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4 Innovative Volunteer Management Strategies For Food banks

 

4 Innovative Volunteer Management Strategies For Food banks

Running a food bank is no simple task, and it only gets more complicated when managing volunteers in addition to clientele. Here are four volunteer management strategies that can help food banks, and their volunteers, run as smoothly as possible. 

Reflect on Your Food Bank's Goals and Values

It can be tempting to make sweeping changes on a whim, but it's critical to take a few steps back and think about what can make the biggest impact on volunteer management. Reflect on what processes and procedures consistently go smoothly and what problems constantly arise.  Seek to find the roots of obstacles instead of taking the easy route in the short term by putting temporary bandages on recurring headaches. In the world of food banks, time is a limited resource, but pausing for contemplation now can save a tremendous amount time down the line. 

Work to Increase Volunteer Recruitment

Most food banks rely on volunteers to handle daily operations and hands-on labor. Although more is not always better, many organizations could always use extra pairs of hands. Increasing volunteer recruitment can be pivotal, especially when an organization experiences sharp escalations of demand. Encourage current volunteers to invite friends and family members to begin volunteering, and work on starting or improving your nonprofit's social media presence. Ensure that your volunteer recruitment efforts stay current with the changing times, so update them as frequently as possible. Lastly, work to make the volunteer sign-up and initiation process smooth and simple.

Improve Volunteer Engagement and Retention

Recruiting volunteers, although not an easy task, can sometimes be simpler than engagement and retention. Many organizations are seeing increases in new volunteers during uncertain times, but keeping these new volunteers in the upcoming months and years may prove more difficult. Administer extensive and thorough training to avoid new volunteer discouragement, and look into providing incentives for volunteers to keep them engaged. It may seem expensive to hand over material or abstract incentives, but spending a bit on volunteer retention can pay off more than constantly training new volunteers because of consistent turnover. Additionally, nail down clear and concise communication with volunteers to reduce or eliminate confusion that may diminish volunteer engagement and enthusiasm.

To learn more check out our article on - 4 Reasons Why Volunteers Quit: How to Improve Volunteer Retention

Invest in Volunteer Management Software

Volunteer management software, like InitLive's Volunteer Management Solution, can help food banks with volunteer recruitment, communication, scheduling and more. This software makes the volunteer registration process simple, and it can help slash volunteer no-shows by more than 20%. Volunteers will have access to the mobile app, which allows for quick and easy two-way communication with management to greatly reduce communication issues and confusion within the organization. Lastly, this software tracks and reports data, so you can quickly determine areas of improvement and volunteer performance. 

Food banks play a critical role in our society, and it can be a complicated process to the manage volunteers within them. Try these four volunteer management strategies to make your food bank operate as effortlessly as possible.  

 

initlive
2020/08
Aug 7, 2020 11:30:00 AM
4 Innovative Volunteer Management Strategies For Food banks
Volunteer Management

Aug 7, 2020 11:30:00 AM

4 Innovative Volunteer Management Strategies For Food banks

 

Running a food bank is no simple task, and it only gets more complicated when managing volunteers in addition to clientele. Here are four volunteer management strategies that can help food banks, and their volunteers, run as smoothly as possible. 

Must-Have Recruitment Features In a Volunteer Management Software

Must-Have Recruitment Features In a Volunteer Management Software

Volunteer recruitment is an essential part of any nonprofit organization's operations, but all too often recruiting volunteers can be an overwhelming task for volunteer program management and coordinators. Finding the right volunteer management software to lighten the load can be overwhelming; here is a list of must recruitment features to look out for in a volunteer management software.

Customizable and Branded Online Opportunities and Organization Page 

When it comes to recruiting volunteers  to a cause, it's all about sharing the right information to come to a decision quickly. So that means your volunteer management system needs to offer you an easy way to create and promote your organization's brand, mission, and volunteer opportunities efficiently, whether it's on your website, through social media or on an email blast. 

So does that look like when you are shopping for a tool? Well here is a list of recruitment features to look out for:

  • A System That Can Manage Multiple Programs and Events For Your Organization  - You will want a single database that collects all the volunteer data during the recruitment process and allows you to manage multiple ongoing volunteer programs and events simultaneously. 
  • Customizable Online Recruitment Pages - You will need the flexibility to create a branded recruitment page for your organization and opportunities. Look for a system that offers you the flexibility to customize the page to inform potential volunteers about your work. 
  • Publicly Available Shifts and Opportunities - Streamline the recruitment process by publicly sharing your available shifts and opportunities that you are currently looking to fill. 
  • Opportunities Iframe For Your Website - Your website is the first place volunteers look for opportunities, you should take advantage of that by selecting a system that offers you an easy way to promote all your unfilled shifts and opportunities through an Iframe on your website.

Flexible Volunteer Registrations/Application Forms and Workflow 

Every organization has its own volunteer on-boarding process. Your volunteer management software should offer you the flexibility to build a volunteer registration process that works best for your organization's specific needs. So what does that really look like? It would be best if you had the flexibility to choose how simple or robust your volunteer registration or on-boarding process should be. For example, are you simply looking to recruit volunteers to work a one time fundraiser? Then maybe a small form completion, and then your volunteers can sign up for shifts in a matter of a few minutes. 

Many nonprofit organizations rely on volunteers with a particular set of skills and qualifications for more complex work. This requires a more robust application process that requires an in-depth form, file and certification submission, and a screening process. An administration assigns the volunteers the shifts they are qualified to work. Many organizations need the flexibility of both a complex and simple volunteer registration process, depending on which program or initiative they are recruiting for.  

To help you evaluate your needs, here is a list of common functional requirements for a volunteer recruitment tool: 

  • Flexible Volunteer On-boarding Workflow- You should be able to turn steps on and off 
  • Customizable Form Questions With Logic Based Sub Questions -This allows you to ask relevant follow-up questions 
  • Self Sign Up, and Admin Assignment- You should be able to decide if you want your volunteers to sign up for their own shifts or if you want to assign shifts to volunteers
  • Availability Collection- Volunteer should be able to enter when they are free to work 
  •  File and Certification Submissions - This allows you to collect relevant files during the registration process to help with screening

The right volunteer management software can make a world of difference in recruiting committed volunteers to your organizations. InitLive's volunteer management solution offers organizations like yours all of the above features and so much more. 

If you are interested in learning more about how you can start recruiting volunteers with InitLive, click the below button to watch our demo video.

Watch Demo

 

initlive
2020/07
Jul 31, 2020 11:45:00 AM
Must-Have Recruitment Features In a Volunteer Management Software
Volunteer/Staff Recruitment

Jul 31, 2020 11:45:00 AM

Must-Have Recruitment Features In a Volunteer Management Software

Volunteer recruitment is an essential part of any nonprofit organization's operations, but all too often recruiting volunteers can be an overwhelming task for volunteer program management and coordinators. Finding the right volunteer management software to lighten the load can be overwhelming;...

Getting Volunteers Back To Work Safely During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Getting Volunteers Back To  Work Safely During The COVID-19 Pandemic

For many months nonprofit organizations around the world have stopped and volunteer programs that work directly in the community to protect both their volunteers and community members. However, much of the work that volunteers perform in communities is essential, from food banks to community care programs people rely on programs that are worked by volunteers. After many months of a standstill, it is now time to consider how to get volunteers back to work safely to start offering the community essential services. 

 Contact Health Authorities 

In the past few months, rules and regulations have been in a state of constant change to respond to the ever-changing health requirements of each community and region quickly. That is why it's so important to keep up with your local health authorities' rules and regulations. Open up a line of communication with them to ensure you are aware of and adhering to the proper procedures to ensure you keep your staff, volunteers, and greater community safe. 

Volunteers worldwide have stepped up to the plate to provide essential services to vulnerable groups in their communities, showing that people are still motivated to make a positive impact, even with the added health risks. Organizations now have to find new and innovative ways to keep volunteers and community members safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Evaluating Risks When Working In The Community 

Before you commence any planning, it is essential to take time to properly evaluate the health and safety risks associated with your volunteer program or initiative. As always, your top priority is ensuring that all your volunteers and community members remain safe and healthy. 

This evaluation is all about reviewing your program's characteristics and its activities and how they may contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Here is a list of characteristics that should be considered during this evaluation:

  • Are volunteers in direct contact with members of the greater community? Consider how you can limit interactions and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to your volunteers to mitigate risk factors. 
  • Are your volunteer's members of high-risk categories? For example, are they above the age of 65? Consider alternative work that is remote for these volunteers to ensure they are protected from infections.
  • Do volunteers operate in a single location zone or multiple? For example, you can assign volunteers to a location zone or bubble to further limit interaction with community members and assist with contact tracing. 

 Planning Measures For Your Volunteer Program

Once you have completed a thorough risk assessment for your volunteer program with the help and cooperation of local and national health authorities, it is time to start working out a more detailed plan for your program that addresses the risks determined in the evaluation phase. The planning phase is all about developing and testing preventative measures to keep everyone safe and informed while working in the community. 

Here are some new documents and procedures you will need to create prior to recruiting volunteers and commencing work in the community. 

 COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocol Training For All Volunteers 

In order to ensure every volunteer remains safe, you need to create mandatory health and safety training. This training should be based on all the health and safety protocols related to COVID-19 set out by your community's health authorities. Your organization may also require additional health and safety protocols above and beyond the minimum requirement. For example, you can make it mandatory for all volunteers to wear non-medical masks for their shift duration. 

In addition to creating the basic training, you may also need to develop specialized training for various roles or tasks that only a small number of volunteers will be responsible for. Your organization will need to track and keep records of which volunteers have completed training to ensure that no volunteer is scheduled to work that hasn't completed the training. This tracking can be done in your volunteer management solution to ensure that a volunteer can not be scheduled for shifts without the proper training qualifications, reducing any administrative errors. 

COVID-19 Volunteer Health and Safety Checklist 

To ensure all volunteers are compliant with your health and safety protocols, you may want to implement a mandatory self-assessment checklist before every shift. This reminds each volunteer to assess their health and practice correct health and safety protocols before, during and after their shift. 

We have created a free COVID-19 volunteer health and safety checklist to help your organization get started .

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Click here to download it! 

Develop a Preparedness and Response Plan 

You need to be ready to act in case of any emergencies, but you also need to plan for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak. You will need to follow emergency response guidelines already set out by local authorities and first responders. 

Some strategies and provisions for detecting and monitoring COVID-19 Infections 

  • Staggering volunteer shift check-in time and requiring a self-assessment checklist or temperature check to ensure every person working is screened.
  • Establish shift location zones that limit a volunteer to a single zone, helping contact tracing if an outbreak occurs. 
  • Equip volunteers with a communication app that allows them to report any issues from their location to their team and managers. This will ensure any incidents that arise are managed in a safe manner while maintaining proper location control. It should allow for all communications to be logged in a centralized database for incident reporting.
Establish a Clear Line of Command and Control

Invest in creating a clear leadership team with direct access to all volunteer information through a centralized volunteer management system. This should provide a centralized point of command and control with access to the shifts, location, and check-in and out times of all volunteers, to provide further visibility on volunteer movement at all times. 

Consider Adopting A Volunteer Management Solution 

A spreadsheet and paper approach to volunteer management doesn't provide volunteer managers what they need to ensure the safety of their volunteer team and community is safe and traceable during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

A volunteer Management solution, like InitLive's, offers volunteer managers the ability to:

  • Track Health & Safety Training
  • Create COVID-19 Specific Volunteer Roles and Opportunities
  • Create Shift Location Zones
  • Monitor Volunteer Shift Check-in and Check-outs
  • Equip Volunteers With A Two-Way Communications App
  • Manage Your Schedule From Anywhere
  • Broadcasts Protocol Reminder Communications
  • Complete Volunteer Contact Tracing and Reporting 

For more information on how your organization could benefit from InitLive's all-in-one volunteer management solutions, you can check our demo video by clicking here or reviewing our COVID-19 Volunteer management solution clicking here.

 

initlive
2020/07
Jul 29, 2020 11:45:00 AM
Getting Volunteers Back To Work Safely During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Volunteer Management, COVID-19

Jul 29, 2020 11:45:00 AM

Getting Volunteers Back To Work Safely During The COVID-19 Pandemic

For many months nonprofit organizations around the world have stopped and volunteer programs that work directly in the community to protect both their volunteers and community members. However, much of the work that volunteers perform in communities is essential, from food banks to community care...

Preparing for Event Management Post-COVID-19

Preparing for Event Management Post-COVID-19As states and countries begin the reopening process with new regulations, many people are jumping to restart their events and reconnect with their friends, family, and associates.  Reassure your clients that you will continue with the plans, but also have resources available to know how to safely move forward with rescheduled events. 

Mass gathering restrictions may vary by country and municipality, so our list should only be part of your research. Please note that we have included resources from specific countries because they are useful tools. These resources may also evolve over time as information is updated. Please check back often.

  • Canada's risk-assessment matrix takes into account the key aspects of any event and how high risk they are. They offer a few generic alternatives. This is a good resource to help explain the changes necessary to a client.
  • (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Event Guidance provides a fairly thorough list of risk-management tasks you can, and should, act on to reschedule and move forward with any events.
  • (US) Event Safety Alliance's E-Book Guide requires a sign-up but is very comprehensive in offering alternatives to your new event. Regardless of the type of event, venue, crowd, or time-frame, there are suggestions that will help.
  • World Health Organization's key planning recommendations include an information-dense online download with references. More detailed information on the general considerations of this page is listed below.
  • World Health Organization's updated food safety
  • World Health Organization's logistics for Points of Entry and Mass Gatherings

Key Takeaways

Social Distancing at a Social Event

The logistics that you used to know like the back of your hand have drastically changed. Buffets, dance floors, handshakes, and registration are either disappearing or need restructuring to function within social distancing guidelines.  The above resources allow you to come to your own conclusions about your event, but this article provides a brief overview of what this may look like.

Consider Event Virtual

Depending on what restrictions your area is under, an online or live-stream event may be the only option. PCMA covers everything you need to know about hosting an event online.  You will have to sign up for their resources, but the information is priceless and otherwise free. The most comprehensive one we've found covers the basics of event strategy, design, and engagement online.

Stay Informed  

As you continue to plan for future events it is imperative that you continue to monitor changing regulations. Things change very quickly and you must be ready to adapt quickly and communicate with you key stakeholders.

 

 

initlive
2020/07
Jul 7, 2020 9:53:21 AM
Preparing for Event Management Post-COVID-19
Event Planning, COVID-19

Jul 7, 2020 9:53:21 AM

Preparing for Event Management Post-COVID-19

As states and countries begin the reopening process with new regulations, many people are jumping to restart their events and reconnect with their friends, family, and associates.  Reassure your clients that you will continue with the plans, but also have resources available to know how to safely...

The World Health Organization: A Look Into the Future of Events

The World Health Organization: A Look Into the Future of Events

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently came out with criteria all events organizers must follow for preventing, managing, and containing the spread of COVID-19 at their mass gatherings. A news article from Event Planner summarizes the WHO's requirements, and we provide selected highlights below. Read on to learn how the WHO takes a look into the future of events. 

Risk assessment

  • First, event organizers are expected to examine the context in which the event will take place. They must evaluate any risk factors associated with the event, take into consideration how likely their event will contribute to spreading COVID-19, and decide whether health care services will be able to handle the spread.  
  • Event organizers must determine to what extent prevention and control measures can be applied. For instance, planners and administrators may need to adjust different aspects of the event, such as facilities, audience, or venue. They may also need to look at how effectively they will be able to communicate with and prepare care providers about any cases of COVID-19.

Planning phase: 

In this pre-event phase, the WHO requires that planners and managers to develop a preparedness and response plan that is aligned with national emergency preparedness and response plans.

Developing a preparedness response plan

  • Establish direct channels of communication between the event organizers and health authorities.
  • Make provisions for detecting and monitoring COVID-19 cases.
  • Set up strategies to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • Make provisions for managing and treating people who become sick.

Assessing capacities and resources

Event administrators must make provisions for human resources and for acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE). They must also:

  • Make isolation rooms available.
  • Establish cleaning schedules.
  • Coordinate provisions with all relevant national and local authorities.

Operational phase 

Event venue modifications 

Event planners will be responsible for:

  • Moving events online or moving the venue indoors
  • Limiting attendance
  • Making sure that everyone has access to hand washing facilities 
  • Designating specific staff to clean and disinfect the venue regularly 

Participant-related modifications

Administrators must advise people to observe physical distancing, cover coughs, and practice handwashing. In addition, they must:

  • Let those who have a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 know that they should not attend the event. 
  • Advise those that are at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19 and those individuals who are in contact with higher-risk patients that they should not come to the event. 
  • Be prepared to limit contact among participants. 

Risk communication

  • Event administrators must use culturally appropriate messages to participants and the public in the specific languages they speak.  
  • They must ensure coordination and consistency in crafting and delivering those messages. 
  • Their key messages must be in line with national health policies. 

Participant Tracing 

  • Event administrators must make isolation facilities available at the event site where initial assessment and triage performed by medical staff takes place.
  • They must make transportation available to a health facility if required. 
  • Event organizers must make arrangements with national and local health authorities regarding any COVID-19 cases that are identified during the event. 

Post-event phase 

After the mass gathering concludes, event organizers must formally contact authorities: 

  • Event organizers must contact health authorities and report cases of participants and staff that develop symptoms during the event. They must liaison with authorities in the participant's home city or country, as well as national and local authorities to share information.  
  • Event organizers should also advise individuals who develop symptoms once they return to their home city or country to report their potential exposure to their public health authorities. 
  • Lastly, they should communicate with health authorities to ensure that systems are in place to detect cases of COVID-19 within the local population.

Final words

The COVID-19 epidemic has changed the future of event planning as administrators must prevent and contain the spread of the virus.  InitLive  can help planners address these responsibilities through its all-in-one communication, safety, and management software. For more information on how you can use InitLive to meet WHO requirements. 

We have created a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the World health Regulations has you  begin to plan your future events. Click the button below to download the free guide.

 Download The Free Guide 

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initlive
2020/07
Jul 2, 2020 12:01:22 PM
The World Health Organization: A Look Into the Future of Events
Event Safety, Event Planning, COVID-19

Jul 2, 2020 12:01:22 PM

The World Health Organization: A Look Into the Future of Events

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently came out with criteria all events organizers must follow for preventing, managing, and containing the spread of COVID-19 at their mass gatherings. A news article from Event Planner summarizes the WHO's requirements, and we provide selected highlights...

COVID-19 Resources To Help You Plan Future Events and Mass Gatherings

copy-of-blog-images-vol_optimized.-12---2020-06-24t083147.69COVID-19 Resources To Help You Plan Future Events and Mass Gatherings

Live events all around the world came abruptly to a standstill during the COVID-19 health crisis, with travel and mass gatherings shut down the live events industry took a large hit. After months of being on pause, now is the time to pick up the pieces and start working together to get back to work and plan for the future of live events.

The world health organization and many other national health authorities have issued Mass gatherings and live events COVID-19 recommendations and guidelines. The Live events industry isn’t dead, mass events will return to communities in the future. There is still a real public appreciation for events as longs as the public feels informed and safe.

As you start your planning process, it is imperative that you open a communication channel with your regional and national authorities to ensure you compile with health and safety protocols every step of the way. We have compiled several resources to help you start thinking about and planning for your future events.

Health and Safety Resources For Events

Here is a list of resources from various health authorities around the world to help you start assessing what measures you need to plan for your future events. 

The World Health Organization

National Foundation For Infectious Control


Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Industry Resources For Event Planning

While following health authorizes recommendations are essential, so is looking to event industry partners for some guidance on how to implement the recommendations and what steps to take in the road to recovery. Here a list of helpful articles to help you start getting back to work and event planning.

Eventbrite

PCMA

Major Events International

ACCED-I

Event Industry Council

  • COVID-19 resources


Don’t let all the information available overwhelm you. There is still a real public desire from communities around the world to have mass events return. To foster that public appetite, it is essential to establish a high level of trust with the Community. One way to develop that trust is by investing in the resources and technology required to equip staff with everything they need to maintain health and safety protocols.

Event staff management solutions like InitLive offer event producers an all-in-one solution to help maintain and enforce the above recommendations. For more information on how InitLive can help you set up your future event for success, please contact sales@initlive.com or click the button below to watch our demo videos.


 Watch Demo 

 

initlive
2020/06
Jun 24, 2020 11:45:00 AM
COVID-19 Resources To Help You Plan Future Events and Mass Gatherings
Event Planning, Event Management, COVID-19

Jun 24, 2020 11:45:00 AM

COVID-19 Resources To Help You Plan Future Events and Mass Gatherings

Live events all around the world came abruptly to a standstill during the COVID-19 health crisis, with travel and mass gatherings shut down the live events industry took a large hit. After months of being on pause, now is the time to pick up the pieces and start working together to get back to...

Top 4 Volunteer Management Solution Features for Nonprofits

 Top 4 Volunteer Management Solution Features for Nonprofits

Managing a volunteer program is a massive responsibility from recruiting committed and qualified volunteers to ensuring they are scheduled and trained to get the job done. You don't time to waste on spreadsheets and emails. Imagine if you could achieve twice as much in half the time? With a volunteer management solution, you achieve that while increasing your organization's positive impact. Here are the top four must-have volunteer management solution features to help you save time and increase your impact. 

Online Volunteer Recruitment

Volunteer recruitment can be tenacious and time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be. With an online volunteer recruitment tool, you can create a customized recruitment workflow that allows you to collect all the information you need to place the right volunteer in the right roles. Here is a list of features you should look for : 

  • Robust role and qualification creation to build a clear staffing plan before commencing your recruitment process 

  • Logic-based application questions and role tagging to streamlined your volunteers experience by only asking them relevant questions based on their interests or qualifications

  • Waiver, certification and paperwork collection during the recruitment process 

  • Individual and group sign up capabilities to ensure every volunteer has their preferred experience

 

Volunteer Screening & Scheduling

Once you have collected a large pool of potential volunteers, it's time to start screening and scheduling them. A volunteer management solution can help save time while doing a better job with placements. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • An easy to use a volunteer scheduling tool to build your program's tasks or shifts that offers you the freedom to work your preferred way with multiple views and bulk actions

  • Smart matching technology that provides you with best match suggestions based on volunteer interests, qualifications, and availability, streamlining your screening process

  • Automated notification to keep volunteer informed when things are updated 

Volunteer Tracking & Communications 

In order to ensure your volunteers are set up and be ready to thrive, you need to have a complete view of what is happening at all times without necessarily being onsite with them. From volunteer attendance tracking to quick follow up communications, you can offer support from anywhere with the right tools. Here are a few features to look out for: 

  • A volunteer mobile app that both you and volunteers can use to communicate with each other, access documents, schedules, and other relevant information from anywhere

  • Mobile/ Kiosk volunteer check-in and out capabilities for attendance tracking and reporting 

  • Broadcast communication capabilities to send out important messages to all-volunteer working to help keep everyone informed and safe

Centralized Volunteer Database and Reporting  

As an organization, you need a centralized database of all your volunteers on both an organizational level and a program level. This allows you to properly manage and maintain good relationships with your valuable volunteers by offering them opportunities that they will be interested in. Data collection and reporting are essential to tracking the performance of your program and measuring its effectiveness. Make sure your volunteer management solution offers the following features: 

  • A robust and centralized volunteer database with bulk actions and filters for easy management

  • Custom reporting and attendance tracking 

  • Internal notes and star rating on volunteer performance 

  • API integration options to further streamlining your internal process 

InitLive's volunteer management solution  offers all the above features and more. At InitLive, we are committed to helping organizations create exceptional volunteer programs through a single all-in-one solution. If you are interested in learning more about how your organization can benefit from a volunteer management solution, make sure to watch our demo video by clicking the button below! 

 Watch Demo 

 

initlive
2020/06
Jun 17, 2020 12:07:20 PM
Top 4 Volunteer Management Solution Features for Nonprofits
Volunteer Management, Volunteer/Staff Recruitment

Jun 17, 2020 12:07:20 PM

Top 4 Volunteer Management Solution Features for Nonprofits

 

Managing a volunteer program is a massive responsibility from recruiting committed and qualified volunteers to ensuring they are scheduled and trained to get the job done. You don't time to waste on spreadsheets and emails. Imagine if you could achieve twice as much in half the time? With a...

5 Best Practice When Building Your Volunteer Program Budget

5 Best Practice When Building Your Volunteer Program Budget 9

Although making money isn't the primary goal of nonprofits, managing funds is a critical practice in ensuring that an organization can continue doing as much good as possible for all entities involved. Follow these five best practices to build an efficient volunteer program budget that will benefit your organization, and those it serves, for years to come.  

1. Take Inventory of Current Expenses

An important first step in building a volunteer program budget is to take some time to inventory your organization's expenses and how its assets are currently allocated. Start by taking a detailed look at direct and indirect costs within the nonprofit, meaning costs that are straightforward in helping the cause, like veterinary care would be in an animal shelter, and those that are less obvious, like office supplies or marketing. From here, create a spreadsheet of these expenses, and determine where your current expenses stand. 

2. Acknowledge Your Volunteers Whenever Possible

A seemingly easy way to cut costs would be to reduce or eliminate volunteer appreciation events and giveaways, but allocating some funds for volunteer acknowledgement is an effective way to diminish volunteer turnover rates. Recruiting and training new volunteers can be an expensive endeavor, so a small investment in engagement and retention for current volunteers can save a significant amount in new volunteer orientation costs. 

3. Research Tools That Could Increase Efficiency

Creating a budget is normally a way to find costs that can be cut out, but it can also be a way to determine available funds that can be used to purchase tools that can increase efficiency in the long run. This could mean investing in more education for staff and volunteers to boost performance, or it could be new software that makes everyone's lives much easier.  Identifying where inefficiency lies, and finding proper tools that can help correct them may come with an initial cost, but they may also save money in the long run by enhancing productivity company wide. 

4. Collect and Report Impact Data

Recording data from expenses and impact, like volunteer retention rates, survey results, total number of volunteer hours, can be a powerful mechanism for sharing a nonprofit's accomplishments for the year. It's also an important way to determine what programs or aspects of a nonprofit are especially impactful  per dollar invested, and those that have less significance. This can help an organization realign money in the future to ensure funds are headed to the most consequential areas of an organization. 

Check out - Five Best Practices For Volunteer Management

5. Utilize Volunteer Management Software

Volunteer management software from InitLive makes volunteer operations and data tracking simple and easy. InitLive's Volunteer Management program helps nonprofits to create detailed schedules and profiles of volunteers, increase volunteer engagement and retention, and collect performance and productivity data. Their Event Staff Management program helps nonprofits plan and execute events with straightforward tools that aid in effective communication, clear scheduling, and efficient real-time notifications for smooth sailing throughout the entire event. Nothing hampers a volunteering experience or nonprofit event like a little disorganization and chaos, but InitLive is here to help. 

Creating a volunteering budget can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be as complicated as it may appear initially. Follow these best practices to create an efficient, effective budget that will help your organization go forward with its missions and values. 

 

initlive
2020/06
Jun 9, 2020 4:00:00 PM
5 Best Practice When Building Your Volunteer Program Budget
Volunteer Management, NonProfit

Jun 9, 2020 4:00:00 PM

5 Best Practice When Building Your Volunteer Program Budget

Although making money isn't the primary goal of nonprofits, managing funds is a critical practice in ensuring that an organization can continue doing as much good as possible for all entities involved. Follow these five best practices to build an efficient volunteer program budget that will...

Using A Volunteer Management Solution For The Rise Of Virtual Volunteering

 

Using A Volunteer Management Solution For The Rise Of Virtual Volunteering

It may seem like virtual volunteering started recently, but it can be dated back to the 1990s. Project Gutenberg recruited volunteers to transfer works in the public domain to the online world. Thousands have been volunteering each year since then. However, in-person volunteering continued to be the primary method of making an impact. Organizations are having to come up with a volunteer management solution to adapt to the changes. So, why are more people suddenly choosing to volunteer virtually? 

Why Has It Become Popular?

   The main reason why this shift if occurring is because of COVID-19. Nonprofits have to find different ways to interact with their supporters. There has been an increase in virtual activities on Mobilize by 433%. Virtual volunteering may seem as if it does not offer the same satisfaction that being there in person would. However, it is a great way for people with disabilities or without transportation to still help your nonprofit. Not to mention, virtual volunteering is convenient and a safe way to help out. 

Check out - Volunteer Management During The COVID-19 Pandemic

How Nonprofits Are Adapting

   With virtual volunteering becoming more popular, nonprofits need to include it into their volunteer programs. One way you can have people make an impact while staying healthy is with managing Zoom calls. These calls can encourage supporters to write emails or letters to elected officials. If your nonprofit centers around food, then you can host a virtual phone bank. Supporters can then contact local businesses for food donations. Creating a virtual bulletin board is an easy way for people to sign up to run errands for others. Nonprofits will see that a volunteer management solution will be useful in planning these new activities.

   Nonprofits are going to have to assign more administrative tasks than before. Tasks would include data entry, email marketing, fundraising phone calls, copywriting, and graphic design. Organizations will need to use programs to keep track of virtual volunteers. New internet technologies allow for so many opportunities for nonprofits to supervise virtual volunteer work.

Software That Makes Volunteer Management Easier  

InitLive offers a volunteer management solution that makes it easier for your organization to adapt to virtual volunteering. You can plan your programs to be what you need them to be. The program also lets you keep track of volunteers.

We have created a technical guide that can help you retain more of your volunteers, make sure to download it below! 

A Technical Guide To Retain Volunteers

Download The Guide

 

initlive
2020/06
Jun 4, 2020 2:45:00 PM
Using A Volunteer Management Solution For The Rise Of Virtual Volunteering
Volunteer Management, NonProfit

Jun 4, 2020 2:45:00 PM

Using A Volunteer Management Solution For The Rise Of Virtual Volunteering

 

It may seem like virtual volunteering started recently, but it can be dated back to the 1990s. Project Gutenberg recruited volunteers to transfer works in the public domain to the online world. Thousands have been volunteering each year since then. However, in-person volunteering continued to be...

What is Microvolunteering and How Can it Benefit Your Organization?

What is Microvolunteering and How Can it Benefit Your Organization?

Have you heard rumblings about microvolunteering, but you aren't sure what all the fuss is about? Read on to discover what microvolunteering is and how it can help nonprofits increase engagement and improve their reach in the community. 

What is Microvolunteering?

The official Microvolunteering Day website defines microvolunteering as "bite-sized, on demand, no commitment actions that benefit a worthy cause."  In other words, microvolunteering is performing small good deeds that have an impact in the community. Some examples of microvolunteering include picking up litter while on a walk, tweeting about a nonprofit, or making cards to be sent to a local hospital or assisted living complex. Many of these tasks can be done from home, making it easier than ever to get involved. 

How is Microvolunteering Impacting the Industry?

The shift toward microvolunteering is working to break the time barriers that stand in the way of many people getting involved in nonprofits. This means that organizations seeking to use short-term volunteers will have to regularly provide brief, convenient options instead of the long-term pledges they might have utilized exclusively in the past. Nonprofits seeking to use microvolunteers will also have to build an engaged online presence to spread the word about current needs and tasks as they arise. Many nonprofits lack a sufficient online presence, and they could see a spike in microvolunteers' interest by using social media accounts and updating their website regularly. 

Check out -15 Volunteer Statistics Every Nonprofit Needs to Know

How Can Nonprofits Benefit from Microvolunteering?

Have you ever heard from a community member that they'd love to help out with your non-profit, but they just don't have the time? Of course you have! It can be hard for people to set aside time in their busy week to travel to a location and volunteer for a few hours. On top of that, the application and screening process can be intimidating and may steer people away. Microvolunteering requires little-to-no paperwork or commitment, so it can engage more people than long-term responsibilities. According to this article from GuideStar.org, those who volunteer tend to donate money or supplies too, so increases in microvolunteers may cause a rise in monetary donations as well. Lastly, microvolunteers can help meet the random, immediate needs of nonprofits as they crop up, which is an invaluable asset to have in an organization's back pocket. 

Regular, steady volunteers will always be the backbone of the nonprofit industry, but the introduction of microvolunteers can help fill in gaps in engagement and participation for your organization. Utilizing microvolunteering in your organization is definitely worth consideration, and it can help bring the community together in small, bite-sized ways. 

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initlive
2020/05
May 28, 2020 12:30:00 PM
What is Microvolunteering and How Can it Benefit Your Organization?
Volunteer Management

May 28, 2020 12:30:00 PM

What is Microvolunteering and How Can it Benefit Your Organization?

Have you heard rumblings about microvolunteering, but you aren't sure what all the fuss is about? Read on to discover what microvolunteering is and how it can help nonprofits increase engagement and improve their reach in the community. 

3 Ways to Convert Volunteers to Donors in Your Nonprofit

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 - 2020-05-25T145343.796

Often, nonprofits regard their volunteers and donors as separate, like a Venn diagram, where the crossover section in the middle stays relatively small.  People who donate money help provide-much needed supplies, and those who donate time offer their priceless hands-on support. Both types of contributions are imperative to the success of a nonprofit, and both types of contributions tend to come from the same people. It is estimated that 85% of volunteers donate to the nonprofits that they volunteer for (Global Trends in Giving Report), proving that if you take excellent care of your volunteers, your volunteers will take excellent care of your organization. 

Provide an Engaging Experience

Disengagement is a major reason why some nonprofits see high turnover rates of volunteers. When volunteers are not trained properly, welcomed warmly, or acknowledged regularly, they begin to feel disengaged. At this point, chances are good they won't return, and the nonprofit lose the chance of also converting them to a donor. When volunteers receive comprehensive training, clear communication, and adequate resources, they tend to feel more engaged and genuinely connected to an organization. 50% of participants donate more money to an organization because they volunteer there (Fidelity Charitable Study). Providing engaging experiences increases the likelihood that your volunteers will stick around, eventually becoming donors as well. 

Make Sure Giving is Easy

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to do a good deed or give to a good cause, only to find that it's a much more difficult process than it should be. Take a few moments to reflect on your donation collection system, and consider ways to make it even more simple than it already is. Providing online, mail-in, and in-person donation options allow flexibility for volunteers to donate. The harder something is, the less likely people are to follow through. Convenience is key in donation collection, so make sure it's easy for your volunteers to give. 

Are you looking for more stats? Make sure to check out - 15 Volunteer Statistics Every Nonprofit Needs to Know

Create a Seamless Volunteer Management System

Chaotic, confusing environments are a surefire way to scare many potential volunteers off, effectively reducing your organization's chance at additional monetary donations as well. One way to keep your nonprofit organized is to implement a seamless volunteering management system, like the ones InitLive provides.  InitLive's volunteer management tools can provide simple volunteer recruitment, applications, and scheduling, as well as useful data that can help your organization retain volunteers. 

Those who give time and those who give money are incredibly important to the success of any nonprofit, but people who give time and money are invaluable. Follow these three steps to forge genuine connections with your volunteers, increasing the likelihood they will also become donors. 

If you would like to learn more about retaining your volunteers and ensuring they are fulfilled by the work they do for your nonprofit check out our technical guide for retaining volunteers. 

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initlive
2020/05
May 26, 2020 12:30:00 PM
3 Ways to Convert Volunteers to Donors in Your Nonprofit
Volunteer Management, Volunteer Appreciation, NonProfit

May 26, 2020 12:30:00 PM

3 Ways to Convert Volunteers to Donors in Your Nonprofit

Often, nonprofits regard their volunteers and donors as separate, like a Venn diagram, where the crossover section in the middle stays relatively small.  People who donate money help provide-much needed supplies, and those who donate time offer their priceless hands-on support. Both types of...

The Ultimate Student Start Up: Volunteering In College

 The Ultimate Student Start Up: Volunteering In College

For many high school graduates, the years spend at college or university are meaningful beyond Greek life, roommate drama, class choices, and  football games. An increasing number of collegiate students enhance their lives with volunteer work on and off-campus; 25.7% contribute time to charitable efforts. It's not just a way to fill time between classes or earn community service hours towards a degree; many post-secondary students find volunteerism contributes to their collegiate community, and their current well-being and their prospects later in life.

Giving of yourself: five reasons to sign up and step into the college community

Future employers love a go-getter with community spirit

Hiring managers are  82% more likely to consider a prospect who's done volunteer work, and they're also equally forgiving on at least some resume flaws when it comes to those with a proven volunteer track record. In a tight job market, the person with the drive to obtain that real-world experience for no pay will stand out.

Superior skill set development

Not everything you need to meet the challenges of the real world is learned at home or in a classroom. Volunteering in a setting outside your comfort zone is a slightly uncomfortable but low-risk way to learn and practice new skills. You'll have plenty of experienced people to depend on for help, and short of a truly illegal or egregious act, you won't be fired. Volunteering can also help the career-undecided discover what employment is most suitable by allowing a range of experimentation in different fields.

