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.”

Over these past two years we’ve all become adept at managing virtual meetings. In 2022, we have a new challenge—hybrid meetings, where some attendees are in the room and others are Zooming in from remote location. In their new book Suddenly Hybrid: Managing the Modern Meeting (Wiley), Emmy-winning broadcaster Karin M. Reed and Joseph A. Allen, Ph.D., a leading expert on workplace meetings, offer a guide to navigating this new normal. We asked the authors about how to encourage a robust exchange of ideas during hybrid meetings.  

 

The perfect holiday gift is beautiful, unique and filled with wonder. Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide is all of these things and more: a travel-lover’s delight with enough offbeat facts about food to spark countless conversations at the next cocktail party or event.

 

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.