On the 12th September 2018, TeamKinetic hosted their 4th annual sports volunteering conference at the Manchester metropolitan university. The aim of the second day of the conference was to make people aware of what TeamKinetic offered as a brand and what the world of volunteering has in store for the future, as well as what issues we are facing today. To give an overall better experience for the volunteer.
The attendees on the day were from a wide range of sectors which we feel helped when debating. We had the likes of the Liverpool football club foundation and Sport England from the sports industry as well as MMU and the University of Manchester from the education sector. Finally, we as also had many charities/Volunteer centres in attendance such as the Youth hostel association and The volunteers association Wales.
The day had a clear structure in terms of what was going to be to be involved. This included: Breakout sessions, Panel talks with both volunteers and industry leaders and also a lunch break which gave TeamKinetic a great chance to interview attendees and get some personal feedback on their experiences.
After being welcomed by the TeamKinetic receptionist’s all guests were given an introduction speech and welcomed by our sales director Chris Martin who explained who was talking and what was going to happen over the course of the conference in order for the day to run smoothly.
The first speaker of the day was BBC unsung hero Denise Larrad who gave her talk on what volunteering meant to her and her good and bad volunteering experiences. Denise also very kindly brought along her award which many guests had the privilege of getting their pictures taken with.
Another ‘Big name’ for the day was Kirsten Stephenson who is head of volunteering at Sport England a national organisation with a good reputation for governing sports all over the country. She gave a very insightful talk about how cross-sector collaboration can unlock the potential of volunteering in sport and physical activity. You could sense within the audience that everything she said was getting high levels of engagement. We saw this through how much interaction we were getting through twitter whilst her session was on.
We then led all attendees to different breakout sessions in which they got the option of which ones they wanted to attend. The three sessions available were hosted by Chantel Scherer who spoke about using behavioural sciences to retain volunteers more effectively. This particular talk proved to be very successful as it drew the biggest crowds on the day. Claire Jones, Head of volunteering at St.Helens volunteering centre also spoke during this breakout session regarding the benefits of good support to volunteers. Again this was another one of the sessions that made for good social media traffic as many people were interested in what she had to say.
A further speaker was Mike Howlett who touched on the importance of diversifying volunteers in order to engage the wider community. I attended this session myself and all in the room were very impressed with both Mike’s industry knowledge and the points he was raising. People from the industry said after his talk: “I am definitely now more well informed about the voluntary sector than I was before”. This was very promising to hear from a TeamKinetic point of view as it is exactly what we wanted to get out of the conference.
LUNCH AND NETWORKING
Lunch followed the first breakout session of the day. It was provided by the catering staff of MMU and everyone seemed to enjoy it. During this interval, it gave people the chance to network with each other which also proved to be a good part of the day as many people from the different sectors were able to merge their ideas together and discuss the issues they faced every day to see if others could possibly have the solution.
TeamKinetic also used the break to optimise what we got out of the day. Marketing coordinator Ash interviewed many of the guests to get their thoughts on the volunteer management service that we provide and also volunteering in general. This will be good for us from a marketing perspective so we can get a greater understanding of our customers.
Speaker on the day Nick Lowden from Greater Sport said that “One thing I liked was the networking at lunch, it was good to have time to speak to other people in the industry”. Comments such as this are very positive as it also gives us things to build on for the next conference.
Potentially the most insightful part of the day was the Panel session which was led by Chris Martin with panellists; Fiona Liddell, Kristen Stephenson, Nick Lowden and Denise Larrad.
During this particular session, we allowed the floor of industry members to ask about the current pressing issues of the day and what the future holds for the volunteering. Once again the social media engagement for this part of the day was brilliant with many people using the #TKvol. Despite this perhaps the best part of the panel session was the number of questions that were being asked by the floor, it was very promising to see so many people taking a genuine interest in the answers of the panellists.
The day ended with one final breakout session, again split between three speakers; Fiona Liddell, Laura Hamilton and Chris Martin. The attendees got the choice of what session they wanted to go to and it was nice to see a good number spread out evenly across all of the sessions which just highlighted the calibre of speakers on the day. We hope that at least one of the speakers
Overall the 4th annual volunteering conference by TeamKinetic will go down as a success. We would like to thank everyone that contributed to the day as everyone played a role and we look for to seeing more people next year!
If you would like to know more about volunteer management software please do not hesitate to visit the TeamKinetic website https://teamkinetic.co.uk/