Oh, the people you meet...

Getting to know your fellow volunteers means friendships beyond school. And the supervisors, managers, and directors you meet are potential contacts for later references and job recommendations.

The balance between life, love, sports, and school

Volunteerism is the pivot point between the other scholastic activities. Whether reading to children in the library, packing canned goods in the food bank, or building new homes post-natural disaster, volunteering takes you away from the stress of grades, deadlines, relationships, wins, and losses and refocuses your mental and emotional health on something bigger than your own world.

Check out - Complete Guide to Student Volunteer Recruitment

Passing it on to the next generation

Over a quarter of those college students who volunteer do so in the form of mentoring and tutoring children. It's a means to enlighten, empower and enrich the next group of young people who will follow them to school and in life while improving the lives of children who often lack a strong, consistent adult figure in their lives.

A guide to creating an exceptional volunteer program at your university or College

Download The Guide

initlive
2020/05
May 20, 2020 12:30:00 PM
The Ultimate Student Start Up: Volunteering In College
Volunteer Management, Volunteer/Staff Recruitment

May 20, 2020 12:30:00 PM

The Ultimate Student Start Up: Volunteering In College

 

For many high school graduates, the years spend at college or university are meaningful beyond Greek life, roommate drama, class choices, and  football games. An increasing number of collegiate students enhance their lives with volunteer work on and off-campus; 25.7% contribute time to charitable...

15 Volunteer Statistics Every Nonprofit Needs to Know

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 - 2020-05-14T094009.215

Volunteers are the workforce that keeps small community charities to large Non-Governmental Organization and international nonprofit running. Understanding trends in volunteerism is essential to building and improving your organization’s volunteer program. We have compiled a number of important statistics your nonprofit should be aware of as you build out your next program.

Here is a list of volunteer statistics that offers your nonprofit insight into the trends and motivations behind volunteerism.

  1. 85% of volunteers donate to the nonprofits that they volunteer for (Global Trends in Giving Report).
  2. The estimated value of a volunteer work hour is $25.43 USD (Independent Sector).
  3. An estimated 25.1 percent of US adults volunteered in 2017, contributing an estimated 8.8 billion hours.( National Center For Charitable Statistics
  4. On average, people spend an average of 52 hours per year volunteering their time. (Nonprofit Source
  5. 67% of people found volunteer opportunities online in 2014 vs 34% in 2006.
  6. 74% of nonprofits report that constituents' desire to participate in their organization's work has increased over the last five years (Salesforce.org) 
  7. 72% of volunteers serve only one organization or cause.( Bureau Of Labour Statistics) 
  8. 77 percent of nonprofits say they believe that skilled volunteers could significantly improve their organization’s business practices (2017 Deloitte Impact Survey)
  9. 75% of working millennials surveyed said they would volunteer more if they had a better understanding of the impact they were making (2017 Deloitte Impact Survey)
  10. Women volunteer 6% more than men.  (Bureau Of Labour Statistics
  11. 45% of nonprofits don’t measure volunteer impact, of that group 34% attributed the failure to a lack of resources and tools  (Software Advice Volunteer Impact Report
  12. The top four national volunteer activities in the USA are food collection or distribution (24.2%), fundraising or selling items to raise money (23.9%), general labor or transportation (18.8%), and tutoring or teaching (17.9%).(Nonprofit Source)
  13. 2% of the survey respondents say employees want the opportunity to volunteer with peers in a corporate-supported event.(Nonprofit Source)
  14. 35% of respondents said one of the reasons they volunteer is to socialize.(Sterling Volunteers
  15. One report says that people who volunteer over 100 hours a year are some of the healthiest people in the U.S.( National Community Service

Understanding volunteer facts offers your nonprofit a clear idea of the motivation, values, and needs of volunteers today, allowing you to improve your volunteer management process. Now that you are armed with all those interesting statistics it time to start reflecting on how you can harness that information to help your nonprofit achieve its mission and goals. 

Volunteer retention is a top priority for most nonprofit organizations, which is why we have created  A Technical Guide To Retaining Volunteers to help. Click the button below to download the guide for free. 

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initlive
2020/05
May 14, 2020 11:45:00 AM
15 Volunteer Statistics Every Nonprofit Needs to Know
NonProfit

May 14, 2020 11:45:00 AM

15 Volunteer Statistics Every Nonprofit Needs to Know

Volunteers are the workforce that keeps small community charities to large Non-Governmental Organization and international nonprofit running. Understanding trends in volunteerism is essential to building and improving your organization’s volunteer program. We have compiled a number of important...

Top 6 Reasons Why Students Volunteer

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 - 2020-05-08T134022.969Student volunteers are an integral part of all activities on university and college campuses, from sports games, and student government to clubs and alumni events, volunteers are the workforce that makes campus life happen. Students are busy with class, studying, and working to make ends meet, so with such a full plate, it is important to understand what motivates them to make time to volunteer.

What motivations do you student volunteers have? To create a university or college volunteer program that is fulfilling and sustainable, you need to clearly understand why students would donate their time to your cause or event. Here are the top 6 reasons why students volunteer their time on campus. 

Top 6 Reasons Why Students Volunteer

Networking/ Meeting Peers

Students, like all people, are always looking to meet new like-minded people and volunteering at campus sporting events or fundraisers for a club is a great way to accomplish that. Facilitating a social culture in your volunteer program will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to meet new people and form new connections while doing good work along the way. 

Learning New Skills

Students are hungry to learn new skills while attending university and college, and that extends to all their volunteer work as well. Asking your volunteers what they would like to learn or what interests them during the registration process will ensure that they learn new skills while providing your organization their time. 

To Make A Positive Impact 

One of the most common motivations for a volunteer is their passion for the cause. Whether it is a personal connection or philosophical one, that passion should be fostered and shared. Finding people who are passionate about a cause is one of the best ways to guarantee a strong level of commitment. A volunteer who is highly motivated by a cause is often willing to put in a great deal of work to help an event supporting that cause. 

Check out - Complete Guide to Student Volunteer Recruitment

Boost Resume Credentials 

Student knows how far hands-on experience goes when it comes to finding employment after graduation day. In fact, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteering is associated with a 27% higher odds of employment. Employers are 82% more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience and 85% more likely to overlook resume flaws when the candidate’s resume includes volunteer experience. Offering a letter of recommendation or to act as a reference for your best volunteers will go a long way in helping them thrive. 

Shared Activity With Friends 

Rather than a hangout, students sign up to volunteer with their friends and clubs to lend a hand on campus. This acts as an excellent way to connect in an extracurricular activity that makes a positive impact. To accommodate groups of friend volunteering together, you need to ensure you have a registration and scheduling tool that accommodate groups like InitLive all in one volunteer management solution. 

Gain Low-Cost Access To An Event 

Students don’t always have the budget to attend a charity gala or on-campus concert, so many of them turn to offer to volunteer to experience the event. Work for your ticket volunteer programs are particularly popular for student and offer a mutually beneficial approach to running campus events. 

Creating a Campus Culture of Giving 

Campus culture leaves an impact on all students and alumni, by establishing a culture of giving and philanthropy you help create more civically engaged graduated that will make a positive impact on communities throughout their lifetime.Understanding the motivations of your volunteers in the first step in creating exceptional volunteer programs at your college or university. 

If you are looking to start a new volunteer program or if you would like to improve an existing one, make sure to download the below guide. 

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Download The Guide

initlive
2020/05
May 12, 2020 12:30:00 PM
Top 6 Reasons Why Students Volunteer
Volunteer Management, NonProfit

May 12, 2020 12:30:00 PM

Top 6 Reasons Why Students Volunteer

Student volunteers are an integral part of all activities on university and college campuses, from sports games, and student government to clubs and alumni events, volunteers are the workforce that makes campus life happen. Students are busy with class, studying, and working to make ends meet, so...

Race To The Finish: Find, Train , Retain Event Volunteers

Race To The Finish: Find, Train , Retain Event Volunteers

About 18 million runners register for road races every year, covering every distance from fun runs of a mile or two to the marathon distance and beyond. Many of these events are organized for charitable purposes, to raise money for a specific cause or continue a nonprofit's ongoing work.  A successful race, for runners, walkers, cyclists, or triathletes, requires planning and work months before the actual event and the hectic race-day pace means overseeing everything from water stations to the goodie bag and race packet distribution to first-aid arrangements and post-race cleanup.  Recruiting a loyal and devoted group of volunteers is the first phase of a successful event. The goal beyond this competition is their return year after year to make the race a recurring success.

Volunteer vision: six steps to find, train and keep them coming back

Know where you're going: the organizational chart

Volunteer management needs to be simple and clear: your chart provides the chief of volunteers, committee captains, and the individuals reporting to each captain. Every volunteer has a role and knows who to report to throughout the process because the chart includes contact information for every volunteer.

The perfect source for people? The racing community (and the people who love them)

Ask the racing community for volunteer help; not everyone will be able to race for reasons including injury or family in town, but they can volunteer. Racers often have older children or friends with children who need community service hours to meet school requirements. Source volunteers from high school or adult sports clubs and online meetups or social groups.

When your racers and volunteers are the same people

Give racers who also volunteer a discount on the entry fee or some extra treats in their goodie bag. Schedule their hours for pre-race activities that won't interfere with race-day warm-up or post-race celebrations.

Train early and often

Pair your newest volunteers with experienced captains. Introduce volunteers to the course and include rules-of-the-road instruction, such as basic traffic laws, placement of directional cones, warning signs for runners in medical distress, the rules about using cellphones, and where to stand safely during the race.  Schedule regular meetings and provide frequent updates for all volunteers, to keep everyone informed of any changes.

Show volunteers the rock star treatment

When the experience is worthwhile, your volunteers provide free advertising through positive feedback. But retention for next year's race or next month's fundraising event matters. Feeding volunteers showing up for an early-morning event is part of their "pay." Provide a good breakfast, complete with coffee, and snacks at their stations, and they'll not only come back, but they'll also bring new volunteers. Special shirts with VOLUNTEER in big letters is more than identifying them for runners' safety; it's a point of pride and commemorates the event.  You give finishers medals to the runners; why not to your volunteers as well? And give them a goodie bag too, with a note of thanks tucked into each one.

Check out - Volunteer Management Guide For Endurance Race Events

Beyond the finish line: turn your race volunteers into a team

After the race is run, stay in contact with your volunteers. Update them on the money raised, the community helped and the goals accomplished, and remind them that all this was not possible without their help. InitLive's software makes running your race easy from initial idea to packing up the last box. Our platform provides the tools to manage your volunteers and your event, seamlessly integrating your timeline and teams together, tracking signups, workflow, contact information, race-day schedule changes, and post-race appreciation emails. Contact us for information and a free demonstration and give your volunteer effort a podium finish.

 

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initlive
2020/05
May 5, 2020 4:00:00 PM
Race To The Finish: Find, Train , Retain Event Volunteers
Sporting Event Management

May 5, 2020 4:00:00 PM

Race To The Finish: Find, Train , Retain Event Volunteers

About 18 million runners register for road races every year, covering every distance from fun runs of a mile or two to the marathon distance and beyond. Many of these events are organized for charitable purposes, to raise money for a specific cause or continue a nonprofit's ongoing work.  A...

5 Tips For Recruiting Volunteers For Your Next Conference

5 Tips For Recruiting Volunteers For Your Next Conference

If you've ever planned a large-scale conference before, you know that it can take up to a year to plan all the details. It's never too early to start planning for next year's conference, where a team of highly trained and skilled volunteers can make all the difference. Read these five tips for recruiting volunteers for your next conference. 

1. Select a strong communication and scheduling tool.

Choose a tool offering real-time communication with plenty of storage space to manage your recruitment documents as you launch your volunteer recruitment campaign.  Send a welcome e-mail and an orientation packet that's easily accessible online so that your most tech-savvy volunteers feel right at home.  And make sure you include in the packet a customized application form that asks for the applicant's work background, education, and special skills .

2. Self-registration

Include a list of roles with detailed descriptions, and don't forget to tell potential volunteers how their individual efforts will impact the outcome of the event. To attract the most stellar and motivated volunteers, allow for self-scheduling of shifts, giving volunteers the autonomy to find and schedule their own replacements.

3. Online training

Offer online training for each area -- from parking and ushers, to concession stands and information.  Allow incentives for cross-training so that your volunteers are prepped to work in multiple roles.  Also, be sure that everyone takes safety and emergency training.

4. Detailed incentive and rewards programs

Establish a contest with a point system to motivate your volunteers to meet training and performance goals. Offer valued prizes such as free entry to a popular show or a trip to a coveted destination. Give away wearable swag for achievements throughout each stage of the event, letting your volunteers wear your brand's tee-shirt, uniform, and logo. And don't forget to have an awards ceremony to recognize your volunteer team and their families for their support.

5.  Networking opportunities for volunteers

Finally, offer volunteers free access to the conference's keynote speaker engagement or to other special events within conference where they will be able to network and make professional contacts. These events can include  meet-and-greets, cocktail parties, dinners, and film festivals.

Pull it all together with the all-in-one volunteer management tool InitLive! Make sure to download out Volunteer recruitment guide for conferences and conventions. 

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initlive
2020/05
May 1, 2020 12:45:00 PM
5 Tips For Recruiting Volunteers For Your Next Conference
Conference Event Management

May 1, 2020 12:45:00 PM

5 Tips For Recruiting Volunteers For Your Next Conference

If you've ever planned a large-scale conference before, you know that it can take up to a year to plan all the details. It's never too early to start planning for next year's conference, where a team of highly trained and skilled volunteers can make all the difference. Read these five tips for...

How to Create an Emergency Plan for Your Nonprofit

How to Create an Emergency Plan for Your Nonprofit

If you do not have a plan in place, disasters can ruin a nonprofit. If you're a nonprofit leader who's in this boat, we're here to help. Creating an emergency plan for your nonprofit is very manageable when you follow a few easy steps.

1. Brainstorm the possibilities.

As a nonprofit leader, you need to prepare for many types of disasters. Here are some situations that you should consider when planning for emergencies.

  • tornadoes
  • mysterious mail
  • runaway children
  • bomb threats
  • lock downs
  • power outages
  • earthquakes
  • kidnappings
  • intruders
  • fires
  • assaults
  • floods

2. Prepare emergency safety plans.

Emergency safety plans are comprised of three parts: immediate health risks, administration communication, and community outreach.

Immediate health risks

Safety comes first! During orientation, you should make sure that all of your members are well aware of the safety plans. Formulate a specific plan for each event described above. Include any other disasters which may be pertinent to your nonprofit.

For each emergency safety plan, clearly mark escape routes and meeting places if applicable. Make sure that everyone has access to necessary phone numbers and knows how to contact the rest of the group. Choose meeting places that are a safe distance away from the disaster. 

If your nonprofit works with visitors, make sure they are trained in disaster safety as well. It's your job to keep everyone safe! To ensure that everyone is prepared, run scheduled drills for each type of disaster and monitor the response. This is your time to make improvements and fix any issues that arise.

Administration communication

In times of disaster, it's imperative that your administration has a well-oiled communication plan in place. Here are some steps you can take to make sure that your team can effectively communicate.

1. Create a administration and staff directory.

List multiple communication methods and phone numbers for each individual. InitLive's mobile app provides administration direct access to all their volunteers contact information as well as the ability to send discrete messages through the app. 

2. Designate primary and secondary communication channels. 

Will you send notifications by phone, email, text, or another method? Ensure that everyone is on the same page. If you have a volunteer communication and management app that should be your primary channel of communication with staff to avoid any confusion. 

3. Have clear and open communications with your staff about all safety issues.

Your staff members know your nonprofit better than anyone else. They're experts in their areas. Listen to all ideas.  Open two way communication can save lives and help you better respond to changing conditions. 

4. Open channels with regulatory and governmental authorities. Heed all warnings and guidelines.

Always stay abreast of how the community and local government agencies respond when disaster strikes. Implement any recommendations and requests for your type of organization. Keep local authorities informed of your needs. Remember, your response could affect other members of the community.

Community outreach

Communicate your disaster responses with all community members who may be affected. Work with local news agencies and online forums.

3. Prepare your nonprofit for life after the disaster

As Gary Allan says, every storm runs out of rain. Design a plan for employees to return to work when it's safe. If possible, make sure that your team has access to necessary documents.

Set up online communications like Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, etc. so that work can continue if possible. Plan ahead and schedule any payments so that you won't have to worry about the monotony of daily life in stressful times.

Here is a template to help yo get started!

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initlive
2020/04
Apr 29, 2020 12:30:00 PM
How to Create an Emergency Plan for Your Nonprofit
NonProfit

Apr 29, 2020 12:30:00 PM

How to Create an Emergency Plan for Your Nonprofit

If you do not have a plan in place, disasters can ruin a nonprofit. If you're a nonprofit leader who's in this boat, we're here to help. Creating an emergency plan for your nonprofit is very manageable when you follow a few easy steps.

Recruiting Volunteers For A Sporting Event

Recruiting Volunteers For A Sporting Event

No matter the sporting event, from a city marathon to a regional youth sports tournament, they all rely heavily on a dedicated team of volunteers. Volunteers make up a huge portion of the manpower at sports clubs, events, tournaments, and day-to-day operations. This makes volunteer recruitment and management essential to the success of any sporting event or organization. This guide will walk you through how to recruit a winning team of volunteers while offering some management at tips along the way. 


Planning 

Before you can being recruiting volunteers, you need to create a clear game plan. Consider who your ideal volunteers are? Are they sports fans or are they the parents and family members of the athletes? Understanding who you are trying to recruit and what their motivations are is essential to creating a solid staffing plan. 

For example if the majority of your volunteers are family members or friends of the athletes they will likely want to register to volunteer as a group and work shifts together as a group. This would require a registration process and volunteer management solution that can handle that requirement. During this planning stage, you should have a clear set of goals for your volunteer program and a timeline that establishes when volunteer registration needs to open.  You also need to establish what roles your volunteers need to fulfill and what skills are required to get the tasks done.

As an administrator, you need to ensure you have the tools required to not only recruit and schedule your volunteers but also communicate and manage them on the event day. Consider investing in a volunteer management solution that will save you countless hours. InitLive offers an all-in-one volunteer management solution to get the job done without the spreadsheets and confusing emails chains

Once you have a clear plan and the tools needed to execute it, its time to get cracking on defining your volunteer roles and qualifications. 

Defining Volunteer Roles and Qualifications 

In order to properly place volunteers, you need to create detailed role descriptions and defined qualifications. This can be a time-consuming task; however, once you have created all these roles in a volunteer management solution, you can reuse them over and over again, adjusting things as requires.  

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initlive
2020/04
Apr 24, 2020 12:38:34 PM
Recruiting Volunteers For A Sporting Event
Volunteer/Staff Recruitment, Sporting Event Management

Apr 24, 2020 12:38:34 PM

Recruiting Volunteers For A Sporting Event

No matter the sporting event, from a city marathon to a regional youth sports tournament, they all rely heavily on a dedicated team of volunteers. Volunteers make up a huge portion of the manpower at sports clubs, events, tournaments, and day-to-day operations. This makes volunteer recruitment and...

Five Best Practices For Volunteer Management

Five Best Practices For Volunteer Management

For many nonprofits, volunteers play an essential part in carrying out the organization's mission. But for a lot of these organizations, taking a critical look at their volunteer management strategy (if they even have one) is the last thing on a very long to-do list. Organizations tend to run their volunteer programs the way they always have, rather than trying to improve them. These top five best practices for volunteer management will help update and enhance your volunteer program.

Create Job Descriptions

Do your volunteers know exactly what you want them to do? Do they know what qualifies them to be a volunteer? Do they know who to go to with problems or questions?  

Your volunteers deserve a title and a job description that answers these questions, just like anyone else at your organization. A volunteer's job description should include:

  • What the volunteer job entails, including how many hours and how frequently you want their help.
  • What qualifies them to be a volunteer
  • Who they report to
  • How the work they do contributes to the organization's objectives and goals
  • What they will get out of the experience

Getting specific about the above items will not only clarify things for your current volunteers, but it will help you recruit new volunteers as well.

To learn more about volunteer role descriptions check out -Recruiting Volunteers: How to Match the Right Volunteer to the Right Role

Value Your Volunteers

You know that everyone in your organization appreciates your volunteers, but do your volunteers know that? Sending a mass "thank you" email after a volunteer event is nice, but it's not enough. Volunteers want to know that they are known—so any chance you have to thank them personally, take it.  Tracking volunteer hours through your volunteer manage solution provides you insight on who your top performing volunteers are. Helping you recognize them for all their efforts. 

 Do you give volunteer awards? Do you celebrate National Volunteer Week? Do staff members in other programs know your volunteers? Consider making your showings of thankfulness more personal, more meaningful, and more frequent.

Provide Orientation 

It can be intimidating to show up as a new volunteer at a project site. No one knows you, and you aren't totally sure how to go about the work at hand. Organizations can alleviate this uncomfortable first experience by creating an orientation for new volunteers.

The orientation should cover an introduction to the organization, rules and expectations, and exactly how to do each job. Key staff members who are involved with volunteers should be present at the meeting to introduce themselves and meet the new recruits.  

Define Goals and Measure Success

Your volunteer program is just like any other program in your organization in that it needs clear goals and ways of measuring success. Frequently measuring success will help your organization communicate the impact of your volunteers and fine-tune your volunteer program for success. Things to cover in your goals might include volunteer satisfaction, volunteer attendance, volunteer recruitment, the dollar value of volunteer work, etc.

Create a Budget

Just because your volunteers are working for free, doesn't mean that your volunteer program is free for your organization. There are expenses related to running a volunteer program, and these should be written out as line items in a budget. Here are some typical line items for a volunteer program:

  • Recruitment materials
  • Training materials
  • Background checks (if necessary)
  • Project materials
  • Volunteer recognition
  • Staff time dedicated to volunteer program
  • Supporting volunteers (food, travel, reimbursements, etc.)

Volunteers want to know that their work is contributing to your organization's mission. They want to feel known, appreciated, and informed, and they want to have a good experience. Implementing these five best practices will help ensure that your volunteers are more plugged, more encouraged, more motivated, and more productive.

 Copy of Gated Resources - Social Posting (45)

 

initlive
2020/04
Apr 20, 2020 2:00:00 PM
Five Best Practices For Volunteer Management
Volunteer Management, NonProfit

Apr 20, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Five Best Practices For Volunteer Management

For many nonprofits, volunteers play an essential part in carrying out the organization's mission. But for a lot of these organizations, taking a critical look at their volunteer management strategy (if they even have one) is the last thing on a very long to-do list. Organizations tend to run...

Tips for Grant Funding Volunteer Engagement

Tips for Grant Funding Volunteer Engagement

We know that it takes time, skill, and effort to effectively engage volunteers, but funding nonprofit staff to manage volunteers is a challenge. Here are a few ideas to help secure grant funding for volunteer engagement:

Capture Data and Impact

Before asking for funds, be prepared with stats to show the potential impact. InitLive can help capture data on volunteer hour tracking and each individuals and group's  impact over time. Consider how many man hours your volunteers have worked ans what the that value means to your organization. Once you have numbers (of volunteers, of events they helped execute, of people they assisted, etc.), translate that into impact for the people your non-profit is trying to help. How many people found jobs as a result of your volunteer-run job fair? How many kids improved their reading level because of the 100 volunteers you engaged as after-school tutors? To further personalize this data for potential donors, capture a quote from someone helped by your non-profit and what it meant to them as well as a quote from a volunteer. 

Identify Potential Funders

You're probably already searching for funders using online databases such as GrantWatch or subscribed to e-newsletters like the Philanthropy News Digest's RFP bulletin. While many of these opportunities will not explicitly say anything about funding volunteer engagement, if they are interested in your core service areas as a non-profit, then you can pitch volunteer management to them as part of your proposal.

Often corporations want to engage in their local communities through both volunteers and giving, so research your geographic area as well as identifying the employers of your volunteers. Many employers will "match" employee volunteer time with a cash donation or consider event sponsorships or donations if the request comes from an employee. 

Check out Strategies to Secure Corporate Grants for Volunteer Programs for more ideas.

Write Grants Strategically

When writing the proposal, make the link very clear between volunteers and achieving your project's goals. Use data to show that by engaging volunteers your non-profit is maximizing cost-effectiveness by reducing staff time needed or is able to help larger numbers of people. But also be sure you clearly state the staff duties required to engage volunteers, as often funders are not aware. In the budget, include a percentage of a staff person's time to recruit, onboard, and manage volunteers. In the budget notes, include any corporate "match" you expect from engaging employee volunteer groups or "in-kind donations", such as the value of products that have been donated (perhaps snacks or lunch for the volunteers?). This shows the funder you can multiply their impact by adding resources to theirs.

For more help using InitLive to capture the impact of your volunteer program so you can tell that story to funders, please contact us.

 

initlive
2020/04
Apr 16, 2020 8:05:57 AM
Tips for Grant Funding Volunteer Engagement
Non-Profit Events

Apr 16, 2020 8:05:57 AM

Tips for Grant Funding Volunteer Engagement

We know that it takes time, skill, and effort to effectively engage volunteers, but funding nonprofit staff to manage volunteers is a challenge. Here are a few ideas to help secure grant funding for volunteer engagement:

Volunteer Management During The COVID-19 Pandemic 

Volunteer Management During The COVID-19 Pandemic 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone around the world, including nonprofits and organizations that rely on volunteers to perform critical tasks. There is no doubt that for many volunteer programs, all work has stopped or has been modified to be done remotely. Now some crucial volunteer efforts are needed during this global health crisis to protect the vulnerable. This article has been created to help volunteer managers navigate the difficult task of running volunteer programs to aid in COVID- 19 relief efforts. 

Create A Response Plan 

Does your organization have the ability to respond to community needs during the health crisis? Will you be able to sustain and commit to performing essential duties in your community? These questions are essential to ask before you begin to stand up your relief efforts. Next, you will need to contact your local government and coordinate with them on what needs to be done to help; you want to help not hinder efforts.

 Once you have established what needs to be done in the community, it is time to start establishing your action plan. Here is a simple checklist to help you get started. 

  • Create well-defined volunteer roles with qualification (including things like a driver license) Consider creating as many virtual volunteer positions as possible to protect your community. 
  • Create an online application form that reflects all the qualifications required for your various roles.
  • Create a shift schedule to allow volunteers to automatically sign up for the shifts they are qualified to work.

To complete the above tasks quickly, we recommend using a volunteer management solution. InitLive is currently offering to donate its volunteer management system to any organization that is aiding in COVID-19 relief. For more information, please click here and fill out the form

Evaluate and Communicate 

Before you start recruiting volunteers to aid in COVID-19 relief, it is essential to communicate all the health risks and precautions your organization is taking. We have complied vital resources for your organization to review and share with your volunteers before commencing any work in the community. 

Once you have completed all the necessary research to ensure you understand all the health guidelines and procedures for volunteering within the community during the COVID-19 health crisis, its time to share that information with your volunteers. Here are a few communications to send out to your volunteer and the greater community. 

  1. Send an email to all your existing volunteers- Notify your existing database of volunteers with what actions your organization is taking in response to COVID-19 and inform them of any opportunities you may have for them. Make sure to include and reference health resources in your email. 
  2. Update your website and social channels - Update all your online channels to include your message on how your organization is responding to COVID-19 and include any information needed to recruit volunteers to aid in your relief efforts.
  3. Notify Local Media - Spread the word of your relief efforts in the local media to help gain awareness and support to ensure that those you are trying to help know to contact you for aid. 

Keep Your Volunteers Safe

The safety of your volunteers is always the top priority in doing any work; however, it more crucial than ever to equip your volunteers with everything they need to stay safe and healthy during this crisis. 

Protect Vulnerable Volunteers- Its well known that seniors are often a large percentage of the nonprofit volunteer workforce. Now it is time to let them rest at home. You should ensure that all volunteers with any underlying health condition stay home, and only those who are healthy and able are  working in the community. Offer remote work options for those who are vulnerable but still want to help. 

Equip Volunteers With Safety Supplies- You need to be following all health regulations outlined by your local government. That will likely include equipping volunteers with masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. If you can’t secure the necessary safety equipment, the work can’t continue. It is as simple as that. Keep your volunteers and the people they are helping safe at all times. 

As your organization works to help those who are vulnerable in the community, it is essential to maintain all health protocols outlined by health officials. If you are currently working on mobilizing volunteers for COVID-19 relief efforts and could benefit from a volunteer management solution, InitLive is presently offering to donate it’s software. For more information, click here and fill out the form. Stay healthy and safe

initlive
2020/04
Apr 1, 2020 12:15:00 PM
Volunteer Management During The COVID-19 Pandemic 
Volunteer Management

Apr 1, 2020 12:15:00 PM

Volunteer Management During The COVID-19 Pandemic 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone around the world, including nonprofits and organizations that rely on volunteers to perform critical tasks. There is no doubt that for many volunteer programs, all work has stopped or has been modified to be done remotely. Now some crucial volunteer...

4 Reasons Why Volunteers Quit: How to Improve Volunteer Retention

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 - 2020-03-31T095519.837

Volunteers are an essential part of nonprofit organizations nowadays. And since organizations routinely use volunteers to hold down the expenses used for hiring and paying permanent staff, keeping a low volunteer turnover rate is more important than ever. But sometimes, you'll see volunteers disappearing after only volunteering for a short time,  which takes a toll on the success and efficiency of your organization. Here are four main reasons why volunteers quit, as well as four things you can do to improve volunteer retention.

1. Volunteer burnout

Prevent volunteer burnout with mindful scheduling. Particularly if your volunteer team members work in labor-intensive roles over multiple days, you'll want to keep track of over-scheduling volunteers. When you use an scheduling tool like InitLive, it's super easy to refer to each shift and make sure that volunteers aren't being scheduled for a late-night breakdown followed by an early morning setup, or that every volunteer working a long shift is getting a scheduled break.

2. A surprise change in policies

Make your policies known.  By posting your policies online for volunteers to review as they sign up,  they'll decide from the start whether volunteering for your organization  aligns with their goals and expectations.  Also, keep your volunteers informed of any upcoming modifications in policies and procedures through  online posts or electronic newsletters. Finally, make your top volunteers a part of the decision-making process on new policies by posting online surveys requesting their input.. 

3. Not being heard

Give volunteers a voice. Provide an online forum for volunteers to voice concerns, ask questions, offer opinions, and give advice. Then, appoint a permanent staff member to monitor the forum so that they can respond in a timely fashion to questions and concerns that are raised, letting volunteers know that they are being heard. Having an online forum that is always open to your volunteers is also a great way to build a  brand that is associated empathy, caring, and support. 

4. Feeling unappreciated

Acknowledge volunteer efforts. Throughout your volunteers' experiences, recognize their efforts. Besides throwing an annual awards banquet for volunteers, schedule times throughout training and the organization itself to thank volunteers for their efforts. If you know your volunteers will be facing a challenging shift, set time aside beforehand to brief them on ways to cope with the challenges and let them know of any incentive program you're running during that shift to motivate them. Afterwards, take time to thank everyone who contributed to making the shift a success, and give rewards to the top performers.

To avoid these common situations  which cause volunteers quit, use InitLive as your all-in-one volunteer management, communication, and scheduling tool for your next initiative . For more information on how to retain your top volunteers so that your next initiative is a success, please contact us. And check out our blog to learn how more leaders in the nonprofit industry are using InitLive! 

Copy of Gated Resources - Social Posting (46)

initlive
2020/03
Mar 31, 2020 1:15:00 PM
4 Reasons Why Volunteers Quit: How to Improve Volunteer Retention
Non-Profit Events

Mar 31, 2020 1:15:00 PM

4 Reasons Why Volunteers Quit: How to Improve Volunteer Retention

Volunteers are an essential part of nonprofit organizations nowadays. And since organizations routinely use volunteers to hold down the expenses used for hiring and paying permanent staff, keeping a low volunteer turnover rate is more important than ever. But sometimes, you'll see volunteers...

COVID-19 - Finding The Opportunity For Your Events Amongst the Chaos

COVID-19 Finding The Opportunity For Your Events Amongst the Chaos

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the events industry, and there is a lot of anxiety surrounding what the future looks like. Yes, this is unfortunate. Thousands of large international and local events have been cancelled or postponed, but is there an opportunity amongst the chaos of the COVID-19 crisis for the events industry?

When was the last time you had a chance to simply re-evaluate how you do things? Can things be more efficient, sustainable or enjoyable to your attendees?  How can your event do better with less? There has never been a greater time for reinvention in the event industry than right now while things are at a standstill. 

While anxiety remains high, I challenge you to stay calm and carry on planning for the future state of your events.  Have you wondered how you can do more with less? Well, that’s the very problem technology solutions have been solving for years. 

Technology solutions offer you countless new ways to streamline your operations to help you increase your margins while providing a better experience for your customers or attendees. There have been countless events investing in virtual event technology for remote event attendance to weather the storm. Rather than simply throw money at the problem right now, why not consider investing in a solution for the future when events will once again open their gates to crowds of thousands of people. 

Consider what areas of your operation usually are placed on the back burner or areas you “make do.” These are the areas of your operations with the most significant room for improvement and therefore will have the greatest return of investment.

For example, when was the last time you evaluated your event staff and volunteer management process? Are you still using spreadsheets and emails to wrangle your workforce? Then maybe it’s time to start looking for an efficient way to manage your team. We at InitLive have built an entire solution around streaming event staff and volunteer management process to help organizers provide an exceptional event experience to attendees. 

It will take strong leaders to help the event industry get back to business again in the coming months, and likely with pent up demand for our services. Now is the time to focus on strengthening your business processes, and positioning your organization to be stronger on the other side of this crisis. The InitLive team is here to support you in these critical initiatives. We are currently offering a COVID-19 guarantee to help you prepare for the future with peace of mind.  

Make sure to check out our  demo videos and see how your organization could streamline your staff and volunteer management process to make more with less. 

initlive
2020/03
Mar 18, 2020 12:15:00 PM
COVID-19 - Finding The Opportunity For Your Events Amongst the Chaos
Event Technology, Event Management, COVID-19

Mar 18, 2020 12:15:00 PM

COVID-19 - Finding The Opportunity For Your Events Amongst the Chaos

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the events industry, and there is a lot of anxiety surrounding what the future looks like. Yes, this is unfortunate. Thousands of large international and local events have been cancelled or postponed, but is there an opportunity...

Postponing An Event - A Quick Guide

Postponing An Event - A Quick Guide

As the world braces for the impact of a global pandemic, the events industry has been dramatically impacted. So in a time of government-sanctioned restrictions on public gathers, how can you best handle postponing your event to a later date? This is a question facing thousand of events globally. So we have put together a quick guide to help you gracefully postpone your event to a future date. 

Communicate Your Plan to Internal Stakeholder

Before you communicate with attendees, you need to ensure all your internal stakeholders are well informed. Everyone from your volunteers to your vendors to artists need to be informed of your plan, and you need to receive buy-in for your future event date. Without buy-in, you put your next event at risk. Providing a grace period of a few days before making the broader announcement allows your internal stakeholders time to adjust and ask questions, this ensures everyone is on the same page and ready to share a consistent message. 

Considering Cancellation? Check out -Event Cancellation- The Complete Guide

Prepare All Web Collateral and Media Kits 

This is the stage where you get all your ducks in a row. You want to ensure that all your channels are communicating the same message. You should plan on updating your website content, social media pages, and you should be preparing email messages, press releases and a media kit to spread the word to your attendees further. Make sure to have a good handle on your refund policy and be clear that you are postponing your event, not canceling it. Once all your content is created and reviewed, its time to set a launch date and time. That scheduled time should be shared with your stakeholders so they can prepare a plan to help get the word out. 

Customer Service Team Mobilized 

You will need to prepare a team of staff to be ready to answer a high volume of questions from your attendees once the announcement is made. To save business, you will want to ensure your team is communicating the same messages to them when they call in. The goal for the team will be to alleviate anxiety and re sure attendees that the event they purchased a ticket for will still take place, simply on a different date. Excellent customer service is imperative here; you want to maintain a good rapport with your customers, even in a time of uncertainty. 

Announce and Spread the Word 

Its go time! Once you have announced your event is being postponed, it is essential to get your press releases in hands of media outlets—prioritizing media like Eventbrite and other event-specific websites where attendees will be looking to for information. Ask your artists and influencers to share your announcement on social media , this will ensure that fans are receiving the message loud and clear. 

In Closing 

In this time of uncertainty, all of us in the events industry are in this together. At InitLive, we know it takes months of planning to get an event off the ground. That why we have created a Covid-19 guarantee; we are here to help.

