6 Things I Wish I Had Known … About Taking Volunteers to Conferences

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  1. Sit down before leaving for the conference and go through workshops together. Since you may know some of the presenters if you’ve attended previously, there will be workshops and presenters you will want to encourage your volunteer(s) to attend.


  1. Set them out on their own. Encourage them to experience connecting with others during workshops and sitting at a dinner table with people other than their group.


  1. Touch base daily. Check in with your entire team—whoever you brought—once each day while at the conference. This just makes sure they are on track, and may be a time when you can encourage them if they attended something they did not connect with.


  1. Pamper them. The volunteers you take are giving up time, possible income, and being away from their families. It may even be costing them financially to have things taken care of while they’re away. So, do something special. Plan on a nice dinner, an individual room (or at least one that’s not being shared by your entire party), and a bag of snacks for the trip.


  1. Provide an exhibit hall allowance. When you figure your conference budget, build an allowance for each person to spend in the exhibit hall. Your volunteers will undoubtedly find a resource that personally connects with them and will be valuable to their part of your children’s ministry.


  1. Before you leave, set a date for debriefing. Encourage everyone to make copies of any notes they took so those can be shared. This lets you revisit the excitement of the conference and communicates that each person is important to the team.





About the Author

Tina Houser is the Editor of K! Magazine and creates This iKnow church curriculum. She absolutely loves speaking at churches and events to equip those who work in children’s ministry and spends most of her weekends doing just that. Visit www.tinahouser.net or tinapoint.blogspot.com.