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Festival or Event Planning Guide

How to Organize a Birding or Nature Festival

Nancy S. Millar   See more about Nancy Millar

After The Festival - Youíre Not Finished Yet!

After the festival is over, your work is not quite finished. There are follow-ups that are every bit as important as the details you so carefully worked on before the event.

  • Evaluation forms from everyone- attendees, volunteers, speakers, guides, trade show exhibitors- should be studied carefully. While it is useless to try to please everyone (1 attendee will say the festival was too long; another, that it was too short), you will learn much about fine tuning the following yearís event from the comments. What you are looking for are clusters of the same comment several times. That is what should alert you to an opportunity to make the event even better the following year.
  • Hold a debriefing for key volunteers as soon after the festival as possible. Itís amazing how fast thoughts and suggestions can exit the mind. Aim for a de-briefing session within a week.
  • Immediately after the festival, hold a survivorsí party for all volunteers. This is the appropriate time for the chairman to recognize the volunteers individually with a small memento and more than a few kind words. Again, remember that people volunteer in large part for recognition. Make sure they get it. Celebrate your victories. We usually hold ours hours after the festival- while spirits are still soaring, adrenaline is still pumping and attention hasnít been diverted back to the old routine.
  • Plan a get together for the key players- maybe a birding outing just for the group. It will help to build camaraderie and feeling of family. Thatís important!
  • Make sure everyone is properly thanked: volunteers, sponsors, staff people. Youíll want their enthusiastic help again next year, so donít forget this vital step. Everyone, whether paid for their efforts or not, wants to know that he or she made a difference.

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