 

initlive
2020/03
Mar 17, 2020 12:30:00 PM
Postponing An Event - A Quick Guide
Event Safety, Event Management

Mar 17, 2020 12:30:00 PM

Postponing An Event - A Quick Guide

As the world braces for the impact of a global pandemic, the events industry has been dramatically impacted. So in a time of government-sanctioned restrictions on public gathers, how can you best handle postponing your event to a later date? This is a question facing thousand of events globally....

InitLive's COVID-19 Guarantee

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 - 2020-03-11T143428.833

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted every industry around the world in a significant way. In this time of uncertainty, the InitLive team is here to support you and your event planning requirements.

Events all over the world are being cancelled and postponed to try and contain the spread of COVID-19There is no question that public safety should always be the top priority, as such, we’re all unsure how long we will need to continue these precautionary measures.  As circumstances continue to evolve, rest assured, InitLive is dedicated to serving our customers and their needs.

We understand that planning events takes many months of preparation, that's why we are offering our COVID-19 guarantee. InitLive's COVID-19 guarantee allows you to sign up and use our solution to plan, recruit, and schedule your staff/volunteers knowing if you cancel your event, you won’t pay any subscriber fees.

 Continue to plan your event efficiently with InitLive, and we will work with you and your team as we all continue to prepare for future events. Please contact our sales team to find out more.

If you are planning an event and are new to InitLive make sure check out our demo videos

 

initlive
2020/03
Mar 11, 2020 2:33:27 PM
InitLive's COVID-19 Guarantee
Event Safety, COVID-19

Mar 11, 2020 2:33:27 PM

InitLive's COVID-19 Guarantee

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted every industry around the world in a significant way. In this time of uncertainty, the InitLive team is here to support you and your event planning requirements.

5 Tips On Planning A Sustainable Event

5 Tips On Planning A Sustainable Event

In today's world, there is a lot of talk about being eco-friendly. The event planning industry cannot be left far behind when it comes to being sustainable. However, the market is filled with ideas which at times can come across as green-washing. In such a scenario, here are 5 ways in which you can stay relevant and successfully organize a sustainable event. Read on to learn more.

1. Go for a Venue with Green Credentials

The venue is one of the most important factors that can decide whether your event will be sustainable or not. When asking for RFPs (Requests For Proposals) include clauses for sustainability requirements. An effective way to distinguish a qualifying venue is to look for a valid sustainability certification when choosing the property.

2. Ban Single-Use Plastic

Studies have time and again shown the negative impact of single-use plastic on our environment. The usual event produces a lot of plastic waste if proper measures are not put in place. A great way to make your event sustainable is to pre-plan for alternatives for single-use plastic products. You can opt for biodegradable materials like bamboo or hemp. Nowadays a lot of sustainable products are available in the market for you to make the switch. 

Banning single-use plastic from your event will significantly reduce the carbon footprint. 

3. Optimize Energy and Water Consumption

Venues with proper sustainability certifications usually have the mechanisms in place for optimizing their water and electricity consumption. However, if you are in a place that is not certified, then you can take certain sustainability measures like installing energy-efficient light bulbs, keeping the lighting to the minimum necessary level, turning off the AC when not needed, etc. All these individual steps will add up to have a significant positive impact.

4. Educate Your Volunteers

The volunteers are the lifeline of your event. Properly training them to handle the various sustainability measures will help you to achieve your results. One way of educating your volunteers effectively is through the use of tools like InitLive that allows you to send messages to your team and update them on the go as necessary.

Make sure to check out - 4 Volunteer Management Trends for 2020

5. Reuse and Recycle

The main mantra of sustainable living is to reuse and recycle. Implement this strategy at your events as well to achieve the best results. For things like lanyards, signs, posters, admit cards, or signages, avoid personalizing them so that you can reuse the same for your next event. That way, you not only reduce waste but also save money.

Set up proper stations to collect recyclable materials like glass or plastic bottles at the event. Once the event is over, you can recycle these items properly, thus preventing a lot of waste.

To Sum Up

Sustainability is becoming more and more important in every sphere of our lives. Following these simple steps can set you up on the path to success of planning a sustainable and eco-friendly event.

initlive
2020/03
Mar 11, 2020 12:45:00 PM
5 Tips On Planning A Sustainable Event
Event Planning

Mar 11, 2020 12:45:00 PM

5 Tips On Planning A Sustainable Event

In today's world, there is a lot of talk about being eco-friendly. The event planning industry cannot be left far behind when it comes to being sustainable. However, the market is filled with ideas which at times can come across as green-washing. In such a scenario, here are 5 ways in which you...

Complete Guide to Student Volunteer Recruitment

Complete Guide to Student Volunteer Recruitment

If your organization hasn't reached out to local colleges and universities to recruit volunteers, you're missing out. College students are always looking for experience and networking opportunities, racking up millions of hours of volunteer work each year in the US alone. Below, you'll find our Complete Guide College to Student Volunteer Recruitment. 

1. Contact academic departments. 

If you have a local university or community college in your area, contact academic departments that offer programs in fields related to your organization's mission. If you're are a human services agency that serves the local Spanish-speaking community, you'll find students in counseling, psychology, social work, education, and foreign languages who are eager to develop their skills in a real-world situation. Many of these departments also require some form of service in the form of volunteerism, community service, or service learning, so you won't necessarily have to build a volunteer infrastructure from scratch.

2. Research the service missions of your university's fraternities, sororities, and clubs.

Campus clubs, sororities, and fraternities are known for their community service. Sororities and fraternities, for instance, frequently have a long tradition of community service, and they may obligate their members to adopt a platform and take part in volunteerism. You'll be able to target organizations that have a particular interest in your industry or brand of service. 

3. Get your volunteers involved in social media campaigns.

Your college-age volunteers are consistently tuned in to social media, and will be delighted to use their interests, passions, and skills. Have them establish a YouTube channel with entertaining videos showcasing your brand. You can also ask them to take pictures of their teammates' shining moments at events for social media posting. Encourage them to start a blog on your website, detailing what it's like to volunteer in your program. 

4. Provide rewards, incentives, and freebies.

Volunteers always appreciate freebies, so when you contact local companies to serve as sponsors for your program, ask if they're interested in donating swag like tee-shirts, uniforms, and other wearables. It's also a good idea to run a contest to motivate your volunteers to perform the best they can, recognizing everyone later for their efforts at a special luncheon or ceremony.

A final word on volunteer recruitment 

Keep track of your recruitment and incentive plans for your college and university volunteers by using an all-in-one event management tool InitLive. Store both you're inter- and intra-organizational communications in one place, and train your tech-savvy volunteers to use InitLive when they promote your event online.

InitLive offers real-time communication, multi-level access, flexible self-registration and scheduling, and much more. For more information on how you can use InitLive to devise an awesome volunteer recruitment campaigns, please contact us

Once you have all you students recruited you'll need to start your management plan.  Here is 5 Tips For Managing College Student Volunteers to get you started. 

Are you ready to take your student volunteer program to the next level by streamlining your management process and empowering your volunteers?  Then make sure to download our free guide by clicking below!

A Guide to Creating an Exceptional Student Volunteer Program at Your University or College

Download The Guide

 

 

initlive
2020/03
Mar 6, 2020 12:15:00 PM
Complete Guide to Student Volunteer Recruitment
Volunteer/Staff Recruitment, Non-Profit Events

Mar 6, 2020 12:15:00 PM

Complete Guide to Student Volunteer Recruitment

If your organization hasn't reached out to local colleges and universities to recruit volunteers, you're missing out. College students are always looking for experience and networking opportunities, racking up millions of hours of volunteer work each year in the US alone. Below, you'll find our...

Learn How WanderLust Managed a Single Volunteer Database Across 25 Events

Learn How WanderLust Managed a Single Volunteer Database Across 25 Events

For the past ten years, Wanderlust has held its annual festivals where yoga teachers and practitioners gathered for a transformational experience of yoga, music, and instruction. In 2019, Wanderlust hosted 25 events across North America where attendees participated in a triathlon of walking, meditation, and yoga. For their one-to-four day events held at multiple locations, Wanderlust coordinators selected InitLive as its official volunteer management tool. Read on to learn how WanderLust managed a single volunteer database across 25 events using InitLive.

Flexible, fast scheduling

Using InitLive, Wanderlust coordinators gave volunteers the freedom to select the shifts that interested and motivated them. Plus, the color-coded scheduling appeared in a calendar format, making each daily shifts crystal clear at a glance. And while Wanderlust coordinators created schedules from scratch in the past, InitLive allowed them to duplicate schedules from a previously established template.

Real-time communication and easy access to information

When something came up, volunteers communicated with management immediately, either through InitLive's messaging or by means of the volunteer coordinator's cell phone number through the InitLive app. All event-related communications were channeled through one device, making it easy to retrieve and respond to all messages. In addition, management could send out documents and the site map before the events, allowing volunteers to pull up the site map -- or anything else they needed to assist attendees -- on their phone using the app. 

 

Looking fro more on communications? Learn How The Academy Of Country Awards improved communication by 100%

Smooth on-site management 

InitLive's communication system made onsite management exceptionally easy, and coordinators were always able to contact volunteers for more help. When the volunteer coordinators saw that they were short staff at one venue, for instance, they simply messaged volunteers to come out and assist, and then return to their regular shift at their scheduled venue.

Empowering volunteers

With direct communication and easy access to all the information they would need, volunteers at Wanderlust knew exactly what to do and where to go. Plus, since each volunteer was required to work a minimum amount of hours, InitLive's time-tracking function tracked each volunteer's hours. As a result, virtually all volunteers fulfilled their minimal work requirement, leaving them with a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. 

Make InitLive your all-in-one safety, communication, and volunteer management tool. For more information on how you can manage your next multi-site event with InitLive, please contact us

Wanderlust events Volunteer management case study

 

initlive
2020/03
Mar 4, 2020 4:15:00 PM
Learn How WanderLust Managed a Single Volunteer Database Across 25 Events
Sports Event Management, Success Story, Festival Management

Mar 4, 2020 4:15:00 PM

Learn How WanderLust Managed a Single Volunteer Database Across 25 Events

For the past ten years, Wanderlust has held its annual festivals where yoga teachers and practitioners gathered for a transformational experience of yoga, music, and instruction. In 2019, Wanderlust hosted 25 events across North America where attendees participated in a triathlon of walking,...

A Quick Guide For Creating A Volunteer Handbook

A Quick Guide For Creating A Volunteer Handbook

Whether you are recruiting volunteers for a festival, sporting event, conference, or a Nonprofit program, they will all have the same basic questions and training requirements. All volunteers will want to know where to park, what to wear, and how to contact you. That's where a volunteer handbook comes in handy. Rather than exchanging hundreds of emails answering the same basic questions, try creating a single document to do the work. 

A volunteer handbook is basically a sign of relief for your volunteer team; it gives them all the information they need to show up and work. Think of a volunteer handbook as  both, your FAQ and your policy and training document; its goal is to inform and support your volunteers. 

Creating Your Volunteer Handbook 

So now that you understand how valuable a volunteer handbook is to both you and your volunteer team and time to start thinking about what you need to have in it. Every event and organization will have there own unique requirements for a volunteer handbook, but we have put together a helpful list to get you started. 

1- A Warm Welcome Letter

This your chance to welcome and thank your volunteers while explaining the purpose of the volunteer handbook. Take this opportunity to inspire excitement in your volunteer team, share some quotes of past volunteers and their experience. Make sure to show your appreciation and explain the positive impact volunteers make for your program, event, or initiative.

2- About Us and Mission Statement 

This section of your volunteer handbook for introducing your new volunteers to your organization and your mission. Explain how volunteers are needed to meet your organization's goals and how outstanding volunteerism is to the culture of the event or initiative. This section should inform the volunteer who they are volunteering for and why their donation of time is worthwhile.

3- Leadership Team

This is where you will introduce all your volunteers to the leadership team they will be reporting too. We recommend using pictures in this section to make your leadership team more familiar. It is also helpful to state the roles of each leadership member to help volunteers identify who is best to contact when an issue arises.

4- Code of Conduct

This is your chance to clearly state your code of conduct and policies for your volunteers. Consider outlining things like dress code and standards of conduct and behavior. Consider this section, where you need to set clear expectations with your volunteers. 

5- Day of Logistics 

Think of this as the FAQ section of the handbook. This is where you can clearly state necessary logistical information like where to park, where to meet and what you are providing for your volunteers ( lunch and swag bags). Try and provide volunteers with all the information they need to thrive when they show up to work.   

6- Emergency Plan

This is a particularly important section of your volunteer handbook. You need to communicate your emergency plans to your volunteer team.  This should outline various scenarios and what they need to if the circumstance requires them to take action. We recommend making this section of the document accessible through your volunteer mobile app, allowing them to reference it if required. 

7- Map 

A comprehensive map of your venue is handy for volunteers. A map will help volunteers find the location of each of their shifts and allow them to help attendees locate things as well. This is a must-have item for your handbook. 

8- Volunteer Roles 

This is the section where you should describe all your volunteer roles. The description should clearly outline the qualifications, duties to provide your volunteers with an idea of what they will be doing when they arrive. 

9- Volunteer Tools 

In this section, you should outline the technology tools available to your volunteers and how they should use them. For example, hundreds of thousands of volunteers have used the InitLive Mobile app to access their shift schedule, check-in, and out of shifts, access documents, and communicate with the leadership team. 

Now it's your turn to start creating a fantastic volunteer handbook! We have created a free volunteer handbook template to get you started. Remember to customize the template to show off your brand and communicate your unique requirements to your volunteer. Click below to download the template. 

A Volunteer Handbook Template

 

initlive
2020/02
Feb 27, 2020 12:45:00 PM
A Quick Guide For Creating A Volunteer Handbook
Volunteer Management

Feb 27, 2020 12:45:00 PM

A Quick Guide For Creating A Volunteer Handbook

Whether you are recruiting volunteers for a festival, sporting event, conference, or a Nonprofit program, they will all have the same basic questions and training requirements. All volunteers will want to know where to park, what to wear, and how to contact you. That's where a volunteer handbook...

5 Tips For Managing College Student Volunteers

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 - 2020-02-21T090429.978

Students make up a large portion of the volunteer workforce, making them a vital resource to college events, nonprofits, and festivals. Retaining student volunteers year over year as they graduate is a top priority for the organizations that rely on them.  A critical factor in retaining any workforce is good management; that's why we have put together five tips for managing college student volunteers. 

1 – Show Gratitude

College students are a busy bunch. Between school, work, and volunteering their time is valuable. Show them gratitude by respecting their time. If they sign up for a volunteer shift make sure you have proper coverage to follow up, and they will surely become a valuable and reliable asset to your organization time and time again.

2 – Create a Community

Give your volunteers a sense of community and camaraderie along with their fellow volunteers and event staff. Organize social meetups or gatherings with volunteers to help them develop connections with your staff and one another. By making them feel they truly are a part of something greater than themselves they will continue to dedicate their time and energy to your organization and its cause.

Are you planning a volunteer management program for college sporting event? Make sure to check out - The Ultimate Volunteer Management Guide For College Sporting Events

3 - Give Them the Tools to Succeed

The current generation of college students wants access to information quickly and efficiently. Integrating an application such as InitLive with your current volunteer management strategy will allow your volunteers to stay up to date with scheduling, locations, and changes thus eliminating confusion. This will ensure an efficient, reliable, and instantaneous way to communicate with your volunteers and staff. No need to worry about making individual contacts with the use of an application; your organization can notify everyone on a specific project at once and make sure no one gets left out of the loop.

4 – Feed Your Volunteers

Food and proper hydration can be often overlooked in Volunteering events. However, in the college community especially this is a big incentive and one that will determine whether or not these volunteers will continue to return. Events can often mean long hours sometimes exposed to the outside elements. Make sure you are providing your volunteers the sustenance to stay happy, hydrated and putting force their best face representing your organization.

5 – Set Goals and Offer Incentives

Give your college student volunteers tangible goals that they can work towards attaining. Create a points or rewards system to give them something to work towards. The incentive does not have to be something extravagant but rather a token of appreciation and recognition of their hard work on behalf of your organization.   

initlive
2020/02
Feb 24, 2020 12:30:00 PM
5 Tips For Managing College Student Volunteers
Volunteer Management, Volunteer Appreciation, Non-Profit Events

Feb 24, 2020 12:30:00 PM

5 Tips For Managing College Student Volunteers

Students make up a large portion of the volunteer workforce, making them a vital resource to college events, nonprofits, and festivals. Retaining student volunteers year over year as they graduate is a top priority for the organizations that rely on them.  A critical factor in retaining any...

How Social Media Examiner Grew Conference Volunteers by 200%

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 - 2020-02-18T144828.203

Social Media Marketing World, held by Social Media Examiner (SME), is a conference designed for social media experts. Their speakers have complete confidence in their field and even boast that they can teach attendees how to get a 10X return on investment. More than 48,000 marketers have attended events held by Social Media Examiner since 2013. With only 50 event staff and a Gantt chart for scheduling, though, growing the volunteer program to handle Social Media Marketing World became troublesome. Texting each other and scrambling around on the day of the event heightened the risk of stress for attendees. SME needed a solution.

Streamlined Scheduling 

SME's event manager, Jaci Feinstein, had been storing volunteer information in an Excel Gantt chart and emailing each volunteer with their schedule. This cumbersome process stunted the growth of the volunteer program. If SME had continued to manage volunteers through Gantt charts, they would have had to hire additional paid staff.

Adopting InitLive allowed them to streamline the process. During signup, volunteer information, waivers, and availability can be gathered up front, reducing administrative workload. InitLive also made it possible for leaders in the volunteer team to be designated as Role Managers. They were able to clearly see which volunteers were working, who was in what role, and how to communicate quickly. Communication about cancellations and no-shows became easy with InitLive's event day app-- a vast improvement over texting and running. That allowed volunteers to focus on the important things, like engaging with attendees.

SME used InitLive to broadcast communications to all volunteers when needed. Large amounts of volunteers could be gathered at once to assist with high energy events. Volunteers always knew what they were supposed to be doing and where to be.

InitLive's broadcasting feature also became integral to SME's emergency plan. In the case of an emergency, InitLive could be used to communicate directly to volunteers. That information could then be communicated to attendees, increasing event safety.

Result 

Social Media Marketing World went from an event with only 50 staff to more than 200 staff. There were 4,500 attendees, more than 600 shifts worked, and over 4,000 hours worked. Event manager Jaci Feinstein summarized the experience with: "InitLive is worth every dollar to be able to streamline and better manage, communicate, organize your volunteers. It allows you and your volunteers to focus on what is really important."

Request an on-demand demo of InitLive to see how it can work for you.

  Social Media Examiner  Conference Case Study

 

initlive
2020/02
Feb 19, 2020 12:00:00 PM
How Social Media Examiner Grew Conference Volunteers by 200%
Success Story, Conference Event Management

Feb 19, 2020 12:00:00 PM

How Social Media Examiner Grew Conference Volunteers by 200%

Social Media Marketing World, held by Social Media Examiner (SME), is a conference designed for social media experts. Their speakers have complete confidence in their field and even boast that they can teach attendees how to get a 10X return on investment. More than 48,000 marketers have attended...

5 Steps for Planning Your Volunteer Management Program

5 Steps for Planning Your Volunteer Management Program

Volunteer management has really stepped up in the last decade. While there was once a time when event planners could address volunteers as an afterthought, today volunteer staff members fulfill a large portion of duties once covered by paid workers. So planning a volunteer management program that will attract capable, motivated volunteers takes some thought. Read on to learn some  on planning your volunteer management program.

1. Establish a formal recruitment plan.

Back in the day, you could get away with word of mouth, a pile of flyers, and a phone tree for recruiting and communicating with volunteers. Nowadays, you must carefully map out your recruitment campaign. That means making out a list of roles to fill, providing a complete description of duties, and devising a chain of command. It also means drawing up an application, posting it online, and allowing for online registration and scheduling. 

To learn more about recruitment check out- The Complete Guide- How to Recruit Volunteers for an Event

2. Draw up policies. 

Management Help distinguishes between policies and procedures, stating that policies are guidelines for making decisions on how to act in a given situation. On the other hand, procedures are directions that tell how to complete a specific task. At the very least, you'll want to establish policies for volunteer dress codes, absences, attendance, training, and scheduling. Depending upon the nature of your event, you may also have to establish policies regarding confidentiality, safety, and background checks. 

3. Conduct ongoing screening. 

The screening process takes place before, during, and after the recruitment process. When you examine the applications, you'll select the best volunteers as you match applicant skills with roles and duties. You also go through the screening process when you perform background and police checks. Lastly, after the volunteers are performing their duties, you'll continue a form of screening through conducting evaluations and performance reviews. 

Check out - The Volunteer Screening Checklist

4. Set up training.

Many volunteers today like the option of having remote training through online tutorials, podcasts, and videos, while others may still prefer on-site training. In order to accommodate the expectations of different personalities, you may want to make both online and in-person training available. Your policies should be clear on how much training is mandatory. 

5. Select a flexible online management tool. 

Lastly, in order to increase efficiency and execute your volunteer management process, be sure to select an adaptable online management tool where you can store every stage of your volunteer management plans. You'll want a tool like InitLive, which makes direct communication, data storage, and registration/scheduling accessible through a single device. 

For more information about InitLive, the industry leader in all-in-one mobile volunteer management tools, please contact us. You can also read exciting updates about how InitLive is being used throughout the event planning industry by checking out our blog.

 

The Complete Volunteer Management Guide

 

 

 

 

 

initlive
2020/02
Feb 14, 2020 12:45:00 PM
5 Steps for Planning Your Volunteer Management Program
Volunteer Management, Event Technology

Feb 14, 2020 12:45:00 PM

5 Steps for Planning Your Volunteer Management Program

Volunteer management has really stepped up in the last decade. While there was once a time when event planners could address volunteers as an afterthought, today volunteer staff members fulfill a large portion of duties once covered by paid workers. So planning a volunteer management program that...

The Ultimate Volunteer Management Guide For College Sporting Events

The Ultimate Volunteer Management Guide For College Sporting Events

University sporting events require a tremendous amount of planning. Sports competitions in higher education depend largely on volunteer support from within the university, the surrounding community, and the families of athletes. So if you're planning your university's next game, you'll want to read our volunteer management guide for university sporting events.

Hiring a professional volunteer coordinator 

According to the Sports Planning Guide, the very first step is hiring a volunteer coordinator. A volunteer coordinator needs highly developed interpersonal skills and high energy. And because they'll deal with everyone from parents and coaches to university departments and VIPs, they'll need the mediating skills of a professional arbitrator. It's also helpful if the volunteer coordinator has first-hand athletic experience and is comfortable working with communication technologies.   

Establishing a volunteer management plan

Volunteer management plans can be divided into five stages: 1) pre-recruitment; 2) recruitment and screening; 3) training and on-boarding; 4) event-day supervision and performance evaluation; and 5) awards recognition events and post-event wrap-up. During the event, they'll oversee registration, monitor self-scheduling and attendance, and rate performance. As the event comes to a close, they'll plan awards recognition ceremonies, conduct performance reviews, and file reports.

Check out - 7 Tips for Volunteer Management at Colleges and Universities

Orientation and training

Sport Advisory writes that today's volunteers are looking for experience, opportunity, and contacts, so motivated volunteers expect well thought-out training sessions in addition to an on-site orientation where they can get to know their peers. During training and orientation, you'll need to establish and communicate a wide variety of policies, including dress code and conduct, customer service requirements, attendance and self- scheduling, and safety policies.   

Volunteer benefits and incentives

Recruit motivated volunteers by advertising incentives for top performers. Giving away wearable swag with the event logo for completing ongoing training is a great example. And as rewards for high performers, provide free-bees or discounts on coveted events, hotel stays for family members, and concessions. Lastly, be sure to include an awards and recognition ceremony, which will draw valuable support from the surrounding community. 

The right technology

Finally, for each stage of your event planning, you'll need to make all your documents accessible through one tool. This includes communication, safety procedures and policies, registration and scheduling, tutorials and training, and any sports community forums and reviews.  

InitLive is the industry leader in providing an all-in-one event management tool. It combines document storage, real-time communication, and safety so that you have everything you need to manage your event on one device. For more information on how you can use InitLive at your next university sporting event, please contact us. Make sure to download out free guide below!

a-guide-to-creating-an-exceptional-student-volunteer-program-at-your-university-or-college

Download The Guide

initlive
2020/02
Feb 11, 2020 11:30:00 AM
The Ultimate Volunteer Management Guide For College Sporting Events
Volunteer Management, Event Management

Feb 11, 2020 11:30:00 AM

The Ultimate Volunteer Management Guide For College Sporting Events

University sporting events require a tremendous amount of planning. Sports competitions in higher education depend largely on volunteer support from within the university, the surrounding community, and the families of athletes. So if you're planning your university's next game, you'll want to...

How to Build Your Non-Profit Volunteer Program Budget

How to Build Your Non-Profit Volunteer Program BudgetBuilding a solid program budget is one of the basics for ensuring that your volunteer program will be a success. But many volunteer coordinators and managers make the mistake of forgetting that they can build and actively contribute to the volunteer budget rather than accept what is handed to them by building a case for more funds. We've listed some tips below for building a volunteer program budget for nonprofit organizations.

1. Know your budget. 

Volunteer Pro's 2019 Volunteer Management Progress Report found that 23% of non-profit volunteer managers don't know their budget -- and that 35% are working with a budget of less than $5000. Request to be a part of your non-profit's budget committee meetings and get copies of their minutes and any budget committee decisions. Be sure to use an event management tool that like InitLive that allows for you to store documents at every planning stage of your event so you can keep all budget-related data together. 

2. Provide input on the budget with supporting data.

Once you have the budget, you can put in requests for more funds. Volunteer Match writes that in order to make a case, you're not just tracking volunteer hours. You should also focus on showing how the efforts of your volunteers impact the organization and the community. Keeping all your volunteer data in one place is a great way to save time when you are gathering supporting data to accompany your requests.

3. Keep track of general costs covered by non-profit budgets. 

Volunteer Pro tells counter program managers to be aware of the different types of costs and income that you have as a non-profit. These include direct costs (those that are directly related to your program or project), capital expenditures (items that have a lasting value like cars and real estate), indirect or hidden costs, and in-kind distributions (free donated goods or services, which count as both expenses and income). Note that volunteer services and any matching funds from corporations count as in-kind contributions that bring in income benefiting both the event and the overall organization.

 Check out - A Guide To Measuring Volunteer Impact For Nonprofits

4. Know the specific costs of your volunteer program and track accordingly.

In the same article linked above, Volunteer Pro reminds us of specific volunteer program costs which you run into routinely as a volunteer coordinator or manager. There are your general marketing costs which include website design, SEO, and promo items. And volunteer recruitment can be costly, frequently requiring background checks and volunteer center membership. Volunteer appreciation can also take up a lot of your budget, with snack and meal items, special events like award dinners, and other recognition items. Lastly, Volunteer Pro tells us, there are volunteer support and reimbursement costs, including mileage and travel, and the cost of your own professional development, including training and certifications.

Learn more- 5 Volunteer Retention Strategies for Nonprofits

Use all-in-one volunteer management tool InitLive to track how much value your volunteer program is providing to your non-profit and which can be used to justify spend on resources and tools.  For more information on how you can use InitLive as your all-in-one volunteer management tool for your next event, please contact us

initlive
2020/02
Feb 6, 2020 4:15:00 PM
How to Build Your Non-Profit Volunteer Program Budget
Non-Profit Events

Feb 6, 2020 4:15:00 PM

How to Build Your Non-Profit Volunteer Program Budget

Building a solid program budget is one of the basics for ensuring that your volunteer program will be a success. But many volunteer coordinators and managers make the mistake of forgetting that they can build and actively contribute to the volunteer budget rather than accept what is handed to them...

Strategies to Secure Corporate Grants For Volunteer Programs

Strategies to Secure Corporate Grants For Volunteer ProgramsEstablishing a vibrant non-profit volunteer program is not just about recruiting volunteers. It also means partnering up with like-minded organizations and being able to elicit funding in the form of donations and grants. There are different ways to bring in funds from corporations that share a common interest in what your non-profit has to offer. So read on to discover a few strategies on securing corporate grants for volunteer programs.

1. Write a grant proposal.

When you research the types of corporate grants available, look for what Volunteer Toronto describes as "tri-alignment." In other words, make sure the goals of your volunteer program align with the goals of your non-profit organization, the corporation offering the grant, and needs of the populations your non-profit serves. In addition, Volunteer Toronto says it's a good idea to work with other organizations as you implement your volunteer program. Doing so can help you get to know organizations that give out grants or make donations in other ways.

 

2. Make information on corporate grants available  your volunteers.

According to Double The Donation, your volunteers can check a number of volunteer online databases to see if their employer sends donations to non-profits in the form of grant funds when their employees work as volunteers. Include a grant landing page on your website when volunteers register, linking them to the information they need to apply for these grants. Once the application with their employer has been accepted, track their hours as they work so their employer can contact you for verification. When the event is over and the volunteer's hours have been verified, their employer sends your non-profit a check. 

3. Research companies that provide matching donations.

In addition, there are some companies that provide non-profits with matching funds when their employees work as volunteers who raise money at your event. Research and keep track of those companies, making the information available to your volunteers online when they register to volunteer on your website. 

Are you looking to secure sponsorship? Make sure to check out - 5 Steps to Secure Sponsorship for Your Next Event

4.Get the right communication technology.

Since securing grants, disseminating information to volunteers, and tracking volunteer hours requires research, document storage, and communication, use an event management tool that allows you to complete all these tasks while keeping everything together in one place.   

Use InitLive it to create, store, post, broadcast, and document -- everything you need to implement your strategies for securing grants to fund your next event -- and of course, for managing an an awesome event. For more strategies on how to secure corporate grants for volunteer programs, please contact us

The Complete Volunteer Management Guide For Nonprofits

 

 

initlive
2020/02
Feb 3, 2020 12:15:00 PM
Strategies to Secure Corporate Grants For Volunteer Programs
Volunteer Management, Non-Profit Events

Feb 3, 2020 12:15:00 PM

Strategies to Secure Corporate Grants For Volunteer Programs

Establishing a vibrant non-profit volunteer program is not just about recruiting volunteers. It also means partnering up with like-minded organizations and being able to elicit funding in the form of donations and grants. There are different ways to bring in funds from corporations that share a...

7 Tips for Volunteer Management at Colleges and Universities

7 Tips for Volunteer Management at Colleges and Universities

If you've ever planned an event at a college or university, you already know you'll be managing lots of younger volunteers. Their cooperation is crucial for the success of the event, so it's important to make the experience worthwhile. Below are six tips for volunteer management at colleges and universities that will keep your volunteers motivated, engaged, and prepared for success. 

1. Grant your volunteers online access.

College students are frequently pressed for time, so they find it helpful to access key aspects of the volunteer program online -- including registration, online training, policies, procedures, contact information, and direct communication in real time. In particular, they'll appreciate the opportunity to self-register and select the shifts they want that fit into their hectic schedules. And if you use an event management tool like InitLive that provides multi-level access, you control what items your volunteers can see and what they can't.  

Are you looking to build a volunteer program? Check out - Guide To Creating A Volunteer Management Process

2. Provide incentives.

Your college student volunteers appreciate rewards for all their hard work. Design an incentives program where your volunteers receive points for perfect attendance, cross-training, or recommending a friend as a volunteer. For the winners who accumulate the most points, offer memorable rewards such as tickets to special event performances or meetings with VIPs.

3. Make food and snacks available.

If your volunteers work long shifts, they'll definitely appreciate snacks and meals they can eat in a designated break area. And since most college-age volunteers look forward to making friends with their teammates, they'll enjoy the time to socialize with other volunteers during breaks. 

4. Give away wearable swag.

It's also a great idea to give your volunteers a tee-shirt, golf shirt, or hoodie to wear on event day bearing your company logo. It becomes part of their uniform, helps them identify each other, and puts your brand out there for the public to see. Other examples of wearable swag are headbands, wristbands, and hats. 

5. Give your volunteers access to a community forum.

Today's younger volunteers appreciate the opportunity to share their volunteer experiences, tips, and concerns on an online forum. When your volunteer staff communicates on a special online space set aside just for them, they'll form bonds, exchange important information, and may even become a kind of digital tribe whose members act as brand ambassadors for your company.

6. Align your volunteers' tasks with their values.

As Volunteer Match reports, many of today's college students have well-defined values that they are passionate about. Regardless of the nature or industry of your event, make it one of your organization's priorities to involve them in activities and decision-making processes that uphold these values. For example, you can ask your volunteers to come up with ideas for recycling efforts, shred events, or walk-a-thons that raise money for cancer research or donations to local pet rescue missions.  

7. Get social.

On the day of the event, take lots of pictures of your volunteers in their most successful moments. Post the photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other top social media sites. Your volunteers will enjoy sharing those shining moments with their friends on their own social media accounts. 

On a final note, make sure you use an event management tool like InitLive that's easy to use, meets the expectations of your volunteers, and keeps everything in one place. For more information on how InitLive can help you manage your next college or university event, please contact us

 

 

initlive
2020/01
Jan 31, 2020 12:45:00 PM
7 Tips for Volunteer Management at Colleges and Universities
Volunteer Management, Non-Profit Events

Jan 31, 2020 12:45:00 PM

7 Tips for Volunteer Management at Colleges and Universities

If you've ever planned an event at a college or university, you already know you'll be managing lots of younger volunteers. Their cooperation is crucial for the success of the event, so it's important to make the experience worthwhile. Below are six tips for volunteer management at colleges and...

Learn How Loud and Live Scaled Up Their Volunteer Program by 300%

Learn How Loud and Live Scaled Up Their Volunteer Program by 300%

For years, Media, marketing, and entertainment company Loud and Live depended upon spreadsheets for managing volunteers. Finally, after searching a number of platforms to find a way to house all their event management plans in one place, Community Relations Manager Stacy Konstantinov discovered just how valuable all-in-one tool Init Live proved to be. So read on to learn how Loud and Live scaled up their volunteer program by 300%.

1. Increased communication and reach

InitLive provided a customized registration page that clearly displayed the event's brand. It also let viewers to share the page, reaching a much larger viewing audience. It also offered event-wide broadcasting --which came in super-handy when poor weather made it necessary to evacuate an outdoor event, Konstantinov reports.

2. Real-time visibility across multiple days

 Managers could check schedules, volunteer attendance, and other data, giving them the opportunity to make changes as necessary. By offering real-time visibility across multiple event days, InitLive permitted Loud and Live coordinators to track data online and make detailed post-event reports available for volunteers' schools.  

3. Reduced stress on event day

Since Loud and Live's managers could see the schedule throughout the course of the event and make last-minute scheduling changes, it made event day management much less stressful. Coordinators found immediate solutions for no-shows and emergencies, and volunteers were empowered with the ability to keep track of their schedules through online access. 

4. Efficient qualifications management

Lastly, InitLive allowed Loud and Live to filter volunteers based on requirements in order to meet age requirements and other prerequisites. The event coordinators were also able to rate volunteers, ensuring that they had a stellar, top-performing volunteer staff.  

With InitLive, Loud and Live experienced increased functionality and no longer had to depend upon hundreds of spreadsheets to monitor their 800+ volunteers. All the information they needed to run an outstanding event lay within their grasp through a mere click of a button.

You can scale up your own events and experience increased efficiency and performance when you use InitLive's all-in-one volunteer management, safety, and communication tool. Check out our website to find out how InitLive can make your next event your best event ever!

Copy of Gated Resources - Social Posting (35)

 

initlive
2020/01
Jan 28, 2020 12:30:00 PM
Learn How Loud and Live Scaled Up Their Volunteer Program by 300%
Volunteer Management, Festival Management, Sporting Event Management

Jan 28, 2020 12:30:00 PM

Learn How Loud and Live Scaled Up Their Volunteer Program by 300%

For years, Media, marketing, and entertainment company Loud and Live depended upon spreadsheets for managing volunteers. Finally, after searching a number of platforms to find a way to house all their event management plans in one place, Community Relations Manager Stacy Konstantinov discovered...

Guide To Creating A Volunteer Management Process

Guide To Creating A Volunteer Management Process Every successful volunteer program starts with a well-planned volunteer management process. A volunteer management process ensures your organization, event, or nonprofit is operating efficiently, saving time and resources while ensuring volunteer retention. This guide will help you create a volunteer management process that will inspire your volunteer and help your organization achieve its goals. 

We have created a 6 step volunteer management process to help you get started.

Volunteer Management Process LifeCycle

 

 

1. Planning 

Creating a strategic plan offers you a long term plan for your volunteer management program providing a clear vision to reference at all stages of the process. Before you get started in planning, you need to establish your organization goals for your volunteer program. Are you looking to increase your volunteer numbers, donations, or are you looking to increase your existing volunteer teams' activity level? Once you have determined your goals, make sure to document them, and include them in your volunteer program strategic plan.

