Through an event or meeting

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An event or open meeting is a good place to recruit your core group or volunteers, as you will have a captive audience from which to bring on board committed individuals.

Below are a few ideas for how to go about recruiting at an event or meeting.

Networking and talking to people. Simply having conversations with new and different people at an event or meeting can help to identify individuals who might be valuable, willing and interested to get more involved. Personal invitations or offers of support can be more successful and effective when made face-to-face in this way.

Publicity material and displays. Having eye-catching publicity material or displays advertising the opportunities available can inform people of what is on offer and how they can get more involved. Make sure you include details for how to apply or make enquiries.

Give a presentation. A presentation explaining your group or project, the benefits of involvement and the types of roles you are recruiting for can be an effective way to communicate and promote opportunities.

Speed dating with a difference. If you have a wide range of roles to recruit for, you could arrange a form of speed dating session. Those attending could sit down with members from different work groups or with responsibilities for different areas of your project in turn to discuss available opportunities. This can provide a fun and interactive way to recruit when you need to boost numbers.

Follow up after the event or meeting. Instead of directly recruiting at an event or meeting, another option is to call for support from those who were in attendance afterwards via email or other communication methods.

During meeting discussions. If plans are being formulated during a meeting discussion, this can be combined with bringing those in attendance on board to help to deliver the next steps identified. This can lead to a one-off or more permanent roles developing.

Case Studies
Country: UK

Dingwall Wind Co-op took time to identify and recruit founding directors who were well known and trusted locally and happy to promote the Co-op. People were approached through personal contacts and asked to a meeting where the basic idea was laid out. A very large number of questions were asked and a lot of time spent with each of the prospective directors. One or two people approached decided to continue as supporters rather than in active roles. It was notable that some of the most difficult people to satisfy did then go on to become directors and take an active role in the launch of the Co-op! 

Country: Ireland

A group of enthusiastic colleagues at Dublin City Council got together to run an energy awareness campaign in the Council and to help communicate sustainability issues. The local energy agency Codema worked closely with these staff members to develop a 1-year campaign called “Think Energy”. In order to form a team which would make plans and decisions on the campaign, staff members of Codema gave a short presentation on the benefits of behavioural change to Dublin City Council employees in the area of Facility Management, Information Services and Human Resources. The Think Energy team was formed. Given the large size of the Civic Offices building with 1,500 staff members, it was decided that further “Think Energy Ambassadors” needed to be recruited to spread the energy-saving message on the ground. This was done by offering a lunchtime talk on “How to save energy at home” in the Civic Office’s conference room. Lunch and tea/coffee was provided and an energy consultant was invited to give a presentation to 60 attendees. They were provided with energy tips and information on the campaign and later asked whether they would like to volunteer to become Think Energy Ambassadors. The volunteering programme was also advertised in the organisation’s newsletter, on the Dublin City Council intranet and via the Think Energy Online Hub, a website which had been created for the project by the marketing team in Codema.

Country: UK

The Big Lemon formed its initial core team as a result of an informal open meeting in a pub. A group of local people got together to explore ideas for a community bus company as a response to rises in local bus fares. It was the first time most of the people in the room had met each other, having been invited by posters and an article in the local paper, and the group included community activists, businesspeople, bus drivers, pensioners, local politicians, residents and a few journalists. It was an interesting and fruitful discussion, and by the end of the evening there was a plan. There was even an offer from one of the bus drivers in the room to drive the first day of service for nothing!

Source: Community-Led Transport Initiatives action pack