How to Be a Successfule Event Coordinator

On behalf of all of us, THANK YOU for stepping up to be an Event Coordinator!

Purpose: The Event Coordinator (EC) helps all the different clubs, leaders and members calendar and communicate the action plan for a specific event. The ECs task is not to DO the event, but to help those who are executing the event stay organized, on track and communicate. The EC is the hub of all coordination for the event.

Skills: An Event Coordinator needs to be organized, detail oriented, and assertive. They should be able to communicate effectively and motivate others.

Resources: Leaders and Clubs, the Extension Office, Event Planning WIKI, Event documents, contact lists and club directory, Whatcom 4-H Council resources.

1) Begin by reading over the WIKI Page for your event. When you have plenty of time to prepare you may want to attempt to shadow the current event coordinator. When this is not possible, check with the Extension Office to see if there was a previous Coordinator you can consult with.

2) Determine the outcomes for the event. Look for or create job expectations for each committee member, being sure to leave opportunities for them to contribute their input into how they want to participate.

3) Determine the structure of your event committee based on the outcomes you desire to see at the event. Recruit members to your committee that you believe are capable of fulfilling their tasks.

4) Contact and Meet with your committee as early as possible. Determine any budget concerns and approach Whatcom 4-H Council. 4-H Council provides funding and support for events and awards (among other things.) Council meetings are the first Monday evening of October, December, February, April, June, August at 7PM. Locations vary. Contact your Extension Office or check the current 4-H calendar for more information.

Thoughts on Event Management

Innovations: follow the 80/20 rule. Rome was not built in a day, nor were any 4-H events. As long as you can secure about 80% of the structure of an event year to year, it leaves about 20% open for improvements or changes. Once you start trying to change more than 20%, you are probably only adding a percentage of headaches you don't need. Remember, usually your recommendations become your responsibility. Encourage ownership out of interests. There is a difference between "I will bring decorations because I like decorating" and "There should always be decorations and someone needs to be in charge of it." The latter will require the consensus of many.

The End of an Event, the Birth of a Tradition: Yes, once in a while an event outlives its time and the best thing to do is retire it completely. There might be a new event that more people would be willing to get behind. Volunteers vote with their feet; in other words, discuss a new idea thoroughly with AS MANY 4-H members as you can before launching off on an attempt to incorporate it. If the consensus of a committee is to end or initiate an event, it should be put on the 4-H Council Agenda and discussed publicly. A plan with supporters has a higher likelihood of succeeding than a good idea without.

People Plural Make Events Work: This WIKI is for managing events, not for doing them. The more people you can bring into an event committee the more successful that event will be. None of these projects should operate with fewer than the recommended number of committee members. If you find too many discussion/suggestions coming from meetings and nothing is getting done, it might be in your interest to reduce the number of "idea" people on your committee or bring a few more action-oriented volunteers to the table.

Stay Positive Volunteering should never feel like a chore, a labor of love, but not a chore. Remember we are serving youth and modeling for youth and trying to have fun!

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