Staffing Analysis 

Next up is establishing your needs through a staffing analysis. Your staffing analysis should include what tasks will need to be done and what expertise they require. This should provide you a vision of ideal volunteer personas, offering you a clear vision of what you are looking for during the recruitment phase of the process. 

Defining A Leadership Team 

Who are the people with the answers? Volunteers are no different than regular staff and require direction and support to get the job done. Creating a leadership team is essential to a successful volunteer management program. Establish your leadership needs by reviewing your staff analysis and considering what support those tasks will require. Volunteer coordinator, shift supervisors, and team leads will ensure that your volunteers are competent and confident. 

2.Recruitment 

This stage is all about recruiting the right people for the roles. Using your staff analysis, it's time to start defining your role requirement. These requirements need to detail; they should include the following. 

  • Role Titles - Use a descriptive, self-explanatory title
  • Description - A general description that explains what the role is on a high level 
  • Key Responsibilities - A list of primary duties and responsibilities 
  • Skill qualifications- A list of skill requirements 
  • Certification - A list of certification, background checks or other requirements 

Once you created your roles, you can now build out your registration form with skill and certification base questions. 

Spreading The Word

Once you have established which roles you need and have created a registration form, its time started recruiting. 

  • Invite your current volunteer list first- If you already have a list of volunteers who have worked at previous events you've organized, make them feel appreciated by giving them exclusive access to the positions you have available.
  • Share your recruitment link.- Use social media, your website, email, and direct mailers. Encourage your previous volunteers to share the link with their friends and family as well.
  • Launch a prominent social media campaign- Besides making your recruitment link available through social media, you'll want to launch a formal campaign using these channels. It may even be a good idea to bring one or more of your previous volunteers on board early to help coordinate the social media.

3.Schedule 

Now that you have a team, it's time to start scheduling them. There are so many factors that go into scheduling volunteers, so using a volunteer scheduling tool like InitLive can help you build your shifts and roster your volunteers efficiently. Here is a scheduling checklist to help with this process: 

  1. Establish your locations - Where are the volunteers working? It's at the information tent, front gate, or first aid station. 
  2. Determine Your Shift Times - Determine when you need people and the length of your shifts based on the activities a volunteer is performing. For example, a physically demanding job should have shorter shifts. Make sure to add some buffer time between changes to cover any late arrivals. 
  3. Determine the Roles Need- What roles are required to get the job done. Do you need a driver and a 4 Waste Management people for a cleanup shift? Each shift will have its staff requirements based on how busy it will. 
  4. Roster Your Team - Once you have created, you shift its time to start rostering staff. You can either allow staff to pick their shift or assign shifts based on skills and availability. 

4.Training 

Equipping your volunteers with the tools and training they need to do a good job is essential to your success. Whether it is a quick online course, a tool user guide, or in-person training, it's all worth the investment. Investing in volunteer training not only ensures they can complete their task but also helps retain volunteer overtime. Here a few things to keep in mind when training your volunteers:

  • Accessible - Training should be accessible for everyone, not everyone can make it in-person meeting. Consider offering online courses or live streaming in-class training for those how can't make it to the training location. The more options are, the better. 
  • Be concise - Training should be digestible; you don't want to waste people's time. Stick to simple lessons and brief communications. 
  • Set expectations - You will need to communicate expectations to all your volunteers; this includes dress codes, codes of conduct, and the chain of command. 
  • Use a volunteer management tool to share relevant documents - A single standardize point of truth for a volunteer at this stage is critical. Consider investing in a mobile app that offers volunteer access to all documentation, shift information, and communications. 

5.Volunteer Management 

You have planned everything now its time to start getting things done. At this stage, its time to think about facilitating work and delegating management to your leadership team. Your team supervisors are there to help your volunteer excel. Here a few volunteer management tips to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

 

  • Check-In Staff - Ensure your supervisors are checking-in volunteers as they arrive and leave their shift. This will allow you to manage no-show and late staff during the event and review volunteer performance later. 
  • Communicate - Keep your teams informed throughout the day as things change. Communicating through your mobile app to individuals or teams will ensure that they can respond quickly to changes in circumstances. 
  • Support - Ensure you have an area for your staff to take a break away from everything and offer water and snack to keep them going.
  • Appreciation- When it comes to volunteer retention, appreciation is the golden ticket. Whether it is a simple thank you like your volunteer leave, a small gift, or a more significant statement of gratitude, it all makes a difference to your volunteers. 

6.Evaluation

The final stage in the process to evaluate and optimize your existing process to get even better results next time. When you understand where your volunteers are coming from, how they engaged, and how efficiently they used your event communication tool, you can better tailor your marketing efforts, efficiencies, and protocol to put on the best event possible. 

Pull reports from your volunteer management tool and send volunteer surveys to evaluate your performance on the following areas: 

  • Volunteer attendance
  • Total Hours Worked 
  • Communications 
  • Volunteer Performance 
  • Volunteer Experience 

At this stage, once you have completed your evaluation and have documented your recommendations for improvements for the next event or initiative, the volunteer management process is complete. For even more information about the volunteer management process, we recommend that you download the following e-book. 

The Complete Volunteer Management guide for Nonprofits

 

initlive
2020/01
Jan 24, 2020 1:40:34 PM
Guide To Creating A Volunteer Management Process
Volunteer Management, Volunteer/Staff Recruitment, Event Planning

Jan 24, 2020 1:40:34 PM

Guide To Creating A Volunteer Management Process

Every successful volunteer program starts with a well-planned volunteer management process. A volunteer management process ensures your organization, event, or nonprofit is operating efficiently, saving time and resources while ensuring volunteer retention. This guide will help you create a...

Social Promotion: How to Choose the Best Platforms for Your Next Event

Social Promotion: How to Choose the Best Platforms for Your Next Event

In today’s digital world, social media is everywhere - and with almost half the world’s population using social media across the globe, the power of online social platforms as targeted marketing tools is one that shouldn’t be taken for granted. And with a new user signing up every 6.4 seconds, this vast audience is growing bigger day-to-day.

That’s why today, the digital marketing experts over at Land Digital are sharing how best how to make use of social media to market your next event. Breaking down which platform is best suited for advertising your event based on its type and target audience, with these tips, you’ll have a solid online marketing strategy that ensures an extensive organic reach ahead of the day.

Facebook

Undoubtedly the most popular of all social media platforms, Facebook boasts a mammoth 2.45 billion regular users each month, making the site one of the most valuable tools in any event marketer’s arsenal. What’s more, Facebook even tailors some of its features towards event marketing, with a handy event feature that enables users to advertise through a direct and easily comprehensible means.

When using Facebook’s event feature, look to include as much detail as possible - after all, many users will visit this page as their primary source of information surrounding the event. You’ll find a handy description box positioned at the top of every event page, so look to insert all relevant details here - from start and end times to staff recruitment links. Moreover, look to utilise user-friendly features like Facebook’s GPS maps, that enables you to give direct GPS directions to your event based on the current location of each user.

With quite literally anyone and everyone signed up to Facebook, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to reach your target demographic, whatever it may be! Take a look at the USA, for example, where 71% of adults use Facebook - with the fastest growing demographic of these users being the senior age bracket. As such, look to utilise Facebook’s ad and promotion features when advertising your event, pushing your posts to custom demographics specified by you - whether that be broken down by age bracket, gender, age, likes or location. This will ensure your organic reach is targeting the people you want to talk to and, in turn, is likely to convert into a more successful conversion rate.

Looking to learn more about promoting your event on facebook? Make sure to check out - Four Ways to Promote Your Sporting Event Using Facebook

Twitter

Generating a buzz amongst Twitter’s 330 million users is all about hashtags, so look to start including a creative and catchy hashtag on each of your posts in the hopes your audience will join in the conversation.

The trick to utilising Twitter to its full potential is all in encouraging engagement, and with research indicating that using hashtags can double organic engagement with a tweet (whether that be through retweets, likes or replies), this is a great place to start.

Look to include your brand or event name in the hashtag where possible - this will enable users to find content surrounding your event with a simple Twitter search and also encourage them to interact with other attendees. While not quite as extensive as Facebook, with 37% of users being between 18-29 and 25% of users being between 30-49, Twitter marketing still enables you to reach a varied demographic. Be sure to delve a little deeper into what content your target audience interacts with best on the platform, however - while video content might work best with young people, an older age bracket may prefer posters, for example.

Instagram

It’s no exaggeration to say that Instagram’s popularity has exploded in recent years, with the image-sharing platform now boasting a colossal 1 billion users worldwide. With ever-expanding quantities of sign-ups, of course, comes greater possibilities for event marketers - and what better way to market an event than by getting your attendees to do it for you?

Check out - How to Promote Your Event Using Instagram

To do this, first focus on Instagram stories. This recently added feature enables users to post temporary updates to their followers in a similar means to Snapchat for a 24 hour period. Optimise your potential exposure by posting your event poster on your story regularly to keep it fresh in potential attendee’s minds - not only will this be pushed to follower’s feeds daily, but it will allow you to regularly advertise your event without affecting the aesthetic of your instagram page with spam posting. Pair these posts with a ‘swipe-up Call-To-Action’ (CTA)’ - a handy new feature now on Instagram that redirects users to a desired destination - to boost your chances of conversions, whether that be directing them to an event website or point of purchase.

Elsewhere, look to capitalise on the popularity of filters by creating your own custom event filter. This fun and unique approach will see users utilising your filter on their posts or stories, acting as a free form of indirect advertising that’s sure to get the conversation started.

A growing marketing trend over on Instagram is influencer marketing, defined as the practice of paying a professional social media influencer (someone with a substantial amount of followers and subsequent organic reach) to promote your event or product. Though this can pay dividends, with the most common influencer budget being $1,000-$10,000 followed by $100,000-$500,000 per year, this option is entirely dependent on your advertising budget.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram’s audience tends to be much less varied, with a significant 34% of users falling between the 25-34 age bracket and a further significant 31% of users being between 18-24. As such, it’s probably only worth exploring Instagram’s event marketing potential if your event is tailored at a younger target audience.

TikTok

Speaking of young audiences, TikTok is the newest social media platform to really cause a stir, already boasting 500 million users to date - 66% of these being under 30

TikTok combines short video content with a viral-friendly interface with substantial success, proven by the 1.5 million app downloads across the globe. To best capitalise on this buzz, event marketers should look to partake in video trends such as the tumbleweed challenge - posting your own take as a means of increasing viewership and, in turn, improving your page exposure. When pulling this off correctly, you’ll be presenting your event as current and relevant by moving away from more traditional means of marketing - marketing that may often lack any form of appeal with a younger audience.

When it comes to digital event marketing, there’s no tool like social media. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to understanding how best to advertise your event on these ever-popular online platforms - so sit back and wait for those ticket sales to come!

Author bio:

Jon Leighton is the Director of Land Digital, a full-service digital agency providing made-to-measure marketing, design and development solutions to help businesses in the UK solve their commercial problems.

 

jon-leighton
2020/01
Jan 20, 2020 12:15:00 PM
Social Promotion: How to Choose the Best Platforms for Your Next Event
Event Promotion

Jan 20, 2020 12:15:00 PM

Social Promotion: How to Choose the Best Platforms for Your Next Event

In today’s digital world, social media is everywhere - and with almost half the world’s population using social media across the globe, the power of online social platforms as targeted marketing tools is one that shouldn’t be taken for granted. And with a new user signing up every 6.4 seconds,...

4 Volunteer Management Trends for 2020

4 Volunteer Management Trends for 2020The very nature of volunteerism has changed over the years. Decades ago, event coordinators would post hundreds of flyers to see how many people would show up. Then volunteers often stood around until they were needed. In the digital age, however, a volunteer's time and skills are highly valuable commodities -- and volunteerism has become an essential means for a company to achieve a high ROI. So if you're managing an event this year, we've gathered four volunteer management trends for 2020 that you'll want to pay attention to.  

1. Training

A major trend in 2020 is the use of formal training for volunteerism. From online tutorials to Skype orientations, to on-site training sessions, volunteers are receiving structured, thorough training that prepares them for pre-defined roles and tasks -- sometimes weeks before the event takes place. As a result, today's trained volunteers are focused and know exactly what needs to be done and where they're supposed to be once the big day arrives.

2. Special Skillset

The primary age group that volunteers is also changing. Up until the present, Generation X and Baby Boomers comprised the majority of volunteers, Volunteer U reports. And it's predicted that this fact will change in the years to come, with Millennials and Generation Z expected to take the lead. This younger volunteer generation is tech-savvy, visually oriented, purpose-driven, and eager to make an impact on their world. Simply stated, they're looking for ways to use their skill sets. A great way to capitalize on that expectation is to post customized applications online, which allows volunteers to list their special skills. That way, you can match them with the appropriate roles and tasks. 

3. Retention comes first

Another big trend is putting volunteer retention before recruitment and acquisition, according to Volunteer Hub's take on 2020 volunteer trends. Engaging your volunteers, getting feedback from them on what works and what doesn't, and showing them that their efforts are worthwhile are all proven ways to retain dedicated volunteer staff.

4. Embracing mobile technology

Lastly, Volunteer Hub finds that more non-profits are taking advantage of the fact that over 2.1 billion people have smartphones. In 2020, you'll see volunteer managers investing in digital tools that work with all mobile phones. And the very best event tools are designed to streamline every aspect of the volunteer management experience. Leading event management technology like InitLive allows you to conduct online recruitment, provide self-registration, handle scheduling, post online training and tutorials, and much more. 

Check out - Why Organizations Are Adopting Technology to Recruit & Retain Volunteers

InitLive offers an all-in-one experience where you can manage your volunteers, engage in direct communication, and handle all your safety needs through one mobile device. For more information on how you can transform your volunteer management program with InitLive, please contact us

initlive
2020/01
Jan 17, 2020 1:15:00 PM
4 Volunteer Management Trends for 2020
Volunteer Management

Jan 17, 2020 1:15:00 PM

4 Volunteer Management Trends for 2020

The very nature of volunteerism has changed over the years. Decades ago, event coordinators would post hundreds of flyers to see how many people would show up. Then volunteers often stood around until they were needed. In the digital age, however, a volunteer's time and skills are highly valuable...

6 Negative Reviews That Affect Your Event's Reputation -- And How To Prevent Them

6 Negative Reviews That Affect Your Event's Reputation -- And How To Prevent ThemRunning a successful event means keeping an eye on your online and offline reputation. So it's important to address negative reviews before they hit today's multiple communication channels. Here are six negative reviews that affect your event's reputation, as well as tips on how to prevent them in the first place.

Poor service

Your volunteers are frequently the first people your attendees may meet, so they need to be able to answer basic questions such as where to park or what's the cost of registration. Training your volunteers and providing them the tools they need succeed is essential to fostering good service at your events. InitLive's event day app offer volunteers quick access to important documents and the ability to communicated with your leadership team when questions arise on the job. 

Long registration lines

Offer self-registration and options for paying online. If you wish, you can also offer a discounted fee for early bird registration. This way, you'll show today's tech savvy public that you provide a quick, easy, and efficient way to register for your event. And if you compare the current number of online registrants with the number of people who registered the year before without the convenience of online registration, you'll see a big improvement.  

Reduce risk at your event by reading - How to Reduce Risk at Your Event Using Volunteers

No-shows/understaffed stations

Give your volunteer staff a sense of autonomy by granting them the capacity (and the responsibility) of finding substitutes. Keep an updated list available of approved alternates your volunteers can contact in case of an emergency. 

Litter, clutter, and trash buildup  

Assign floaters beforehand to empty trash when things get busy. In addition, have them cross-trained to pitch in at various stations when your assigned staff get too busy to attend to cleanup. You'll easily eliminate complaints by keeping all areas of your event site tidy and professional.  

Poor sustainable practices

Running a paperless event where everything is accessible online through one event communication tool eliminates the excessive use of paper and holds down costs. It also delivers the message to today's environmentally-conscious public that you're running an eco-friendly event every step of the way.

Check out - 5 Ways Volunteers Have a Direct Impact on Your Event's Reputation

No participant feedback during the event

By allowing attendees to post online questions or concerns while the event is taking place, you'll fix problems before they're reported on a post-event review -- or tweeted by disgruntled participants. And your guests will be more likely to give a glowing review.

To reduce and eliminate negative post-event reviews which impact your event's reputation, use InitLive's all-in-one event management and communication tool. Post training, scheduling with self-signup and shift-change options, policies and emergency procedures to make your event run smoothly. And by creating an online venue for your participants to post concerns in real time, your volunteers will respond immediately to a situation before it becomes a problem. In the end, you'll earn raving reviews for a job well done. 

 

initlive
2020/01
Jan 15, 2020 11:45:00 AM
6 Negative Reviews That Affect Your Event's Reputation -- And How To Prevent Them
Event Management

Jan 15, 2020 11:45:00 AM

6 Negative Reviews That Affect Your Event's Reputation -- And How To Prevent Them

Running a successful event means keeping an eye on your online and offline reputation. So it's important to address negative reviews before they hit today's multiple communication channels. Here are six negative reviews that affect your event's reputation, as well as tips on how to prevent them in...

Creating An Effective Volunteer Survey

Creating An Effective Volunteer SurveyVolunteer surveys are essential to nonprofits and organizations that rely on volunteerism. Volunteer feedback is valuable to help improve everything from operational planning to company culture. Receiving insight from your volunteer and staff can help you understand their needs and wants, which ultimately helps retention. Here are the steps to creating an effective volunteer survey.

1.Establish Your Survey Goal 

What problems are you looking to solve by collecting feedback from your volunteers? Are you looking to measure volunteer impact, volunteer satisfaction, or something else? If you have a high volunteer turn over rate, then volunteer satisfaction should be a top priority. Understanding your shortcomings will allow you to gain insight into your existing issues through survey responses. 

For example, if you know scheduling is a pain point in your volunteer management process, you may want to build a question around that pain point and a possible solution to it.  Once you have decided what you are trying to measure, then it's time to start building the survey. 

Are you looking to improve volunteer retention? Check out - 6 Strategies for Retaining Your Best Volunteers

2. Make it clear and simple

A lengthy survey is a survey that is going to be discarded by a lot of volunteers. You need to respect their time and effort to provide you with data. Ideally, the fewer questions, the better. Shoot for a survey that only takes two to three minutes to complete. When constructing the questions, focus on making them easy to understand and even easier to answer. Open-ended questions are generally a bad idea.

3. Keep your questions neutral

Never construct a question that shares your opinion on the topic. For example, if you're asking the volunteer to rate your product quality don't imply that the product quality is already great by saying "We think our product quality is great, how great do you think it is?".

4. Ask for additional comments

At the end of the survey, always ask the volunteer for optional additional comments. If the volunteer is willing to take a survey, chances are they have some suggestions or concerns they may want to bring up.

5. In multiple-choice questions, keep options balanced

If your question is asking the volunteer to rate something, make sure to include the same number of options for both sides of the spectrum. For example:

  • Very good
  • Good
  • Neither good nor bad
  • Bad
  • Very Bad

You might also want to include an "N/A" option if the volunteer does not know or want to answer the question.

6. Pick A Easy Surveying tool 

You want to ensure your survey is easy and accessible. Online and Mobile friendly surveys are essential in today's world. People are way more likely to fill out something if its convenient. Here are a few survey tools:

6. Test

Test your survey many times. Like a writer must proofread their writing, a survey creator must proofread their surveys. Grammar errors or poor questions can have several adverse effects, such as bad data or disinterest by the volunteers.

7. Distribution & Timing 

To capture the best data possible, you will want to distribute your survey immediately after an event or initiative when people volunteered. This will ensure that their experience is fresh in their mind allowing them to respond to question more accurately. Distributing the survey through your volunteer management app or other channels in which you have been communicating with them should also increase completion rates.

 Looking for a new volunteer management tool? Then check out - Why Organizations Are Adopting Technology to Recruit & Retain Volunteers

Feedback collected through your survey will be incredibly valuable as you plan and grow your volunteer management program. The act of asking for your volunteer feedback has a positive impact on volunteer satisfaction because you show them you care about their experience. 

 

 

initlive
2020/01
Jan 9, 2020 4:30:00 PM
Creating An Effective Volunteer Survey
Volunteer Management, Volunteer/Staff Recruitment

Jan 9, 2020 4:30:00 PM

Creating An Effective Volunteer Survey

Volunteer surveys are essential to nonprofits and organizations that rely on volunteerism. Volunteer feedback is valuable to help improve everything from operational planning to company culture. Receiving insight from your volunteer and staff can help you understand their needs and wants, which...

Event Production: 5 things To Consider When Planning And Managing Your Event

 

Event Production: 5 things To Consider When Planning And Managing Your EventEvent production is exceptionally hectic for even the most experienced professionals. There are plenty of things that can go wrong when you don’t put a good plan in place. Any little step you can take to make things more efficient goes a long way to making your event a success and creating memorable experiences for your guests. Here are 5 things to help you plan and manage your event successfully. 

1. Measurable Goals and Objectives 

Your goals and objectives are a cornerstone of your event. Ask yourself a few questions to help you formulate realistic goals and measurable objectives. What is the purpose of this event? What should it achieve? If you understand your main goals before planning, it will be easier for you to tune every part of your event for success. 

Do you want to raise a specific amount of funds for your favorite cause or just create awareness about a certain societal problem? Are you expecting to draw 100 guests or 300? Coming up with a goal with measurable metrics of success will help you develop strategies for you and your team to achieve it. 

2. A Competent Team 

With your goals and objectives now in place, it’s time to embark on the process of putting together a reliable team to help you achieve them. But assembling a team isn’t a matter of asking your friends to help you arrange the venue and usher in guests. It involves hiring skilled people and assigning them responsibilities based on their skills. For instance, you can appoint one person to head each subgroup, such as: 

• Venue management 

• Publicity 

• Sound systems 

• Entertainment 

• Catering 

Giving team members individual responsibilities allow you to establish a system of accountability. It also ensures that all tasks will be carried out. Set up a reliable communication channel to promote effective collaboration.

To learn more about building a committed team of event staff and volunteers make sure to read: The Complete Guide- How to Recruit Volunteers for an Event

3. A Well-prepared Budget 

A well-prepared budget is one of the most fundamental parts of planning and managing your event. Without it, even great ideas will fail. Ensure your budget covers all the important expenses and set aside an extra 5-25% emergency fund to cater to the unexpected. Here are some of the essential expenses that your budget should cover. 

Venue: This expense should include the rental expenses together with any insurance or permit you need to obtain. 

Catering: This cost encompasses servers, bartenders, foods, drinks, table settings, and linen. 

Entertainment: You can customize this area to capture the interest of your guests. Expenses in this field can include musical instruments, speakers, and a DJ, depending on the kind of event you are planning. 

Staff: This field is often overlooked, but it’s important to budget for the transportation and accommodation expenses of your staff, particularly when your event destination is out of town. In this regard, there are many vacation rentals available, which come at a very affordable price as well as in very good condition. 

Marketing: The cost here can include paying influencers to post sponsored posts on their social media accounts and distributing leaflets throughout the town. 

Miscellaneous: Additional expenses are common even in events organized by seasoned pros. Taking care of them in your budget will save you the embarrassment of being caught unaware. 

4. An Appropriate Date and Reliable Venue 

The date of your event could depend on a number of things – is it a time-conscious launch, annual seminar, or end party? Is the timing favorable to key players, or does it coincide with other occasions in your sector? Consider these things to help you choose a suitable date. 

Your venue is perhaps one of the biggest expenses in your budget. Venue search services can help you do a side by side comparison of various venues within your target area. You can get a place that offers things like seating, entertainment, Wi-Fi, and catering. But if you have all those things, you’ll have so many options to choose from. 

5. Reduce Last-minute Changes 

To organize an event, you must work with many stakeholders, sponsors, staff, consultants, and vendors. Sort out things with each ahead of time so that there’s a closing date for any changes. For example, ensure vendors are aware that they can’t pull out after a specific date. Set penalties for cancellations to bring down last-minute changes. Consider investing in event staff and volunteer management technology to allow you to respond to changing conditions on event day. InitLive's Event Day App provides event coordinators the ability to change shifts, manage staff no-shows and communication to individuals staff member or broadcast announcements, to keep things running smoothly on event day. 

With an increasing number of people constantly searching for unique activities to engage in nowadays, event planning is a lucrative venture. But for your event to stand out in this rapidly growing industry, you must be creative and organized. Consider the above 5 things from the onset to make your upcoming event a success.

About The Author 

Ethan Rome is an enthusiastic event planner. His passion for event planning started when he planned his own birthday party at the age of 10. He plans weddings, parties, graduations, and events. Ethan will execute your concepts flawlessly while maintaining a pleasant, calm and helpful demeanor to ensure an amazing experience for you and your guests.

 

ethan-rome
2020/01
Jan 6, 2020 2:30:00 PM
Event Production: 5 things To Consider When Planning And Managing Your Event
Event Management

Jan 6, 2020 2:30:00 PM

Event Production: 5 things To Consider When Planning And Managing Your Event

 

Event production is exceptionally hectic for even the most experienced professionals. There are plenty of things that can go wrong when you don’t put a good plan in place. Any little step you can take to make things more efficient goes a long way to making your event a success and creating...

5 Volunteer Retention Strategies for Nonprofits

If you're a nonprofit organization, you know that you need dedicated volunteers to make your event a success. But skilled, reliable volunteers don't appear magically. Every time you hold an event or program, you need to make sure you have strategies in place that will attract and retain top-quality, trainable volunteers that you can count on. Read on to learn about five retention strategies for nonprofits.  

1. Attract and empower self-motivated volunteers with auto-sign up. 

Start your recruitment process on the right foot by attracting self-motivated volunteers. Use an app that provides for self-registration, and have all the information online viewers need to make educated decisions about how they wish to spend their volunteer time. Include a list of roles with a detailed description; a chain of command; a list of policies and safety procedures; and contact information where they can communicate directly with a real person who is savvy about the details of the event.

There are so many benefits to volunteer self sign up, here is a quick article that examples why you should consider adopting this sign up process- Do or Die: Why Self-Sign up for Your Event Volunteers Is Essential

2. Provide online training and tutorials.

Prepare your volunteers as possible for the event, and provide the online tools. Allow for online training and tutorials, post-training videos, and hold orientations online. That way, all your volunteers will have what they need to succeed before they step onto the event premises.  

3. Provide a supportive environment for your volunteers with flexible scheduling.

This means scheduling breaks, having enough shifts, and providing food, water, and snacks as appropriate. To deliver this type of supportive work environment, you need to have scheduling under control. Give your volunteers some autonomy and a sense of empowerment by allowing them to sign up for their shifts. And make them responsible for shifts they can't work by having them find their own replacements. (You'll need an app like InitLive that allows you to give your users varied levels of access). 

4. Track volunteer data.

Make sure you have the right software in place to track volunteer data. You'll need a flexible volunteer platform like InitLive, which not only allows you to create and store customized applications, but also lets you track performance, attendance, latenesses, and no-shows. Your volunteers will appreciate showing up to an event that is fully staffed and completely operational. 

Are you looking to learn more about how to best untilize volunteer data? Then check out - Why Collecting Data From Staff & Volunteers Is Valuable

5. Respect volunteers' time: Have a quality planning process.

Finally, map out every step of your event planning process so that you'll have a well-organized event. Use an all-in-one tool like InitLive to plan each step. These stages include everything that event planners used to perform on paper and keep in those heavy binders: vendor contracts; budget, volunteer recruitment, and training program; supplies; advertising; staffing; and alternative plans for each step when things don't go as expected. Streamline these processes by keeping them all in one place with a tool like InitLive. 

InitLive is the industry's leading volunteer management tool. Complete with scheduling, multi-level access, real-time communication, storage, and so much more, you'll be able to plan every step of your event and keep your volunteers coming back, time and again. For more information about InitLive, check out our website and our blog

 

 

initlive
2020/01
Jan 3, 2020 12:15:00 PM
5 Volunteer Retention Strategies for Nonprofits
Volunteer Management, Non-Profit Events

Jan 3, 2020 12:15:00 PM

5 Volunteer Retention Strategies for Nonprofits

If you're a nonprofit organization, you know that you need dedicated volunteers to make your event a success. But skilled, reliable volunteers don't appear magically. Every time you hold an event or program, you need to make sure you have strategies in place that will attract and retain...

5 Ways That Volunteers Directly Impact the Quality of Your Event

5 Ways That Volunteers Directly Impact the Quality of Your EventUsing volunteers for an event may have been a luxury in the past, but today it's essential. Not only do companies look to volunteers to save time and money on staff resources, but volunteer staff also play an integral part of the event's success. Here's a list of 5 ways in which volunteers directly impact the quality of your event. 

They're your runners.

Your volunteers are the lifesavers who make the last-minute Walmart runs for supplies or who run courtesy errands for your VIPs. So you need to give and receive communications in real time, keeping track of their off-site movements.

They're your floaters.

With the right event communication system, you direct your floaters to any aspect of the event. While these super-responsive volunteers possess an awareness for details and are cross-trained to handle a number of roles, you remain free to coordinate the entire event. 

They're your maintenance and technical team.

You may also need to assign volunteers to more specialized roles such as setting up outdoor lighting, or handling IT, music, audio-visual, or multimedia. It's helpful to have both online and face-to-face training for these more technical roles.

Check out - 7 Ways to Persuade People to Volunteer for Your Event

They're your setup and breakdown crews. 

You need reliable, informed volunteer team members to set up beforehand or come in later during the event for breakdown. Both tasks may  involve heavy lifting and other types of physical labor, so your crews must be up to date on safety and emergency procedures. Also, keep both crews informed of any event changes which impact their work processes.

They're your brand ambassadors.

 Lastly, your volunteers are on the front line. They're your ushers, parking attendants, information desk monitors, and registration assistants. They wear your swag, your uniforms, and your logo. And they convey the very values that your organization represents. 

So use InitLive as your all-in-one event planning, recruitment , schedule, and communication tool. In addition, you can provide your staff and volunteers with multi-level access to any online event documents such as schedules, training information, online registration, and much more. With InitLive, you can ensure that your hardworking volunteers are motivated and eager to make your event a success.

 

initlive
2019/12
Dec 30, 2019 11:15:00 AM
5 Ways That Volunteers Directly Impact the Quality of Your Event
Volunteer Management

Dec 30, 2019 11:15:00 AM

5 Ways That Volunteers Directly Impact the Quality of Your Event

Using volunteers for an event may have been a luxury in the past, but today it's essential. Not only do companies look to volunteers to save time and money on staff resources, but volunteer staff also play an integral part of the event's success. Here's a list of 5 ways in which volunteers directly...

The Volunteer Screening Checklist

  The Volunteer Screening ChecklistEvery volunteer coordinator knows that recruiting top volunteers is vital for having a successful program or event. To ensure that you get a great return on your volunteer investment, you need a carefully-defined screening process in place. And it's more than just matching volunteers with roles. Public Safety Canada defines screening as a multi-step process that begins before you start recruiting and continues well after you've selected all your volunteers. So read on to find out everything you need to know about making the event volunteer screening checklist. 

Needs assessment

Assess your event or program needs, and then make a list of all the volunteer roles that need to be filled. Define each role with a thorough description, including skills, knowledge, and experience each volunteer role needs to have, as well as the tasks that each role requires.

Recruitment

Next, you'll need to use effective volunteer management software like InitLive to launch your recruitment campaign. That way, you can get your message out there by posting across all the relevant social media channels. You'll also want to give potential volunteers access to online applications containing customized questions that are designed to match volunteers with the right roles.

Check out - Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Strategies that Work

Volunteer interview

Have questions prepared for your interviews, keeping in mind the adage of behavior-based interviewing (BBI) that past behavior is indicative of future performance. Volunteer Pro, for example, recommends that you make a list of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) that you want your volunteers to possess, and tailor your interview questions accordingly using the BBI method. You would ask how the interviewee responded in the past when they were in a situation where they needed to demonstrate the specific abilities you're looking for.  

Background screening 

Volunteer Canada tells us that screening is a comprehensive process that can entail police background checks, interview questions, and supervision, follow-up, and feedback. The more risk involved -- for instance, the more contact the volunteer will have with vulnerable populations such as children, seniors, and the disabled -- the more involved your screening needs to be.  We recommend using a background screening service like verifiedfirst,  this will ensure a fast and reliable process. 

References

Make sure you ask for references, and that your potential volunteers know that you will check them. You'll want each person you interview to provide multiple professional references from people who are not close friends or family members, such as past and current employers. 

Placement

Even when all you've filled all your roles, Public Safety Canada says, the screening process continues in the form of supervision, evaluation, and feedback. This is especially true if you have volunteers responsible for delivering a higher level of personal care to vulnerable populations. 

To learn even more about volunteer placement check out - The Shift Change Shuffle: Volunteer Placement Done Right

Keep track of every stage of the volunteer screening process with InitLive. You'll also be able to plan every aspect of your event, and store all your event planning documentation in one place. For more information on how to use Init Live to build your ultimate volunteer screening checklist, check out our website and our blog

initlive
2019/12
Dec 27, 2019 4:15:00 PM
The Volunteer Screening Checklist
Volunteer Management, Volunteer/Staff Recruitment

Dec 27, 2019 4:15:00 PM

The Volunteer Screening Checklist

Every volunteer coordinator knows that recruiting top volunteers is vital for having a successful program or event. To ensure that you get a great return on your volunteer investment, you need a carefully-defined screening process in place. And it's more than just matching volunteers with roles. ...

Gen-Z: Your Attention-Getting Event Planning Guide

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (86Gen-Z: Your Attention-Getting Event Planning Guide

 Generation Z, that group of about 97 million people who arrived after millennials, are defined as those born in 1997 or later, represent a section of society that accepts digital technology early in life, lives by its rules and creates new ones that provide a fast-paced, well-connected life conducted mostly on small, handheld devices operating 24/7. Everything Gen-Z does, from their social lives, education and communication to their shopping integrates daily with their smartphones, smart watches and tablets.

But Gen-Z also understands buying beyond merely scrolling for deals; research indicates a majority of Gen-Z like hands-on shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, enjoy the personal contact and attending events. Here is a guide to attracting Gen-Z to your event. 

Advertise and update on social media

Your social media skills must meet Gen-Z expectations. They want constant updates with a lot of visual communication. Employ emojis, push notifications and texts to keep Gen-Z interested and informed. Reach your Gen-Z audience by using the same social media channels they use.

Are looking to attract Millennials? Then check out - Millennials- The Key To Scale Up Your Festival

Pictures and video are attention-grabbers

Even the best-designed advertising won't appeal to Gen-Z without photos and video. One glance tells them everything they need to know about your event, without taking time to read, and it's easier to share on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. 

Forget conference rooms: pick post-worthy places

Gen-Z wants an event within an event; plan yours in an art gallery, popular restaurant, loft, commercial warehouse, museum or purpose-built pop-up. These unique venues only last a few hours, and attract crowds for that very reason.

Try using event activation to encourage more photo sharing. Learn more about event activation by reading - Event Activation- What is It And Why You Should Do It?

 

No photos from the event? It never happened 

Know photos from your event go out live on social media with free Wi-Fi. Gen-Z wants to be seen and heard while having a good time and a reliable signal ensures this happens. Live-tweeting (and posting the tweets on a social media wall) encourages group participation, sharing and additional advertising for your event.

Put paper in its place; don't use it

Gen-Z places great importance on sustainability and the environment. Don't waste paper on brochures, business cards, advertising or most print media. Share information online and win the praise of socially-conscious Gen-Z attendees.

Swag is always in style

Event gift bags never lose their appeal, but make Gen-Z happy and include useful items: T-shirts, environmentally friendly health and beauty products, healthy organic snacks, reusable water bottles and gift cards to local retailers or ride sharing services.

Promoting your event: #Comeoutforacause

Events that are fun for a purpose get shares and support from Gen-Z. Pair your event with a local charity organization and raise money or sign up Gen-Z attendees for volunteer service hours. Create a hashtag that doubles as advertising for your event and the charitable cause and use it every time you post updates.

initlive
2019/12
Dec 23, 2019 4:30:00 PM
Gen-Z: Your Attention-Getting Event Planning Guide
Event Planning, Event Promotion

Dec 23, 2019 4:30:00 PM

Gen-Z: Your Attention-Getting Event Planning Guide

 Generation Z, that group of about 97 million people who arrived after millennials, are defined as those born in 1997 or later, represent a section of society that accepts digital technology early in life, lives by its rules and creates new ones that provide a fast-paced, well-connected life...

A Guide To Measuring Volunteer Impact For Nonprofits

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (85)Volunteers form the backbone of most events, especially when it comes to non-profit organizations. In the US alone, about one in three people do volunteering service annually. This amounts to a high number of hours of service with time. In fact, research shows that in the past 15 years, Americans have volunteered for over 120 billion hours worth about $28 trillion.

