As part of my BA Hons Events Management degree, I was enrolled into a Contemporary Issues in the Events Industry course. During Term 1 we had to deliver a workshop to our peers, there were a variety of subjects to choose from. However, I chose Volunteer Motivation.
Within the Events industry, volunteers are often recruited to help with charity events and other events in return of some sort of reward. Many students volunteer at events during their studies to gain experience to prepare themselves for the competitive industry.
I decided to choose this subject as volunteering can be very diverse due to the number of pros and cons. Especially within the events industry as many events can involve long and unsociable working hours. It can be a difficult process for the organisation to find the right volunteer and alternatively, the volunteer to fund the right organisation/ event to volunteer for.
Through my experiences of volunteering I have found that there are ‘volunteer stereotypes’. (Ho and O’Donohoe, 2014) These stereotypes can put off those who want to volunteer as they may not be ‘cool’ to their peers and can also cause organisations to be weary with who they are recruiting. In 2015 Radio 1 launched a campaign ‘#1MillionHours‘ this lasted for a whole year and went on a mission to try and motivate their listeners to pledge one million hours of their time over a twelve month period. The total number of hours achieved in the twelve-month period was 1,122,065. For a major radio station like BBC Radio 1 to launch a campaign on motivating volunteers, it was clear this was a contemporary issue.
The Planning Process
Our group consisted of five members; Charlotte, Jodie, Kajsa, Olivia and me. We arranged an initial meeting to introduce ourselves and come up with a plan of action. We had not worked together before as a group therefore it was important to spend some time getting to know each other. We identified our individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as those as a team. We then worked on these throughout the planning process, I found this was also beneficial for self-development.
Weekly meetings were arranged and each week we all assigned ourselves with tasks and reading to prepare for the next meeting. This was so that we could keep our meeting times short as our workload in our third year of university was heavy. We thought of as many interactive activities as possible and how to adapt them to make them interesting and relatable to the students in the workshop. In total, we spent five weeks planning the workshop.
I chose to address the learning objectives of the workshop, this gave a brief overview of the discussions and activities that would be taking place. I followed this up with a reflection to ensure all the objectives were understood and questions could be answered. The workload was evenly spread and the team has an equal amount of information to share, we presented the information that we had individually researched so that we understood the area in detail. I concentrated on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943), I provided examples of how this related to volunteers and how this can help motivate volunteers at events.
To present the information we used ‘Prezi’, this is an online tool that allows you to present information as a video rather than as a slideshow. We felt this was slightly more engaging than a PowerPoint presentation. The activities we carried out were interactive as they included group work, moving around the classroom and discussions between the participants. To gain the attention of everyone in the room we decided to make a video of why people should volunteer from the perspective of the tutors on our course. This was a great success and this captured the attention of the participants perfectly.
The feedback we received was extremely positive, leaving us all feel very proud as a team. We all felt we had worked hard planning the workshop so all agreed this was well- deserved and that we would carry out group work together again in the future.
The content of our workshop included theory and case studies, we were praised on the video we had made of the tutors as this applies some of the theory to real-life and people we all look up to for help and advice at university. The tutor was impressed with our professionalism of being dressed in event volunteer t-shirts and our engagement with the participants throughout. The delivery of the workshop went exceptionally well; we kept the energy going, the sweets we provided as rewards were a nice touch and the way we reviewed the workshop by asking questions proved that the participants had paid attention and were still interested.