Enhancing Your Conference Experience Through Volunteering

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by Margaret Daley, ACFW Volunteer Officer

One of the most important aspects of the conference is the role of volunteers in making it a success. In fact, the conference wouldn’t be possible without its volunteers. There are a lot of opportunities to volunteer this year.

I have already put out a call for people to be hostesses/hosts for the classes offered. People were great. I have those slots filled. Now I’m looking to fill the other volunteer jobs needed. I’ve put the call out to the main loop. I hope you will think about doing something if you are planning on attending the conference.

On site registration will open Wednesday afternoon and night because of the Donald Maass workshop that starts bright and early (8:00) Thursday morning and goes until 4:00 in the afternoon. The people who are taking the workshop will need to register the day before, if possible.

We will need most of our volunteers to man the registration desk on Wednesday afternoon, night and all day Thursday. On Friday and Saturday we will need a few to be at the registration desk for people who come in late or for only one day.

Beforehand, we’ll need people on Wednesday to help stuff the conference bags for all the attendees. Then there will be a need for people to help in the bookstore, with the editor/agent appointments, serving as timekeepers, greeters at the meals, and taking up the meal tickets. Those activities happen during the conference.

Now you see how the conference wouldn’t be a success without its volunteers. Every aspect of the conference is manned by people giving of their time to make the experience the best it can be.

So why should you volunteer besides the fact we can’t have a conference without people helping? It’s a great way to give back to ACFW. I’ve volunteered in the past. I love seeing old friends but also meeting new people. One of the reasons to go to a conference is to network. What better way than while you’re helping others? Every year I’ve gotten to know some other writer a little better while we are working together. These friendships that develop have enhanced my experience at the conference and overflowed into my experience with ACFW in general.

So if you are going to the Denver ACFW conference September 17-20, think about volunteering to help out in one of the places I mentioned above. You won’t regret it. Working together as a group to make the conference the best it can be is such an uplifting feeling.

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