Needless to say, it is essential to measure the impact of these volunteers as accurately as possible. It is especially crucial for non-profits because it helps them to direct their resources towards the right problems to achieve the maximum results. In this post, we lay out several guidelines that help in measuring both the quantitative and qualitative impact of volunteers.

1. Quantitative Measurement of Volunteer Impact

Numbers always speak volumes. When it comes to measuring volunteer impact, keeping a track of volunteer numbers is not a sufficient indication of the success of the program. Here are some other quantitative analyses that can be done by non-profits to assess the volunteer impact.

  • Wage and Hour Replacement- This is the number of hours of paid work and hence the amount of wages that have been replaced with volunteer work. For non-profits, a higher wage and hour replacement number is a good indication as it frees up the money to be used for other immediate needs.
  • Economic Impact- This is indicated by easy-to-track numbers like the earnings from an auction manned by volunteers. Another parameter that can be measured for this purpose is the sales conversion post any event that was managed by volunteers.
  • Volunteer Retention Metrics- Having a high retention percentage means that the cost of recruiting and training new people remains low.

Are you planning a nonprofit event? Then make sure to read-  Ultimate Non-Profit Event Planning Checklist

2. Qualitative Measurement of Volunteer Impact

This can be gauged from factors like the following:

  • Customer Satisfaction Surveys or CSAT- These are very effective to help you understand how good your volunteers were in a customer-facing role. CSAT surveys can also be conducted for stakeholders to give their input about volunteer impact.
  • Volunteer Experience Feedback- Who better to understand the impact of the work done other than the volunteers themselves? Conduct a feedback session to know about the experiences of the volunteers in their roles and garner valuable insight into the impact they created.
  • Organization's Reach- If there is an increase in the number of people, stakeholders, and donors by the volunteers, then it indicates a significant positive impact. Additionally, if these interactions ultimately result in positive outcomes (like more donations or sales), then there is nothing like it.

Check out - How to Convert Your Volunteers to Donors

 3. Data Collection for Measuring Impact

Effective data collection is paramount to understanding the volunteer impact for non-profit organizations. The appropriate modes can be the following-

  • Online surveys sent through emails after the event.
  • Pen and paper feedback during the event.
  • Through SMS or other messaging services, especially for volunteer feedback. 
  • Total hours worked by individual volunteers or the group they are enrolled with. These metrics can be tracked and reported through InitLives volunteer management solution. 

Effectively measuring volunteer impact helps non-profit organizations to understand what went right and what can be improved for future events. Following the above-mentioned guidelines can help you achieve that with relative ease.

initlive
2019/12
Dec 19, 2019 1:15:00 PM
A Guide To Measuring Volunteer Impact For Nonprofits
Volunteer Management, Non-Profit Events

Dec 19, 2019 1:15:00 PM

A Guide To Measuring Volunteer Impact For Nonprofits

Volunteers form the backbone of most events, especially when it comes to non-profit organizations. In the US alone, about one in three people do volunteering service annually. This amounts to a high number of hours of service with time. In fact, research shows that in the past 15 years, Americans...

4 Factors In Effective Volunteer Coordination

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (84)Coordinating your volunteers doesn't have to be like herding cats—there's a better way! If you want to be an effective volunteer coordinator (and you do, both for the sake of your job and your sanity), there are a few skills and characteristics you'll want to develop:

Communication


This is where it all starts. Your volunteers can't read your mind, and you can't read theirs. You need to be able to reach them immediately and get feedback when required, both leading up to and during the event. Providing your volunteers with a way to contact your ( like the InitLive Mobile app) will ensure your volunteers feel empowered to ask questions as things change throughout the day. 

Check out - 5 Volunteer Management Strategies Event Planners Need to Know

Adaptability

In the world of event planning, things change quickly, as you well know. Sometimes that's because of vendors or weather conditions, and sometimes it's because of the volunteers themselves. They might show up wearing the wrong clothing or not show up at all! Communication (see above!) can clear up some of that, but you still need to be ready to adapt with the circumstances, regardless of what you had planned. Staying on top of changing conditions and having the tools required to take actions as required is key to remaining adaptable. 

Careful Scheduling

It's pretty bad when two people show up for the same shift and look to you for answers about why that happened—and who gets inconvenienced by having to go home and come back later. It's worse when you know it's all your fault because of your scheduling error. Filling the schedule with the right people at the right time is a matter of proper organization: knowing who's available and when.

Organization

Speaking of organization, it's the word we can use to sum the rest of this up. Being organized brings it all together: knowing your volunteers and what they're capable of, knowing how to contact them quickly, and having the resources on hand to deal with any unforeseen situations.

5 Simple Things You Can Implement Now to Get More Volunteers Later

Does that seem overwhelming? It shouldn't. You don't need to do an in-depth personal growth and development study to achieve all this. InitLive can help. From recruitment and scheduling to real-time communication, you have all your resources in one volunteer management tool. It's a one-stop shop to becoming an effective volunteer coordinator. 

initlive
2019/12
Dec 18, 2019 3:45:00 PM
4 Factors In Effective Volunteer Coordination
Volunteer/Staff Recruitment

Dec 18, 2019 3:45:00 PM

4 Factors In Effective Volunteer Coordination

Coordinating your volunteers doesn't have to be like herding cats—there's a better way! If you want to be an effective volunteer coordinator (and you do, both for the sake of your job and your sanity), there are a few skills and characteristics you'll want to develop:

8 Tips To Onboard Your Event Volunteers

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (82)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 schdule. 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. 

Learn more- How to Onboard Your Staff and Volunteers with Event Technology

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. 

 

 

initlive
2019/12
Dec 12, 2019 12:30:00 PM
8 Tips To Onboard Your Event Volunteers
Volunteer Management, Volunteer/Staff Recruitment

Dec 12, 2019 12:30:00 PM

8 Tips To Onboard Your Event Volunteers

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...

Event Activation- What is It And Why You Should Do It?

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (83)

One of the most important aspects of a successful event is the marketing strategy involved. Event Activation is the latest and highly effective way to create a positive and long-lasting impact on your event attendees through marketing and brand promotion. Not sure about how Event Activation works? Read on to learn more about this modern and experiential approach to marketing and how it can be beneficial for your audience and sponsors.

What Is Event Activation?

It all comes to do to that critical moment when an attendee takes action in promoting your event, a sponsor, or even an experience. It's up to you to try and make that happen through and event activation strategy. As your start learn, remember its all about creating that WOW moment to inspire your audience to participate.

Nearly every city has a large city sign in popular tourist spots for people to take pictures. This is a simple example of activation marketing. It promotes tourism to the participant's social network. Now you're probably thinking okay, can this type of marketing help me promote my event?  

How Can Event Activation Help You?

As an event manager or organizer, the onus lies on you to create a unique event that will be enjoyed by the attendees. In this era of social media and constant digital connectivity, it is becoming increasingly hard to grab the attention of people. Event Activation gives you that extra 'Wow' factor. Your attendees will come out of the room, impressed, and engaged. They will talk about what they experienced among themselves, to others, and over social media channels. Surely, that is a good outcome for any event organizer.

As for your sponsors, they will see the value that you generate through successful Event Activation. Be it marketing a new service or rebranding an existing product; sponsors want to see the impact at the end of any endeavor, and Event Activation will help you achieve that.

Looking to add Instagram to your marketing plan ? Check out - How to Promote Your Event Using Instagram

Examples Of Event Activation

Some examples of successful Event Activation are as follows-

  • In an event in IMEX- Frankfurt, Germany, the audience gave ideas while floating mid-air on chairs suspended about 50 feet from the ground. Undeniably an elevating experience.
  • Create a surreal experience for your audience through the use of Virtual Reality technology.
  • Molecular gastronomy is the science of food and beverages and is an often-used experience for impressing the attendees of events. Having a food station with a chef doing wonders with the food is sure to draw the crowds in.
  • An interactive and personalized photo booth is another fun way to incorporate something special in your events. Create 3D overlays, stop-motion capture videos, personalized GIFs, etc. and upload them to the event's social media channels with the curated hashtag.  

Creating Activation Moments At Your Event 

Now its time for you to start thinking about what makes your event different from your competitors. That unique sale differentiator is what you will want to focus on promoting through an interactive moment . Maybe it's your rainbow hammock lounge at your indie music festival or your fantastic food vendors. Whatever it is, that's what you should try and promote. To encourage awareness and help attendee take the perfect photo to consider scheduling a dedicated team of volunteers to help people participate in your activation. That personal touch will ensure those efforts don't go unnoticed. 

 

initlive
2019/12
Dec 10, 2019 4:00:00 PM
Event Activation- What is It And Why You Should Do It?
Event Planning, Event Promotion

Dec 10, 2019 4:00:00 PM

Event Activation- What is It And Why You Should Do It?

One of the most important aspects of a successful event is the marketing strategy involved. Event Activation is the latest and highly effective way to create a positive and long-lasting impact on your event attendees through marketing and brand promotion. Not sure about how Event Activation works?...

2020 Festival Planning: Outside Influences, Not Outside Your Control

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (80)No matter how you slice or dice it, we know that as a festival owner or operator there are things outside of your control that have the potential to impact the success or failure of your event. These outside influences come in many different shapes and sizes, from politics to technical advancements, to environmental change, human rights, safety, and security etc. These are things that are going to happen regardless of what we do within our business but how we respond to them, is what is going to determine how they impact our success or failure.  

At InitLive, we believe in being proactive, which according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary means, we believe it is best to act in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes. Verses being reactive, which is people who tend to react to a problem only when it's gotten serious. With a proactive approach, you will be better prepared to either leverage the outside influence to your advantage and beat your competition or mitigate/minimize your risk. 

To help with the 2020 planning process the research team from InitLive has compiled a list of the top 4 outside influences that we believe you should be preparing for as you create your plan for your 2020 festival calendar. It is our belief that if we don’t prepare for these changing market conditions and we let them blindside us, they will impact your ability to grow and scale your festivals moving forward. 

Politics

As Pericles once said, just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won’t take an interest in you! 

If you are like many of the non-profits in the events industry that relies on federal funding, you should be prepared. According to IBISWorld the federal funding for creative arts was expected to decrease in 2019, representing a potential threat to the industry. If the trend continues it could significantly impact a festival’s ability to scale if they rely on that money to put on more shows. Therefore, we must budget accordingly!

It is also recommended that event operators keep their eye on household disposable income, which is affected by changes in interest rates, wages, taxes, and employment. Since industry events are discretionary, lower per capita disposable income could result in weaker demand. The good news is the per capita disposable income was expected to increase in 2019 and maintain that trend into 2020 and beyond, representing a potential opportunity for the festival industry.

From both perspectives, we recommended that you consider an increased reliance on your volunteer management program, in either case we want to optimize operations and do more with less and a well-run volunteer management program is the way to do it!

Safety and Security

Public safety and security are top of mind these days, not only is it closely monitored by the authorities, but everyone else is talking about it as well. According to a report by Desert Sun, one in six or 15% of women were sexually harassed at Stagecoach, and Coachella in 2019, yet very few reported the incidents. To help tackle this issue, event producer Goldenvoice has instituted a new anti-harassment and anti-assault policy to promote a safer festival environment. 

Of the 49 women who said they were sexually harassed, only five said they reported the occurrence to festival officials. While we can’t force people to step forward on their own, we can empower our employees and volunteers to take a stand. With the right technology, we can enable staff to keep their eyes open and communicate issues in real-time before the situation escalates. Key is getting the information to the right people as quickly and efficiently as possible, this is not the time to play the ‘Telephone Game’! It is recommended that you invest in the technology to connect your entire operations team, staff and volunteers and enable them to communicate with anyone at any time! It is also recommended that your communication solution of choice be auditable to help protect your festival and demonstrate you did everything in your power to reduce the risk.  

Expanding Market Reach, Requires Data Protection

The good news for our 2020 planning,  is that according to Festicket, international festival experiences are on the up! Travellers who went abroad for a festival rose by 29% in 2018. Which is great for festival organizers as they have a larger pool of potential attendees and volunteers to target but at the same time, it opens the door to new regulations. The issue to be aware of is, the way in which you are managing your  volunteer program today may no longer be acceptable. 

On May 25th 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented. GDRP is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individual citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area. According to Compliance Junction, compliance will be mandatory for those US companies controlling or processing the personal data of subjects in the European Union even where the processing may take place outside of the Union.

So, what does this mean? While we have a larger pool of prospects to target as both attendees and volunteers, we can no longer rely on spreadsheets to manage our volunteer management program. As an event operator, if one of those spreadsheets where to find its way into the wrong hands you could be liable if any of your volunteers are from the EU. Therefore, for a relatively inconsequential amount we recommend that you invest in the technology to consolidate all your data and provide a single version of the truth. 

Interested in learning more ? Check out - Get Your Share Of The 2020 Festival Market

Social media our Friend and our Foe.

Social media is the marketing tool of the times, according to Everbright, nearly half (46%) of festival attendees say they found out about a festival they attended through social media.  To a marketing person it is our friend, it means we can more cost effectively reach a larger, yet more targeted audience with our message. While at the same time it is our foe, as we can’t control it, today anyone can communicate their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their experience, without a moment’s hesitation. It used to be a customer’s complaint could be lost within the customer service department, never to be heard of again. Today that issue can go viral before we even know what hit us!

What’s important to remember is, good or bad it can find its way online. In a recent article by Forbes, they discussed a report that uncovered that 30% of consumers who have had a negative customer experience say they would share it on social media. Interesting nearly half (49%) of consumers who have had a positive customer experience also say they would share it on social media. So, what does that mean, as a marketing tool,  social media can be very good for us or very bad, but either way it is defining our brand.

Therefore, our final and most important recommendation for the 2020 festival planning process, if you are going to take full advantage of the power of social media,  then you must make the customer or attendee experience a top priority. We must use social media for good and not evil! Remember, customer experience is more than just a great show. It is about having a plan in place to ensure the right person is in the right place to meet and exceed the attendee’s expectations every time. The last thing we want is people talking about the dirty grounds, long lines at security, delays in the sequence of the event, etc. For on-site-logistics to run smoothly and ensure a positive customer experience, we require a strong staff/volunteer management program to help protect your investment, be better prepared, scale more efficiently and respond faster.

To learn more about InitLive and how we have helped customers like the Academy of Country Music Awards and other festivals just like them successful grow and scale their event  visit: www.initlive.com or send us an email at sales@initlive.com

Happy 2020 Planning!

Building a Business case to scale up your festival

 

rebecca-wormleighton
2019/12
Dec 3, 2019 3:30:00 AM
2020 Festival Planning: Outside Influences, Not Outside Your Control
Festival Management

Dec 3, 2019 3:30:00 AM

2020 Festival Planning: Outside Influences, Not Outside Your Control

No matter how you slice or dice it, we know that as a festival owner or operator there are things outside of your control that have the potential to impact the success or failure of your event. These outside influences come in many different shapes and sizes, from politics to technical...

Conference Planning - A Look Into The Logistics

Conference-Planning - A -look- Into- The -Logistics

Whether you are new to conference management or just starting out, as you prepare for your next conference it's always a good idea to step outside your box and explore what's changed. As with any industry or segment, technology is constantly evolving and it’s important to understand what's changing and how it can impact your events success or failure. To help prepare for your next conference we thought the time was right to take a step back and look at how we manage logistics at our next conference and ask ourselves is there a better way?

Been there Done that!

Over the last 23 years, I have built my marketing career around the enterprise technology space working for companies like IBM and Mitel. Not surprisingly conferences have played a big part in my responsibilities over the years. I would estimate that I has been an attendee, exhibitor, speaker, organizer or content strategies at over 50 conferences over the course of my career, which gives me a relatively unique perspective. I have had the opportunity to work with conferences of all sizes from intimate roadshows to large multi-day events with thousands of attendees and exhibitors.

Over the years I have learnt what it takes to pull together an event that delivers upon the fundamental business objective of generating revenue through product sales, or offloading costs through sponsorship. As an attendee and exhibitor, I know the difference between a well-run conference and a bad one. 

Logistics - They can Make or Break You!

The logistics associated with a well run conference is complex, to achieve the required economies of scale and be successful not only must a conference support the needs of multiple types of attendees, such as buyers, vendors, and employees. Conference- speaker- and- session But that same event must also build and deliver an agenda that fulfils the objectives of each audience type and with the required thought leadership, sales or educational content. With so many moving parts, people and programs, the chance of logistical issues is big and a detailed plan is paramount to success.

When I reflect back on my experience as both an attendee and as a manager of staff who relied on conferences as part of their development, my expectations were very clear.  When you consider the opportunity cost of missed work and the travel and living costs, this was not a cheap endeavor, and the value it delivered was carefully monitored. For me, I would consider the investment well spent if I came back from the conference more informed or knowledgeable on the my desired topic, and ready to action that information in a meaningful way. If so, budgeting for next year was simple, conference organizers could count on me and my team coming back year over year.

If however the experience was disorganized, and as a result I fell short on achieving my objectives, the decision was made. I would not give it a second thought, I would not be investing again next year, making it that much more difficult for event organizers to achieve their objectives year over year. For me as an attendee I don’t want to be concerned with logistics, I wanted to focus on the content and my objectives. If it was hard to get around, or sequencing was off or no one was available to help me and my time was wasted the value was lost and the or return on investment missed.

Make sure to check out - Mastering the Art of Conference Planning in 5 Easy Steps

The Event Organizer, It's No Easy Task

An event organizer knows, that logistics and smooth execution is all about the people. That not only must we deliver great content but we must also ensure that the right person with the right skills are in the right location at the right time to ensure a superior attendee experience and ultimately achieve event objectives. Conference-Catering

  • Registration staff need to be available to meet the rush as attendees arrive.
  • Staff needs to be on the show floor during show hours to answer questions and deliver demos.
  • Speakers need to be in the right room at the right time to prepare for and deliver a quality session.
  • Information workers need to be available and prepared to answer any random question an attendee throws at them. 
  • Rooms need to be cleaned, refreshed and prepared as the schedule demands.
  • Meals and snacks need to be well orchestrated to efficiently move attendees through mealtime and stay on schedule.

Looking to staff your conference right? Then make sure to read- 10 Must-Have Volunteer Roles For Your Next Conference

Successfully pulling this off requires a detailed strategy and fast response time when things go sideways. 

What Choice Do I Have!

I know what it's like to personally manage the scheduling for all these people, jobs and requirements with multiple spreadsheets and I can promise you one thing, there is a better way. When we rely on disparate tools and spreadsheets to build and manage a schedule of this complexity it opens the doors to errors, confusion, no shows and the like, which all translates into a sub par attendee experience. The good news is, now you can cost-effectively implement a better plan with less resources and in less time. With the right technology, conference teams can be confident on event day that they have the right person is in the right place at the right time, to ensure a well-run event that attendees want to keep coming back to.

Whether your event staff are paid or volunteers, building the plan, scheduling the team and pulling off a smooth event does not need to be so complex. Leveraging the latest in technology, now you can simplify and reduce the friction associated with:

  • Building the event schedule and defining the requirements within each role to ensure the smooth sequence of events on the event day.
  • The recruitment, registration and scheduling process for ensuring the right people, with the right skills are in the right role to meet demand. 
  • Event day management and eliminate the black hole with real-time visibility of staffing across the event to improve response time.
  • Access to the information necessary to ensure that staff can easily find the answers to attendee and exhibitor questions.
  • Tracking staff performance to highlight star performers and keep the best coming back to further optimize operations. 

Today's technology is cost-effective and easy to implement. As Jaci Feinstein, the Event Manager at Social Media Examiner once said,  "It's worth the investment in your volunteers. InitLive is worth every dollar to be able to streamline and better manage, communicate, organize your volunteers. It allows you and your volunteers to focus on what is really important." 

To learn more about InitLive and how we have helped customers like the Social Media Examiner and other conferences just like them successfully grow and scale their conference, please  visit: www.initlive.com or send us an email at sales@initlive.com.

BookCover_MockUp checklist

 

The Ultimate Conference Planning Checklist 


There is a lot that goes into planning a successful conference, this comprehensive checklist will set you up for success.

Download The Checklist

 

 

rebecca-wormleighton
2019/11
Nov 29, 2019 4:00:00 PM
Conference Planning - A Look Into The Logistics
Event Planning, Conference Event Management

Nov 29, 2019 4:00:00 PM

Conference Planning - A Look Into The Logistics

Whether you are new to conference management or just starting out, as you prepare for your next conference it's always a good idea to step outside your box and explore what's changed. As with any industry or segment, technology is constantly evolving and it’s important to understand what's...

Get Your Share Of The 2020 Festival Market

 

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (79)The festival market is significant, it is estimated that the live music industry alone will be worth $31 Billion by 2022, with a growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3%. There is a lot of potential revenue on the table, the question is, will you get your share? Will you be able to successfully scale your festival and capture the growing interest in buying  an experience vs a thing? 

As with any business, growing your market share requires a deep understanding of your target audience. Not only who they are and where they come from but most importantly, what drives them. By understanding where the money is coming from you open the door to building a strategy which will enable you to exceed your customers expectations and keep them coming back year over year..

To help position you for success, the market research team at InitLive has done a little digging on who is expected to be going to festivals in 2020, what they care about and what they expect when they get there.  To further assist in the 2020 planning process and help put this research into action, the experts at InitLive have compiled a list of what to look for in your technology stack if you are going to position your festival to  capitalize on the opportunity.    

Follow the Money! 

The first step is answering the question, where is that $31 Billion in the case of music festivals coming from?  Who is choosing to spend their hard-earned money on attending a festival? With a clear understanding of who that person is and what matters to them we can build out the targeted strategy necessary to convince them to spend their money at your festival vs the on in the next city or town. 

Millennials have the interest and the budget. 

According to Everbright, Millennials, continue to be the driving force behind growing event attendance and have the purchasing power to do it. Millennials are projected to spend upwards of $1.4 trillion in 2020, in addition to the $12 trillion “Great” and $30 trillion “Greater” wealth transfers they’re expected to inherit from older generations in the coming decades. When deciding how to spend their money, 3 out of 4 millennials would rather buy an experience, making it a great time to be in the business of providing that experience! 

Who are Millennials?

To help us understand a little more about millennials and who they are, we turned to Pew Research. According to Pew, millennials where between the ages 22 to 37 in 2018, are the second-largest generation in the U.S. electorate (after Baby Boomers), are better educated and as a generation are generally delaying or foregoing marriage. Nine-in-ten Millennials (93%) own smartphones, 86% say they use social media, making them a fantastic means of marketing your festival, assuming they have a great experience.

What Drives a Millennial?

It’s not enough to just know the demographics, to get them to pick your experience vs the one in the next town, we need to understand what’s going on in their heads! According to The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey of 2019, which is based on the views of 13,416 millennials questioned across 42 countries and territories, and 3,009 Gen Zs from 10 countries. 

    • Millennials value experiences. They aspire to travel and help their communities more than starting families or their own businesses.
    • Millennials are skeptical of business’s motives. Respondents do not think highly of leaders’ impact on society, their commitment to improving the world, or their trustworthiness.
  • They let their wallets do the talking (and walking). Millennials and Gen Zs, in general, will patronize and support companies that align with their values; many say they will not hesitate to lessen or end relationships when they disagree with companies’ business practices, values, or political leanings.

What this means is, it is not enough to just offer a great show with great pyrotechnics, millennials want the total experience. They not only want a great show but demand it is done ethically and smoothly. According to Everbright, one of the key ways for a festival to fail comes down to sequencing and on-site logistics, when attendees have to wait in lines or discover the food ran out, they won’t hold back about posting on social media. Thinking through your sequencing and logistics is critical to making sure you deliver the ultimate attendee experience.

Also important to remember about Millenials in your planning process, according to Deloitte, 46% of millennials have prioritized and have aspirations to make positive impacts on community/society. So not only does the target audience for festivals have money but they also want to help out, providing a great opportunity to offload operating expenses and build the high-quality volunteer community that is necessary to ensure a well-orchestrated event.

So, Millennials in a snapshot!

When we put all this together, what we know about millennials as it relates to festivals is this:

  • They have the interest and the budget . 
  • They prioritize the experience, so we need to make it a good one.
  • Actions speak louder than words, they want to make a difference.  

Building the Plan to Capitalize 

Now we understand where the money is coming from, we need to build a strategy which will not only get them there in the first place but, keep them coming back. Our key takeaway when looking at the research on millennials, is the importance of the experience during the festival. This is a group who prioritizes the actual experience above all else!

 As highlighted with the Fyre Festival you can have the best shows and marketing out there but if you don’t have the best sequencing and logistics you are sure to fail. It is about having a plan in place to ensure the right person is in the right place to meet and exceed the attendee’s expectations. The last thing we want as festival owners and operators, is people talking about the dirty grounds, long lines at security, delays in the sequence of the event, etc. For on-site-logistics to run smoothly we requires a strong staff/volunteer management program to help protect your investment, be better prepared, scale more efficiently and respond faster.

A Volunteer Manager is Operations

The Academy of Country Music (ACM) is a great example of what’s both possible and needed to ensure a great customer experience.  "A volunteer manager is so much more than just a volunteer manager, we're operations. We must understand every aspect of the event to ensure we put people in roles where they'll be successful and be prepared to represent the brand," said Sheri Piecuch Vyfvinkel, ACM’s Volunteer Manager. It's a dynamic position; requirements are constantly in flux and she must be prepared to respond to changing requirements quickly. Changes typically happen not 4 days in advance, but 4 hours. “It's like a puzzle that the pieces keep moving.” Sheri believes that the key to success is a team of volunteers with the right skills and attitude combined with the ability to communicate key information to ensure that volunteers know what's expected of them and have what they need to be successful in their role. Every year the ACM is more dependent on our volunteers, our program has grown & has a great reputation within our organization. InitLive has a lot to do with that.

The Foundation of Every Great Event 

As pointed out by Sheri, the right technology is the foundation of a great volunteer management program and therefore a great customer experience. With the right technology you will position yourself to not only meet and exceed your attendees’ expectations but improve operational efficiency and do more with less. In looking for the right technology we recommend that you look for the following: 

To feel confident going into event day look for a solution which enables you to: 

  • Create a single, verified and committed operational plan, to help improve operational efficiency, and reduce the resources required to plan and execute a great event. 
  • Sign-up volunteers quickly, and without a flooded inbox with a custom registration portal, and offers shift self-sign up and automatic confirmations.

To respond quickly to the changing dynamics on event day, look for a solution which enables you to: 

  • Maintain control and improve safety on event day with a view of real-time conditions and communications. 
  • Manage more complex and diverse events with visibility across more venues and locations. 
  • Equip volunteers with the information they need at their fingertips  to do their job and represent the brand. 

To continually learn from your experience and improve year over year, look for a solution which enables you to:

  • Analyze your event’s performance and identify best practices and opportunities for improvement. 
  • Keep the right volunteers coming back through detailed records and a star rating program. 
  • Build high-quality event plans quicker and more efficiently by building off previous plans.

From those of us at InitLive, wishing you all the best in 2020!

To learn more about InitLive and how they have helped ACM and other customers scale their event visit: www.initlive.com or send us an email at sales@initlive.com.

 

https://www.initlive.com/building-a-business-case-to-scale-up-your-festival

 

initlive
2019/11
Nov 26, 2019 12:45:00 PM
Get Your Share Of The 2020 Festival Market
Festival Management

Nov 26, 2019 12:45:00 PM

Get Your Share Of The 2020 Festival Market

 

The festival market is significant, it is estimated that the live music industry alone will be worth $31 Billion by 2022, with a growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3%. There is a lot of potential revenue on the table, the question is, will you get your share? Will you be able to successfully scale your...

7 Indicators to Measure the Success of Your Event

7 Indicators to Measure the Success of Your Event

Planning and hosting an event requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Hence, it is very important to gauge the success of your event to understand what went right and what can be improved in future events. According to research, about 91% of times, businesses measure the success of their events by the number of attendees present. However, there are so many indicators of a successful event beyond just the attendee number. Here are 7 KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of a successful event that you can look out for.


1. The Number of Tickets Sold and Check-Ins

 The first measurable number indicating the rate of success of any event is the number of tickets that are being sold. Also, it is prudent to look at the check-ins made by people attending the event. It is usual for some ticket buyers to miss the event. However, a lower difference between the two numbers indicates better success.

Check out - 3 Tips For Keeping Your Event Data Secure

2. Post-Event Surveys

Post-Event-Attendee-SurveySending out surveys to the attendees after the event is a great way to understand the success rates. Remember to keep your surveys short and to the point for maximum impact. Once you have the results back, compute the NPS (Net Promoter Score) for the survey questions to determine the sentiment of your attendees regarding the event. This is an excellent way to prepare better for future events.

3. Social Media Engagement

In this era of digital connectivity, social media activity of the festival attendees is almost a real-time indicator of success. To make things easy to track, you can ask the audience to share a particular hashtag of the event and then find out how many times it has been mentioned and shared across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

4. Revenue Generated

At the end of the day, the revenue numbers always remain the major indicator of success. Look at the net revenue figures after deducting all overhead costs to understand whether your event has performed as per expectation or not. 

5. Sponsors Satisfaction Surveys

Similar to the post-event surveys for attendees, float a survey to your sponsors to understand their engagement levels in the event. A high NPS score on the results is a clear indication of favorable results and it increases a chance of future collaborations greatly.

6. Post-event Sales

A successful event often leads to better recognition. This has an impact on your sales numbers after the event. If you find a spike in product sales in the days following the event, consider that to be a sign of success.

7. Volunteer Management

An often overlooked but very important metric of event success rate is the efficiency of volunteer management. A team of volunteers functioning smoothly, without any hurdles, clearly points towards a well managed and executed event. With the InitLive tool, you can take your volunteer management capabilities to the next level through constant communication, scheduling, and information management. This is an excellent way to ensure a triumphant outcome for your event.

Make sure to check out - Post-Event Reporting: How to Collect Staff & Volunteer Data (Part 1)

It is important to define your KPIs for measuring event success beforehand. That way, you can be prepared with the essentials like surveys and the hashtag prior to the event. This will help you to quantify and analyze the numbers for your benefit effectively.

Resources_DataGuide

 

Get More Out Of Your Event Data!

New or unfamiliar with event data collection? Quickly start reaping the benefits of collecting and using event data with the help of this guide.

As you read this ebook, you will learn:

  • Where to begin after you've decided to collect data
  • The best tools for storing event data (hint: it's not excel)
  • How to keep your event data secure

  • Download The Guide 

 

 

initlive
2019/11
Nov 21, 2019 1:00:00 PM
7 Indicators to Measure the Success of Your Event
Event Technology, Event Management

Nov 21, 2019 1:00:00 PM

7 Indicators to Measure the Success of Your Event

Planning and hosting an event requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Hence, it is very important to gauge the success of your event to understand what went right and what can be improved in future events. According to research, about 91% of times, businesses measure the success of their...

Event Cancellation- The Complete Guide

 Event Cancellation- The Complete Guide

Sometimes, even after the most extensive planning and preparation, events get canceled due to unavoidable circumstances. It can happen due to several reasons like a sudden natural calamity or the venue becoming unavailable at the last moment or the main performer bowing out with no time to find a replacement. Whatever the reason be, once it is decided that the event is canceled, there are certain things that you, as an organizer, can do to make the process graceful. 

Read on to know more about what to do in the unlikely scenario that your event gets canceled.

1. Communicate Immediately

The first thing to do is to communicate with the attendees about the cancellation of the event. Make sure to state the reason for the cancellation. It is best to send personalized emails or make individual phone calls instead of just sending out a mass message. Your attendees will appreciate the professionalism and you can expect them to participate in your future events in that case.

2. Stop Taking Bookings and Refund Everyone

Needless to say, any booking process in place must be stopped immediately. At the same time, you will have to ensure that the booking fees are refunded to the attendees as per the agreements in place. 

For event cancellations, usually full refunds are made for any tickets purchased. In case your event is getting postponed to a different date or venue, you can offer to hold the ticket at a percentage price or refund fully- as per the buyer's choice. As all these measures are put in place make sure to continue to communicate with all stakeholders to avoid confusion and conflicts.

Planning an outdoor event? Make sure to check out these articles 

5 Ways to Cope with Heat, Rain, Mud & Snow During Your Outdoor Event

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors: How to Prepare for Lightning-Related Threats for Your Outdoor Event

3. Inform the Event Suppliers and Contractors

All the suppliers and contractors for the events must be informed so that they do not proceed with their preparations any further. Remember to get in touch with the caterers, electricians, decorators, etc. and discuss with them how the refunds will be handled. 

4. Handle Financials as per Contracts

In continuation of the above point, it is essential to have iron-clad contracts in place to handle financials in case of event cancellation. This helps you in deciding how to disburse payments and get refunds when the services of the event suppliers are no longer needed. Once an event is canceled, refer to your contracts before taking any financial steps. 

5. Cease All Promotional Efforts

All promotional efforts for the event must be stopped as soon as it gets canceled. Failure to do so can send the wrong message to your attendees and that is not desirable. Instead, your social media channels can actually display the message of the event cancellation so that everyone is informed of the situation. 

6. Update Your Volunteers

It is crucial to update your event volunteers on time about any change in plans, including a cancellation. Volunteers are the backbone of any event and communicating with them regularly is necessary. A great way to do this efficiently is by using technology solutions like the InitLive tool. Our product lets you stay connected with your volunteers and communicate on a real-time basis. What's more, the tool also stores essential information about your volunteers so that you can find suitable people for your future events, if necessary.

While event cancellations are never easy, especially when a lot of hard work has already gone in, it is necessary to handle them properly. Following the above-mentioned steps will help you in managing such a scenario with minimum disruption.

Event Survival Guide for Bad weather-cover

 

Don't let bad weather ruin your event! 

From one weather extreme to another, this free guide is packed with tips to be prepared on event day.

You will learn:

  • How to prepare for lightning-related threats
  • Heat considerations for outdoor events
  • How to prepare for the worst

Download The Guide 

 

 

initlive
2019/11
Nov 19, 2019 11:30:00 AM
Event Cancellation- The Complete Guide
Event Safety, Event Management

Nov 19, 2019 11:30:00 AM

Event Cancellation- The Complete Guide

Sometimes, even after the most extensive planning and preparation, events get canceled due to unavoidable circumstances. It can happen due to several reasons like a sudden natural calamity or the venue becoming unavailable at the last moment or the main performer bowing out with no time to find a...

Millennials- The Key To Scale Up Your Festival

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (74)

Millennials- the young and full-of-promise group of people who seem to have taken over the world. Millennials make up a larger percentage of festival-goers, and they are spending more than previous generations. From the current workforce to the consumer markets, millennials are everywhere. In fact, as per the New York Post, they are to constitute about half of America's workforce by 2020. And with an annual purchasing command of $1.3 trillion, it is natural that millennials are the key to the success of scaling up a festival event. 

By definition, a millennial is someone born between the years 1980 and 1996. In reality, they are more about a particular mindset than age. They strive towards living a life filled with passion, experiences, and memories. Fulfillment of their dreams is more important than having material possessions. And this very different ideology is what makes millennials so unique.

One of such major areas where millennials have a lot of influence is in the case of various festivals. Thus to scale up your events, you must understand what millennials want and how catering to them can be beneficial to you.

Planning a festival? Check out - The Complete Festival Planning Check List

What Opportunities Do Millennials Represent

Millenials-attend-music-festival

Research by PWC estimates that by 2022, the live music industry will be worth more than $30 billion, and millennials will have a major hand in that. This shows the massive opportunities that millennials present for the festival industry. 

One thing about this newer generation of people is that they prefer spending their money on experiences. This inclination, coupled with the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that is part of their social media-savvy lives, prompts millennials to spend on things like concerts, sporting events, and other performance gigs.

According to an Eventbrite study, around 82% of millennials have spent money on such experiences in the past year in America. This number alone is enough to give you a glimpse as to how this can be the perfect time and era for your festival events to scale up. The only thing is that you have to be in in-tune with what your millennial audience wants from you.

What Millennials Want from a Festival

If you think that millennials attend music festivals only to be spectators, then you couldn't be more wrong. To successfully engage millennials in your festival events, you need to understand their psyches. The following are some of the things that a millennial looks to gain from attending any kind of festival.

