During your event, a conference ambassador can be used to welcome first-time attendees and even to create goodwill between conference organizers and keynote speakers. However, you can also utilize an army of ambassadors to help spread the word about your event and easily increase your outreach efforts. An ambassador may be the face that attendees see throughout the conference, so who you choose and how you train them can mean the difference between attendees who come back next year and ones who walk away unhappy and unsatisfied.
Choosing the Right Ambassador
According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality inventory, there are 16 different personality types. When it comes to appointing ambassadors, the best choices are probably those who fall into the extrovert end of the personality scale.
Now, that isn’t to say that an introvert can’t do an excellent job, but they tend to prefer working behind the scenes or alone. So, if an introvert expresses interest in serving as an ambassador, simply think about the best ways to utilize that personality type, such as one-on-one interactions.
Steps to Working with Conference Ambassadors
Step # 1: Accept Volunteers
First, you’ll want to announce that you are in need of conference ambassadors. Probably the best place to find volunteers is through your current mailing list. Simply explain what a brand ambassador does, how many you need, and ask for volunteers to attend an informational meeting.
Step # 2: Plan the First Conference Ambassador Meeting
If your volunteers are located in different states, or even different countries, then you’ll want to plan a conference call or online meeting. During your first meeting, you should cover topics such as:
- Tasks an ambassador covers
- Time commitment involved, including training sessions and time at the event
- Any perks for being an ambassador, such as discounted conference fee
- What one-on-one ambassadors do (you may not have enough volunteers for this, but in a nutshell, a one-on-one ambassador reaches out to new attendees and makes sure they feel comfortable and are connecting with others)
Step # 3: Training 101
Once you have the basics out of the way, you’ll want to start training your ambassadors. You can do this in a couple of ways. You can either split the ambassadors up into their tasks and offer different training sessions, or train everyone together in the philosophies of your company or organization and the goals for the conference.
Some things you’ll want to discuss:
- Go over the mission statement and conference goal to get everyone on the same page.
- Ask for input from the ambassadors as they might have ideas you haven’t thought of that could help attendees get even more out of the event.
- If you have ambassadors to spread the word about the event, explain how they can represent the event easily on social media and to family and friends. You might provide some posts they can share/retweet for example.
- Prepare everyone for the day of the event and how hectic things can be. You’ll want your ambassadors to be well versed in the event schedule and know how to help attendees navigate any problem areas.
Step # 4: Follow-Up
Two weeks before the event, touch base with all your ambassadors to be sure they are still attending. If anyone bows out, you’ll want to reassign that area to another volunteer to make sure attendees get the interaction and attention they need.
After the event, you’ll also want to touch base with your volunteer conference ambassadors again and ask for feedback on how the program can run more smoothly next year.
Your ambassadors are your first line of defense against things that might go wrong at the last minute. They serve as the personal face of your event. Take the time to train them and involve them and you’ll have a successful program that works to create a networking event unlike any other in your industry.