Feedback & learnings from past editions
Team roles, activities and communication: The fact that OuiShare takes care of all parts of the Fest event organization has its pros and cons. How can we better bridge the discrepancy and manage expectations between very different types of teams and activities (i.e. program vs. event production)? Are there some activities that we should maybe no longer do ourselves but outsource, to avoid tiring the team out too much?
Ideas for Improvement
- People should avoid making assumptions (just because someone is sitting on a couch does not mean he is working) → organize a training day on Monday with Volunteers and OuiShare people about the history of the OuiShare Fest and Fest topics
- Understand better why volunteers come to the Fest. There are two profiles we’ve identified:
- Entrepreneurs who take 1 week of vacation and want to interact with Connectors → don’t over-promise and be clear that people should not come for networking if they want to be volunteers
- Make an organigramm of team members and Fest team members with name and photograph
- Opinions: even core members/ Connectors should show up once at 7 AM and have a shift
- Speed-dating or mentoring between volunteers and Connectors monday morning
Tell people not to be at the Cabaret Sauvage if you are not helping, because this is bad for motivation
Volunteers: expectation management from the team and for volunteers
Observations 6 days working is too tiring to be able to actually learn
Reasons why volunteers join
- To join the network:
- To learn about new topics
- To meet international people on a regular basis → unique identifier
- People come for the good vibes → the team should make an effort not to be stressed
- Have more activities before the Fest; icebreakers etc.
- Do 3 days instead of 6 days
- Training beforehand so that team members put less stress on volunteers and are more empowering than controlling
- Co-leaders could come earlier to prepare
- Feel-good manager → bring back the OuiShare love team we had in 2014
- It was bad that Connectors with OS t-shirts would come and not help
- Core Fest team members should not be in charge of taking care of volunteers, because it’s too much. It would be good to get others, such as Connectors to do it
Outsourcing is difficult if people do not have the full vision of the project. However if we want to improve it seems we cannot get around outsourcing some parts.
One of the main challenges of volunteer contributions is that you can lose people on the way. At OuiShare Fest 2016, we initially had 130 volunteers, but 48 cancelled in the end. Be ready for this type of contingencies - maybe having some extra volunteers on the list. That's also a reason why none of the core responsibilities should lie with volunteers but with the core team members.
OuiShare Fest Paris 2015 Appreciated :
- positive ambiance & people
- people listen and help or find someone to help (our advice on the light in the circus was respected which helped us a lot)
- great choice of volunteers for the experience team
- sugar cubes game
- lists in the team room with check lists for the evening
- Zero Waste program is appreciated
- always friendly and not too much pressure
- the volunteer team was great! smiling, efficient, friendly, always here to help. Thank you!
- the team leaders are very worried and friendly with the volunteers
- team building & set up day & closing circle
- no hierarchy feeling
To improve :
- Sometimes felt information / updates during the 3 days to keep quite independent.
Proposition : → Share clear practical information in each area to facilitate self-organization. → papers on the wall, self organized team who transmit the info to the next one → maybe this should be made more “compulsory” → you don’t leave without transmitting the organization and the skills you acquired (f.ex. how the washing machine works) → one person in charge of a shift (responsible) → introduction to shifts could be more precise and elaborate (what are the goals, where are the ressources, is there a good strategy to achieve the goals)
- wifi needs to be working well
- Have more people to deal with the documentation and "cleaning of the text"
- better distribution of the team in kitchen: not always the same people worked in the kitchen
- maybe the shifts in the kitchen (cleaning dishes) could last only 2 or 3 hours is a lot when you have your hands in the water.
- Kitchen sink issue: it is too law and create back pain.