Organising a Tech Conference – 8. Employing Student Helpers
Post 8 of 15
As mentioned in a previous post, organising a conference can be an extremely time consuming process, and the more hands on deck the better. In this post I share some of the strategies and documents we used to employ a group of 15 dedicated students to help organise and run the conference. Without their help, organising the conference would have been impossible.
There are several strategies that can be used to recruit the right students for the jobs you need. Here are some of the strategies we used when organising the ECIS Technology Conference 2015.
Advertising the positions
We decided to advertise for the following positions using our internal daily communication with students (daily bulletin) and through email communication as well. You can download all of the position details and requirements here.
- Team leaders
- Tech helpers
- Student ambassadors
- Junior organisers
- Social media specialist
Each position had:
- A summary
- A job description
- The number of positions available
It looked like this – nothing fancy.
Leveraging existing student groups
Most schools have active groups of students, such as:
- Student council
- Student ambassadors
- Student voice
- Digital ambassadors
It might be worth contacting those groups of students to gauge interest. We hired a significant proportion of our helpers using this strategy.
Leveraging the CAS programme (or similar)
A significant number of schools have programmes to encourage students to volunteer their time to help their community. CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) or SA (Service & Action) in IB schools are a good avenue to reward students who wish to help organise a conference.
It may be worth contacting the CAS coordinator (or person in similar position), as they tend to have an idea of the students who may have an interest in helping you.
Contract and parental permission
After students were appointed to their position, we asked students and parents to sign a basic ‘contract’ and permission letter. You can find a sample letter here.
Creating a schedule for your student helpers
We found that giving specific tasks, with clear guidelines and deadlines worked best with our student helpers. We met weekly, for 30 minutes as a group. Each sub-group met with their respective team leaders weekly, also for 30 minutes.
Here is a sample schedule.
Thanking the students
Our student helpers received a huge amount of praise from the delegates. We did send a signed letter to parents and students after the conference. You can find a sample letter here.
In the next post, I will discuss email communication with the different groups of people involved in the conference.