  • A chance to participate- Since they value experiences so much, it is no wonder that millennials want to be part of the show instead of being an onlooker. 
  • Forming social connections- In this era of virtual living, creating connections outside the world of social media sites is important. Festivals are the perfect place to find like-minded individuals to connect with.
  • Family inclusive programs- Don't forget that a chunk of millennials are parents, and they prefer events where there is something for the whole family to do. So, plan your festivals, keeping the adults and kids in mind, and you will have created a coveted experience.
  • Good Food - Millenials are foodies, and that means in order to stay competitive, a few simple food vendors won't be enough to keep the crowd happy. A tasty variety of food options that include vegan and gluten-free options will have millennial cheering. 
  • Local Beverages- Gone are the days of national breweries and liquor brands. Millennials seek out local craft beer, ciders, spirits, and including them in your festival will draw the right crowds in. 
  • Variety- With their experience-oriented lifestyle, it is normal for millennials to seek variety. Be creative with the venue, the itinerary, and even the time of the festival for the best results.

As you look at scale up your festival make sure to read- 7 Safety and Security Considerations While Scaling Up Your Festival

For your festival to scale up and be successful, it is crucial that you successfully engage your millennial audience. And for that, you will have to understand them and offer the kind of innovative experience that they want.

As you begin to a strategist about scaling your festival, build a good business case will be essential to success.

Building A Business Case To Scale Up Your Festival

 

 

initlive
2019/11
Nov 14, 2019 4:30:00 PM
Millennials- The Key To Scale Up Your Festival
Festivals, Event Management

Nov 14, 2019 4:30:00 PM

Millennials- The Key To Scale Up Your Festival

Millennials- the young and full-of-promise group of people who seem to have taken over the world. Millennials make up a larger percentage of festival-goers, and they are spending more than previous generations. From the current workforce to the consumer markets, millennials are everywhere. In...

How to Increase Attendance at Your Festival Event

How to Increase Attendance at Your Festival EventNo matter the time of year people are always looking for activities to fill their weekends Research shows that about 91% of organizers gauge the success of their events by the number of participants. Increasing your attendance rate year over year is vital to the continued success of your festival. So here are a few ways in which you can increase the attendance at your festival event.

1. Know your target audience


Identifying the target audience enables you to plan an event that is specific to those people.Understand what the expectations of your target audience and plan your event to exceed those established exceptions. As a result, the possibility of engaging the audience substantially increases.

2. Choose your location and get the city involved Choosing -A -Location-for-a festival

A key success factor is the location of your event. The ideal location will be easily accessible and yet special enough to create a memorable experience. One way of enticing your audience to participate is by choosing a venue that involves the uniqueness of the city where the event is. For example, hosting the event at a historical landmark or an old brewery will pique a lot of interest for your event.

3. Curate exceptional content

Just as you need to understand your target audience, you will also be required to come up with event content that attracts people. This means you need to keep in mind the entire demographics of the audience and for example, include family activities if there are kids. Getting people to attend your event is not enough. For real success, you must ensure that they feel stimulated.

3. Introduce Novel Entertainment festival-Entertainment -

Stay ahead of competing festival events by staying of trends and set a example with novel entertainment to draw in the crowds. Whether you are running a music festival, cultural festival or beer festival, a big head liner, a new ride or amazing vendors setting your event is vital to boosting numbers. 

5. Social media promotions

An easy way to promote your event so that it reaches the right audience is through social media promotions. Create a page for your event on Facebook and post on Twitter and Instagram with personalized hashtags.

Budget permitting, you can also get relevant social media influencers to promote your event through their social media posts. 

6. Personalize the invitations

People always appreciate the little touches. Sending personalized invitation is an excellent way to show that you care about their presence at your event. Sure, it will take a little bit more effort, but the result will be a much better response rate.

7. Connect with the local press 

From radio to the free news paper, local press for event promotion is always worth while. Attracting the locals to your event should be top of mind when looking to increase your attendance rate. Consider offering free ticket give away for radio and publishing contest in the paper and on social media to get people excited and talking about your event. 

8. Easy RSVP options and reminders

Sending thoughtful invitations is just half of the matter. You must make sure to have an easy way for your guests to RSVP to you. Often people do not send RSVP notes just because of the process being too complicated. However, if you give a simple RSVP button option through your Facebook page, not only more people will respond, but the event will get added to their calendars. Chances are high that they will attend your event as a result. 

You can also send out reminders just before the event through social media posts as well as personal phone calls and emails.

In conclusion

Taking extra care to follow the above-mentioned steps while organizing will result in an increase in attendance at your festival event.

 

https://www.initlive.com/building-a-business-case-to-scale-up-your-festival

 

initlive
2019/11
Nov 12, 2019 4:00:00 PM
How to Increase Attendance at Your Festival Event
Event Planning, Festival Management

Nov 12, 2019 4:00:00 PM

How to Increase Attendance at Your Festival Event

No matter the time of year people are always looking for activities to fill their weekends Research shows that about 91% of organizers gauge the success of their events by the number of participants. Increasing your attendance rate year over year is vital to the continued success of your festival....

7 Safety and Security Considerations While Scaling Up Your Festival

7 Safety and Security Considerations While Scaling Up Your FestivalWhen planning for a festival, one of the foremost things to consider is how to make your event safe and secure. It is imperative that the attendees do not face any trouble while enjoying a festival. Additionally, as an organizer, you must also be prepared for emergencies that can pose a threat if not handled timely.

According to a poll, about 90% of event organizers believe that more priority can be given to security concerns in the events industry. As an organizer, you can stay ahead of the curve by taking into consideration the following safety tips; especially if you are scaling up your event. Read on to know more.

1. Establish the Venue Perimeter 

The venue must be properly demarcated to ensure safety. The perimeter can either be mechanical (wire fencing, barriers, etc.) or physical like security personnel posted at certain points. As the event gets bigger, the idea is to monitor closely who gets to come in and who stays out.

2. Specify Points of Exit/Evacuation

Creating an exit strategy is paramount to most safety procedures. Have your exits clearly marked and provide your team of volunteers with specific instructions on what must be done in case of an evacuation. Getting people out of the venue safely can become necessary at times.

In order to create a entry management plan check out - 5 Tips For Better Entry Management At Festival Events

3. Designated Areas for Women

Dedicating a specific area to the female attendees will give them a sense of protection in case things turn rowdy. This is something that you must consider doing if your event is growing bigger in terms of attendees.

4. Scaling Up and Training Volunteers

Volunteers are the lifeline of an event. With an increase in the number of attendees, it is crucial that you make arrangements for enlisting the help of more volunteers for the event to operate smoothly. The new volunteers should also be appropriately trained. A good practice is to keep a backup team of volunteers ready in case of emergencies.

5. Medical Emergencies

Have a medical emergency handling team on standby for your festival. It is very common for audience members to fall ill and in such an unfortunate situation, you will need to arrange for immediate help. 

Are you planning a festival ? Make sure to check out - The Complete Festival Planning Check List

6. Constant Communication

During a large event, the organizing team and the volunteers must be constantly communicating with each other. This way, if there is any trouble or security concern brewing anywhere, the appropriate people can be notified immediately. InitLive's Event day app offers real-time communication between staff and volunteers. 

7. Create A Hotline/Helpdesk

For an event with a relatively large number of attendees, creating a hotline or setting up a helpdesk is a very good practice. That way, if anyone needs help, they can approach you directly. 

Safety and security considerations are essential in planning and organizing any event. However, they become especially necessary when your event is scaling up. Following the above-mentioned steps can help you manage your festival effectively while the audience has a good time.

initlive
2019/11
Nov 7, 2019 5:15:00 PM
7 Safety and Security Considerations While Scaling Up Your Festival
Festivals, Festival Management

Nov 7, 2019 5:15:00 PM

7 Safety and Security Considerations While Scaling Up Your Festival

When planning for a festival, one of the foremost things to consider is how to make your event safe and secure. It is imperative that the attendees do not face any trouble while enjoying a festival. Additionally, as an organizer, you must also be prepared for emergencies that can pose a threat if...

5 Ways to Manage Volunteers During an Event

5 Ways to Manage Volunteers During an EventWhen it comes to managing your event volunteers, communication is key. In today's fast-paced digital world, you need to manage your volunteers efficiently during an event with up-to-date technology. Here are five ways to manage volunteers during an event which are both efficient and cost-effective.

1. Ditch the walkie-talkies.

Instead, use text-based communications. Your hands will be freed up while you and your entire event staff access all event communications through an app on your cell phones. Besides, it will be one less item to keep track of on your busy day and you'll avoid those frustrating times when someone misplaces their walkie-talkie.

2. Use broadcast messaging.

Instead of sending out the same message multiple times to each of your volunteers, with broadcast messaging you'll send a single text once to multiple recipients. Your volunteers will be able to access the message immediately on their mobile phones -- and you'll be on to the next task before they finish reading it.

Check out -Event Communication Etiquette for Event Managers & Staff

3. Track volunteer attendance, check-ins, and shifts worked.

Rather than having volunteers record their hours on a time-sheet or clock in on a separate device, track volunteer schedules and work movements online through one device. It's more efficient, and keeps your processes paperless.

4. Make volunteer information easy to access.

With an app like InitLive, volunteers can see their upcoming shift details. They'll find the role assignment, the location, and the time they need to show up. With all this information within reach, your volunteers are more likely to be ready for their shifts -- and less likely to skip.

5.  Implement a chain of command.

Finally, post the list of managers and supervisors, including the areas that they cover during the event. That way, volunteers can reach out to the appropriate team leader instead of flooding one or two individuals with all their questions. This strategy keeps the head event coordinator from feeling over-stretched and bogged down with minor issues which are handled well by others. 

Looking to learn more ? Check out - 9 Signs You're Ready for A Volunteer Management Tool

Use InitLive as your all-in-one communication and volunteer management tool. For more information on how Init Live's can help you orchestrate a smoother, more successful event, please contact us.

initlive
2019/11
Nov 5, 2019 12:30:00 PM
5 Ways to Manage Volunteers During an Event
Volunteer Management

Nov 5, 2019 12:30:00 PM

5 Ways to Manage Volunteers During an Event

When it comes to managing your event volunteers, communication is key. In today's fast-paced digital world, you need to manage your volunteers efficiently during an event with up-to-date technology. Here are five ways to manage volunteers during an event which are both efficient and cost-effective.

Six Benefits of Staffing Your Event with Volunteers

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (69)If you have an event coming up, consider using volunteers to supplement your day-to-day staff. Using volunteers is a win-win-win solution for you, your attendees, and the volunteers themselves. Check out the six reasons below to find out why staffing your event with volunteers is an no-brainer. 

1. Cost Savings

A volunteer, is by definition, a person who offers services without pay. The most tangible benefit of using volunteers is they save you and your organization money. The average volunteer hour is worth $24.14 - and that adds up fast!

2. Create Buzz

Volunteers at your event are more likely to tell their friends or post on social media about the event before it happens. If you are trying to attract more guests, then using volunteers can help your event go viral. 

Learn more by reading - 5 Ways Volunteers Have a Direct Impact on Your Event's Reputation

3. Generously Staff Events

Due to the previously mentioned cost savings, you can have more people on hand than with a normally staffed event. This allows your event to run smoothly and will help your attendees feel welcome and well taken care of. 

4. Involve the Community

A volunteer-staffed event keeps you connected to the community. The benefit of involving the community means an increased turnout and vocal support for your future events. Additionally, allowing people to give makes for a strong and vibrant community. 

5. Build a List of Contacts

Adding volunteers to your event staff provides you with a built-in contact list at the end of the event. Whether you are looking to increase your donor base, or just attract more people to your organization, this list will prove invaluable in the future. 

6. Volunteer Management Solution 

It used to be that managing volunteers could be more trouble than it was worth. With InitLive, however, we keep volunteer management simple and streamlined. Our platform helps you schedule, communicate with, and manage your fleet of volunteers before, during, and after your event.

Start recruiting quality volunteers with our guide - The Complete Guide- How to Recruit Volunteers for an Event

 

Contact us today to learn more about taking your event to the next level with volunteers. 

initlive
2019/10
Oct 30, 2019 12:00:00 PM
Six Benefits of Staffing Your Event with Volunteers
Volunteer Management

Oct 30, 2019 12:00:00 PM

Six Benefits of Staffing Your Event with Volunteers

If you have an event coming up, consider using volunteers to supplement your day-to-day staff. Using volunteers is a win-win-win solution for you, your attendees, and the volunteers themselves. Check out the six reasons below to find out why staffing your event with volunteers is an no-brainer. 

The Complete Festival Planning Check List

The Complete Festival Planning Check List As a festival director, thinking and planning in advance helps you to stay organized and provide your patrons with a memorable experience. From securing WiFi and vendors to contingency planning and staffing, you need to arrange every detail to get your festival event off the ground.The more detailed your planning, the more successful your festival goes off without a glitch. Use this checklist to ensure you're well-prepared and have everything you need ready.


1. Preparing Your Venue and Master Plan

To ensure you have organized entry to your festival devoid of hitches, you should do the following things:

  • Come up with a comprehensive map of the entire venue.
  • Devise your attendee flow, from the entry point to where you'll be selling tickets and to the main venue.
  • Get in touch with the local authorities for licenses and permits.
  • Seek to understand the area's traffic patterns and come up with a backup plan for worst-case scenarios.
  • Devise a way to validate attendees such as tickets or wristbands.
  •  Create a different entry process for VIPs.
  • Have a secure location to keep cash and a tested cash reconciliation method.
  • Create an emergency plan
  •  Have a customer service booth in place.

Looking to update your event entry plan? check out -5 Tips For Better Entry Management At Festival Events

2. Plan and Secure Entertainment festival entertainment

  • Create a list of desired performers and entertainment vendors
  • Start Booking Artists and Entertainment 
  • Build festival schedule and fill gaps with new innovate attractions and entertainment 
  • Send Artist and Entertainment vendors the festival schedule and make edits as required. 

3. Create A Marketing Plan

  • Create and finalize all marketing collateral and messaging 
  • Create a multi channel marketing calendar for all promotion of the festival from early bird promotion to day of event giveaways
  • Contact local press, radio stat and social influencers to extend your promotional reach through giveaways and paid promotion. 
  • Create hashtags and contests to further promote your festival through volunteers and attendees

4. Select Technology and Staffing 

Technology festival planning technology

  • Use innovative tech for ticketing such as RFID wristbands.
  •  Secure scanning equipment that can scan hundreds of RFID chips per minute.
  •  Have a private WiFi network and direct power source for your ticketing systems.
  • Secure all Av equipment required for entertainments 

Staffing 

  • Allocate a box office or manager who has experience using your event technology.
  •  Devise an entry plan for your biggest rush of check-ins.
  • Assign specific tasks (parking, catering, cleaning, etc.) to your staff members to minimize confusion and speed up the entire process.
  • Delegate a trusted, safe keeper for valuable inventory.

Create a Volunteer Program Plan 

  • Get to know the number of volunteers you'll need, and create a program plan to coordinate them by task and time.
  • Create your volunteer shift schedule 
  • Start recruiting volunteer at least 2 months before your event and make sure to offer a easy only sign up portal.

Here is a comprehensive list of all the festival volunteers roles to get your started. -13 Essential Volunteer Roles at a Festival 

5. Execute Last Minute Tasks

  • Perform final tech training for your staff before the festival starts.
  • Give out walkie-talkies and other necessary equipment to your team, and designate a different channel for each department.
  • Use barriers to smoothly channel attendees into your check-in point.
  • Brief your security staff on the security measures and what to check for at the check-in point.
  •  Monitor key metrics such as check-in, ticket sales, and total attendance to help you make the necessary adjustments to your strategy.

As you plan your next festival make sure to check out our Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide 

 

initlive
2019/10
Oct 28, 2019 5:30:00 PM
The Complete Festival Planning Check List
Festivals, Event Planning, Festival Management

Oct 28, 2019 5:30:00 PM

The Complete Festival Planning Check List

As a festival director, thinking and planning in advance helps you to stay organized and provide your patrons with a memorable experience. From securing WiFi and vendors to contingency planning and staffing, you need to arrange every detail to get your festival event off the ground.The more...

The Ultimate Conference Planning Checklist

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (67)Conferences, both corporate and otherwise, are an important component in promoting the cause of an organization. In fact, according to a survey, about 98% of US Federal employees agree that conferences are an effective way to communicate their respective agency's missions.

To organize a successful conference, you must have a knack for planning things to the minutest details. However, it is not always easy to remember every aspect that needs your attention, especially in the case of a conference where the planning phase usually lasts over several months. As a result, having a planning checklist is a handy solution that can help you with making this process easier and more efficient.

In this post, we outline the ultimate checklist with a preferred timeline against each task to help you plan your next conference smoothly. Read on to know more.

1. 16 to 12 Months Prior 

Organizations often decide to organize a conference with a lot of time on hand, usually at least a year before. If you are designated as the organizer of such a conference, then you must start planning for the following things immediately-

  • Outline the purpose of the conference and the main topics to be covered.
  • Decide the target audience, venue requirements and preferred dates.
  • Draw a budget.
  • Finalize the planning and execution committees and allocate their respective tasks.
  • Choose your vendors to suit your needs.
  • Initiate the search for sponsors.

Looking to learn more about Conference Planning? Check out - Mastering the Art of Conference Planning in 5 Easy Steps

2. 12 to 6 Months Prior

Finding- speakers-for-a-conference These are the crucial months in your conference planning process and if you can get the majority of the planning done during this period, then you will feel less stressed in the coming time. Some of the essential things to check off your list at this juncture are-

  • Research and finalize your speakers. Send out invitations to them and try to have the acceptances before these 6 months are over. Additionally, if you plan to accept proposals from speakers for your event, then design the process and invite nominations.
  • Start promoting your conference through various channels like social media, Google Ad words and don't forget email marketing. 
  • Finalize the registration mechanism and the ticket prices. Designing a dedicated website is a good call. 
  • Consolidate the sponsorship.
  • Finalize the date and book the venue.

3. 6 to 4 months prior

  • Confirm the final schedule of the conference.
  • Create a event staff and volunteer management strategy 
  • Ramp up promotion the event through various channels.

4. 3 to 1 month prior

  • Choose the theme and decide the decor of the conference.
  • Finalize the catering services and the menu.
  • Plan for the rest of the logistics.
  • Check-in with the speakers.
  • If you need volunteers, this is a good time to recruit them.

Make sure you don't miss any important volunteer roles by reading - 10 Must-Have Volunteer Roles For Your Next Conference

5. Last 2 weeks

  • Send out reminders to the speakers and the guests.
  • Assign moderators for each session.
  • Get the print materials like registration badges, brochures, forms, etc. ordered and delivered.
  • Check-in with the vendors.

6. Last 2 days

If you manage to follow the above steps on time, then by now you will only need to tie up some loose ends and not worry about anything major. Some of the last-minute details to be taken care of are as follows-

  • Ensure that all the required materials and vendors reach the venue.
  • Get the final registered headcount and share it with the vendors.
  • Train your volunteers for a smooth process.
  • Set up all the necessary work stations like the registration desk.
  • Send a final email with the schedule to all the participants.
  •  

Following this detailed checklist will surely help you plan your next successful conference in a hassle-free manner and let you enjoy your event.

 

initlive
2019/10
Oct 24, 2019 12:30:00 PM
The Ultimate Conference Planning Checklist
Event Planning, Conference Event Management

Oct 24, 2019 12:30:00 PM

The Ultimate Conference Planning Checklist

Conferences, both corporate and otherwise, are an important component in promoting the cause of an organization. In fact, according to a survey, about 98% of US Federal employees agree that conferences are an effective way to communicate their respective agency's missions.

The Ultimate Non-Profit Event Planning Checklist

The Ultimate Non-Profit Event Planning ChecklistEvent planning at times can be tedious, time consuming, and stressful. With everything going on it's really important to stay on track and keep organized. Not only will this save you a lot of time, but help make sure your goals for the event are executed. The best way to achieve this is with a customized checklist, or maybe a few checklists for each step of the event. Preparing these prior to the event will not only help you manage any hiccups that may arise, but it will keep you on track to tackle the chaos of the day.  

1. Figure Out Your Goals

Next, you need to determine your key goals for the event and include them in your checklist. These goals will help you to plan your event with a specific mission and target. They will also help you assess how successful your event was once it's over. Essential objectives to consider:

  • What is the purpose of the event?
  • What cause are we promoting with this event?
  • What type of an event is this? (Party, Dinner, Get Together, Conference)
  • What is our goal for the event? (Raise awareness, Fundraising)
  • What expectations will the guests have for this event?

2. The Budget

Once you finalize your goals for the event, it's time to set up an event budget.  It's important to remember that the budget is constantly evolving as things are being added or taken away. Setting up your budget in a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel can help you keep track of all the expenses, details, and ultimately avoid worst case scenarios, like losing money during your event. Make sure the list is detailed and includes all the expenses for the event, such as:

  • Venue Costs
  • Catering Expenses
  • Decoration Expenses
  • Rental Expenses
  • Food and Drink Costs
  • Entertainment Costs

3. Fundraising/ Sponsorship

After you have a detailed budget set-up, it's time to look into funding for the event. Verifying costs and funds available before the big day can help you amp up your fundraising efforts to make sure you meet your fundraising target. Some fundraising questions to consider:

  • Will you be using Crowdfunding?
  • Will you be getting Sponsors for the event? 
  • Will you be selling tickets to the event? (Pricing, Where to sell the tickets)
  • What software will your team use to streamline all the information, donations, and data you will be collecting?
To learn more about securing sponsorship for your non-profit event click here.

4. Event Design

This step will include all your event details, which are extremely crucial to have included in your checklist. In this step, you will list and decide everything from location, theme, and decorations. It's best to make separate categories for each detail, as each topic contains a lot of information. Making detailed checklists for this step will help you finalize all the features that are extremely important to the big day. Here are some vital categories to consider:

  • What venue will you be using?
  • What will be the Date and Time for the event?
  • What type of theme will you be incorporating?
  • What type of decor will you be using? (This includes Decorations, Music, Smells, Visual Background Elements, Entertainment, Guest Speakers)
  • What food and drinks will you be serving?
  • How will the floor layout be for the big day?
  • What will the specific roles be for your volunteers and staff?
  • How will you handle registration and security during the event?
  • What transportation options will you have? Will there be parking available?
  • How will you handle emergencies? (Medical, Power Outage)
  • Will you have a specific itinerary? 

5. Marketing Plan

Advertising is a key step for any Non-Profit event. The easiest way to execute this scheme is to come up with a detailed marketing agenda and checklist and make sure your team understands their role in this plan.

  • How will you promote the event? (Social Media, Flyers, Radio, Local News, etc.)
  • What promotional materials will you be using? (Decals, Logos, T-shirts)

6. A Volunteer Program 

Volunteers are the people that ensure your non-profit event is a success. From participant registration to garbage pick up, a well planned and executed volunteer program is essential.  

Here is a list of steps to a successful volunteer program

  • Create a volunteer role with detailed descriptions 
  • Create an easy to access volunteer schedules with shift and assigned roles
  • Offer volunteers easy online registration and allow them to self-sign up for shifts
  • Provide the volunteer with an event day app for real-time communication, shift check in and access to event documents
  • Show appreciation to your volunteer during the event and after the event 
  • Evaluate the success of your event and make require changes to improve year over year

Looking to recruit new volunteers? Check out - 4 Steps to Recruit Volunteers for a Successful Non-Profit Event

7. The Follow-Up

After the event has come and gone, it's a good idea to follow-up with your guests, send thank you notes, and ask for any feedback. It will also be a good time to sit down with your team and create a comprehensive post-event checklist. It will help you see what areas you need to work on for future events, what went wrong, what steps didn't work, and what aspect of the event worked great. The follow-up step will also be a good way to determine if you met your event objectives.

Investing time in a detailed and comprehensive checklist will not only save you time and resources, but it will keep you on schedule and help you with an amazing event execution.

initlive
2019/10
Oct 21, 2019 1:00:00 PM
The Ultimate Non-Profit Event Planning Checklist
Volunteer Management, Event Planning, Non-Profit Events

Oct 21, 2019 1:00:00 PM

The Ultimate Non-Profit Event Planning Checklist

Event planning at times can be tedious, time consuming, and stressful. With everything going on it's really important to stay on track and keep organized. Not only will this save you a lot of time, but help make sure your goals for the event are executed. The best way to achieve this is with a...

Volunteer Management Guide For Endurance Race Events

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (63)Volunteers are a vital part of any successful event. It is not enough to just appreciate the efforts of a volunteer, rather an event organizer needs to plan the volunteers' roles very carefully. And if you are organizing something like an endurance race, then you will need to pay special attention to volunteer management to have a successful event. In this post, we talk about a few tips to guide you in that direction.

Decide the headcount and then recruit


Before you even start asking people to volunteer, decide on the basics like how many people you need. An efficient way of doing this is to first list down the tasks that need to be done and then assigning the number of volunteers required to it. This way you will have a clear goal in place.

And for recruiting, try to look out for volunteers at places where you know people will be interested in your event. So, for a racing event, perhaps you can turn to your local runners' club for volunteers. That way you will have a more engaged group helping you.

To learn how to recruit and retain your best volunteers click here.  

Easy online volunteer registration 

Once you have your volunteers, make it easy for yourself by going for an online registration system. Event planning solutions like InitLive helps you in this area. You can optimize the whole process of registration and subsequent communication through such tools. You can also assign tasks to each volunteer through such apps. 

Volunteer Training and providing access to event documents

Another essential point which often gets pushed to the back burner is the volunteer training. For your team to function seamlessly on the day of the event, they must get the appropriate training before that and have manuals to refer to if needed.

You can organize the training session a day before the event. And if you are too pressed for time, then make sure that volunteers report to the venue a couple of hours before the starting of the event so that you can go over the details with them.

Basic amenities

Be courteous to your volunteers by providing them with the basic amenities like a locker room to store their belongings and availability of refreshments. The quality of experience that you give to your volunteers will also impact their involvement in the event.

Planning a endurance event? Check out - Your Complete Guide to Planning an Endurance Race Even

Something other than appreciation

According to this report, the estimated value of each volunteer hour in 2018 was 25.43 USD. So, while appreciating the work of your volunteers is necessary, you can go the extra mile to show that you care. In an endurance event, chances are that most of the volunteers are runners themselves. In that case, why not give them a chance at registering for free for one of your events in exchange for volunteering. or you can have people volunteer for the pre-race requirements so that they are free to participate on the day of the events.

initlive
2019/10
Oct 17, 2019 12:15:00 PM
Volunteer Management Guide For Endurance Race Events
Volunteer Management, Sporting Event Management

Oct 17, 2019 12:15:00 PM

Volunteer Management Guide For Endurance Race Events

Volunteers are a vital part of any successful event. It is not enough to just appreciate the efforts of a volunteer, rather an event organizer needs to plan the volunteers' roles very carefully. And if you are organizing something like an endurance race, then you will need to pay special attention...

How to Create An Amazing Volunteer Program For your Fandom Convention

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (62)The success of conventions nowadays depend upon your top-notch volunteer program. Fandom conventions in particular can present a management challenge due to the potential scale of the event and the high expectations of fans. But those elements can contribute to a phenomenal experience for all if your volunteers are well-trained, motivated, and up-to-speed. Read on to take your fandom convention to the next level with an absolutely amazing volunteer program.

1. Inspire excitement. 

Understanding the passion of your volunteers in essential to creating a volunteer program they will be lining up to join. Create insider content for all the volunteers you have in your database and start sparking excitement before registration starts. Makes sure to share sneak peeks of volunteer perks like swag and insider meet and greets on social media to get the attention of new volunteers. 

2. Offer self-registration.

One of the best ways to find passionate volunteers is to offer self-registration online. You'll attract focused, tech-savvy volunteers who already know what aspect of the convention they're passionate about and how they'd like to spend their volunteer time. For that reason, it's a good idea to make all the role choices available online with full descriptions. Your volunteers will appreciate the autonomy -- and they'll be motivated to do their best.

To learn more about volunteer recruitment and registration click here.

3. Give volunteer perks.

 Let your volunteers have the chance to enjoy the ultimate fan experience at your fandom convention by designing a tier system where the more hours volunteers put in, the faster they gain access to the conventions' most exciting events. Your volunteers will work hard to get the perks that inspired them to volunteer for the conference in the first place -- like a few minutes face time with guest celebrities or a free pass to a sci-fi speaking panel. 

4. Stay connected.

When you're running a fandom convention with hundreds or even thousands of attendees, your volunteers will be spread throughout the event site. And you may have some volunteers leave the site to run errands for special guests. So you'll need a great communication app like InitLive for your staff to stay connected with each team member, wherever they go.  

Check out - 5 Tips For Promoting Your Fandom Convention

5. Track hours and verify shifts.

Be sure to use a mobile app which tracks the number of shifts each team member works and allows you to verify check-ins. When that capability is combined with InitLive's real-time communications, you can make immediate scheduling adjustments so that your event will continue running smoothly.

6. Don't forget the data.

As this Medium.com article tells us, collecting data -- whether it's about employee performance or about guest attendance and registration -- is an essential part of determining whether or not your event is a success. Use an event app like InitLive to collect and data and track progress. That way, avoid downloading spreadsheets and doing manual calculations as you review expenditures, registration numbers, revenue, and other vital metrics.

7. Show Appreciation

Volunteers are the backbone of any event, without them the event wouldn't be able to run smoothly. Make sure to show your volunteers appreciation once the event is finished, a card or a small gift goes a long way in retaining those amazing volunteers. 

For more information on how you can create an amazing volunteer program when you use InitLive as your all-in-one event management tool, please contact us.

initlive
2019/10
Oct 15, 2019 5:30:00 PM
How to Create An Amazing Volunteer Program For your Fandom Convention
Volunteer Management, Conference Event Management

Oct 15, 2019 5:30:00 PM

How to Create An Amazing Volunteer Program For your Fandom Convention

The success of conventions nowadays depend upon your top-notch volunteer program. Fandom conventions in particular can present a management challenge due to the potential scale of the event and the high expectations of fans. But those elements can contribute to a phenomenal experience for all if...

4 Strategies to Boost Fundraising at Your Non-Profit Event

4 Strategies to Boost Fundraising at Your Non-Profit EventIf you have ever organized a fundraiser for a non-profit organization or even participated in one as a volunteer, you will then be well aware of the actual struggles of raising money. Sure, it is all for a good cause, but getting your message across to the donors can sometimes prove to be a bit tricky.

But fret not. As with most of the things in business, there are certain things which you can do to boost the fundraising at your non-profit event. In this post, we discuss four such strategies that will make your next fundraiser a hit. Read on to know more.

Plan Efficiently

Needless to say, proper planning is the cornerstone of event management. Once you have the basics like the purpose of the event and budget in place, get down to some serious planning. Some of the things that you can tackle at this point are as follows- 

  • The fundraising goal and the number of attendees.
  • The right venue for the event and the team that will manage it.
  • The list of volunteers and their specific duties.
  • Details like speaker or host, the catering service, etc.

Efficient planning means that the actual day of the event will be without major glitches. And that will make your prospective donors see the event as worthy of their attention.

Take Note of People's Passions 

non-profit- fundraising-goalIt is important to harness the passions of your potential donors to engage them effectively at your fundraiser. This means you have to understand your audience well and organize the event accordingly. Let's say it's a fundraiser for a health organization and you know most of your audience is into fitness. In that case, the chances of success in reaching the fundraising goal become higher if the event is built around a personal fitness challenge. People will identify with the cause and get involved in the process.

Looking to recruit passionate volunteers? - Check out : 4 Steps to Recruit Volunteers for a Successful Non-Profit Event

Create Inspiring Content

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.” – Robert McKee.Once you have figured out what will motivate people to participate in your event its time start building a content strategy. Create inspiring content that will move people to not only buy a ticket but to tell those in their circle to do the same. Don't underestimate the power of great story. 

Multi-Channel Marketing 

Everyone knows how important marketing is. A multi channeled approach to marketing your non-profit event will allow you to cast a wider net in the hope of catching more donations. In today's world of social media connectivity, you can utilize various channels to market your event so that it reaches the maximum number of people.

Here are just some ideas for your social channels 

  • Create a hashtag of your event and promote it through Twitter and Instagram.
  • You can also create a Facebook page and give details of the event there.
  • You can sell tickets online through Facebook and let people register there as well.
  • If you have the budget, you can also collaborate with social media influencers.

To learn more about promoting your event through social media check out - A Quick Guide to Marketing Your Event Using Social Media

Don't forget to utilize your database of contacts and volunteers to send email and mail marketing materials.

Make Use of Technology

And finally, take advantage of the technological advancements that are available to you today. You do not have to do all the tough work alone. Some apps and sites can help you with the planning and managing phases of the event management. 

The InitLive mobile app, for example, is such a global resource that helps you plan and efficiently manage your event. It can take the stress out of your next non-profit event and help you boost up your fundraising goals.

So are you ready to make your next fundraising event a big success?

initlive
2019/10
Oct 11, 2019 4:15:00 PM
4 Strategies to Boost Fundraising at Your Non-Profit Event
Event Planning, Non-Profit Events

Oct 11, 2019 4:15:00 PM

4 Strategies to Boost Fundraising at Your Non-Profit Event

If you have ever organized a fundraiser for a non-profit organization or even participated in one as a volunteer, you will then be well aware of the actual struggles of raising money. Sure, it is all for a good cause, but getting your message across to the donors can sometimes prove to be a bit...

Going The Distance: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Endurance Race Volunteers

Going The Distance: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Endurance Race VolunteersAn endurance event is an investment of time, talent and financial resources, and represents the combined effort of excited athletes, willing sponsors and generous donors — but it all starts with your volunteers. Your endurance event won't endure past the first year without their help. Going from inaugural to successful annual event requires the return of loyal volunteers with enthusiasm and dedication to your cause. Prioritizing volunteers' value ensures that core of repeat volunteers calls you next year to sign up before you call them.

Volunteer victory: six ways to find and retain endurance event staff

Start with a structure

Use a software program to configure an organizational chart. Create titles, leadership roles and reporting relationships, so there's no confusion over who answers to whom. The chart contains email and contact information, so the race volunteer coordinator is never out of touch with volunteers.

Go where your endurance athletes and potential volunteers are found

Social media makes fast work of spreading the word when it comes to recruitment; look for Facebook groups catering to endurance athletes and invite those not participating in the event to volunteer, or ask participants to bring in friends and family as volunteers. Attend sports events and set up a sign up table for volunteers. Check with your local school board and recruit from the high schools; many seniors now have a volunteer component as part of their graduation requirement (and community service looks good on their college applications).

Keep the volunteer process simple

athletes-registering--for-marathon-with-volunteer-helping Create an online sign up platform volunteers easily use to pick specific shifts, duties and locations. This gives control to volunteers and provides them with an active role in the event before it begins. Providing your volunteers with the power to choose shifts for themselves will reduce the number of last minute shift swaps. 

Train early and often enough

Volunteers lead busy lives and have short bursts of time to dedicate to the cause, so start training early and in groups; volunteers get to know each other and understand the role they play in the event's big picture. Get to know your volunteers' strengths, so last-minute shifting assignments on event day is easier when some people suddenly fail to show up.

Are you planning a race event? Check out - 10 Amazing Theme Ideas for Endurance Events

Race day routine: know your way around so your volunteers follow

The race director's smooth and sure moves on event day show confidence in well-practiced details. Volunteers won't stumble in confusion under assured authority. Post a schedule and timeline of events for volunteers' reference, including a list of shifts, assignments and duties.

Make the effort worthwhileVolunteer Goody bags

Volunteers expect no cash payout for their time, but treat them well and they'll return. Extend the goody bag gifts for the athletes to your volunteers as well: many of the same items the race participants appreciate (T-shirts, sunblock, lip treatments, merchant coupons, snacks, water bottles, waterproof phone/key pouches) the volunteers appreciate. Have a post-event volunteers-only party, to thank each of them personally.

Stay engaged when it's over

The effort doesn't end when the traffic cones are picked up and the tents packed away. Contact your volunteers after the event with emails or thank-you cards. Invite them to participate in next year's event. Plan a pre-race kick-off party a few months ahead, to bring volunteers together and announce new and exciting additions to the event.

InitLive's software provides everything a race director needs to outperform the toughest endurance event. From sign ups and scheduling volunteers by day, shift and assignment to maintaining contact information, real-time communication capacity and tracking and reporting staff data, the platform reacts when you need it, on any mobile or computer device. InitLive is your full-time administrative assistant, always ready to go the distance. Contact us today for more information and a free demonstration.

initlive
2019/10
Oct 7, 2019 6:00:00 PM
Going The Distance: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Endurance Race Volunteers
Volunteer Management, Volunteer/Staff Recruitment, Sporting Event Management

Oct 7, 2019 6:00:00 PM

Going The Distance: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Endurance Race Volunteers

An endurance event is an investment of time, talent and financial resources, and represents the combined effort of excited athletes, willing sponsors and generous donors — but it all starts with your volunteers. Your endurance event won't endure past the first year without their help. Going from...

5 Common Festival Event Fails and How to Avoid Them

5 common festival event fails and how to avoid them The disaster of Fyre Festival is still fresh on everyone's mind. There's value in learning from the failures of others. That said, proper event planning and management can make your's a hit and the talk of the town for all the right reasons—not the wrong ones. Here are the five most common pitfalls that festivals face and how you can overcome them.

