It’s not you, committee, it’s me. I just need more space. All jokes aside, I’ve always struggled with keeping my board and volunteer committee engaged during the event planning process. I’ve gone from feeling like I’m reaching out too much, to wondering if my email isn’t working because I can literally hear crickets while I wait for responses.
Although this probably isn’t the biggest thing you’re worried about leading up to an event, it’s important. Your committee members are the people you represent and at the end of the day it’s their event, so naturally they should be a part of the planning process.
Here are some tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years to keep volunteer committee members engaged and the event rolling on:
- Your members are busy. Really, really busy. Be mindful of their time and opt for a conference call or video meeting. They will appreciate the gesture and be more likely to join in if the added pressure of attending an in-person meeting is gone.
- Keep them in the loop. Even if you aren’t getting tons of responses each time you send something out, I promise they read over it, and because they feel like they have a good handle on what’s going on, they automatically feel more engaged.
- Reach out to your committee or board members one-on-one and lean on their individual expertise. You’ve collected this awesome group of people; why not use them?
- Try using survey polls if you want really specific feedback during planning. That way you can ask them a direct question and they can give you a direct answer.
At the end of the day, you have to do what works best for you and your team. There is no exact science when it comes to this stuff. You do your best and when all else fails…Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. That’s the basis of all great relationships. Even the one with your board.