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Estimating # of Volunteers Needed?

Posted: Wed, May 13 2015, 01:17 PM
by SkyClimbers
We're planning for our festival and I'm needing some wisdom & suggestions as to how to estimate the number of volunteers needed for our festival.

We hope to attract 1200 attendees.

We will have:

  • 1 show kite field
    1 main event field
    1 professional field
    1 demo/training field
    1 fun field

as well as

  • food vendors
    bol races
    area for small children's play
    kite making tent
    wind/science exhibit

We will have security from the park district and the local police auxiliary. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

:thanks: :-)

Re: Estimating # of Volunteers Needed?

Posted: Wed, May 13 2015, 10:03 PM
by goestoeleven
I'm probably not the right guy to answer this but . . . . some thoughts. Most of the kiters are pretty self sufficient. Once we get pointed to the right field, we'll get our stuff set up & ready to go. So the volunteers are more needed for setting up and cleaning up the festival fields (i.e. putting up stakes & tape to fence off the demo/show kite fields), and for directing traffic (bigger festivals), helping attendees answering questions. You also should plan on someone to empty trash bins, especially near the food vendors. Given that it's your first year, you probably don't need as much support as you might later on assuming the event grows. Also, some festivals have volunteers to help with kid's kite making and other crafts/activities.

That said . . . at well run festivals, there may be a lot more volunteers that we don't see . . . . because we're too busy flying. I think there's one four day fest we went to last year that had hundreds of volunteers (but it's a very big festival with music, art, a whole "vendor row" and lots going on besides just kites).

I think someone else should chime in, because I've never organized a festival . . . and I'm guessing I get to have so much fun flying because there are more volunteers doing more stuff than I realize!

Re: Estimating # of Volunteers Needed?

Posted: Thu, May 14 2015, 07:40 AM
by TMadz
Having donated time ot other festivals in the past, trash collection and organization is key. having someone who is in charge who knows where stuff is supposed to be and when is key. Signage helps, but the more organization and stuff that can be done before the day of is critical. Can you setup the field/festival areas a day or two in advance? Spread out he work.

Re: Estimating # of Volunteers Needed?

Posted: Thu, May 14 2015, 08:25 AM
by SkyClimbers
Thanks, this is VERY helpful!

Our kite club has become a satellite group of our county Kiwanis Club, so I think I'll have plenty of people before and at the close of the festival to set-up/clean-up. They are a wonderful group and we'll be bringing kites to literally hundreds of children in our region over the next year.

The challenge I'm dealing with right now is that they require background checks of every volunteer (already done for all the members) and we had planned on using several WIU students to help with logistics. But I'm not sure we'll be able to get many student volunteers willing to go through a background check to donate a few hours of volunteer time. But we should be able to get some, and it sounds like we won't need very many for the things that aren't already assigned.

Probably our biggest challenge here is that there are so many adults who drop young children (even toddlers) at our events assuming we'll provide babysitting services to them - and they don't even tell us. So we need spotters to ensure kids are safe and stay with their adult. Has anyone else experienced this? We're making banners stating clearly that all kids 10 & under must be accompanied by an adult, and we'll make sure that's mentioned in all the PR. We're hoping a fenced in area with many young child activities and seating for the adults will help alleviate this issue.

Re: Estimating # of Volunteers Needed?

Posted: Thu, May 14 2015, 09:34 AM
by KiteVoice
I've emailed three people who were instrumental in starting a relatively young kite festival in Shipshewana, Indiana and encouraged them to log on here with any advice they have. It sounds like the event you're planning is of the same scale as their festival's first year.

Re: Estimating # of Volunteers Needed?

Posted: Thu, May 14 2015, 02:40 PM
by SkyClimbers