Volunteers Make the EESA Convention Possible!
Run almost entirely by volunteers, the Empowering Exceptional Students of America (EESA) Convention hosted by American Exceptional Students Association (AESA) is a great success due in large part to the amazing men and women who serve. Our volunteers help keep costs to a minimum while providing an excellent conference for our community. We are thankful to each and every volunteer who works so hard to make this event possible!
Volunteering at the EESA Convention is a lot of fun! Many of our volunteers eagerly await the opportunity to sign up to help at the Convention. We appreciate each of our volunteers and pray you are blessed as you serve others and help make this event a wonderful experience for all!
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
You are important! We need you. Thank you for serving.
You are an ambassador for AESA and special education as a volunteer. We serve a diverse community and every person matters. The AESA culture of service is one of kindness, compassion, and treating people with respect and honor, regardless of our differences.
When issues arise, you might be the first contact. You have the opportunity to be a peacemaker and to defuse the situation. Smile. Be kind. Help calm things down by being calm yourself.
Prior to serving, review where things are in the building and what’s in the program. People will ask you questions as a volunteer … things like where the restrooms are, where to buy recordings, where to find the exhibit hall map, where the nursing moms lounge is located, etc. You don’t have to have all of the answers, but be prepared to answer some of the most commonly asked questions that people might ask.
Things to Know
Go to Volunteer Check-in at the end of the Registration counter island when you arrive
- Check in as soon as you arrive at the Convention Center to let John or Michelle and thier team know you’re there
- Do not go to the preregistration line
- Pick up your name badge envelope, program, and welcome bag at Volunteer check-in
Arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled time to work
- We need you. Please do not be late. We do not have extra volunteers waiting in the wings.
- Set an alarm on your phone if needed to help you arrive on time.
Contact John if you are going to be late or cannot make it
- We are counting on you, but we do realize that things outside your control can happen on occasion such as sickness, traffic accident, etc.
- If you are going to be late or are unable to make it, please contact Courtney on her cell phone – call or text. She will share her cell number with all registered volunteers by email through SignUpGenius.
- We will not be able to check email Thursday, Friday, or Saturday more than once a day. It is a very busy weekend for our team. And we don’t want to miss connecting with you so please use John’s cell for volunteer-related issues.
Read the Dress Code, Code of Conduct, and Job Descriptions
- Business casual, modest dress
- Review the Code of Conduct – focus on homeschooling and avoid promoting other education options while at the EESA Convention, no promotion of your own business or service, political candidates, etc.
- Review the job description(s) for the jobs you’ll be doing. And John will give you specific instruction when you check in.
The following volunteer opportunities at the EESA Convention may be filled by qualified adults. All volunteers should plan on arriving at assigned positions at least 10 minutes before your scheduled time to serve.
IMPORTANT: Please make childcare arrangements
If you are bringing your children with you to the convention, please make arrangements with your spouse or a friend to care for them during the hours you are scheduled to volunteer. The volunteer positions we have available are not a family volunteer opportunity.
Registration volunteers assist convention attendees with on-site registration, working under the direction of the On-Site Registration Coordinators, and are responsible for the following:
- Process on-site registrations (detailed direction will be provided at the convention).
- Hand out welcome bags, convention programs, and name badges.
- Direct any questions, issues that need to be resolved, membership inquiries, etc. to the on-site registration coordinator.
Preregistration Friday morning
- Pregistration volunteers must be physically able to stand the entire shift. There is not space behind the preregistration table for chairs.
- Absolutely no children behind the preregistration tables.
Workshop hosts are staffed in each general session workshop room during the convention. Most workshop rooms will have two workshop hosts. The ballroom will have three workshop hosts during the keynote sessions and two hosts the rest of the day.
Each workshop room will have a clipboard for the workshop host that will include a detailed checklist for you to follow. Workshop hosts should arrive at the workshop room 15 minutes before the workshop is to start.
Workshop hosts are responsible for the following
- Greet attendees, help them find seats, encourage them to move in as the room fills.
- Close the doors once the session has begun and most people have made it into the room.
- About 30 minutes into the workshop, count the total number of people in the room and record attendance on the workshop host checklist.
- Be attentive and available throughout the workshop in the event the speaker needs something during their session.
- Facilitate successful recording of the workshop by kindly and thoughtfully asking parents with fussy/noisy babies/children or individuals talking on their cell phone to step out into the hall.
- Workshop hosts will hold up time cards for the speaker during the last 10 minutes of the session to let the speaker know how much time they have left (time card signs will be provided).
- In regular workshop rooms, workshop hosts will sit in a designated chair in the back of the room. In the ballroom, one workshop host will sit in the front row to hold up time cards for the speaker and the other will sit in a chair towards the back on the side by the ballroom doors.
- Turn in the completed workshop host checklist to the Volunteer Coordinator immediately following the workshop.
- Name badges are required for access to all areas of the convention, including the workshops. Workshop hosts should direct anyone without a name badge to Registration in the lobby to register and obtain a name badge.
- Due to space limitations and safety issues due to ongoing challenges with blocked aisles, strollers will be limited to stroller parking spots in the back row of each workshop room. Once those spots are filled, strollers must be parked in the hallway. (Strollers are fine in the large meeting area, hallways, and exhibit hall.) Wheeled carts should be limited to necessity.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Workshop hosts will NOT be required to give the announcements or introduce the speakers. If you are afraid to speak poublicly, you will not have to.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As a workshop host, you will get to hear some of the speaker’s presentation, but you will be working most of the session. Workshop hosts will not have time to sit and take notes during the session.
