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Motivating Festival Staff and Volunteers.

Andy Robertson

It's been a tough two years for staff and volunteers involved in the festival sector. With ongoing uncertainly, it is becoming more important to keep staff and volunteers motivated in their roles and boost their mental health too. What steps can festival organisers take to motivate their full-time staff and any volunteers in waiting.


Depending on the size of a festival and the organisational structure staff have been faced with being furloughed, being made redundant and rehired or working with increased workloads due to limited resources and squeezed schedules. All these factors can lead to staff becoming despondent, unmotivated and can seriously affect their mental health too. Festival organisers and management teams should be taking steps to get their team motivated for upcoming events because happy teams result in improved efficiency not to mention delighted customers including sponsors, vendors and ticket buyers.

Flexible Working Patterns. 
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to work from home and this is a first great step towards introducing flexible working patterns. The focus should be on achieving given tasks rather than clock watching employees. Obtain regular feedback from staff and determine their stress levels and offer time off or assistance and support to complete important tasks. People are generally much happier when they are given the option to work remotely, from home or from an office because they can schedule their work around their personal circumstances. Also consider moving staff around between different departments and functions to break up any potential monotony or boredom from a specific role.

Team Building Events. 
It has been difficult for teams to meet in person since early 2020 but as countries open up for social gathering there is an opportunity for teams to get together socially whether it's just a simple pub outing or something with more of a competitive element. A sport related activity like Go-Karting for example can be great for building team motivation with an element of competitive fun.

Incentives and Rewards. 
Introduce a transparent programme of incentives for staff that reward pre-determined categories. Recognising people's effort and hard/great work can really get staff motivated. Categories should not be limited to financial targets but for measurable improvement, customer feedback or the generation of new ideas for example. Any such scheme should be inclusive of all staff irrespective of their job role or seniority and rewards can vary between financial sums, event tickets, gift vouchers of time off work.

Volunteers. 
It’s not just the full-time event staff that need motivating, there are armies of volunteers that registered for festivals but are now faced with uncertainly over dates. This may cause a drop off in volunteers available so organisers should keep all volunteers fully informed with regular communication and updates along with providing suitable incentives to stick with their chosen festival.

For any event organiser planning their festival using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their festival logistics. 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 Jopwell from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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