Last night was the biggest game in football, and as you probably know, it was held in Atlanta - where I live! Now I didn’t go (those ticket prices!), but I still wanted to partake in the festivities, so I attended a few of the fan events leading up to the big game.
The events were great, but one thing that really stood out to me (and honestly, made the events better) were the volunteers. With so many people coming to town and a multitude of pop up events taking place, many, many, MANY volunteers were needed. And let me tell you, they delivered on everything you would want a volunteer to deliver on.
Because they made my experience so memorable (and because organizations rely quite heavily on volunteers), I wanted to share a few “lessons learned” from the exceptional volunteers of Super Bowl LIII:
Lesson #1: Your volunteers should be EXCITED
I kid you not, even as my Uber was pulling up to the Georgia World Congress Center (where the “Super Bowl Experience” event was taking place), volunteers were outside waving and cheering. I was excited before getting there, but this made me even more excited! If they were this excited - and they knew what was inside and what attendees were about to experience - then that must mean it was something really, really good.
But the excitement didn’t stop there. As I was walking down the (quite long) hallway to registration, volunteers were waving, saying welcome, and encouraging me and other attendees to have a great time. Their excitement was contagious, and that kicked off the event with a bang.
Lesson #2: Your volunteers should be AVAILABLE
The event and venue were quite large. (It was the Super Bowl, after all.) So naturally, I (and others) had questions - about where to go, where things were located, etc. But every time I had a question, there wasn’t a volunteer too far away. I was able to quickly approach someone, get the information I needed, and go about my way, which allowed to me to make the most of my time there.
Lesson #3: Your volunteers should be EQUIPPED
Speaking of having to approach volunteers with questions, every time I had a question, they had an answer. There was no guessing or “let me find someone to help you.” They knew what to do. You could tell they’d been trained well and equipped with all the information they needed - and that had a HUGE impact on attendees’ experience.
Lesson #4: Your volunteers should give the EXTRA 1%
The final thing that stood out to me about the volunteers of Super Bowl LIII was their willingness to go above and beyond. For example, there were so many things there to take pictures of, and just about every time I went to take a picture of something, a volunteer approached me and asked if I wanted them to take my picture with whatever the object was. That made my pictures and memories even better. Did they have to do that? No. But they gave that extra 1%, and let me tell you, that made all the difference.
Volunteers play a HUGE role in events. Not only do they help with what’s needed in planning and executing an event, but they have a huge impact on attendees’ overall experience.
How’s the volunteering at your organization? Do you have enough volunteers? Do they go above and beyond at your events? Do they continue to volunteer time and time again? If the answer is “no” to any of those questions, check out our Ultimate Guide to Volunteer Management below. In it, you’ll find tips and best practices for recruiting, onboarding, and retaining volunteers!