STEP 7 – DEVELOP A VOLUNTEER STRATEGY

It is essential that there is a sufficient number of volunteers and venue staff in place to handle the flow of students in and out of the venue. The number of volunteers required will depend on several factors:

  • Size of the venue
  • Layout of the venue
  • Number of staff provided by the venue
  • Number of schools and students attending the event
  • Number of busses that can unload at one time
  • Number of VIP guests expected
  • If there will be a VIP reception after the event

Below are some general guidelines to work with as you develop your volunteer strategy. Each venue and each community are unique, so your volunteer strategy may differ from these guidelines. TRNP Event Manager will work with you to develop an effective volunteer strategy for your event.

TRNP Event Manager will oversee the entire event and will be onsite at each supershow to provide general oversight and liaise with TRNP production team to ensure clear communication. There are usually 2 main volunteer team leaders who work with TRNP Event Manager to provide leadership for the event:

  • SITE MANAGER
    • Works with Front of House Manager to develop volunteer strategy.
    • Assesses traffic flow, bottlenecks, egress, handicap access, seating capacities, security, restrooms, first aid, etc. to ensure safe and efficient people flow.
    • Works with venue to ensure adequate security is in place for the event.
    • Determines and creates signage required (see signage samples in STEP 8)
    • Arranges with city to have street blocked off for busses if necessary.
    • Connects with venue and bussing companies to determine where busses will park for the duration of the event.
    • Leads the curbside team that works to direct the flow of people on and off busses, as well as directing car traffic to parking lots if necessary.
       
  • FRONT OF HOUSE (FOH) MANAGER
    • Works with Site Manager to develop volunteer strategy.
    • Assigns volunteer roles and handles all pre-show communication with volunteers.
    • Informs TRNP Event Manager of the number of access passes required for volunteers and guests as well as safety vests (for curbside ushers) and radios required (select volunteers in key areas of the venue should be on radios to ensure good team communications). TRNP will provide access passes, safety vests and radios.
    • Handles volunteer check in, ensuring each volunteer has their access pass and fully understands their role. Any signage appropriate to their role is given to the volunteer at check in, as well as safety vests and radios where applicable.
    • Ensures clean up of venue, all volunteers participate.
    • Develops and executes thank you strategy for volunteers.
    • Keeps master list of volunteers, with contact information and role assignments. The following tracking document can be used: 

There are several types of other volunteers that make up the teams:

  • CURBSIDE USHERS: report to Site Manager
    • Curbside ushers enter each bus as it arrives to confirm which school is on board.
    • Assign each bus a number as it arrives and give bus driver a sign with the school name and assigned number to put in the window for easier loading after the show.
    • Give supervising teacher on the bus a seating chart and circle that school’s seating section. Also write their bus number on top of the map so the teacher knows which bus they will be on after the show.
    • Walk school to entrance where they will be greeted by hosts.
    • All curbside ushers MUST wear safety vests, provided by TRNP (no exceptions!)
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue after all busses have left.
       
  • SECURITY: report to Site Manager
    • Presence at entrance to ensure no unwanted people enter
    • Monitor washrooms hallways and secluded areas in venue
    • Be aware of any potential threats to individual students (schools will provide that info)
    • In order to ensure the safety of the students, every adult in the facility will require either venue identification, school identification or TRNP access pass. Security staff will be required to enforce this rule.
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue.
       
  •  SCHOOL HOSTS: report to FOH Manager
    • Each school has 1 assigned host who stays in the theatre at the school’s assigned seating section and assists with getting the students seated. It works well to have hosts holding signs with their assigned school name.
    • Hosts remain with their assigned school for the duration of the event to answer any questions or help deal with any issues that might come up.
    • During the show, hosts monitor hallways, watching for any student who leaves their seat for any reason. Hosts ensure school staff is aware of any student who has left their seat during the show.
    • Hosts are not responsible for checking on the welfare of any student who may have left their seat, but only for informing the school staff. For liability reasons, it is very important students are cared for by school staff, not by individuals associated with TRNP.
    • Hosts assist schools to exit the venue in an orderly way.
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue.
       
  • GUIDES: report to FOH Manager
    • Stand in assigned places throughout the venue to help guide schools to the correct door to enter the theatre.
    • Need to be familiar with the seating chart for the event so they are able to help any staff or student who is unsure of where they are to go.
       
  • GUEST CHECK IN: report to FOH Manager
    • Place VIP guest seating signage on guest seating sections in the venue.
    • 1-2 volunteers sit at the guest check in table and greet VIP guests as they arrive, checking off each arrived guest from the guest list and ensuring each guest receives an access pass
    • 2-3 volunteers help seat guests in the VIP seating area as they arrive.
    • 1-2 volunteers collect access passes from guests as they leave the venue
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue.
       
  • HOSPITALITY: report to FOH Manager
    • Ensure there is food and water for all volunteers and crew
    • Handle catering for VIP reception if applicable
    • Handle catering for stage crew and band (as determined by TRNP Tour Manager)
    • Coat check for volunteers and crew
    • Bring supplies required to the venue on event day (see list in STEP 8)
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue.
       
  • RUNNER: report to RNP Event Manager
    • 2-3 people to assist the Event Manager with anything that might come up during the event and help in any capacity required.
    • Tasks may include going backstage to talk with the production team, filling in any gaps in the volunteer teams if someone doesn’t show up, assisting with volunteer check-in, getting any supplies required, etc.
    • This role is very unpredictable and will depend on what comes up during the event. Runners need to be able to think on their feet and move quickly!
    • At least one person filling this position must be a responsible driver with a reliable vehicle in case a need arises for items to be procured off-site (this person would be given preferential parking near the stage door and gas expenses would be reimbursed).
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue.

We recommend all volunteers wear black to the event. If your team would like to have t-shirts for your volunteers, discuss this option with TRNP Event Manager. Key volunteers will also be required to wear a headset and participate in radio communication during the day.

Once the volunteer strategy and volunteer roles have been determined, send out an information package to all volunteers by email. These templates can be used for pre-show communication with volunteers: