Volunteer!

Volunteering with the 2015 National Cohousing Conference is a great way to get involved and contribute your talents - and our success is dependent on your voluntary contributions. The following leadership positions will convey complimentary registration if needed (we are unable to provide transportation and lodging). Numerous assistant roles are available, and may convey complimentary registration without meals (meals can be purchased). These positions and responsibilities will evolve and grow as we identify and refine needs.

Please contact us http://www.cohousing.org/contact to share your interest.

Conference Volunteer Leadership Positions, many of which need Volunteer Assistants:

Logistics of Conference Space and Presenter Assistance Coordinator

  • Confirm material and support needs for each presenter
  • Help recruit and assign volunteers to assist presenters as needed
  • Work with ED to assign conference space for all program and networking offerings
  • Work with marketing volunteers to ensure correct signage for presentations
  • Work with marketing volunteers to create a summary of locations for all offerings to be distributed to registrants
  • Collaborate with registration volunteers to determine the best flow
  • Ideally be a local Durhamite who can visit the Conference Center to make the best decisions about location and flow

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday morning through Sunday noon
Additional volunteers will be assigned to assist

Exhibitor Coordinator - Tom Keys has volunteered

  • Engaging exhibitors to determine needs and provide support
  • Determine who is staffing tables, and ensure they are registered
  • Plan where the tables will be located, i.e., who is assigned to what space
  • Assist in planning table space that is shared by sponsors
  • Coordinate with hotel to set up tables
  • Research and order additional tables as needed
  • Ensure security for exhibitors
  • Plan for appropriate signage for exhibitor space
  • Ensure exhibitors are packed up by 1:00 pm on Sunday

Requires on-site management from Friday morning until Sunday noon
Two or more additional “exhibitor assistants” could be assigned

Presenter A/V & Supplies Coordinator

  • Engage presenters to determine needs and provide support
  • As appropriate, assign volunteers to partner with presenters
  • Arrange for materials to be copied and delivered
  • Order and manage A/V equipment
  • As appropriate, assign volunteers to rooms to manage A/V and other needs during the conference

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday morning until Sunday morning
Several “presenter & A/V assistants” will be assigned

Registration Coordinator(s) - to work with Registrars Catya Belfer and Peter Lazar

  • Manage on-site registration of all participants
  • Assist in online registration system use and management
  • Seek out and make available in coordination with conference staff/volunteers helpful registration materials
  • Set up registration table Friday morning, and break down on Sunday morning
  • Plan for early registration at Durham Coho on Thursday
  • Be familiar with the conference offerings and locations to assist participants
  • Several registration staffers will be assigned

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday morning through Sunday morning

“Cohousing Connector” Booth Coordinator

  • Set up and manage an exhibit table offering cohousing resources
  • Seek out and prepare materials for exhibiting
  • Arrange for table to be staffed by knowledgeable cohousing professionals or cohousers [this is a marketing opportunity for professionals]
  • Proactively serve as a connector and clearinghouse

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday afternoon through Sunday noon Volunteer booth staffers to be assigned

Media Coordinator

  • Seek out and secure earned media about the conference and cohousing towards (1) raising visibility and educating the public and (2) promoting attendance at the conference
  • Prepare and distribute press release and press announcement
  • Seek out interview opportunities for cohousing movers and shakers with local and regional press, e.g., Katie McCamant interview by NPR’s Frank Stasio in Chapel Hill; keynote Mike Ortosky interview with Raleigh News & Observer; co-chair Doug Henderson-James with Durham Independent.
  • Work with staff/volunteers to incorporate earned media in promotions and Coho/US website resources.
  • Invite select media to attend the conference, and coordinate their participation

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site availability to coordinate media
Additional volunteers could be assigned to assist

Social Media & Blog Coordinator

  • Utilize social media tools to promote the conference and cohousing towards (1) raising visibility and educating the public and (2) increasing attendance at the conference
  • Recruit folks to blog about the sessions, event and networking while at the conference, and post on Coho/US website and social media
  • Requires pre-conference planning and involvement during the conference

