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In it for Event Success

How to Be a Great Leader for Your Event Volunteers

Posted by InitLive on Aug 30, 2017 9:04:00 AM

leader-for-event-volunteersLeadership skills are essential for any event planner. Volunteers and staff are looking to you for direction and, hopefully not too often, crisis aversion. They need to know you can equip them to do their jobs; they need to know they can trust you to support them when they need it most.

How can you be a great leader for your event volunteers? Like this:

Be Flexible

It would be so much easier to plan events if everything were black and white, but it's not that way in event planning nor in life. Volunteers get sick or simply don't show up. Orders arrive incorrectly or not at all. (There's a bit of a theme there....) Your volunteers are looking to see how you handle the unexpected and the inconvenient. The smoother you are, the easier it is for them to trust you and follow your direction.

Be Willing to Learn New Things

Sometimes, a volunteer has a better idea than the one you started with! Always be willing to listen and learn. Your volunteers will feel valued and heard, even if you don't end up using their ideas. 

Not only that, but it's important to continue learning about your industry and about how to be a leader. You'll get better and better, and volunteers will love working with you.

Know Your Weaknesses and Get the Help You Need

None of us are good at everything, and the best leaders identify their weaknesses and surround themselves with people who can help. This way, you can focus on what you do best. Consider hiring an assistant manager to handle smaller projects so you can use your time for the tasks that need your attention.

Be Organized

An event has a lot of moving parts, and it's important to use the tools available to you to keep it all organized. Pew Research Center found that 67 percent of adults consider being organized an essential leadership quality. If you're scattered, your volunteers will be nervous, wondering if you know what you're doing. A volunteer management tool is an easy way to keep track of volunteers, scheduling, and communication right on your device.

Know the Rules

When you're a leader, people expect you to make decisions that protect the team. They expect you to act from a place of honesty and integrity; Business Insider called integrity one of the three surprising traits of highly effective leaders.


Harvard Business Review mentions frequent and open communication as a top leadership quality. Your staff and volunteers comprise a team dedicated to bringing your event to life. It's important that each individual feel valued, and keeping an open line of communication between you and your volunteers is a huge part of that. An event communication tool can help with this, as well.

Be the leader your event volunteers need. Effective leadership takes practice, but with these six tips in mind, you'll be off to a great start.

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Topics: Volunteer Management