At The Finer Details we are blessed to get to work with some of the best volunteers Vancouver has to offer. Throughout the many different types of events we do and clients we work with, we get to meet a variety of volunteers with different interests and strengths. The Finer Details Staff have all had the privilege to work with Volunteers as well as first hand volunteer experience ourselves. This 4 part TFD blog will take you through some of the key points of working with and getting the most out of Volunteers and Volunteering!
1. Benefits vs. Challenges
Some people in the industry view volunteers as a free labour resource and those who do often find they get what they pay for. Far from it, Volunteers are so much more then an inexpensive resource and sometimes can cost you much more then you think. In order to determine your need for volunteers you have to look at both the benefits and the risks or challenges that come with working with someone who is not a regular member of your team or part of your staff.
We all know the benefits of having more hands on deck during event set ups and strikes, as well as having a body or two to help out at the coat check or registration during an event, but what about having extra eyes watching for hazards or more input on the décor? Sometimes your volunteers can offer more insight or a different point of view because they bring different skills to the table. When volunteering, my background as a musician has allowed me to assist in stage set ups and power drops for bands at events and give advice on onsite production issues. There was a time recently when an onsite volunteer at a Halloween event thought of a better way to carve pumpkins for children. It was a small detail; however it saved us time and allowed us to ensure more families got to participate during that event. And ultimately, that made a more successful event! Sometimes, your volunteers can even double as seat holders during the event to fill out any unsold seats.
Of course, sometimes Volunteers can be a risk as well. Remember, just because they are volunteering there time, doesn’t mean they do not represent you, your company, and your event. All it takes is one volunteer to say or do something in front of your client or their guests and you may lose out on retaining that client’s business in the future. Also, a Volunteer may be volunteering their time, but there is a cost associated in training your volunteers. And if adequate training isn’t there, you or your staff may have to spend your time fixing a mistake or completely redoing something from scratch, which can become more than time consuming!Check back next week for Tip #2!