Volunteers are vital to all show societies. It is estimated there are more than 50,000 volunteers involved in the agricultural show movement across Australia.

Those volunteers will look up to the leaders of the local organisation. Here are some essential activities leaders of volunteer organisations, like show societies, need to undertake.

  1. Listen to your volunteers.
    They are the ones on deck and have valuable insight on how things are going and how to improve, make sure your volunteers feel safe to speak up. Seek their feedback routinely; call them or send surveys giving them ample opportunity to contribute to the continuous improvement of the show and the society. After each show, run a post-implementation review whereby everyone can contribute to what worked, what didn’t, what could be started and what should be stopped.

  2. Set clear goals and expectations.
    You don’t want your volunteers confused or standing around not knowing what to do. Celebrate them when they outperform and support them when they struggle with a change to processes, structure or resourcing.

  3. Have plans, policies and procedures in place.
    There is nothing worse than someone new stepping up to the plate with no guidance on what needs to be done.