Top Festival Event Planning Fails (2)

1. A Bottleneck at the Gate

A great way to spoil the evening before it begins is an understaffed, disorganized entry gate. First, make sure attendees have clear directions. Use stanchions to help keep everyone in a single line. Having signs that clearly mark entrances and exits, as well as ticketing and information will help the flow of traffic. You also need the gate properly staffed. Not only do you need the numbers, but they need to be well-trained to handle any situation that arises. Regular volunteers need to know when to escalate and call for security, etc.

2. A Lack of Facilities

The long lines for the bathroom can't be avoided, but not having food and drinks and other amenities will quickly make tempers flare-up. Of course, you want to keep the bathroom waiting to a minimum as well. Overestimating your facilities needs will ensure that there is plenty to go around and cost will be well worth it in the long run. 

3. A Disjointed Security and Emergency Plans

You want your event on the news because it was so amazing—not because the police had to bust up the party. Depending on the event type, drugs and rowdy crowds can be an issue. You need a proper security team to help enforce rules and protect attendees… and your investment. And in the case of an emergency, all staff and volunteers need to be aware of the emergency plans and their execution.Also, don't forget to keep an eye on the weather and have a plan for adverse conditions.

Planning a festival? - Check out - The Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide

4. Inaccessibility

"Inclusive" is the buzzword here. Think about attendees that need wheelchairs, walking canes, and other tools to help with mobility. Accessibility doesn't just mean a ramp here and there. To ensure your event is truly accessible you need to think of you attendee experience from the moment they arrive. Is there designed accessible parking , is there are gate they can entrance that is that meet their needs?  Consider assigning a team of volunteers to direct and help people access the accessible areas of of your festival. 

5. Limited Parking and Public Transit Access

People need to be able to and from the event safely and with little hassle. Make sure there's enough parking for those who will arrive by a vehicle (encourage carpooling). Also, think about access to local buses and rails. If possible, coordinate venues and start/end times with public transit patterns to make it as easier for those who can't or don't want to drive.

initlive
2019/10
Oct 3, 2019 11:56:00 AM
5 Common Festival Event Fails and How to Avoid Them
Festival Management

Oct 3, 2019 11:56:00 AM

5 Common Festival Event Fails and How to Avoid Them

The disaster of Fyre Festival is still fresh on everyone's mind. There's value in learning from the failures of others. That said, proper event planning and management can make your's a hit and the talk of the town for all the right reasons—not the wrong ones. Here are the five most common pitfalls...

5 Tips For Better Entry Management At Festival Events

5 Tips For Better Entry Management At Festival EventsThe entry is the first impression participants get when they arrive at an festival. A seamless and streamlined entry can be the difference between a good first impression and a negative one. First impressions are very important because they are built upon. A good first impression leads to a happy participant and great positive feedback. Here are a few tips to help streamline your entry and give a great first impression.

Improve Security

People want to be safe. If they feel that security is lacking and there is a chance they could be harmed, they are likely to feel uncomfortable at the event. Spare a few extra volunteers to help improve security at the entry point. Seeing a few extra people wearing a "security" shirt eases the participant's mind and allows them to fully enjoy and experience your event.

Introduce Entry Rules Beforehand

Introducing participants to the rules beforehand is a great way to increase the flow of traffic. If they know what to do even before they arrive, the transition inside will be smoother. Aspects like knowing where the entry point is and that their ticket is required to be shown to minimize crowding and congestion. Make sure to include about what attendees are allowed to bring like back packs are lawn chairs and what is prohibited. This will reduce an conflicts at the entrance gates for staff and volunteers. Share this important information with your attendees through email and all your social media channels when they purchase their tickets and a day or two before opening day.

Bonus - Have a few volunteers on stand by to answer any question people might have leading up to the event. 

Planning a Festival? Maker sure to check out - The Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide

Encourage Early Arrival

If everyone tries to get in at 5, the entry points will easily become overcrowded. This can be managed by offering activities long before the main attractions or headliners to encourage earlier arrivals and stagger the arrival times. 

Know Your Estimated Crowd Size

Understanding your estimated crowd size is essential to managing a safe festival event. If you are having a huge event with thousands of participants, then it would be better to have multiple entry points. Multiple entry points minimize crowding at one entry point and increase entry efficiency.  

Train Your Event Staff and Volunteers 

Unexpected problems arise often in event management. Knowing the most common problems and how to solve them will help prevent the entry line from backing up. Educating your entrance team on what to look out for and how to properly manage tense issues or security risks will ensure that  your gates will run smoothly.  

Make sure you have an emergency evacuation plan and that plan is communicated clearly to all volunteer and event staff teams. When a weather event rolls in or another emergency arise you need to ensure attendee can leave safely. 

With the help of these tips, you'll be sure to have smooth  festival entry and make a great first impression on your participants. For more tips and tricks on event planning and management, contact us, today. InitLive is the best event management tool available and can help make your next event a great success!

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initlive
2019/10
Oct 1, 2019 5:03:00 PM
5 Tips For Better Entry Management At Festival Events
Event Safety, Festival Management

Oct 1, 2019 5:03:00 PM

5 Tips For Better Entry Management At Festival Events

The entry is the first impression participants get when they arrive at an festival. A seamless and streamlined entry can be the difference between a good first impression and a negative one. First impressions are very important because they are built upon. A good first impression leads to a happy...

A Quick Guide to Marketing Your Event Using Social Media

A Quick Guide to Marketing Your Event Using Social MediaIn today's climate, the best way to attract attention and attendance to any event is through social media.  People are more likely to learn about what's going on in the community through quick check-ins to their favorite online media channels because they tend to look at those sites several times throughout every day. A strategic plan for getting your message out into the world can help ensure a successful event.

1. Hone Your Message

To create buzz, you first need to decide what you want to say to attract the most attention.  A solid, unique sales proposition is important in convincing your potential attendees that this is an event not to be missed.  Be sure to highlight dates and times and include special catch phrases like "Free to the First 100 Attendees" or "For a Limited Time" to entice excitement and action.

Here are a few steps to follow to get you started on finding your unique sales proposition for your event. 

1. List out what are the key features, exciting draws or benefits to your event. 

2. Establish what your event offers that your competitors don't. 

3.  Consider why your ideal attendee or participant would attend your event and then establish what emotion response that might have. 

4. Create a one liner that speaking to your event and why your ideal audience should attend. 

2. Evaluate Channels

Determine which channels your target audience tends to use the most and focus the majority of your efforts there.  That doesn't mean you need to limit yourself to just one or two sites, but make sure the people you want to attract will see the announcement.  For example, younger audiences tend to favor some channels more than others.  Make every effort to understand what's popular with the target demographic and concentrate on injecting your message there.

Channels to consider include:

  • Instagram - a good marketing channel for everyone. In terms of personal usage, over one billion people have registered an account on Instagram to date, as noted by Dreamgrow

  • Facebook - be certain to promote your event on Facebook. Adespresso says that 700 million people use Facebook Events each month to market events and 35 million people view a public event on Facebook each day. You can even sell tickets directly on your event post.

  • LinkedIn - the go-to social network for making new business connections.  Despite having more than 100 million active monthly users, LinkedIn is still underutilized as a tool for promoting events, but is good for professional conventions and conferences.

  • Twitter-  popular with young professionals.  The Bizzabo Blog says that 36% of Americans between the ages of 18-29  and 22% between the ages of 30-49 use Twitter.  

  • Email - still widely popular in promoting events. According to research, many event marketers feel that email marketing is the most effective promotional tool out there. As you look at building out your email campaign check out some email marketing tool to help you create amazing marketing emails that will capture your audiences attention. Click here to learn more

3. Create Content

Once you have established you key messaging you can begin to form all your marketing content quickly. Develop content that will sell your event and make viewers want to know more.  You might want to try a bit  of A/B testing to determine what information proves more appealing based on how many "likes" it gets and then adjust accordingly.  Don't forget to include graphics and videos as these are very powerful promotional tools.

4. Develop a Marketing Schedule

Create a timeline for your marketing strategy to make use of every last minute leading up to the event.  Things like early bird tickets and last minute deals keep momentum aflow. 

5. Enjoy Your Successful Event.

initlive
2019/09
Sep 26, 2019 4:15:00 PM
A Quick Guide to Marketing Your Event Using Social Media
Event Promotion

Sep 26, 2019 4:15:00 PM

A Quick Guide to Marketing Your Event Using Social Media

In today's climate, the best way to attract attention and attendance to any event is through social media.  People are more likely to learn about what's going on in the community through quick check-ins to their favorite online media channels because they tend to look at those sites several times...

5 Steps to Secure Sponsorship for Your Next Event

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (55)One of the most crucial aspects of planning a major event is securing sponsorship. Sponsors collaborate with you, spread awareness of your event through their own social reach, help raise money, and get your message out there. It's a big role to fill and you need to make sure you find the right sponsors whose goals match your own. How do you do that?

1. List Your Target Demographics & Ideal Sponsors


Identify who you want to attend your event. Are you hosting an event for athletes? Maybe a children's event? Whatever it is, start thinking of local businesses that go hand-in-hand with your targeted attendees.

2. Draft Your Proposals

Sponsors need to know exactly what you're looking for from them and what they'll be getting out of it; they need to be able to predict the return on their investment. Create sponsorship proposals that include your predicted attendance, marketing strategies, and targeted demographics so your potential sponsors will know who they'll be reaching by supporting your event.

3. Network

Approach the businesses you outlined in the first step and start making connections. Linkedin can be a great resource to get in contact with the decision makers in your targeted organizations. Once you have made the connection it's time to share your proposals with them and let them know exactly what your goals are for your event. Be passionate and show that their involvement will benefit you both. 

4. Sponsor Packages

Show your sponsors what your objectives are and how their investment will help achieve their own goals. Create sponsorship packages tailored to each business that show you understand what they need to get out of it to be happy with their involvement. 

5. Marketing With Your Sponsors

Leading up to your event, make sure that people know who your sponsors are. Place their logos on your ad materials like leaflets, signs, and t-shirts. Get their name out there and let people know you're supported by the pros.

Promote your event with - How to Promote Your Event Using Instagram

By following these steps, you'll be sure to hook the right sponsors for your event. Remember to prioritize them in your planning and they will be extra willing to invest in you and your event, making it a day to remember.

initlive
2019/09
Sep 24, 2019 12:23:00 PM
5 Steps to Secure Sponsorship for Your Next Event
Event Management, Event Promotion

Sep 24, 2019 12:23:00 PM

5 Steps to Secure Sponsorship for Your Next Event

One of the most crucial aspects of planning a major event is securing sponsorship. Sponsors collaborate with you, spread awareness of your event through their own social reach, help raise money, and get your message out there. It's a big role to fill and you need to make sure you find the right...

10 Tips For Planning a Successful Volunteer Program For Your Sports Tournament

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (66)

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.

Learn more with - Tips for Planning a Sports Tournament

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.

Planning out your volunteer requirements? Check out -  12 Essential Volunteer Roles for your Next Tournament

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.

 

 

initlive
2019/09
Sep 19, 2019 5:02:00 PM
10 Tips For Planning a Successful Volunteer Program For Your Sports Tournament
Volunteer Management, Sporting Event Management

Sep 19, 2019 5:02:00 PM

10 Tips For Planning a Successful Volunteer Program For Your Sports Tournament

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...

4 Steps to Recruit Volunteers for a Successful Non-Profit Event

4 Steps to Recruit- Volunteers- for -a -Successful- Non-Profit- EventWhen you plan an event for a non-profit organization, having a recruitment strategy to get the best volunteers available is essential. Your volunteers are integral to your event's success, and a well-managed recruitment program helps ensure a high return on your event investments. So here are four steps to recruit volunteers for a successful non-profit event:

1.  Create detailed role descriptions. 

Many motivated volunteers are skilled and experienced, and have their favorite responsibilities in mind when they sign up. So post detailed role descriptions online that cover all aspects of the volunteer's duties. Include physical requirements for any tasks your volunteers may need to perform, like walking up to five kilometers (which occurs frequently in trash collection roles) or lifting up to 50 pounds. Also try adding to excitement with more creative role titles (like "sustainability management" versus "trash detail") so that volunteers can really take pride in their work)

Write exceptional volunteer role description with -  How to Write Volunteer Role Descriptions That Make People Want to Sign Up

2. Create shifts with the right management tool.

Choose a tool that offers an easy way to build a volunteer shift schedule. Consider adding floater shifts to help manage any gaps in teams during the event so you don't have to pull someone off of a regular shift to handle emergency cleanups or last-minute off-site errands. As a result, each team member will know their expected duties, eliminating unpleasant surprises. 

Learn more by reading - The Complete Guide- How to Recruit Volunteers for an Event

3. Offer online registration and shift signup. 

You want your volunteers to be motivated and focused from the start. So there's no better way to empower volunteers than to give them a voice in choosing the role and shifts that are right for them. And using a tool that allows multi-level access so volunteers can contact other qualified team members to fill in for them in an emergency is a great way to address last-minute scheduling changes and reduce no-shows. 

4. Promote online registration.

Finally, run an incentive campaign on social media and email using existing contacts in order to drastically increase your volunteer team with stellar recruits. Be sure to offer meaningful incentives when an existing volunteer recruits friends and family, such as a chance to win a trip to a key location or event, or a sought-after prize like an iPhone or tablet. You can also tailor the role you're seeking to fill so that it's skill-specific. That way, you'll attract lots of experienced recruits who are ready to make your next event a smashing success.

Use InitLive for your next event as your all-in-one communication, recruitment, and volunteer management tool. For more information on how the industry's leading event tool can help you recruit for a successful non-profit event, please contact us.

initlive
2019/09
Sep 16, 2019 11:46:00 AM
4 Steps to Recruit Volunteers for a Successful Non-Profit Event
Volunteer/Staff Recruitment, Non-Profit Events

Sep 16, 2019 11:46:00 AM

4 Steps to Recruit Volunteers for a Successful Non-Profit Event

When you plan an event for a non-profit organization, having a recruitment strategy to get the best volunteers available is essential. Your volunteers are integral to your event's success, and a well-managed recruitment program helps ensure a high return on your event investments. So here are four...

6 Strategies for Retaining Your Best Volunteers

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (45)

Not all event volunteers are the same. The very best volunteers for your event are reliable, tech-savvy, eager to learn, and wonderfully adaptive to the public and to an environment with swiftly changing priorities. However, top volunteers have lots of options, and find what they're looking for elsewhere in a volunteer experience if they can't find it at yours. Here are five strategies for retaining your very best volunteers:

1. Offer self-signup.

Today's high-performing volunteers love immediate responses. Providing an online application with clear details on each role allows users to  sign up quickly and efficiently. And that's exactly what stellar volunteers expect of themselves when they're working at your event. In addition, have space on your online application where they list their experience and interests so that you can assign them to tasks that suit them best.

2. Post the benefits of volunteering as part of your online recruitment.

Let potential volunteers know straight up what's in store for them by listing everything they'll enjoy if they devote themselves to your event. Tangibles are an important motivation -- uniforms,tee-shirts, and other wearables bearing your logo; frequent breaks, available snacks, access to fresh water; and full meals for long shifts. But also, you'll want to communicate from the very start the long term benefits volunteers will receive, such as experience they can put on their resumes and valuable training they can use at a real job.

3. Have all policies and procedures available online.

Today's younger volunteers in particular are independent problem solvers. Have all general policies and procedures for your event, including your volunteer manual, accessible online so that your volunteers can find exactly the information they're looking for -- whether they're working at the information table or serving as ushers or parking attendants.

4. Provide online training, tutorials, and schedules for on-site orientation.

Let your volunteers know from the outset what they need to learn, and have self-tutorials available online. When the training has to be done in person and onsite, make that information available from the start so that your volunteers know from the start so they'll be ready.

Learn More - 5 Ways Volunteers Have a Direct Impact on Your Event's Reputation

5. Post an online schedule with options to change shifts.

A successful event is planned out down to the detail, offering flexible solutions for surprises and emergencies.Offer volunteers access to their schedule online long before the event to ensure they can plan their days according. Confusion on day of can not only effect the experience of your volunteers but can negatively impact your attendees experience. 

6. Map out your incentive and rewards program online.

 Finally, have a clearly spelled-out plan for acknowledging exceptional employee performance during your event. List the goals you want your volunteers to achieve, as well as prizes, rewards, and acknowledgements they'll earn once they achieve them. If you have a special awards night, announce that occasion online as well and make all the information available during signup. The results? Serious volunteers will appreciate that your event is well organized and well managed, and they'll be motivated to provide you with their very best performance.

Use InitLive as your all-in-one event planning, safety and communication tool. It provides easy document storage and retrieval, real-time communication, and multiple levels of user access, all through one device. For attracting, engaging, and retaining your best volunteers for your next event, please contact us.

 

 

initlive
2019/09
Sep 12, 2019 3:06:00 PM
6 Strategies for Retaining Your Best Volunteers
Volunteer Management, Volunteer/Staff Recruitment

Sep 12, 2019 3:06:00 PM

6 Strategies for Retaining Your Best Volunteers

Not all event volunteers are the same. The very best volunteers for your event are reliable, tech-savvy, eager to learn, and wonderfully adaptive to the public and to an environment with swiftly changing priorities. However, top volunteers have lots of options, and find what they're looking for...

The Complete Guide- How to Recruit Volunteers for an Event

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (44)Great volunteers are the secret to a successful event. They give first and last impressions, so they make or break the event for which you've been planning all this time. So there's nothing's more important than a well-managed recruitment process. Read on to discover the complete guide for successful volunteer recruitment process.

1. Description

Let your volunteers know what they're getting into. Give them an opportunity to decide whether they'll make a good fit by offering a thorough event description. Most of all, since a volunteer's payoff lies in the experience and knowledge they'll gain, you'll want to sell them on the great time they'll have by working at your event.

Your volunteer role description should include the follow

  • A summary of the role of what their shift will look like. 
  • Detailed requirements including physical requirements like ability to walk up to 3 hours or can lift 50lbs. 
  • Qualification requirement likes age, drivers license for first aid certification.

2. Imagery: A picture's worth a thousand words. 

Today's volunteers are visual. So post plenty of pictures showing memorable moments from years past. And let your volunteers get a sense of the environment they'll be working in by showcasing an elegant layout, smiling attendees, and helpful staff. 

3. List Opportunities 

Forget about casting a wide net and waiting for the warm bodies to show up. Post a list of volunteer roles with complete descriptions. For starters, many events need: ushers; information and registration assistants; floaters and runners; grounds crew for outdoor events; coffee table attendants; servers and kitchen staff; and setup and breakdown crew. In addition, think about specialized positions which require specific skills. These include foreign language interpreters, social media coordinators, maintenance crew, on-call medical staff, IT, and audio-visual.

4. Number of positions to fill for each role

By specifying and limiting the number of positions available for each role, you can distribute volunteers across the work stations as needed. At the same time, you'll instill a sense of healthy competition among potential volunteers. They'll be motivated to do their best so they can land and keep the position which appeals to them the most.

5. Online registration, short and sweet

Keep registration quick and simple. You'll attract tech-savvy volunteers who are used to solving problems in an instant. In addition, provide an online signup process which allows you to:

  • Gather each applicant's availability.
  • Let applicants ask their own questions.
  • Provide self-signup options for shifts. (This function will help reduce no-shows as volunteers select shifts which suit them best.)
  • Share the signup link through social media, email, and your website. 

6. Thorough communication

Lastly, with an event management tool like InitLive, you'll show volunteers that your well-organized is worth their time and preparation. In addition, you'll be able to send confirmations, reminders, updates, and more with InitLive's all-in-one event planning and management tool.

For more information on how you can have a five-star volunteer recruitment process with InitLive, please contact us.

initlive
2019/09
Sep 9, 2019 4:38:00 PM
The Complete Guide- How to Recruit Volunteers for an Event
Volunteer/Staff Recruitment, Event Management

Sep 9, 2019 4:38:00 PM

The Complete Guide- How to Recruit Volunteers for an Event

Great volunteers are the secret to a successful event. They give first and last impressions, so they make or break the event for which you've been planning all this time. So there's nothing's more important than a well-managed recruitment process. Read on to discover the complete guide for...

3 Ways Build a Strong Volunteer Management Program for Your Sports Tournament

Anyone who plans a sports tournament knows that the strengths and weaknesses of its volunteer staff can make or break the event. So investing in your volunteers' training and tools is key. We've taken some important tips from an interview with Ruth Nicholson, founder of GO!, to get the best advice on the matter, and we've summarized some highlights below. So read on to find out how to build a strong volunteer management program for your sports tournament!

 1. What are the components of a successful volunteer management program?

There are a lot of factors to consider when creating a strategy for your volunteer management program. Ruth lists four major components:

  • Connecting people with the right skills to best role
  • Investing the time to train and guide your volunteers,
  • Listing role detailed descriptions and requirements 
  • Providing choices for volunteers to schedule themselves 

2. What happens when there are weak links in your volunteer team?

When the four components aren't properly addressed, Ruth says a "trickle effect" occurs which spreads through the entire event. When a volunteer doesn't show up for a trash-picking shift, for instance, all the families with lunch, snacks, and beverages will quickly fill up the trash containers. Three or four games in, the trash is overflowing, and the attendee experience is compromised. People start to complain about the eyesore. Then, there's a legitimate health hazard when used band-aids and other bio-hazards end up on the ground.

Take your sports tournament to the next level with -  7 Signs Of A Successful Sports Tournament

3. So what's the recipe for building a strong volunteer staff?

The recipe is simple, Ruth tells us. It's 60% planning, 20% getting the work done, and 20% showing gratitude.

  • Planning: We suggest you use a leading event management tool like InitLive, which allows you to post customize registrations online and allows your volunteers to choose the shift they want to work online. Then you can ask for skills to fit the applicant with the right role, post role descriptions, provide self-scheduling and shift selection, and coordinate training.
  • Getting the work done: This involves checking in teams, parking the cars, and making sure all the trash is picked up, Ruth says. You'll need to verify that everyone who check in is present, and you'll have to communicate with your teams consistently to see that the work is being done.
  • Show your appreciation: Let each event staff member know exactly how they contributed to a successful event, Ruth tells us. For instance, she describes how you can let the parking detail know that they helped park cars so well that that the ambulance which arrived on the scene could access the area with no problem.
Learn more with - Top 4 Sports Tournament Event Planning Fails (and how to fix them)

Cover all the planning, execution, and thank-you communications for your event with the industry's leading event management tool, InitLive. Make online lists and descriptions, communicate with your volunteers in real time during check-ups, and send out individual or group messages.  For more information on how to build a strong event management team for your next tournament, please contact us.

 

 

initlive
2019/09
Sep 5, 2019 4:52:00 PM
3 Ways Build a Strong Volunteer Management Program for Your Sports Tournament
Volunteer Management, Sporting Event Management

Sep 5, 2019 4:52:00 PM

3 Ways Build a Strong Volunteer Management Program for Your Sports Tournament

Anyone who plans a sports tournament knows that the strengths and weaknesses of its volunteer staff can make or break the event. So investing in your volunteers' training and tools is key. We've taken some important tips from an interview with Ruth Nicholson, founder of GO!, to get the best advice...

Your Complete Guide to Planning an Endurance Race Event

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (64)

Planning an endurance race event is hard work, but rewarding. Race events have a lot of moving parts from registration to spectator entertainment, in order to organize a successful event you need a reliable plan to get started. To ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment, follow these seven basic steps.

1. Choose Location, Theme, Date

Start with the basics. Choose a desirable venue that is easy to access to public transit  and provides ample parking,accessibility is key to higher participation. Select a date that accommodates people's schedules and isn't competing with many other events or holidays. Find a theme that is fun and fits the venue and date.

2. Set Goals and Submit Permits

Set realistic goals for attendance based on available resources. If this is the first year hosting the endurance event, be prepared for smaller numbers. Get permission from the permitting authority where the event will take place and file any necessary paperwork.

3. Find Sponsors

Set a realistic budget that includes expected income (racer registration fees) and expenses (timing, scoring, tents, cones, signage, website design, labor, etc). Utilize sponsorships to boost the income side of the equation. Sponsorships can be monetary or in the form of tangible items. For example, a business might want to donate water bottles for the event or put their logo on the event t-shirt instead of sponsoring the whole event.

4. Create a Marketing Plan

People won't attend an endurance event they don't know about, so marketing is key. Take advantage of social media and websites, but don't forget about old-fashioned posters, flyers, and press releases. Social media ads and google adwords can help you get your event in front of captive eyes but don't over look the power of a friends and family referral program. Start by developing  a marketing calendar that includes who is doing what and when they should be doing it.

Ensure you race event is memorable with these theme ideas - 10 Amazing Theme Ideas for Endurance Events

5. Create a Registration Plan 

The easier the registration process, the more likely people are to participate and the smoother your event will go. Offer a way to sign up for the event online with a payment portal ahead of time and an easy day-of registration form. Ensure that you collect required information from participants during the registration process, nothing is worse then collecting a t-shirt sizes through email . 

6. Recruit and Schedule Volunteers 

Volunteers are crucial to an event's success. There are online solutions such as InitLive that can help find recruit and schedule committed volunteers. Establish a chain of command and make sure volunteers are trained before the event. Create a system that allows volunteers to communicate with one another during the event. 

Create a winning volunteer team with - 13 Essential Volunteer Roles for Races

7. Create Event Day and Emergency Plans 

Have a schedule for the event day and include buffer time for problem-solving. No matter how much you plan, there is always the potential for something to go wrong. Whether there's a thunderstorm or something more sinister, an emergency plan is essential. Develop a plan for emergencies and communicate the plan to event volunteers and participants.

Take your endurance race to the next level with - 5 Fun Activities For Spectators At Your Next Endurance Event

Follow these tips to host a successful event and be proud of your accomplishments after all of the hard work.

initlive
2019/09
Sep 3, 2019 12:02:00 PM
Your Complete Guide to Planning an Endurance Race Event
Event Planning, Sporting Event Management

Sep 3, 2019 12:02:00 PM

Your Complete Guide to Planning an Endurance Race Event

Planning an endurance race event is hard work, but rewarding. Race events have a lot of moving parts from registration to spectator entertainment, in order to organize a successful event you need a reliable plan to get started. To ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment, follow these seven basic...

5 Tips For Promoting Your Fandom Convention

 

This year was San Diego Comic-Con's 50th annual event and brought in an estimated 135,000 attendees. As the most popular fandom convention, that growth may seem like an impossible scenario, but it's not alone. Each year, fandom conventions become more and more popular and they are popping up in towns around the world. How do you promote an event like that? Here are a few tips.

1. Online

Ensure your convention is easy to find online when someone type " Conventions near me" is important when optimizing your local SEO is essential when promoting your event. When creating your SEO strategy consider what words will be using when looking for your event and how to include those words in your website and blog content. 

 Once you have optimized your website its time to think about social media. Today, social media advertising and ad targeting are huge promotional strategies that you should definitely utilize to promote your fandom convention. Most urban event-goers do the majority of their planning online so ads on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and Reddit are sure to get noticed. Make your your event has a presence on the social media or forums where your target audience spends their time on. 

Learn more with  - 4 Ways to Promote Your Conference Event on LinkedIn

2. Event Distribution

Once you figure out where fans are spending time online, make tickets available right there. The world is in a stage of instant gratification – utilize that. If you make a Facebook Event for your convention, make tickets available right there too. You'll sell more tickets that way than if attendees have to redirect to another site.

3. Make Purchasing Easy

Yes this one is a no brainier but its worth mentioning the importance of easy ticket purchasing. When looking at ticketing solution look out for options like coupon codes  which open up even more promotional opportunities. Another ticketing promotion to consider is a invite a friend and receive 15% off your ticket. These options help turn you attendee's into promoters of your event. 

4. Promote Your Swag

People attend fandom conventions to have a good time and to buy swag related to their favorite things. Shopping is a huge motivation for fans to attend events. Promote whatever you're selling at your convention in your ads and it'll be sure to catch people's eyes.

5. Utilize Your Volunteers

Big events like conventions can't thrive without a top-notch group of volunteers to help run the show. Give your volunteers perks like early access to events or free passes to attend panels, then encourage them to share their experiences with their friends on social media. Volunteers are passionate people and can bring in a huge crowd by sharing photos and stories about the convention with their friends and family.

Check out our blog- Take Your Fandom Convention to the Next Level with an Amazing Volunteer Program

For more information about promoting your fandom convention and how to make your team one of the best, visit our website. Your event will run smoothly in no time!

 

initlive
2019/08
Aug 29, 2019 4:39:00 PM
5 Tips For Promoting Your Fandom Convention
Event Promotion, Conference Event Management

Aug 29, 2019 4:39:00 PM

5 Tips For Promoting Your Fandom Convention

 

This year was San Diego Comic-Con's 50th annual event and brought in an estimated 135,000 attendees. As the most popular fandom convention, that growth may seem like an impossible scenario, but it's not alone. Each year, fandom conventions become more and more popular and they are popping up in...

The Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide

The -Ultimate- Festival- Event -Planning- Guide

Every event planner knows that festivals take a lot of work. But regardless of the scale of your event, there are basic steps involved which apply to most festival planning stages. So use this ultimate festival planning guide to make your next festival your most successful one yet.

1. Secure your location

Finding the perfect location for your festival event isn't easy. In order to ensure your event is accessible to your target attendees consider the following: 

  • Can the venue be accessible by public transit and provide ample parking? 
  •  Can your venue fit your current attendee numbers but also does it have the capacity for your event to scale year over year? 
  •  Does it have the required infrastructure like high voltage capacity? 
  • Will you be able to bring in all the required vendors and equipment to the venue?

Once you have found that perfect venue, you need to set a date, sign a contract, stay within budget, and make payment. Don't forget you also have to secure the necessary licenses and permits to hold the festival (think zoning and parking).  

2. Book your lineup and vendors 

Whether you are planning a music festival or a beer festival you need to secure talent, entertainment  and vendors before you start promoting the festival. Understanding what your attendees want and how to surprise them is essential to the success of your festival. Booking talent and vendors has never been easier with new online platforms and marketplace sprouting up all the time. Make sure that you establish a back up list for when headliners or top vendors bail. 

Continue planning with -The Festival Organizer’s Guide to On-Site Logistics

3. Create a marketing campaign

Creating a detailed marketing plan will be key to your festivals event. Keep your target audience in mind when choosing the mediums in which you are marketing. When creating your plan make sure you include the follow sections: 

  • Prevent - offer a sneak peek on social media and through email blast 
  • Event launch - Drop your line up and schedule everywhere and get the local media involved. 
  • During Event - Offer during event prizes for using hashtags to keep the buzz going
  • Post event - Thank everyone and start promoting for your next even 

Learn more- Promoting Your Festival Event Hashtag: The Ultimate Guide

4. Create a site setup and emergency plan

Festivals don't need any surprises when it comes to logistics. Post an online map of the site, marking all parking areas, restroom facilities, and eating areas. Have an emergency plan clearly mapped out as well, along with evacuation routes, emergency procedures, and safety instructions. Lastly, schedule a trained and experienced setup crew that follows a carefully crafted "to do" list online. You may also want to assign team leads to supervise during this crucial stage.

5. Recruit and schedule volunteers

Use your website and social media channels to promote your event. Announce volunteer roles within your online newsletter and job boards. And be sure to use a volunteer management tool that allows you to share a recruitment link. Once your volunteers are registered allow them to choose their own shifts, saving you time and provide your volunteers with the free to pick roles and shift that work for them best. 

Take your volunteer program to the next level with - 13 Essential Volunteer Roles at a Festival

6. Create plans for Festival Day and Post-Festival Day

These plans should include any special opening and closing events; staff work schedules; and multi-level access to contact information, safety policies, and emergency procedures. In addition, once the festival's over, have cleanup and breakdown crews scheduled to move in and complete specific assignments with appropriate checklists. You may also need to pay vendors and hired staff, issue thank you notes, complete reports, review attendee evaluations, give performance reviews, and coordinate festival waste and recycling disposal.

For more information on how you can use this ultimate festival planning guide to take your event to the next level, please contact us.

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Download The Guide

initlive
2019/08
Aug 27, 2019 12:00:00 AM
The Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide
Event Planning, Festival Management

Aug 27, 2019 12:00:00 AM

The Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide

Every event planner knows that festivals take a lot of work. But regardless of the scale of your event, there are basic steps involved which apply to most festival planning stages. So use this ultimate festival planning guide to make your next festival your most successful one yet.

7 Signs Of A Successful Sports Tournament

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (18)

As you know, sports tournaments take a lot of planning and well-focused execution to be a success. Logistics, safety, cleanliness, and customer service are just a few of the areas you need to cover to ensure that the public is saying great things about your event -- both online and offline.  We have teamed up with industry expert Ruth Nicholson founder of GO!, who has worked in youth and semi-professional sports, particularly soccer, for more than 30 years. Ruth has provided her expertise in order to help define what makes a tournament successful. So let's take a look at seven signs of a successful sports tournament.

1. Efficient, well-staffed parking

First, you want everybody talking about how accessible the parking is. Make sure attendees can find your field maps online weeks before the tournament, and that your parking area is well staffed. You want to avoid hearing:” Man, when we went to that tournament, the parking was expensive and it was hard to find, and the field maps weren't very good” commented Ruth. The better your parking system is organized, the more likely you'll be able to attract quality volunteer parking and safety crew members that keep efficiency up -- and your parking expenses down.

2. Real-time communication with certified medics

With Ruth’s extensive experience in tournament planning, she has seen it all and indicated that stuff happens. Kids get hurt on the field, or someone gets dehydrated and needs medical attention. You'll want your medics standing by ready to act, so use an all-in-one event tool like InitLive to maintain real-time communication at all times. This ensures that every injury is taken care of in a timely fashion reducing confusion and anxiety. 

Planning a tournament? Check out - Tips for Planning a Sports Tournament

3. Superior customer service

Your volunteer staff may already be detailed-oriented and motivated, but don't underestimate the importance of customer service evaluation. Ruth recommends taking feedback “It's not always comfortable, but it always tells me something, includes volunteers Part of volunteer checkout was filling out my 'how did it go' survey. What you want to hear volunteers, if I got, I had good information going in, the communications before and during we're good.” added Ruth. You can even take this and apply it to your attendees and survey them for feedback post-tournament. 


4. A well-defined chain of command

Whenever a surprise issue comes up, your attendees want to know who to talk to. Establishing a chain of command and posting it online in advance will let both your volunteers and the public know who to turn to when they want a particular issue addressed. 

 Ruth recommends the following roles for a streamlined chain of command:

Registration Coordinator: A check-in tent for teams as they come in, and tournament check-in often lasts for a couple of days, and has a number of shifts or volunteers who help check-in teams as they come in. 

Scout coordinator: some college coaches to come to watch your teams and you have a tent where the college coaches can get out of the sun, sit in the shade, work on their paperwork, maybe you offer them food or drink or something.

Field marshals Coordinators So maybe you have tents set up around your complex and you have field marshals who kind of watch over two or three fields to make sure everything's going well. And you might have a coordinator who works with those specific people and those jobs. So you have these sort of mid-level managers if you will. 


5. Focused volunteers

Even if you cast a wide net for scads of volunteers to "just show up and help out," you'll sabotage your own event if someone complains that "they're all just standing around." Make role descriptions available online weeks before the event so that each volunteer has a list of "to-dos." Connecting individuals with the right skills, with the right jobs is essential to a well-run volunteer management program. In addition, allowing self-scheduling will let motivated volunteers sign up for the tasks, roles, and shifts they want based on the detailed job descriptions they have access to online. 

Check out - 12 Essential Volunteer Roles for your Next Tournament

6. Constant communication

Even the best tournament events run short of supplies for any food, drinks or water. But in a successful event, the designated team lead tracks a volunteer's whereabouts as they make a run for last-minute missing items. InitLive can help you keep in direct contact with volunteer teams and individuals on event with their event day app. Having convenient access to your volunteer schedule in real-time can help you track down missing volunteers and avoid shift gap and confusion. 

7. Cleanliness and sustainability

Finally, the last thing you want to hear at your tournament is a lot of complaints about litter, waste, and lack of recycling management. Cleanliness and sustainable disposal processes are essential to a successful sports tournament, so schedule volunteers just for keeping up with this important detail.   

3 Tips To Increase The Success of Your Next TournamentTake your tournament to the next level!

Join tournament expert Ruth Nicholson and Julia Frame for a 60-minute free webinar where you will learn expert tips and tricks for a successful tournament every time. 

