

10) MERCHANDISE

These volunteers should be trustworthy and reliable, since they will be handling money. You will have to train them on whatever point of sale system you're using.

11) STAGE HAND

This person can help with props or cleaning between shows.

12) PHOTOGRAPHER

Don't go to all this hard work and have nothing to show for it! Make sure your photographer covers the entire event, getting pictures of each booth or act as well as the attendees enjoying themselves.

13) RUNNER/FLOATER

You're going to forget something. It happens. A runner can fill in the gaps, run errands, or even take over a role for someone who didn't show up.

Yes, that's a lot of people to keep track of, which is why using volunteer management software is going to make your job so much easier. And it's all worth it. With all these people on your side, the festival is sure to be a success. 


For even more event volunteer tips, check out our free ebook on "How to Manage Volunteers Like a Pro" here!

Topics: Volunteer Management, Festival Management

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