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  • Make the Most of Your Volunteer Experience!

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    Our annual golf outing is set for this Tuesday, July 25, and we are expecting a marvelous day!  Lots of sponsors, a sold-out event with 144 golfers, terrific games and prizes and (knock wood) sunny skies and warm temperatures.

    We're also expecting a small army of volunteers to help us out at the event, doing anything and everything from working the registration table to selling beverages on the course to keeping an eye on the longest drive competition.  Our Chamber volunteers are incredible, positive, energetic and fun - we could not do it without them!  

    Importantly, we want our volunteers to have a good experience.  It goes without saying that we want them to have fun, stay hydrated and not get too sunburned.  But we also believe that volunteering at Chamber events is a member benefit - it gives you lots of exposure and opportunity to network with event attendees.  Here are a few tips on how to get the most of your volunteer experience:
    1. Arrive branded!  Whether you have a shirt with your company logo, a baseball cap, jacket or even just a nametag - you want people to SEE your business name and remember your logo.  If you like to use your own personal coffee mug or water bottle with your brand on it - by all means, have it with you!
    2. If you have some small giveaways, bring them along.  You never know when we can use some extra pens or post-it pads.  (If you have bulkier items, call the office in advance and we can brainstorm ways to distribute them, if appropriate.)
    3. Introduce yourself and your business.  "Hi I'm Cathy, the owner of Small Business Inc. I'm here helping the Chamber today.  How can I help you?"
    4. Engage in conversation!  Don't just stand or sit behind the table.  We want you to introduce yourself, make a connection and let people know you are a business person.
    5. Have your elevator speech ready.  People are in a hurry, but they will ask you what you do or what your business does.  Can you give a good answer in one or two sentences?
    6. Wear something with pockets and have a few business cards tucked away in them.  You don't want to come off as pushy, shoving a business card in the hand of everyone who wants a bottle of water from the beverage cart... but you don't want to NOT have one if someone asks you for a card.   Similarly, have a place to hold cards people give you.
    7. Usually, we invite our volunteers to stay for the program or the meal.  Try to stick around and mingle if you can.
    8. This is your opportunity to show off your customer service skills - you'll have to walk that fine line of engaging with everyone in front of you but remaining cognizant of the line of people waiting their turn.  Try to keep the line moving, even while you make mini-appointments to follow-up with people later on in the day/event.
    9. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, call on staff to step in and help resolve it. 
    10. Have fun!  You are as much a part of the event as one of the ticketed attendees.  Enjoy the event and the opportunities to meet people.
    Finally - a huge THANK YOU to all of our volunteers.  We'll see you Tuesday at the golf outing!
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