Register Today →

 

 

 

initlive
2019/08
Aug 22, 2019 11:49:00 AM
7 Signs Of A Successful Sports Tournament
Sporting Event Management

Aug 22, 2019 11:49:00 AM

7 Signs Of A Successful Sports Tournament

As you know, sports tournaments take a lot of planning and well-focused execution to be a success. Logistics, safety, cleanliness, and customer service are just a few of the areas you need to cover to ensure that the public is saying great things about your event -- both online and offline.  We...

10 Amazing Theme Ideas for Endurance Events

 

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (16)

People love races and other endurance events, but there are a lot of them. Besides, anyone can step out their front door and run 10 kilometers. Why should they pay an entrance fee to run with you? Themes bring excitement to your race and make someone say, "Oh, this one sounds like fun!" Here are 10 fantastic theme ideas to consider for your next endurance event.

Eat UP


Everyone loves to eat, and the thought of eating combined with running is kind of funny, too. Check out this Krispy Kreme Challenge for inspiration, and consider linking arms with local restaurants or specialty shops to create a fun food-themed race.

Get Dressed

Adults love costumes as much as kids do, which is why you see costume races around Halloween, Santa-themed races at Christmas, and so much more. Costumes, whether based around a specific theme or not, provide a great opportunity to award prizes and share fantastic race photos. 

Ride a (Stick) Horse

A hobby horse race might need to be a little on the shorter side, but participants can have fun designing and dressing both their stick horses and themselves. Prizes for best horse or best costume can be offered in addition to prizes for the race winners.

Be Extreme

Racing in the extreme heat, extreme cold, or over extreme terrain comes with some extra safety considerations, but it can be a fun challenge for those hard-core racers. From ultra running to a military style obstacle course pushing your participants out of their comfort level will ensure your endurance event memorable. 

Have a Drink

From hot chocolate to wine, drink-themed races are a lot of fun. If you intend to serve wine or beer at the aid station, like some alcohol-themed events do, a shorter race is probably a good idea. Otherwise, consider the finish line as the place to really develop your theme.

Celebrate a Holiday

Turkey Trots, Firecracker 5Ks, and New Year New You races are always popular. To make your race stand out, focus on an obscure holiday, like Kiss a Ginger Day or National Ice Cream Day.

Planning a endurance event? Check out - 5 Fun Activities For Spectators At Your Next Endurance Event

Rock On

The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series is on to something, and you can recreate it on a smaller scale with popular local bands. Feature music-themed awards and a great band at the finish line so the party can continue into the evening.

Invite the Family

What about a 5K where everyone has to push a stroller, or a one-mile run where people participate in teams of two: parent and child. Of course, you can't go wrong with a dog-friendly race—Fido is everyone's favorite running partner.

Dodge the Obstacles

Obstacle races have grown in popularity thanks to series like Tough Mudder and Spartan. Use your imagination and create your own!

Don't Go to Sleep

Most events happen during the day, so stage yours at night! There are so many possibilities here: celebrating the summer solstice, eating breakfast at the finish line, wearing glow-in-the-dark clothing or carrying glow sticks, and more. 

Whatever theme you decide upon, you're going to need a fantastic event planning tool to help you manage your volunteers, vendors, and more. Contact us if you have any questions about how InitLive can help you organize your events volunteer and event staff  to execute the best themed endurance event you've ever had.

initlive
2019/08
Aug 20, 2019 3:17:00 PM
10 Amazing Theme Ideas for Endurance Events
Event Planning, Sporting Event Management

Aug 20, 2019 3:17:00 PM

10 Amazing Theme Ideas for Endurance Events

 

People love races and other endurance events, but there are a lot of them. Besides, anyone can step out their front door and run 10 kilometers. Why should they pay an entrance fee to run with you? Themes bring excitement to your race and make someone say, "Oh, this one sounds like fun!" Here are...

5 Fun Activities For Spectators At Your Next Endurance Event

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (8)

Sporting events are one of the best ways to bring together athletes and spectators alike for a day of light-hearted entertainment. A good endurance event should not only provide a safe, appropriate venue for the participants but engaging activities for the spectators to engage in as well. Here is five ways to ensure the spectators of your next sporting event enjoy an experience they won't forget.


1. Kids Obstacle Challenge

One surefire way to ensure children present at the sporting event are both occupied and entertained is to provide an obstacle course. Not only do obstacle courses encourage problem solving and critical thinking, but there are also a number of obstacle courses which require minimum to no prep.   

2. Spectator Costume Contest

Many sporting events such as races provide costume contests for the participants should they decide to wear a costume during the event. Holding an additional costume contest for the spectators allows them to experience the same fun without participating in the sporting event. Decide on theme and then choose a winner based off the criteria of your choosing such as originality, creativity, or adherence to theme.   

3. Live Music 

Live music could be just the thing you need to bring your sporting event to the next level. The use of music at sporting events is an age-old practice you can use in a number of ways including building the energy of spectators and fans, entertaining during intermissions in the event, or simply providing atmosphere.   

4. Face Painting 

Face painting is a growing activity amongst spectators for sporting events across the globe. Alongside their favorite team's jersey, face painting is a fantastic way for fans to show support during the event. A booth where spectators can get their face adorned with the colors of their favorite team is an excellent way to encourage creativity of spectators and attendance of future events. 

Planning a outdoor tournament? Check out - 5 Ways to Cope with Heat, Rain, Mud & Snow During Your Outdoor Event  

5. Food Truck Tailgate Party

Tailgate parties are the game before the game of any sporting event. By adding food trucks into the mix, the tailgate experience before your sporting event is sure to provide great entertainment and quality food before the event even begins. Spectators can share in the tradition of comradery and community-building while also supporting their favorite teams.  

InitLive is your number one source for all-in-one event staff and volunteer management solution  to help create a quality and safety attendee experience. For more information on how to make your next sporting or endurance event unforgettable for participants and spectators alike, please contact us.

initlive
2019/08
Aug 15, 2019 11:51:00 AM
5 Fun Activities For Spectators At Your Next Endurance Event

Aug 15, 2019 11:51:00 AM

5 Fun Activities For Spectators At Your Next Endurance Event

Sporting events are one of the best ways to bring together athletes and spectators alike for a day of light-hearted entertainment. A good endurance event should not only provide a safe, appropriate venue for the participants but engaging activities for the spectators to engage in as well. Here is...

Top 4 Sports Tournament Event Planning Fails (and how to fix them)

Top- 4 -Sporting- Event- Planning- Fails- (and- how- to- fix- them)

Organizing a sporting event or tournament can be a great way to bring people together to enjoy some competition, but the logistics can become overwhelming pretty quickly. We spoke with industry expert Ruth Nicholson founder of GO!, who has worked in youth and semi-professional sports, particularly soccer, for more than 30 years to bring her expertise to this article. In order to ensure you're planning for success make sure you avoid these 4 common pitfalls when organizing your next sports tournament.

What does an unsuccessful tournament look like? 

According to Ruth Nicholson ”Unsuccessful tournaments are when people notice stuff that's uncomfortable. To put it in perspective:  the referee analogy, if you're at a sporting event and the officials, the referees, the umpires, the line judges... if they're doing their job really well, you don't necessarily notice them. When the referee makes a call that you don't agree with, you notice them, right? And then we yell at the TV or the field, or whatever.”

No Competition

Everybody loves to see a good match, but they won't have the chance if you don't have a fairly even playing field. When planning any sports tournament it is essential to make sure you've taken the time to evaluate the competitors' abilities and match opponents accordingly. “This can be tough because you're trying to match up similar skill and ability levels between teams, because nobody wants to go to a tournament and lose/win 10-0, right” Comment Ruth. One-sided competitions are great for the winners but ho-hum for everyone else. Matching up teams is just one side of the equation, the other side is the ensuring you have a fair team of referees. Whether it's a semi-professional tournament or a house league tournament,  fair play is essential to the success of your sporting event. 

Unorganized Volunteers

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any good sporting event, and it takes a top-notch organization to see that they are all able to perform their duties effectively. Nothing is worse than having half of your volunteers not show up at the right time at the right place. Ruth added “How many games does it going to take to fill up those garbage cans? Not many. Well, if the garbage is all in the can, it's not just an eyesore. But say you go three or four games and that garbage can is not only full, but it's also overflowing. No shows make a large impact on your event.”

So in order to avoid this problem providing your team of volunteers with online registration and scheduling will decrease no-shows. Scheduling in floaters can also help fill those gaps. Your volunteers will need to communicate efficiently with leaders and each other at all times. Give your volunteers the tools to succeed with a event day app. 

Planning a Sports Tournament? Check out - Tips for Planning a Sports Tournament

Hard to Find Services

Sporting events can be dangerous, but that isn't the only reason to have a medic present. Your event may have hundreds, or thousands, of spectators, and the possibilities for injuries are almost endless. Ensure that proper medical staff is on-site and are each to locate to treat minor injuries, for players or fans. It is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Tip- Ensure you have a well informed field marshall for each game to direct people when needed. 

Read More - 12 Essential Volunteer Roles for your Next Tournament

Over-charging

Hosting a sporting event is great fun for everyone involved, but that doesn't mean you can't make any money at it. Be sure to calculate the finances of your event ahead of time, from field rentals and concessions to prizes and parking costs. 

For example, Ruth mentions the power parents have when choosing which tournaments to attend each year. You don’t want people saying  ”Oh, come on. Let's not go there. Let's go to a different one." Right, right. It was hard to book a hotel. Eating was expensive, parking was bad.” Charging reasonable rates without gouging the and attendees will enable you not only to make the event a financial success, but encourage all the participants to come back for the next one.

Learn more with - 7 Signs Of A Successful Sports Tournament

Play to win when planning your next sporting event by avoiding these common planning fails, and you'll be sure to come out on top.

 

3 Tips To Increase The Success of Your Next TournamentTake your tournament to the next level!

Join tournament expert Ruth Nicholson and Julia Frame for a 60-minute free webinar where you will learn expert tips and tricks for a successful tournament every time

Register Today →

initlive
2019/08
Aug 13, 2019 11:51:00 AM
Top 4 Sports Tournament Event Planning Fails (and how to fix them)
Event Planning, Sporting Event Management

Aug 13, 2019 11:51:00 AM

Top 4 Sports Tournament Event Planning Fails (and how to fix them)

Organizing a sporting event or tournament can be a great way to bring people together to enjoy some competition, but the logistics can become overwhelming pretty quickly. We spoke with industry expert Ruth Nicholson founder of GO!, who has worked in youth and semi-professional sports, particularly...

Social Media Examiner Invests in Its SMMW Conference Volunteer Program

 

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (17)

Every year, thousands of attendees from all over the world come to the Social Media Examiner's three-day mega-conference, Social Media Marketing World (SMMW). But the event had become so popular, event staff found, old methods of volunteer management were no longer as effective. Today the SMMW conference volunteer program is more connected, efficient, and focused than ever. Read on to discover why the Social Media Examiner invests in their conference's volunteer program each year with InitLive.

Event scope 

The only one of its kind, SMMW provides a venue for companies and individuals to learn the latest on social media marketing. The last SMMW conference was run by an event staff of over 200, welcoming more than 4500 attendees. In addition, staff and volunteers worked over 4000 hours on more than 600 shifts. Its next event will be held in San Diego, California, from March 1st through March 3rd, 2019 -- and it's expected to be even larger.

The problem

Not too long ago, the conference's management team used Excel sheets to prepare the schedule. They would then download and email a copy of the schedule to each of their 50 volunteers. This process was tying up their time, and there was no room to expand the volunteer team to meet the growing needs of the conference.

Improvements with in InitLive 

InitLive's broad range of digital capabilities changed all that. Here are the areas where the management team found vast improvements:

Empowered leaders and improved communications

Volunteer leaders were promoted to Role Managers, who used InitLive to keep tabs on which volunteers work specific roles and shifts. With InitLive's direct communication in real time, schedules and updates were easy to send and receive. Role managers also saved time by using the broadcast option to send one message to the entire team.

Flexible scheduling

InitLive allowed management to make instant scheduling changes. So each volunteer always knew where and when they had to show up.

Customer service 

Jaci Feinstein, SME's event manager, found InitLive's customer service to be superb. "I have always been impressed with the support InitLive offers," she says.

The final result: Increased efficiency

Lastly, the Social Media Examiner found that using InitlLive made their conference volunteer program super-efficient. The SME states:"InitLive really allows us to focus on the goals of our volunteers and the goals of events and not get bogged down with all the logistical details that go into scheduling, tracking, and communicating with 200 people." When it comes to creating a rock star volunteer program, it doesn't get any better than that. 

Use InitLive as your all-in-one communication, safety, and volunteer management tool. For more information on how to use the best management app in the industry, please contact us

Screenshot (11)-1

Interested in learning more?

Read how SME was able to increase their volunteer team by 200% using InitLives volunteer and event staff management solution. 

Read Their Success Story

 

initlive
2019/08
Aug 12, 2019 11:02:00 AM
Social Media Examiner Invests in Its SMMW Conference Volunteer Program
Success Story, Conference Event Management

Aug 12, 2019 11:02:00 AM

Social Media Examiner Invests in Its SMMW Conference Volunteer Program

 

Every year, thousands of attendees from all over the world come to the Social Media Examiner's three-day mega-conference, Social Media Marketing World (SMMW). But the event had become so popular, event staff found, old methods of volunteer management were no longer as effective. Today the SMMW...

Mastering the Art of Conference Planning in 5 Easy Steps

mastering-the-art-of-conference-planningConferences are some of the best places to meet like-minded colleagues within the same industry or creative individuals who share similar interests. In an increasingly interconnected world where relationship is key for business, conferences are a must-have for proper networking. And the company that organizes the conference will have the most prestige and visibility at the event.

But, you already know all that. You also know that planning a conference can be tricky— how do you create a dream conference that will go smoothly and benefit you, the organizer, and all attendees? Try these five tips:

1. Establish the right theme

Before you begin an endeavor as significant as planning a conference, you need to know who you are planning the conference for. Ask yourself what type of conference attendee you want to attract, and how the theme of your conference relates to your brand. What kind of value do you want to provide, and which organizations and speakers would make ideal partners for your theme?

Read More - 10 Must-Have Volunteer Roles For Your Next Conference

2. Start the planning process early

Conferences are not the kind of event you can throw together overnight. You will need several weeks, even months, to figure out logistics, reach out to potential partners, and connect with your target audience. Make sure you give yourself enough space on the timeline so that you don't have to feel unduly pressured.

3. Establish concrete goals

Whatever you want your conference to achieve — increased exposure for your organization or brand, to make face-to-face connections, to strengthen your community— make sure you know what it is, and write it down. Flesh out your key performance indicators (KPI) so that you know what to measure to see if your event was as successful as you wanted, and to find ways to improve next time.

4. Research your venue

A great conference needs a great venue. If you are new to organizing conferences, ask other organizers what venues have worked for them for past events. When you have found a potential venue, ask yourself: is this venue accessible? Is it close to suitable accommodations? Will attendees find parking easily? Is the size suitable for the audience size you imagine?

5. Find volunteers

Every good conference needs a team of dedicated individuals to keep things running. Rather than hire a entire crew to do this for your conference, why not use volunteers? Find local organizations that have a similar purpose as your organization and offer their members the opportunity to volunteer for your conference and also listen in on speakers that might pique their interest.

Although organizing a conference is undoubtedly a lot of work, it can be satisfying, rewarding work. Not only will you win honor and brand recognition for your own organization, you can bask in the glow of knowing that you have done something to promote your great cause or industry while bringing people together over a common goal.

InitLive's volunteer management system helps make this part easy from recruitment & scheduling, to day-of communication & check-ins, to measuring your successes post-conference. To learn more about how InitLive works, watch a demo now

initlive
2019/08
Aug 8, 2019 9:09:00 AM
Mastering the Art of Conference Planning in 5 Easy Steps
Event Management

Aug 8, 2019 9:09:00 AM

Mastering the Art of Conference Planning in 5 Easy Steps

Conferences are some of the best places to meet like-minded colleagues within the same industry or creative individuals who share similar interests. In an increasingly interconnected world where relationship is key for business, conferences are a must-have for proper networking. And the company...

Tips for Planning a Sports Tournament

Tips-For-Planning -A-Successful- Sports- Tournament

There are many moving parts that go into planning a sports tournament, from the perfect venue to ensuring you have correct number of water stations. Every detail that goes into planning a sporting tournaments will help ensure that you hit your sporting event out of the park  Here are a few tips to consider as your start planning your next sports tournament.

Set Goals and Parameters

The first step to ensuring your sports tournament is successful is to have clear goals for the event. When considering goals, think about the following:

  • How many groups would you like to participate?
  • How many attendees are optimal?
  • What is the budget available for the tournament and how is it best allocated?

While each tournament is unique, make sure you have goals set at the outset to help guide your planning.

Manage Tournament Venue and Equipment Logistics

Sports tournaments will require an appropriate venue. Depending on the sport you are hosting, the number of venues in your area may be limited. For example, there may only be one or two gymnastics clubs with available space. In contrast, if you are hosting a soccer tournament, there may be a large number of fields to choose from. Be sure to lock down your venue well in advance.

When choosing your venue, you should also explore what equipment they will make available. Will a hockey rink provide pucks, goals, and other required equipment? If not, you will need to factor equipment into your budget and create a plan to ensure the proper equipment is available for participating groups. Depending on the level of equipment required, you may want to look for a vendor who can coordinate the equipment logistics.

Plan for People

Any type of sports tournament will require a significant number of event staff and/or volunteers. Event staff are necessary for all logistics, such as check-in, parking, field marshals, and score keeping. Certain sports may require specific staff as well. A football tournament may require referees, and a golf tournament will likely need caddies for the participants.

Read More - 12 Essential Volunteer Roles for your Next Tournament

What will spectators  need access too? Will there be canteens ,water stations and how can they access to some shade to avoid heat stroke in a very hot and sunny day?

Once your staff and volunteers are booked, you will need to be able to communicate and coordinate with them throughout the day. InitLive's staff and volunteer management solution can help. Learn more here.

Day of Execution

A plan for the big day is essential to success. This plan should include things such as:

  • An event safety plan;
  • Schedule of events, including game schedule;
  • Parking and transportation;
  • Food and beverage for players;
  • Concessions for attendees; and

Keeping the above in mind, you are sure to have a smooth and successful tournament. 

 

Sports-tournament-case-study

Looking to scale your tournament?

Read how Indy Premier Soccer Club scaled up their annual tournament by 50% using InitLive by reading their full customer success story. 

Read Their Success Story

initlive
2019/08
Aug 6, 2019 10:34:20 AM
Tips for Planning a Sports Tournament
Event Planning, Sporting Event Management

Aug 6, 2019 10:34:20 AM

Tips for Planning a Sports Tournament

There are many moving parts that go into planning a sports tournament, from the perfect venue to ensuring you have correct number of water stations. Every detail that goes into planning a sporting tournaments will help ensure that you hit your sporting event out of the park  Here are a few tips to...

Four Ways to Promote Your Sporting Event Using Facebook

 

Four- Ways- to- Promote- Your -Sporting -Event- Using -Facebook

So you are going to hold a sporting event?  Running, swimming, biking, climbing, baseball, football, soccer...whatever your event, chances are there are Facebook users out there who want to know about it.  Statista reports, "As of the first quarter of 2019 Facebook had over 2.38 billion monthly users worldwide." That number represents a great reason to utilize Facebook to create your promotion plan. Below are a few more:

 Create an Event Page to Generate Hype

Create an event page where people will land to learn about your event. High-quality images will immediately greet them, and all of the information they need to know about your event will be accessible:

  • Who are you? Easily link from your event page to your organization's page.
  • Where and when will it be taking place? That essential information is visible before users even click on the page; Facebook events pages post the date and time with the event listing.   
  • What is your event all about, why are you having it? Event page format ensures that folks who are interested in your event will be able to access the details near the top of your page.  
  • Gallery - beyond the essential information, Facebook provides an area for you to add images related to your event in the Gallery.

Networking

Your event will likely involve others who will help make it happen. All those individuals and organizations will likely have a Facebook page. Cross-promote the pages of vendors and sponsors you work with by linking to their page.Use the Discussion section to post about being excited to work with them. Share their page and connect with them to get a promotion for your event there.  

Facebook provides easy tools like live-streaming to help get the word out. Consider offering a live-stream at the venue before the event to show off your location. Live-stream a batting practice before your baseball tournament. Post a conversation with past or future participants, or run the course for your race and live-stream it.    

Tickets and Sign-Ups

Facebook is huge, but it is still social media.The potential for people to find your event while browsing is high. Facebook event pages provide easy access for them to purchase tickets. Providing this functionality is key; people who are interested today might not be tomorrow. Imagine all of the marathon runners out there who felt great during their last race, and are looking for their next challenge.  

Promote Volunteer Registration 

Promote your web based volunteer registration page on your Facebook page to help attract to volunteers to your event. Volunteers are the backbone of most events. Your event page not only provides a central space for volunteers to registration for your sporting event, but it also has ways for anyone interested to post in the discussion section or message you directly. People will have questions, and you will be able to easily, and publicly, answer them.  

Facebook Ads

Use Facebook Ads to create an event ad for your event. Facebook event ad functionality offers the option to set up a call to action so customers can indicate they are interested or they can get tickets. Your ad can be customized or select for various user groups. Facebook provides an engagement objective section for your ad to help you customize how to reach your target audience. 

If creating a separate ad for your event doesn't fit your needs, you can use Facebook's "boost" function to promote your event page to a wider audience.  

Learn- How to Promote Your Event Using Instagram

 

 

initlive
2019/08
Aug 2, 2019 11:52:00 AM
Four Ways to Promote Your Sporting Event Using Facebook
Event Promotion, Sporting Event Management

Aug 2, 2019 11:52:00 AM

Four Ways to Promote Your Sporting Event Using Facebook

 

So you are going to hold a sporting event?  Running, swimming, biking, climbing, baseball, football, soccer...whatever your event, chances are there are Facebook users out there who want to know about it.  Statista reports, "As of the first quarter of 2019 Facebook had over 2.38 billion monthly...

4 Ways to Promote Your Conference Event on LinkedIn

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (7)

In 2019, LinkedIn has 630 million users, with 303 million monthly active users. In the USA alone, there are 177 million LinkedIn users. When it comes to channel B2B marketing, LinkedIn is the number 1 platform for content distribution. Now, of the 630 million users, only 3 million share their content weekly.

When it comes to promoting your conference events, LinkedIn is the best place to market because it comprises of users who are using the platform in professional and networking capacity, making  users the perfect audience for corporate, educational 
government or industry specific conferences.This fact means that they have the capacity to spend their budget resources on events like yours. Let us look at four ways you can use LinkedIn for event promotion.

Promoting on LinkedIn Groups

As an active member of a LinkedIn group that is related to your event, share a post with members of the group to get the attention of the dynamic professionals. Remember to customize the message to the group and ensure that you have considered the rules of the group when creating and sending your post.

If you cannot find a group in your niche, you can form one for the event where you invite speakers and people to join. This step helps the attendees to network before the event, and to provide an opportunity where potential attendees can see the people who have signed in to attend.

Planing a conference? Check you -Roadshow Events: Staying Organized When You're on the Move

Direct Messaging

Use your network to attract people to your event. Ask your connection in LinkedIn to promote your event through direct messaging and use polite language when creating a personalized message. It is even easier to promote your event if you have a premium account because paid InMail is sent to people you are connected to, and those you are not. You also have the chance of sending a direct message to your first-tier of connections (up to 50 connections). You only need to ensure that the event is relevant to them. If you are targeting specific people to attend your event (particularly those who will bring their friends), send your message to them.

Are you planning a conference or convention event? Check out - Tips To Successfully Plan Your Next Conference Event

LinkedIn Ads for events

Status updates and LinkedIn posts can be sponsored, which allows you to place them across to anyone with a particular job title in a location or job industry. To do this, use text ads or sponsored content. The sponsored ads will appear in the homepage feed of your target audience on both mobile and desktop.

Harness the Network of Your Speakers and Partners

If your speakers and partners have networks, you can ask them to share the post with their network on LinkedIn. This approach works well if you have a speaker who has the "influencer" designation offered by LinkedIn; their posts reach everyone on the network.

Reaching your target audience is essential to a great attendee experience, but so is ensuring the conference runs smoothly. There's no reason to let the promotion of your event hang only on your shoulders. Delegate that too by leveraging your volunteers and by using their excitement to promote your event. Learn how you leverage you volunteers to promote your conference or convention with  our article - Why Volunteers are Perfect for Promoting Your Event

 

initlive
2019/07
Jul 30, 2019 4:50:00 PM
4 Ways to Promote Your Conference Event on LinkedIn
Event Promotion, Conference Event Management

Jul 30, 2019 4:50:00 PM

4 Ways to Promote Your Conference Event on LinkedIn

In 2019, LinkedIn has 630 million users, with 303 million monthly active users. In the USA alone, there are 177 million LinkedIn users. When it comes to channel B2B marketing, LinkedIn is the number 1 platform for content distribution. Now, of the 630 million users, only 3 million share their...

Learn How Indy Premier Soccer Club Tournament Saved 88% of Time Managing Volunteers With InitLive

 

Learn How Indy Premier Soccer Club Tournament Saved 88% of Time Managing Volunteers With InitLive

If you're an event planner, you know how important it is to keep in direct contact with your volunteers -- and how much time you lose when you don't. According to a recent case study, the Indy Premier Soccer club tournament event recently saved 88% of the time it usually took to successfully manage volunteers during its major fundraiser, the IPSC Annual Halloween Classic. Read on to see how InitLive made the soccer club's annual fundraising tournament a smashing success.

About the Indy Premier Soccer Club

The Indy Premier Soccer Club (IPSC) offers around-the-year soccer programs to youth of all ages and abilities. The club is especially known throughout the Midwest for its annual Halloween Classic where over 380 teams compete at eight different facilities. For years, IPSC organizers created and downloaded spreadsheets to adjust volunteer schedules and track hours manually. Because they couldn't communicate in real time, volunteers frequently showed up at the wrong venue.

How InitLive helped

For the past three years, the IPSC has been using InitLive's event day app which has made dramatic improvements in event coordination and communication. The stakes were bigger than ever: In the most recent IPSC Annual Halloween Classic, the club's 665 volunteers worked with over 380 teams at eight different locations. The organizers coordinated over 401 shifts and the team clocked in over 4000 hours. Here is how Indy preimer s

1. Convenient self-registration

With InitLive, IPSC volunteers could self-register, choose the roles the want to fill, and even select their own shifts. These options leave them feeling empowered, engaged, and ready to succeed. As a result, the most recent IPSC Annual Halloween Classic achieved an 80% attendee retention rate..  

2. Effective communication with real-time visibility

With the InitLive app, organizers communicated directly with volunteers. Altogether, the event staff achieved a record attendance rate of 95%. Volunteers were able to contact their shift supervisor if they had questions or if they needed to day of shift changes reducing no-shows and day of anxieties.

Planning a tournament? Check out - Tips for Planning a Sports Tournament

4. Secure information

InitLive is GDPR compliant, ensuring that all the personal information from IPSC volunteers was stored securely in the cloud.

5. Improved efficiency

Prior to using InitLive, the IPSC team managed and scheduled the annual tournament using spreadsheets and SignUp Genius which was inefficient and costly. InitLive has saved IPSC thousands of dollars in labor time during the three years since the Indiana soccer club started using the event app. 

6. Tracking function

Staff used InitLive to track each volunteer's hours. Since InitLive made all the scheduling information transparent, schedulers always knew how many hours each volunteer worked, how to contact them, and to which facility they were to show up at.

7. Event-wide broadcasting

IPSC used InitLive to broadcast weather reports and field closings, leaving no surprises for anyone.

Screenshot (7)

Interested in learning more? 

Read how IPSC scaled up their annual tournament by 50% using InitLive by reading their full customer success story. 

Read Their Success Story

 

 

 

initlive
2019/07
Jul 29, 2019 12:00:00 AM
Learn How Indy Premier Soccer Club Tournament Saved 88% of Time Managing Volunteers With InitLive
Success Story, Sporting Event Management

Jul 29, 2019 12:00:00 AM

Learn How Indy Premier Soccer Club Tournament Saved 88% of Time Managing Volunteers With InitLive

 

If you're an event planner, you know how important it is to keep in direct contact with your volunteers -- and how much time you lose when you don't. According to a recent case study, the Indy Premier Soccer club tournament event recently saved 88% of the time it usually took to successfully...

Promoting Your Festival Event Hashtag: The Ultimate Guide

Promoting -Your-Festival-Event -Hashtag- The- Ultimate- Guide

You probably know that Twitter was the first to use hashtags to promote a topic or event. And now, they're being used throughout all the major social media channels by companies and individuals alike to promote special events. Below you'll find our ultimate guide to promoting your festival event hashtag. 

Create a unique hashtag.

1. Make it original.

Your hashtag should only refer to your event -- so google your idea first to make sure that it's not taken, or that it's not associated with a  negative concept or topic.

2. Keep it short and simple.

You'll want your festival event hashtag to be simple so that it will remain top of mind. Make it easy to understand, spell, and pronounce. Capture the idea of your event in just one or two words. And if possible, use only one memorable and effective hashtag for each event which you're promoting.

3. Make it recyclable.

Ensure your hashtag can be reused with minor alterations. You want people to recognize the original concept each year so that you can build upon the event's popularity over time. A good hashtag is something like  #eventname2019.

Take your festival's Instagram game to the next level with our blog - How to Promote Your Event Using Instagram

Create an effective pre-festival buzz.

1. Show highlights of last year's promotions.

In the weeks and months before the festival event, use your hashtag to build excitement online. Attach your hashtag to the best images of last year's promotional campaign as well as the event itself.

2. Award VIP status to influencers and brand ambassadors.

Identify some top influencers who would make great brand ambassadors for your festival event. Get them to promote your event on Instagram using the hashtag in exchange for a VIP pass. In addition to creating a strong pre-festival buzz, their presence will likely boost attendance.

Planning a Festival Event? Make sure you check out-  The Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide

The Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide

The Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide

Promote the hashtag during the festival event.

Host a swag giveaway for attendees and get increase the hashtag buzz for attendees and volunteers at the festival. 

1. Give away swag.

Host a swag giveaway for attendees and get increase the hashtag buzz for attendees and volunteers at the festival. Post lots of photos and videos with your hashtag revealing attendees showing off their swag, which should bear your logo whenever possible. 

2. Encourage your volunteers to share.

Finally, provide incentives to get your volunteers to share online. Be sure to create lots of shining moments for them to take selfies, and encourage them to share with their friends and followers. 

InitLive is a leading all-in-one event management and communication tool for promoting and managing your event. To find out how to attract the optimum number of people to your next festival event using InitLive, please contact us.

 

 

 

initlive
2019/07
Jul 25, 2019 4:58:00 PM
Promoting Your Festival Event Hashtag: The Ultimate Guide
Event Promotion, Festival Management

Jul 25, 2019 4:58:00 PM

Promoting Your Festival Event Hashtag: The Ultimate Guide

You probably know that Twitter was the first to use hashtags to promote a topic or event. And now, they're being used throughout all the major social media channels by companies and individuals alike to promote special events. Below you'll find our ultimate guide to promoting your festival event...

Tips To Successfully Plan Your Next Conference Event

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (10)

Conferences are some of the best places to meet like-minded colleagues within the same industry or creative individuals who share similar interests. In an increasingly interconnected world where relationship is key for business, conferences are a must-have for proper networking. And the company that organizes the conference will have the most prestige and visibility at the event.

But, you already know all that. You also know that planning a conference can be tricky— how do you create a dream conference that will go smoothly and benefit you, the organizer, and all attendees? Try these tips:

Determine Your Objectives

To plan and execute an amazing conference or corporate event, you need to first decide specifically what you are trying to accomplish. Ask yourself what type of conference attendee you want to attract, and how the theme of your conference relates to your brand. What kind of value do you want to provide, and which organizations and speakers would make ideal partners for your theme? In order to do this, you need to answer some basic questions.

  • What do you want the take away to be?
  • What will people learn from your conference?
  • Who is your target audience?

Start the planning process early

Conferences are not the kind of event you can throw together overnight. You will need several weeks, even months, to figure out logistics, reach out to potential partners, and connect with your target audience. Make sure you give yourself enough space on the timeline so that you don't have to feel unduly pressured.

Choose A Theme

The theme is a key element in your conference planning process. You should choose a theme that will attract your target audience and also shine the spotlight on your brand. Your theme should be apparent to attendees and coherent throughout the event. 

Find Your Venue

Once you have nailed down your objectives and your theme, it is time to begin searching for the perfect spot to hold your conference event. When researching locations, you will need to take into account the size and geographic location of your target audience. When you have found a potential venue, ask yourself: is this venue accessible? Is it close to suitable accommodations? Will attendees find parking easily? Is the size suitable for the audience size you imagine?

Book Relevant Speakers

You will need to research popular speakers who are relevant to your conference topic and theme. Finding a knowledgeable keynote speaker who you know your audience will want to hear from should be your top priority. 

Promote Your Event 

Once your venue and speakers are set, you need to tell people about your conference. You will need to decide what channels to advertise your event through based on your target demographic. 

Recruit And Organize Volunteers

Every good conference needs a team of dedicated individuals to keep things running. Rather than hire a entire crew to do this for your conference, why not use volunteers? Find local organizations that have a similar purpose as your organization and offer their members the opportunity to volunteer for your conference and also listen in on speakers that might pique their interest.

Although organizing a conference is undoubtedly a lot of work, it can be satisfying, rewarding work. Not only will you win honor and brand recognition for your own organization, you can bask in the glow of knowing that you have done something to promote your great cause or industry while bringing people together over a common goal.

Ensure your next conference has a team of committed volunteers and event staff in the correct roles and responsibilities by reading our article- 10 Must-Have Volunteer Roles For Your Next Conference

initlive
2019/07
Jul 23, 2019 12:47:19 PM
Tips To Successfully Plan Your Next Conference Event
Event Planning, Conference Event Management

Jul 23, 2019 12:47:19 PM

Tips To Successfully Plan Your Next Conference Event

Conferences are some of the best places to meet like-minded colleagues within the same industry or creative individuals who share similar interests. In an increasingly interconnected world where relationship is key for business, conferences are a must-have for proper networking. And the company...

2019 ACM Awards Weekend: How to Make a Polished Volunteer Management Program

2019 ACM Awards Weekend: How to Make a Polished Volunteer Management Program

We've all heard of the Academy of Country Music Awards Weekend -- but not everyone knows that it's run primarily by volunteers. For its April 2019 event, a small ACM events management team, comprised of 75 volunteers and about 25 staff, supervisors, and administrators, covered over 415 shifts and worked 2000 to produce one of its most successful events ever. Their secret? ACM event managers used the mobile event app InitLive to create a polished volunteer management program. 


ACM results with InitLive

In a nutshell, these were the weekend results:

  • Communications improved 100%, eliminating no-shows.
  • Administrative work was cut in half. 
  • Using InitLive helped lower operating costs.
  • The event staff dealt with less everyday stress because volunteers felt more prepared.

How ACM event staff used InitLive 

1. Custom Registration

AMC provided a professional looking, accessible self-registration system through InitLive's signup page. It proved easy to use and allowed staff to customize questions about skills and experience in order to properly match volunteers with the right roles. 

2. Improved efficiency

With InitLive, it took event managers just moments to review volunteer availabilities and assign new shifts.

3. Reduced event day anxiety

Organizers used InitLive to post all information online which volunteers would need beforehand. So volunteers had far less on-site questions for their team leads -- and less anxiety.

4. Real-time visibility

ACM event organizers monitored volunteer check-ins and were able to remedy potential shift shortages immediately.

5. Mobility

ACM event organizers orchestrated multiple events and activities which took place at the same time. With InitLive, team leads checked in volunteers from any location.

6. Improved communications

Volunteers could text their team-leads in real-time updates through InitLive. And not a single volunteer was late or missing this year.

Are you looking to improve day of communications with your event's volunteers? Check out - Efficient "day of" communication with event staff and volunteers

7. Information sharing

ACM organizers included as much information as possible in the InitLive mobile app, including checklists, schedules, and artist face sheets. That way, volunteers were prepared to answer virtually any question from both fans and artists.

8. Customer service

In short, AMC's event manager found that InitLive helped create an informed, efficient, and polished customer service team. That's why the organizing team receives a refresher course each year to get the most out of the InitLive mobile event app.

For more information on how you can use the InitLive mobile event to create a polished and successful volunteer management program, please contact us.

 

ACM case study thumbnail

A Customer Success Story 

Learn how the Academy of Country Music Awards  spend 50% less time on administrative work with InitLive's volunteer scheduling software.

Read Their Success Story 

initlive
2019/07
Jul 23, 2019 11:58:00 AM
2019 ACM Awards Weekend: How to Make a Polished Volunteer Management Program
Volunteer Management,