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How Many Event Volunteers Should You Recruit?

A Step-By-Step Process.

How Many Event Volunteers Should You Recruit? A Step-By-Step Process.
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Great Fundraising Events: From Experience to Transformation.

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Deciding how many volunteers are needed for an event seems like a complicated process at times. It’s difficult to know where to begin, especially with a thousand other things on your mind when it comes to running your event. Knowing the numbers needed, while seemingly overwhelming, is boiled down here to a few important factors that work as guidelines to reach the accurate estimate you need.

Predicted Event Attendance

Take a moment to look over the event specifications you’ve created, and ask yourself how many people you expect to attend. Remember that the larger your attendance estimate is, the more people will attend, and that will create longer lines. Longer lines inevitably lead to longer wait times, and dissatisfaction is quickly bred from impatience. In order to avoid disgruntled event attendees, keep things running smoothly and in an organized, timely manner. This entails more volunteers than an initial estimate would have provided, to speed up the process.

Number of Event Venues / How Widespread Your Event Is

Moving people, supplies, and attractions around from Point A to Point B takes time, and can slow or even derail your carefully crafted timeline. Avoid these time-consuming hassles by placing volunteers at each station and/or venue. This will keep all of your bases covered and create a smooth flow of activity from one point to the next.

Length of Your Event

Consider the number of days or hours that your event will encompass, and the effort required over that amount of time. Depending on the exertion required for each volunteer role, you may consider limiting your shifts to three- to four-hour increments. This will keep your volunteers fresh and full of energy, your guests happy, and will allow for an overall brighter atmosphere. But limiting these shift time slots will require more volunteers as well, so add this number to your estimate.

Security Concerns

Consider the type of event you’re managing. Events like a children’s festival, for example, will require more security and far higher supervision rates than that of a business conference. Take into account your expected attendees, what sort of area you need to cover, and where you need eyes on the event guests and the event materials.

Quantity of Points of Interest

Create a breakdown of all the different pieces of your event. This will include the number of activities, stations, check-points, booths, and other places where volunteers are mandatory and preferred. Tally up the amount of volunteers required for each. Keep in mind that for less experienced volunteers, it’s wiser to assign a single, straightforward role performed excellently, rather than distracting them by asking them to multitask. Mark where extra hands or security are needed, and which will need supervisors. Take all of this into account for your final volunteer estimate.

While determining your staffing needs may feel overwhelming at the beginning, these simple steps will create an accurate and useful estimate of volunteers needed for any event, and will make your planning process into a streamlined, smooth, and cohesive whole.

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