• CVBs can help you obtain volunteers for your event
• Going the extra mile
• Training opportunities keep volunteers 'in the know'
CVBs can help meeting professionals rest easy when it comes to many crucial aspects of their event. This is especially true when it comes to recruiting the best volunteer base.
Oftentimes meeting planners are planning events in cities they don’t have direct ties to and finding knowledgeable and dependable volunteers would be all but impossible without the help and expertise from CVBs.
In the Northeast part of Wisconsin, volunteers also play a big role in the success of events. The Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau has a corps of 50 volunteers – a program that has allowed them to offer friendly, knowledgeable people to assist their convention groups for over ten years.
Their vetting process includes completing an application and interviews to help place people in roles that best suit their experience, skills, and personality. They also offer annual training opportunities to educate volunteers on the area restaurants, hotels and attractions, and new things happening in Greater Green Bay.
Brenda Krainik, Director of Marketing, Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau explains the investment they make into their volunteer staff and the benefits to meeting professionals and their attendees.
“Our volunteers have completed ‘TIP’ training or the Greater Green Bay CVB’s Tourism Insider Program. The program focuses on customer service, how to answer questions, and be as helpful as possible. It also expresses the importance of the visitor, and the impact that one person or an entire convention can have on our community. The CVB helps the volunteer expand their knowledge of their hometown. Our volunteers can give directions to anywhere, recommend the perfect restaurant, or direct you to the closest pharmacy.”
Patti Drabes, Group Services Manager, Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau echoes Krainik’s sentiments in their commitment to make visitors feel welcome and assist meeting professionals in creating the ultimate experience, “We want to provide planners and visitors with knowledgeable, friendly staff to help make their time in Green Bay a positive experience.”
Drabes continued, “Our enthusiastic volunteers are available to help in the registration area, help attendees find their way to either their next meeting or somewhere around town. They can even greet attendees at the airport or convention center and are willing to do just about anything to help visitors. They go the extra mile, from driving golf carts to transport attendees across the street, to handing out bottles of water to runners who went for a morning run before the start of their conference.”
Planners appreciate and value the extra steps that CVBs take in helping with their volunteers. Janice Mashak, Vice President of Member Services & Innovation, LeadingAge Wisconsin, has held the largest conference in Green Bay for nearly three decades. “I work so well and so closely with the Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau that I feel they are an extension of my own staff. It is no overstatement to say the Bureau is a meeting planner’s key to success for hosting large conventions in Green Bay. They have a top-notch staff who are always willing to help plan special events and to find additional hotel room blocks – sometimes years in advance and sometimes days in advance. They work with first-class, knowledgeable volunteers who are professional and friendly wizards with all aspects of registration. I can’t imagine our conference without the far reaching support of these outstanding individuals.”
For meeting professionals seeking to elevate the experience of their participants, volunteer assistance is the icing on the cake. Working with the local CVB can take a good event to great and create the positive experience meeting planners expect.