How to Recruit and Retain Volunteers for Your Event

A large staff is necessary to run a successful event. You will be focusing your attention on speakers, presenters, or other talent. It is impossible to be everywhere at the same time. You may not have the budget or sponsorship to hire all of your staff.

Volunteers are a great way to increase your staff and keep costs down. It takes hard work and clever strategy to find and keep volunteers. You will need to find volunteers and convince them that their time is worth it. Volunteers for non-profit organizations can be more appealing because people are more likely to donate their time to non-profits than to for-profit enterprises.

Once you have learned how to recruit volunteers and they have joined your team, the next step is to master volunteer management. This can be an individual animal or you can consider your volunteer retention strategies to ensure your team stays with you until the end. These challenges are not impossible. It’s easy to organize events that attract volunteers.

How do you design your event volunteer programme

You should start your volunteer recruitment strategy as soon as possible. It is important to know how many people your event will need and whether volunteers are needed to augment your staff.

Consider your event’s needs when planning. To ensure a smooth event, you will need to fill these positions:

  • Setup. Chairs and tables, sound systems and video controls, banners and decorations, as well as kiosks and sound systems, need to be moved in and arranged.
  • Door entry and ticket selling/registration. Position this person at the main entrance.
  • Ushers. They are used to escort people into their seats.
  • Gift bag handler. If you are giving out sponsor-donated items, or other gifts to others, you will need someone to help you.
  • You can sell merch. A cashier is required.
  • Cleanup. After the party is over, it’s time for you to pack up and clean up.

Create a list of requirements for volunteers to help with events. What are the skills and attributes that your ideal volunteers should have? If you have to lift heavy objects or climb stairs, be clear about your physical requirements. Bilingual volunteers may be needed if many people are attending your event who speak Spanish, Chinese or another language. You should check your state’s regulations regarding volunteers under 18 years of age, especially if alcohol will be served. Clear communication about your needs will enable you to find suitable matches. It will also help you learn how to recruit and retain volunteers for future events.

How to recruit event volunteers

Now that you have identified your volunteer requirements, you need to learn how you recruit volunteers to help you find the best people for your event. Successful volunteer recruitment strategies include multiple avenues of pursuit to increase your volunteer pool.

  • Begin with your attendees. Those who are already on your mailing list and have registered previously are likely to be excited about the event. Reach out to them to find out if they are interested in volunteering.
  • Reach out to the community if volunteers are already involved in the event. Contact local universities to discuss the possibility with students. You can also post flyers about volunteer recruitment around campus.
  • Social media is the future of recruiting volunteers. To reach fans and followers who may not check their emails, post a call to volunteers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • You should give incentives to encourage volunteers to give their time. You might offer them special event access after their shift ends. Or tickets to a cool giveaway. Volunteers should feel appreciated and special.

How to get your volunteers ready

It is important to learn how to successfully manage volunteers once you have mastered the art of recruiting and retaining volunteers. Successful event volunteer management starts with knowing how to train volunteers to know their responsibilities.

It is important to understand the differences between virtual and live events. Volunteers will need to manage chat rooms and other online communications during festivals. This includes monitoring to ensure civility as well as technical smoothness. Volunteers should be familiar with Zoom, Vimeo, or other streaming platforms.

  • Make an orientation program. It can be either in person or online. Discuss what volunteers should expect and what they should do. Give details on what to wear, what you should bring, where to meet and when to report. Volunteers can contact a contact person if they have any questions.
  • Training is essential. Make sure you have enough time to teach volunteers. This will ensure that there is no stress or confusion on the day. You don’t want volunteers to feel like they are flying alone.
  • Give thanks. Ask volunteers to give feedback and share their thoughts at the end of each day. Send a thank-you note or gift to the volunteers who attended the event.

How to prevent event volunteer failures

Even if you have followed the steps, managing a group of volunteers can be difficult. You may be able to recruit and keep volunteers, but your volunteer management strategies must include ways to avoid making the most common mistakes.

  • You don’t want to get in trouble. The Australian Government Fair Work Ombudsman has guidelines that make it clear who volunteers are and who employees are. These guidelines should be reviewed.
  • To avoid confusion, ask volunteers to sign a code. You should dress appropriately, be respectful of other volunteers and attendees, as well as how to report any safety hazards or problems.
  • You can’t blame the volunteers. Volunteer commitments are often dropped because people lead busy lives. Sign up for more volunteers to cover no-shows. It is always better to have a few volunteers than not enough.

Volunteers can only be as effective as the people who find and train them. Strong volunteer recruitment strategies and training strategies can make all the differences. This will also help with retention. Volunteers who feel that you care about them and have been treated well will be more inclined to volunteer again for another event.

Discover how to recruit and retain volunteers now

We can make your event volunteers’ work more straightforward. Eventbrite Boost makes it easy to promote your event on social media. Our Organiser app makes it easy to check in and make changes. Your event listing provides details about your experience that can be easily found so potential volunteers can review them. Start creating your event.


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