Additional volunteers could be assigned to assist

Friday Dinner & Keynote Event Planning

  • Work with catering staff to select the menu, ensuring vegetarian and/or vegan entre choice(s), and gluten-free items, and locally sourced food if feasible
  • Work with Coho/US staff to determine quantity for restricted food needs
  • Plan for a cash bar
  • Plan optimal room set up, including reserve table for presenters
  • Coordinate with Coho/US board to plan the program and provide support to keynote Mike Ortosky
  • Manage special requests

Requires pre-conference planning on on-site management on Friday
Additional volunteers could be assigned to support

Networking Manager

  • Engage the hosts for the networking opportunities and gatherings to identify needs and ensure adequate support
  • Provide supplies and materials if needed
  • Help promote these opportunities before and during the conference
  • Encourage collection of emails for folks attending the gatherings and interested in continued networking
  • Create a mechanism to connect and sign up people interested in dining out together on Saturday evening, after the reception, including offering local eatery choices collected in a handout provided by the Durham Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
  • As appropriate, assign volunteers to assist with select networking events

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday afternoon through Sunday noon
Additional volunteers will be assigned to assist

Boxed Lunch Coordinator

  • Work with the Convention Center to select the menu for and determine quantity of boxed lunches for conference registrants for Saturday lunch
  • Ensure availability of rooms for registrants to eat their boxed lunch, and have that information readily available, including choice of networking, viewing video show, attending CRN’s survey presentation, or foregoing boxed lunch in favor of local food trucks at ongoing Durham Farmer’s Market
  • Work with Intensive presenters or their assigned volunteers to determine quantity and select the menu for boxed lunches including (1) project mgmt 101 (2) Sociocracy (3) Cohousing Research Network and (4) embracing the natural aging process
  • Reach out to engage participants registered for ½ day Intensives if they would like to order a boxed lunch and arrange for this

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday afternoon through Sunday noon
Additional volunteers could be assigned to assist

Community Slide Show & Tell Manager

  • Recruit and engage cohousing communities to participate in a slide show & tell event on Friday and/or Saturday evening
  • Create a plan how best to establish this entertaining opportunity
  • Coordinate with A/V manager and space staff to have rooms set up and available

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management Friday and Sat evenings

Volunteer Coordinator

  • Recruit local and national volunteers
  • Interview each potential volunteer, and record collected data
  • Connect volunteers to coordinators as appropriate, and track assignments
  • Communicate with coordinators as to needs and the adequacy of their volunteer force
  • Communicate with all volunteers to ensure they are kept informed about the conference and their duties, and motivated
  • Post-conference, thank volunteers, and document assignments

Saturday Reception Coordinator
Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management Saturday afternoon through evening
Additional volunteers will be assigned to assist

Childcare Coordinator
Coho/US is not able to provide childcare or program opportunities for children, but we are open to facilitating an informal sharing of responsibilities and creation of opportunities with parents and others.

Growing Up in Cohousing Video Coordinator
We are gathering a collection of videos (and other materials) about growing up in cohousing that we are hoping to debut at the National Cohousing Conference. We are recruiting a coordinator for this project, being championed by Laura Fitch, Coho/US Board Member, who posted on the coho-l email discussion group on 1/21/15: Do you know young, teen, or grown children in your community who enjoys music, drama, poetry and/or video production? Do you have some awesome video clips from talent shows, speeches, or performances? For instance, we have a clip of a senior in high school delivering a talk about cohousing to his senior class – he won the best speech award for it! We have a teen who is interviewing other kids about growing up in cohousing. We have an adorable clip of a family of young girls singing about cohousing. Contact Laura Fitch lfitch [at] krausfitch [dot] com with questions, u-tube links, contacts, whatever! This could be a fun community project for your kids!

Laura Fitch, AIA, LEED BD+C

Kraus Fitch Architects, Inc.

lfitch [at] krausfitch [dot] com

www.krausfitch.com

Notes:

  • These positions and responsibilities will evolve and grow as we identify and refine needs.
  • “Staff” references do not necessarily translate to paid staff and could refer to volunteers.
  • “on-site management” does not require full-time presence, but does require formal delegation of those duties

Please contact us http://www.cohousing.org/contact to share your interest.

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