Posted by Orinoco, 2011-10-03 12:54 BST
Attitudes are hard to change. Essentially it all boils down to encouraging people to do what they don't want to do. Volunteering for a festival is work. It is often argued that the work itself is good fun which is reason enough to do it. Which is true, but offering fun in exchange for work at a juggling festival is not much of an incentive. It is a juggling festival - fun is not exactly hard to come by. I can work & have fun or I can not work & have fun. Hmm, decisions.
Acknowledgement of volunteers is very important. Not wishing to name any names but a few years ago while fence monkeying I listened to one of my lot incessantly complaining, "It's my holiday, I'm not here to work, I've paid for my ticket...". In recent years though with badges on offer you can't stop that person volunteering now. For some a badge is a very cost effective form of payment. For me I prefer a human thank you. For festivals that ask you to go & report somewhere after volunteering to collect your badge I generally won't bother, but if someone (preferably a pretty young girl, but that's just my preference) comes & gives you a badge that's much more meaningful.
There are other incentives of course. I think it was at BJC 2008 that while clearing litter from the viewing gallery I collected £1.39 in loose change. It was a heavy evening at the bar that night I can tell you.
Also important is to not waste volunteers' time, in that respect BJC 2007 was very frustrating for me.
I'm hesitant to reference a marketing campaign but I think The Fun Theory provides many lessons. If you only watch one video from there watch this one, it's great.
How this applies to badge control I'm not sure. Some sort of Krypton factor esque puzzle where your pass needs to be used as some sort of key to pass through a turnstyle or perhaps passes with RFID tags in them that have to be thrown through a hoop 3 metres up in the air to open a gate to allow you to pass through. Emptying bins? If that means hurling trash bags over the fence at a moving refuse truck with a trebuchet then I am there.
Yeah, I'm not helping any more am I.