Biggest Learning – Get volunteers! Many and early!

Organizing an area contest is a challenging task that requires a lot of planning, effort, and resources. One of the most significant challenges that we faced by organizing the contest for the areas D4 and D6 face is finding enough volunteers to help with the event. Nevertheless, we found a great location, had 30 people in person in the Nachbarschaftshaus in Schwabach and about 20 people online who where witnessing the contest. Therefore, everything else was great.

So, what did we do to get volunteers and what did we learn? The key is to plan ahead and recruit volunteers well in advance of the event. Start by reaching out to your network. Post about the event on social media, the website and ask people to spread the word. And don’t be too frustrated if the people aren’t answering the first mail. ;D

How did we do? We wanted to do everything step by step, first the room, after this the People and after this the agenda. Now the know that this was a big, missed opportunity. We could have got in contact with our social media team much earlier, we could have spread the word at the DOT or other occasions, and we could have done much better things in the communication with the clubs in the individual area.

Additionally, make sure that you have a clear plan of the tasks that need to be done and the number of volunteers required for each task. This will help you to identify the gaps in your volunteer pool and plan accordingly.

For an area contest you will need

  • contest chair (who briefs we contestants)
  • chief judge (with judging team)
  • zoom master (if online or hybrid)
  • person who takes pictures or videos (marketing)
  • sergeant at arms (inform people what happens and why)
  • catering (something to drink and some food is necessary, if it will be a long contest)

Remember, finding enough volunteers is an ongoing process, and you should be prepared to recruit right up until the day of the event. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t give up until you have a team that can help you make the event a success. We recruited our chief judge one week prior to the contest. Yeah, don’t do that…

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