Event volunteers can make a hectic day much less so. Whether the free help is family and friends or people you’re meeting for the first time, streamlining the process will improve your ability to get the most from your volunteers. When coordinating volunteers, clear communication is essential. Emily Lalone, president and owner of Lalone Marketing, has supervised 25-30 volunteers at each of eight book signing events since 2013.

Lalone shares her best advice: “You must, must, must communicate with volunteers clearly and concisely the ‘who, what, when, where, how’ of your event. I send all of my volunteers an email two weeks before an event. I attach a Volunteer Packet. It tells when and where they should arrive; what to wear; their assignments; where they can store their things; that they should bring a snack; every single detail about how their day will play out. If they’ve already had a week or two to digest what they need to do and ask me any questions, it’s out of the way before we’re even on-site. When event day arrives, I meet with the volunteers first, hours before the event starts, to confirm they know everything about how things will go. Then it runs like clockwork. It’s all about empowering people and having fun.”

With executive orders and restrictions across the country in a state of constant flux, not everyone is ready to jump back into meeting in person. While some planners are eager to get back to “normal,” the long-term adjustment to new meeting protocols and potential risks make some hesitant to gather.

While wearing masks and social distancing can help keep attendees safe, intentional design choices—such as including nature-inspired elements and materials and plenty of plants—can also help to calm attendees.

 

The times they are a-changing, and that has never been truer than when it comes to selecting an A/V partner and deciding whether the in- house A/V vendor or an outside third-party provider is the right partner for you. Due to advancements in technology, lighting and other A/V equipment that has come down in price, planners are now finding op- portunities to use previously out of budget technology with a much more palatable price tag. 

 

Retreats and off-site meetings present wonderful opportunities for groups to collaborate, strategize and build relationships away from their normal office environments. With proper planning, these sessions can be highly effective and even pivotal in setting a new direction. However, off-sites may present some unforeseen challenges that can quickly deflate the energy in the room if not anticipated and addressed in advance.