Volunteering at the 2017 National Cohousing Conference

Serving as a conference volunteer is a great way to get involved and contribute your talents - and our success depends on voluntary contributions. Leadership positions will provide you with complimentary registration; we are not able to provide travel and lodging. Numerous assistant roles are available; these positions and responsibilities will evolve and grow as we identify and refine needs.

Please email conference [at] cohousing [dot] org to share your interest.

Conference Manager - Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director
Assistant Conference Manager - Jenny Godwin, Coho/US Outreach Coordinator
Conference CoChairs - Diana Sullivan & Bryan Bowen

Registration Volunteers - to work with Peter Lazar, Registration Manager, and Barbara Opyt
• Assemble name badges prior to arrivals
• Staff registration table at the conference
Many volunteers will be needed to staff the registration table - it's a great way to meet folks!

Exhibitor Assistant Volunteers - to work with Ty Albright, Exhibitor Coordinator
• Engage exhibitors to determine needs and provide support for tabling
• Instruct exhibitors in what they can expect, what they are responsible for, and how to deliver material ahead to the hotel
• Plan where the tables will be located, i.e., who is assigned to what space
• Plan for appropriate signage for exhibitor space
Requires on-site management from Friday morning until Sunday noon
Two or more additional “exhibitor assistants” could be assigned

Keynote Event Volunteers - to work with Cindy Turnquist, Annie Lehman, and Erin Russell
• Coordinate with Conference Resource Team to plan the program
• Select menu, ensuring vegetarian and vegan choices, gluten-free and dairy-free items, and locally sourced food if feasible
• Work with hotel and our sustainability guru Jenny Godwin to "green" the event
• Plan for a cash bar
• Plan optimal room set up, including reserve table for keynote
• Identify and support keynote speaker needs
• Ensure proper A/V equipment, including mic, laptop/projector for slide show
Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management on Friday
Additional volunteers will be assigned to support

Lunch volunteers to work with Barbara Van Sant
• Thursday, Friday and Sunday Lunches: Work with the hotel to ensure adequate sitting for on-your-own buffets
• Saturday Lunch: Work with the hotel to select the menu for and determine quantity for registrants with dietary restrictions
• Saturday Lunch: Work with our "sustainability gurus" Jenny Godwin and Catya Belfer to create an environmentally-friendly lunch
• Saturday Lunch: Ensure availability of rooms for registrants to spread out to eat lunch, including choice of networking, viewing video show
Involves pre-conference planning and on-site management from Thursday through Saturday lunch

Germantown Commons Tours Coordinator Friday 1:30 and 3:00 pm

Transportation Coordinator
Identify creative ways to transport conference participants to the Friday afternoons tours and the 5:30 Saturday evening reception.

A/V Assistants to work with A/V Coordinator Rod Kochtitzky
• Assist in managing A/V equipment for intensives, sessions, and Friday dinner;
Coordination with on-site presenter assistant coordinator, Catya Belfer

Marketing - we have a marketing team; we would welcome assistance in these areas:
• Program creation and production
• Media Coordinator
*Seek out and secure earned media about the conference and cohousing to (1) raise visibility and educate the public and (2) promote conference attendance
*Prepare and distribute press release and link on website
*Seek out interview opportunities with local and regional press with key presenters
*Invite select media to attend the conference, and coordinate their participation

Network Gatherings Volunteers - to work with Mira Brisk
• Engage the hosts for the networking gatherings to identify needs
• Provide supplies and materials if needed
• Help promote these opportunities before and during the conference
• Create a mechanism to connect and sign up people interested in dining out together on Saturday evening
Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening
Additional volunteers will be assigned to assist

Conference Space Volunteers - to work with Conference Space Coordinator Georgia Handforth
• Confirm material and support needs for each presenter, including arranging for materials to be copied and delivered
• Ensure correct signage for presentations
• Collaborate with A/V Coordinator to ensure each room that needs a laptop, projector, screen, and potentially a microphone is equipped
• Collaborate with Presenter Assistance Coordinator to ensure good flow and signage, and confirm that each presenter knows how to use A/V equipment