A major contributing factor to the success of any event is its volunteers. In fact, according to research, volunteers are the most fundamental aspect of big events like the Commonwealth Games and World Cups. It is thus safe to say that having the right set of people volunteering for your event is crucial for it to be fruitful.
However, the effectiveness of the process does not end with just recruiting volunteers for your event. On the contrary, onboarding of the volunteers is a major factor that influences the outcomes of your event. In this post, we discuss eight ways in which you can create an effective onboarding experience for your volunteers.
1. Extend a warm welcome
By agreeing to be part of your event, volunteers are essentially extending favor to you at no additional pay. Hence it is important that they feel welcomed. Start your onboarding with a warm greeting and let your volunteers know how much you appreciate their participation in your event. This will set the right tone for the rest of the day.
2. Create a volunteer handbook
Provide your volunteers with a simple handbook that outlines everything they need to know about the event. Your volunteer handbook should contain your mission statement, code of conduct, dress code, and the event management team. Including additional information like a packing list for the day of, information about food and volunteer perks can also help fill in the gaps for your volunteer team. The volunteer handbook also offers you the opportunity to get your volunteer excited about working at your even, so make sure to add some great pictures and fun additions to spark some excitement.
To create your volunteer handbook , check out- Getting To Know You: 5 Essentials For Your Volunteer Handbook
3. Provide easy access to the event Itinerary and shift schedule
Don't leave anyone guessing; have an event itinerary ready for your volunteers, which they can use for ready reference as the event progresses. Ensure that your volunteers have quick access to their shift schedule. InitLive's event day app allows volunteers to access their shift scheduling easily and notifies them when any changes take place throughout the day. The key here is ensuring your volunteers are confident when are where they need to be to volunteer are your event.
4. Openly communicate expectations
For your event to run smoothly, you will surely have certain ideas as to how things need to be handled. Communicate all such strategies openly to your volunteers. Proviode detailed role description outlining precisely what each role requires; this should include skills and physical requirements. By properly communicating what each role is, your volunteers will be aware of what they are signing up for. This helps reduce conflicts and ensures that everyone has a positive volunteering experience.
5. Explain their impact
People put in their best when they are aware of what influences their actions have. Inspire your volunteer to do their best by explaining the impact your event has on the community, cause, or charity that is related to your event. Using examples of impact made from the previous volunteer can help further illustrate the value of their hard work.
6. Promote networking
By promoting networking at your event, you can help the volunteers build meaningful connections. Encourage both your volunteers and team members to interact with each other to create a fulfilling experience for everyone.
7. Take time to train
The importance of training cannot be stressed enough. As part of the onboarding process, allocate some time to train your volunteers so that they can work with minimum guidance on the day of the event.
8. Deploy according to interests
Make an effort to learn about the individual interests of your volunteers during on boarding and then allocate them to tasks accordingly. That way, you can ensure fewer hiccups during the actual event.
Onboarding is a pivotal part of managing volunteers at an event, but it is often overlooked. However, if you take some time and follow these tips as mentioned above, then you can ensure an effective onboarding process for your event volunteers.
Equip your volunteers and staff managers the tools they need to deliver their best on the event day. InitLive offers an all-in-one event staff and volunteer management solution that helps recruit, schedule, and manage volunteers.