Today's volunteers under 40 are tech-savvy, educated, and looking for experiences that will help them in their career paths. And they're ready to find other ways to volunteer if they don't feel appreciated for their efforts. Here are some great ways to motivate volunteers and keep them engaged throughout event day.
1. ASK THEM TO HELP YOU IN ACTIONABLE WAYS
Use your event communication tools to keep your volunteers posted on sudden issues that pop up. Make sure the communication lines are clear so that volunteers can respond immediately. Being trusted to perform tasks, and following through to act on them, will give them a sense of purpose and further their engagement throughout event day.
2. ENCOURAGE THE USE OF COMMUNICATION TOOLS
For instance, start an online forum in your tool for your event staff several weeks before the event so that volunteers get to know each other online, ask questions, and exchange training knowledge. On event day, rather than waiting around when things are slow, your volunteers can stay active in the group and be up to date on the proceedings of the event from other staff. Encourage them to use the tool to ask their supervisors questions as well.
3. SHOW THEM HOW THEY'RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Have contests on how quickly and efficiently volunteers are completing certain tasks, or publish attendee reviews and compliments as they come in. You'll inspire your volunteers and let them know that what they are doing is making the event a success. Acknowledging them through social platforms will give them that extra volunteer motivation they need, and hopefully have them coming back to work for you in the future.
4. ENCOURAGE BREAKS
Be sure to post break schedules that volunteers can easily access during the event. If the event is taking place in a large facility, upload maps that will let your volunteers know the location of the break area. One of the best ways to show respect and appreciation for the time your volunteers are giving to you is to provide snacks, water, and even free meals as appropriate. Let your volunteers know when and where to find these items so that morale and energy stay high. After all, you don't want your volunteers going hungry, now do you?
5. MAKE SURE THEY HAVE ACCESS TO HELP
Whether it's you or your event supervisors, be sure that your volunteers know who's in charge of their station. This establishes your chain of command, and lets your volunteers know who they check in with if they run into a problem or have a question.
6. CHECK IN REGULARLY
Likewise, you or an assistant needs to stay connected with the volunteers. Check your online posts and messages regularly, and try to respond immediately. This is yet another way in which you can use your event communication tools to encourage productive online interaction and engage event staff and volunteers throughout the day.
7. PRAISE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Show appreciation to your volunteers' work by posting and praising volunteer accomplishments to inspire your event staff. Set goals before the event, and when volunteers reach those goals, praise the accomplishments publicly.
8. RECOGNIZE EVENT STAFF ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Post pictures to custom event pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for starters. Have someone take photos of your volunteers engaging with the attendees at the event. If you have a tech-savvy assistant or volunteer, you can even have them post short videos to these sites featuring your highest-performing event staff.
9. SEND MESSAGES OF ENCOURAGEMENT
It's important that you or your team leaders send messages of encouragement to all event staff throughout the day. Especially when a volunteer, or group of volunteers, at a specific station are experiencing challenges (such as a complicated parking situation or a packed banquet room). If you find that top-performing volunteers step up to these challenges like a pro, it's important to recognize those moments so that they will volunteer regularly.
InitLive's all-in-one event planning and communication tool is great for keeping your volunteers informed, engaged, and motivated. By responding to their concerns, encouraging them, and recognizing both their efforts and accomplishments throughout the day, you'll attract and maintain a group of top-performing volunteers that will contribute to the success of your events, time and again.
For some extra guidance in managing your volunteers from pre-event to post-event, download this free ebook now!