State of the Map/Planning/Volunteers

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Volunteers are an essential part of running a smooth conference.


The majority of volunteers should be willing to move around roles to where they are needed (chairing sessions, being at the welcome desk), all are a smiling face and point-of-contact for anyone attending the conference. It is helpful to define a few "lead" roles or contacts, these might be a communicate with external people or have specialist knowledge.

Possible roles:

  • State Of The Map/Planning/Code of conduct team - probably required.
  • Volunteer lead - helpful for reassigning jobs/breaks during times that there is a shortage or excess of volunteers present
  • Venue link - potentially subtle. After SotM 2013 people several team members noted it was too hot, one member had been shown by the venue staff how to open the windows but didn't know when it was needed.
  • Press link - if you are expecting several people from local media they can be directed here for a welcome and to ask questions. The press link might get interviewed, but may also know good people who can be asked.

Information for Volunteers

All must read and agree to the Code of Conduct. To ensure volunteers know what to do and what is expected of them, the conference should decide whether they give written information to volunteers, have an orientation session, or show volunteers individually when they arrive. Organising this earlier can help volunteers be comfortable in what they do (and how to ask for help), but can can also save time on-the-day when key people maybe having to deal with unexpected issues.


How will your team communicate during the event? It could be face-to-face and deliberately walking around to tell the team members specific things. You could leave messages behind the welcome desk, or have a notice board in a staff room.

Messaging apps (like Slack) have worked really well, specific people can be found/messaged immediately, important updates can be sent to everyone.