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Managing Live Event Volunteers in 2021.

Andy Robertson

Whether it’s a large indoor concert, tour or music festival organisers rely on the army of volunteers to make thier events happen. As event organisers gear up to the return of live events late in 2021 what are the new challenges faced by those responsible for recruiting, training and managing volunteers. 


Volunteer applications are usually received via a dedicated page on an events website or other social media channel and some NGOs also contribute to the supply of event volunteers. In high demand from volunteer managers are people with specific experience in medical professions related to handling coronavirus prevention measures. Of particular interest will be volunteers with ‘front line’ experience, nurses and other hospital workers for example.

With event dates being scheduled for the late summer months there looks like there could be festival congestion on some weekends, add into this the possibility of event dates being moved the volunteer manager is looking for great flexibility from their volunteers. As there is still so much uncertainty it makes sense to recruit and train a number of volunteers far in excess of those normally recruited. An allowance should be made for volunteers becoming infected and having to drop out at the last minute, volunteer managers should have in place a back-up plan with access to trained volunteers waiting in a reserve pool who can be activated quickly to fill any gaps. Equally if dates move to a later date are there enough volunteers available to cover revised dates? 

All these factors will cause logistical headaches for event organisers and their volunteer managers. If previous events required 100 volunteers to be recruited and trained this number may well go up to 150 to allow for increased flexibility. Once the event dates are close the volunteer manager will be finalising shift patterns and this could involve constant communication with volunteers to double check availability and more importantly that they are in good health. In the current climate it probably also makes sense to set up a screening and testing facility close to the venue site to check the status of all volunteers scheduled to work. COVID-19 testing kits are getting more sophisticated as time goes by and results can now be obtained within several hours. Aside from catching any potentially infected volunteers this process can be communicated to event goers too so that they are safe in the knowledge that event staff have been screened and tested.

Technology can help the volunteer manager and there are a variety of tools available that enable managers to log volunteers, their contact details and to allocate shift patterns. Using these tools is going to be far more efficient than a manual process. 

For any live music event organisers and volunteer managers planning their 2021 events using a software management platform like
Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their volunteer recruitment, training and shift allocations. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing. 

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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