Congratulations! You’re in charge of organizing an event! Whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, there are certain challenges that can disrupt your planning process. But have no fear! There’s always a solution or another way of looking at things.
We each tend to have different things that intimidate us, and other items that don’t stress us out at all. Below are some typical categories of stressors you may encounter. Let’s take a look at some of these major obstacles and how you can set yourself up for success!
I have vivid memories of recruiting volunteers during my first event. For me, defining volunteer job descriptions was an easy task. Coordinating volunteers and building relationships with them before, during, and after the event seemed to come naturally. But where in the world do you find these volunteers? That was the piece that seemed insurmountable.
Thankfully my organization had an existing volunteer database that I could use as a starting point, and over time I learned how to extend and leverage my professional network to make recruitment a little easier. What assets are at your disposal? List them out to help you see your strengths as well as the gaps you need to fill.
No matter what part of volunteer management is tripping you up, VolunteerLocal has likely covered it! Take a look at some of these top posts. As with most things in the world of volunteer management, investing in solid strategies pays significant dividends in future years.
Some people have a knack for resolving issues with guests or participants on the day of an event. For others it takes more planning ahead of time. Think through communication strategies to efficiently alert the necessary people of developing complications. Identify as many possible problems that may arise and have standard responses for each. As you incorporate these strategies and responses into your volunteer training, you can gain confidence and experience when the actual event arrives.
Location is everything! But it’s also not worth being paralyzed about the decision. Before securing space, define the scope of your event as far as number of guests, type of atmosphere you’re hoping to create, etc. This list is now your wish list! It helps limit your search and focus on the essentials when visiting potential venues. Though there are times we have the means to get our dream venues, be sure to note which items on your wish list are negotiable. Many times simple décor and lighting tweaks can enhance ambiance; the location and number of bathrooms, however, cannot be adjusted. Think about the big picture and get creative!
Once you secure a location, there’s usually still a myriad of vendors to select: catering, concessions, DJ, printers for marketing items, etc. Again, be sure to list out all your needs before you start calling potential vendors. Knowing what you’re asking for gives you more confidence and makes for more effective communication.
Budgeting & Sponsors
Where would we be without the numbers? Creating budgets and securing sponsors make a huge difference, yet these two topics come with the biggest intimidation factor, at least for me personally. We have some great resources on this topic, as well, but be assured: research in this area really pays off!
Just as with other categories of challenges, taking the time to fully define what you’re asking for makes a difference. Know your financial boundaries. Know what you’re looking for in a sponsor partnership, and know what you have to offer in return.
Tackle the hard things, and you’re bound to have a great event!