With less than a week to go until the global unconference, we’ve asked one of our volunteer leads, Jenny Vass to tell us all about the volunteers working with us on the day to make it happen.
Hello Jenny! So you’re part of the team who are organising volunteers for the unconference, can you tell us a little about that?
Hello! Yes, I’ve been working really hard with David to coordinate our volunteers for the day. We are so lucky that so many people have volunteered to help us to run the event — so we have to say a massive thank you to everyone for that.
Over the past week we’ve been briefing volunteers and they have all been chatting on our Slack and WhatsApp communities, getting to know each other and asking questions. It’s so good to see the energy we have already!
The event is bigger than anything we’ve ever done before, we are expecting 700 attendees! So to make sure the day goes smoothly, that everyone has the help or support they need from us, we need a huge number of volunteers…
Well we’ve got a team of over 100 volunteers to help us!
Some are in civil or public service, and some are coming from our sponsors or supporters, we even have some international volunteers! All have got permission from their managers to use the event as a corporate contribution, or have taken the day off to help us out which is amazing. They’ll all be arriving early on Monday morning for their briefing at 7.45am, that’s dedication!
All of our volunteers will be wearing white One Team Gov T-shirts so they’ll be easy to spot.
That is amazing, but why do you need so many?!
Well, aside from the numbers of attendees we have several jobs that we need to do to make sure that the day goes well.
Our volunteers will be helping to get everyone signed in in the morning, to help people get their lanyards and their bags, and to direct them through to The Park for tea and coffee. They will also be helping in The Park when we are managing the pitching process.
The unconference will be spread across 14 different rooms which each have a capacity of around 50 people; so we need to make sure that each session is well facilitated and supported with facilitators, notetakers and supporting volunteers. We plan to have four volunteers in every session.
The venue is across three floors so we need volunteers on hand to help people find their way around, as well as providing support to any attendees with accessibility needs.
There will also be breakout sessions going on in The Park throughout the day, including learning Welsh and learning to knit! So our volunteers will also be helping to run those sessions.
Welsh and knitting?!
Yep, Toby from one Team Gov Wales will be helping attendees to learn Welsh and I’ll be teaching knitting!
That sounds amazing! Is there anything else the volunteers will be doing?
Well they have the very important job of managing the lunch queue…
Managing the lunch queue?
Yes! Well we have 700 attendees and our lunch area will only fit 350 people so we are having lunch in two sessions. When people arrive they will be given a number 1 or a number 2 and that will denote which lunch session they will be in. There’s plenty of food but we need to make sure that there is space!
That is a very important job! Thanks for speaking to me Jenny and thanks so much to all of our brilliant volunteers — we can’t wait to meet you all!
Want to know everything about the day? You’ll find that here:
Want to know how we are running pitching on the day? You’ll find that here:
And want to know what we might speak about on the day? you’ll find that here!