While you may feel like a one-man/woman machine, volunteers are instrumental to the success of any nonprofit event. Whether you’re holding an annual gala for hundreds of people, a weekend fun run or a local theater performance, volunteers are important before, during and after the event.

In this three part series, we’ll be discussing the best ways to engage event volunteers before, during and after your event takes place. Let’s start at the beginning. Here’s what you need to know before the event takes place.

1. Learn the Ticketing Life Cycle

Through research we’ve done at Eventbrite, we’ve identified that event organizers see an initial spike when tickets go on sale, then a final spike (about %40!!)  the week before an event takes place. With this knowledge, you can prepare to stack the deck with your volunteer efforts to combat the ‘lull’ that naturally occurs with ticket sales between the first and the final spike.

Ticcketing Lifecycle

2. Arm Your Volunteer Army

volunteer army

Pretend that you don’t know anything about your cause or your upcoming event and think about what information you’d want to know. Make a mini ‘press kit’ to share with volunteers so they can help get the word out. Things to include:

• your logo (in .jpg and .pdf format, at the very minimum)

• event flyers / posters (jpeg, pdf)

• all event details (date, time, venue, ticket pricing, flow of event)

• calendar with important dates noted (when tickets go on sale, when ticket sales end, any committee meetings they need to attend, etc.)

Green tip: Upload all of these pieces to Box.com, Dropbox.com, or Google drive and share the link with your volunteer army to avoid printing!

3. Let Your Volunteers Be Your Evangelists


Your volunteers are probably involved with your event because they’re passionate about your cause. Encourage volunteers to share your event details with their social media networks because… hello, events are more fun when your friends come too! Make it as easy as possible and in addition to your ‘press kit’, provide volunteers with pre-written Tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts in case they don’t have the time to craft their own. Make sure to remind them to check the calendar included in the press kit so they know when ticket sales start and end.

Stay tuned for parts two and three, where we’ll cover how to engage your volunteers during and post-event!

Anything you’d like to add? Tell us in the comments below!

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