Posted by Orinoco, 2012-01-23 20:34 GMT
Dee posted this which I think is from an organiser's view:
Definitely one thing I've learned over the years is that a simple to use volunteer sign-up sheet should be ready to go before the convention. There will always be certain times when you have many volunteers, and at others no (or insufficient) willing volunteers. That is the nature of relying on volunteer labour. So you need to have a plan for what to do if you don't have enough people to do badge control - are there any non-essential points that can be shut down if no-one is there to cover them? (This was an issue in Munich this summer - lots of entrances into all of the camping areas). Each job should have a brief (but accurate) description about what's involved, so that people can make informed decisions.
Speaking as a convention goer & potential volunteer, I want to see that plan & the job descriptions before the event.
From my early conventions I remember being too scared to volunteer because I didn't know what I'd be asked to do. What if I couldn't do it? What if I was asked to volunteer during BYJOTY? Better to not volunteer than offer to help, get given a task that was beyond me or that clashed with something I wanted to do then say sorry I've changed my mind.
Here at the Edge we have a simple timetable creation system that could be used for this purpose. I've made a quick & dirty example here:
As volunteers come forward you could edit the title to state "FILLED - ...". That way as people look at the timetable they can see also see when to volunteer. When I volunteer I do so because I want to help, which means I want to be useful, which includes being available at a useful time. With a timetable such as this I can clearly see what needs to be done & when other people are volunteering so I can fill in a gap.
Having a volunteer & a workshop timetable available at the same time would also allow convention goers to help the volunteer coordinator. I'm generally unwilling to volunteer my services until after I've looked at the workshop timetable just so that I can make sure I'm not stuck at badge control during the levitation for beginners workshop.