Festival volunteer management is a complex and tough job. It could be overwhelming without the help of a team, but managing a large team can also be tricky. An engaged and excited group of volunteers is critical to the event’s success. In more proverbial terms, your festival’s success begins with an engaged team. A dreary, unmotivated, disconnected volunteer will not only cripple the spirit of your existing crew, but they can create more work and stress for everyone else. On the opposite side of the spectrum, a motivated, engaged and enthusiastic volunteer can be a game-changer! So, how exactly does a Festival Manager or Volunteer Coordinator create and manage volunteer engagement? The key to boosting volunteer engagement for your festival is four-fold. Ready?
First: Vision and Mission
What community do you want to build? What would your ideal group of volunteers look like? If you were a volunteer, what would you want to be a part of? Ask yourself these questions to build the vision you ultimately desire. Then attract the right people by sharing that vision on your app, website and emails with prospects. Be honest about your mission and what to expect from volunteering, and the right people will come.
Second: Understand and Befriend Volunteers
Once you have the volunteers you need, get to know them! Of course you want to make them feel welcome, but you also NEED TO KNOW who they are so you can communicate effectively with them and create enthusiasm and participation. Use InspireHUB’s 8 Perceptual Determinants to learn about each volunteer. This will help you understand their perspective: fears, motivations and more. Once you know them better, you can treat each other like friends and create honest and dedicated volunteers.
Third: Communicate and Reiterate
Establish clear communication channels. Ideally you would create multiple mediums for communicating with your volunteers that can be accessed in one location: photo, video, polls, news and team stories. The IHUBApp, for instance, is a web app that offers all these features in one place. Every Festival Manager knows the importance of clear and frequent communication with volunteers, but make sure you schedule in-person meetings as well.
**The IHUBApp offers all these communication channels plus event management and payment portals. Learn more: IHUBApp for Festivals
Four: Create a Community
This should happen naturally when you do the first three steps correctly. However, it’s important you keep an eye on how the community is developing to ensure it remains relevant to your mission and the vision you initially shared with them.