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In it for Event Success

The Shift Change Shuffle: Volunteer Placement Done Right

Posted by InitLive on Jul 17, 2019 11:30:00 AM

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You've planned your festival to the last detail: every seat's arranged, every ticket booked, each artist knows their start time and every goody bag is filled, tissue paper-fluffed and labeled. And your volunteers are signed in, assigned and accounted for.

But you've forgotten one thing: your very human volunteers sometimes need a break. Or it's a long event requiring multiple volunteer shifts, and what happens when one person has to leave before their replacement arrives?

Without planning and training, you're doing the shift change shuffle.

Here's how to change the tune and dance to a different beat.

Know what roles require constant coverage versus less-critical positions

Certain assignments require a volunteer at all times. The medical station, information booth and ticket sales always need staff. Some roles, such as those filled by medical personnel, are very specialized and not open to all volunteers. Other positions, particularly those requiring the handling of cash or credit card transactions, are best handled by experienced volunteers comfortable with this interaction. These postings cannot afford a lag or gap in volunteer coverage.

Other positions, such as greeter, parking attendant, food and beverage service, clean-up crew and goody bag handler, are likely to have more volunteers signed up, and less likely to experience a coverage gap when one person leaves and another fails to arrive. A volunteer floater/runner assigned to cover multiple tasks easily handles coverage gaps for most general postings.

Closing the coverage gaps

Overlap the critical coverage times and roles

Rather than start one shift as soon as another ends, create a mid-shift position; someone who arrives between changeovers, assuring coverage at all times.

Are you planning a large festival event? Make sure to check out - 13 Essential Volunteer Roles at a Festival

Electronic clock in/clock out

Rely on InitLive's platform for accurate volunteer clock-in and out; you'll know who is working and where, and immediately identify empty postings.

Train volunteers to know when to go

Establish protocols for arriving and leaving posts: who their replacement is, how long to wait and what to do if no one arrives.

Communicate and confirm

Review volunteers' schedules before the event and confirm their understanding and acceptance; this avoids miscommunications and most last-minute schedule changes.

Everything about your event follows you everywhere on InitLive's portable platform. From organizing volunteers and donor information, to selling event tickets, organizing and assigning jobs and reacting quickly to last minute changes, you stay in control and communication with staff, minimizing surprises and maximizing profits. Contact us today for information and a free demonstration; our software ends the shift change shuffle.

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Topics: Event Planning, Event Technology, Event Management, Festival Management

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