Tips for Finding and Managing Volunteers for Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest, which originally began in 1810, is still one of the leading celebratory festivals around the world today. While Oktoberfest originally debuted in Germany to celebrate and embrace the Bavarian culture, it has since spread throughout the world and is typically celebrated toward the end of the month of September and/or throughout the month of October.
If you are in the process of planning an Oktoberfest in your local community, you may want to begin seeking volunteers to assist with the setup and overall management of the event. Most Oktoberfest festivals rely on the commitment of local volunteers in order to succeed. Volunteers and staff can help with everything from managing ticketing to handling guests, sales, and even live entertainment or activities you intend to host.
To increase the number of volunteer applications you receive from those who are interested in lending a helping hand, consider including a volunteer sign-up page on your Oktoberfest's event registration page.
Create a volunteer sign up page
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Finding volunteers for your Oktoberfest may seem challenging, but with plenty of online resources and tools available, it is now easier than ever.
Using a ticketing and registration platform such as Purplepass is one of the most efficient ways to seek out volunteers for any event you are planning and managing, including an Oktoberfest festival. With Purplepass, it is easy to create your own volunteer sign-up page to include in your event's registration page.
Managing and Training Volunteers
Managing and training volunteers for your Oktoberfest is essential, whether your event is set to last for two days or for two weeks. Proper training can help to ensure that your event goes as smoothly as possible, regardless of the size of the festival.
Step #1: Create a Sign-Up Page
Create a registration page for volunteers to help better manage and organize applicants who are interested in assisting with your event. Some things to collect on your registration page for volunteers includes
- Their general information; name, age, job, education, etc.
- Availability/signing up for certain shift times
- Their reason for volunteering
- Volunteer experience
- Any waivers or documents required (have them upload at checkout)
- T-shirt sizes if doing uniforms
Step #2: Assigning Volunteer Shifts
Volunteers at your Oktoberfest may only be available to help one day, a few hours, or sporadically. When setting up a volunteer registration page, consider assigning shifts to those who apply based on their experience working as festival volunteers and their own preferences and/or availability.
While considering the right way to manage volunteer shifts for your Oktoberfest, keep the following shift options in mind:
- Check-in crew: Volunteers who are willing to work during the opening times of your event. Those who are willing to assist with putting on wristbands, selling/scanning tickets, and checking in guests.
- Booth workers: Those who are willing to work booths for games, activities, and other forms of entertainment.
- Cleaning crew/setup crew: Volunteers who are experienced with or interested in setting up for the event, as well as tearing down and cleaning the event once it is over.
- Vendors/servers: Vendors, servers, and wait staff who are interested in lending a hand to those who are sponsoring or attending your Oktoberfest event.
- Parking crew: Volunteers who are interested in assisting with the parking situation at your event.
- Kid zones: Are you including a kid zone or family-friendly zones at your Oktoberfest event? If so, you will need volunteers to help manage and oversee the operations of each of your available kid zones.
Step #3: Pre-Orientation
Once you have an adequate number of volunteers for your upcoming Oktoberfest festival, you can then plan a pre-orientation gathering. During the pre-orientation, you will want to provide your volunteers with the following:
- Itinerary: A complete and detailed itinerary of your Oktoberfest event, along with specific dates, locations, and timelines.
- Documents/Contracts/Waivers: Include any documents, waivers, and/or contracts that you require volunteers to sign before they can participate.
- Activities: You may require certain volunteers to participate in activities or additional orientations before they are permitted to work at your Oktoberfest event.
Step #4: Volunteer Orientation
During the official volunteer orientation day, you want to ensure all of your volunteers are well-versed in any rules, policies, and locations they need to be aware of at all times. All volunteers should also be aware of their roles and specific duties, as well as the schedules they request to volunteer.
Additionally, you may also want to provide the following for your event volunteers during orientation:
- Name tags/titles or badges
- Contact sheets with specific numbers, email addresses, etc. for all staff members
- A sign-up sheet for schedules (if you are hosting a multi-day Oktoberfest, which is fairly common)
- T-shirts or volunteer uniforms with clear labels
Step #5: Host a Training Day
Host a training day before the official date of the Oktoberfest you are planning arrives. During the training day, you can help your volunteers prepare for the actual festival by keeping the following training tips in mind:
- Segment your volunteers into different groups based on their specific duties and/or the availability they have to volunteer during the festival.
- Designate supervisors to oversee groups and to work as a point of contact for volunteers who require additional guidance and assistance.
- Use multiple supervisors to help streamline communications and planning.
Using a training day is highly recommended anytime you are planning a multi-day event, such as Oktoberfest. Some of the training groups you may want to consider for the Oktoberfest event you are coordinating include:
- Food vendors
- Wait staff
- Supervisors and/or event coordinators
- Parking management team
- First aid booth managers and/or volunteers
- CPR volunteers
- Marketing teams
Step #6: Offer an Event Uniform
Managing volunteers at any event is much easier when everyone who is helping is dressed in uniform. Using a uniform is a great way to help other staff members and volunteers identify one another while working the event, which can help with assisting attendees or navigating the venue.
Attracting volunteers to your Oktoberfest event does not need to feel tedious or stressful, especially with the proper resources, both online and off. By using a complete event system and registration page for your Oktoberfest, you can drastically increase the number of volunteers who are interested in helping out during the festival itself.
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