SPEAKER BOOTH HOSTS
All booths in the exhibit hall must be staffed from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM Friday and 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM Saturday. AESA schedules volunteers to staff speaker booths while they are speaking and during lunch.
- Booth hosts make it possible for speakers to focus on teaching their workshops while their booth is being manned.
- Booth hosts may be responsible for selling the speaker’s products or may be instructed by the speaker or speaker’s assistant to simply staff the booth until the speaker returns from their workshop.
- Booth hosts do not need to have all of the answers. Your primary responsibility is to make sure the speaker’s booth is not left unattended.
- Some speakers travel with their spouse or an assistant, others do not. You may or may not be staffing the speaker’s booth alone. At times booth hosts may be assisting the speakers themselves when the speaker is not teaching a workshop.
- If the speaker or speaker’s spouse or assistant is in the booth while you are serving, please remember that you are there to serve and assist the speaker, making it possible for them to talk to and assist attendees who approach their booth. This is not an exclusive opportunity for you to visit with the speaker, although that opportunity may arise during a lull, which is fine. Booth hosts are there to serve, not to monopolize the speaker’s time. Convention attendees outside of the booth should have priority in asking questions of the speaker.
- Booth hosts should remain at the speaker booth they are assigned to until the next booth host has arrived and you have given them all of the instructions the speaker has left for his/her booth, or earlier if you are released by the speaker or speaker’s spouse or assistant.
Greeters are needed Friday and Saturday mornings to welcome and direct attendees as they arrive at the event location. Greeters must be friendly and also confident, able to respond with grace under pressure during a very busy, hectic time of day. Greeters will be stationed near the entrance of each lobby to welcome attendees, ask whether they are preregistered, and direct them to the appropriate spot to check in.
USHERS FOR KEYNOTES
Friday morning and Saturday evening during the keynote, we will need three or four adults who will be stationed at key spots in the ballroom to help attendees find seats for the keynote. At least two of the ushers should be men. Ushers must be friendly and also bold enough to deal with any challenges that arise in a calm, confident manner. Ushers will also assist the workshop hosts in addressing noisy/fussy babies/children by kindly and thoughtfully asking them to step out into the lobby until their child has quieted to assist with recording quality and also not to be a distraction to those around them.
CONVENTION CREDITS! RECEIPT CHECKERS
AESA is hosting our Convention Credits! promotion this year. The purpose is to encourage on-site shopping from our exhibitors. For every $25 an adult attendee spends at an exhibitor booth, they receive one convention credit. AESA will be “selling” donated items by our exhibitors. Between 1:00 and 6:45 PM Friday and 1:00 and 4:45 PM Saturday, we need volunteers to check and total receipts and give out tickets for the Convention Credits! promotion.
We expect all of our volunteers to dress in a professional, modest manner. You will be representing AESA and the exceptional special education homeschooling community in general. For this reason, and because attendees at the conference share a wide variety of convictions about clothing, we ask that all volunteers follow a dress code. Please come dressed in business casual attire each day that you are scheduled to volunteer.
LADIES: Slacks or a skirt with a nice top are preferred. Nice jeans, without shred/holes, or capris are acceptable.
MEN: Slacks with a button-up shirt or polo shirt are preferred. Nice jeans are acceptable.
WHAT NOT TO WEAR: Please do not wear shorts, short skirts, tank tops, blouses with cleavage or midriff showing, clothing that is too form-fitting or revealing. No t-shirts unless serving as part of the Service Team crew.
CODE OF CONDUCT
We expect that all of our volunteers will conduct themselves in a polite, professional manner. It is a great blessing to be able to serve one another at this event and we expect that our volunteers will be cheerful, helpful, and ready to serve. AESA is an organization that promotes and supports ALL avenues of education. We promote virtual charter schools, publicly funded programs for homeschoolers, the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA), and private school hybrid programs.
Our volunteers are expected to support the mission and goals of AESA. While you are serving at the EESA Convention, we ask that your conversation and comments focus on supporting this vision as well. Our volunteers should be willing to promote virtual charter schooling, ESAs, publicly funded programs for homeschoolers, and private school hybrid programs to those you encounter at the convention. If you cannot agree to this request, please let us know ASAP so that we can replace you as a volunteer.
In addition, volunteers are not permitted to promote their own businesses or endeavors at the EESA Convention. While you are serving, your sole focus is on your role as a workshop host, booth host, registration volunteer, etc.
The AESA Board of Directors operates from a perspective of encouragement, empowerment, and support and makes decisions from the ethical and moral standards established in the Bible. Convention volunteers must support this philosophy.
Volunteers must not be involved in any illegal, unethical, or immoral activity, and cannot have ever been convicted of a felony. If the volunteer’s situation changes and you become involved in any activity that would reflect negatively on yourself, the homeschool community, or AESA, you agree to notify AESA immediately.
We are looking for mature, responsible, reliable adults to volunteer in a variety of positions at the EESA Convention including workshop hosts, registration volunteers, booth hosts for speakers, and more.
Current AESA membership is required. The opportunity to volunteer is a benefit of membership. If you are not a current* member, please join or renew before registering for the Convention. Free admission for those volunteering 5+ hours does not include membership. (*Membership expiring August 1, 2020 or later is required.)
Volunteers must be willing to comply with the dress code, code of conduct, and any instructions provided by the Volunteer Coordinator or Convention Director.
Volunteers that commit to working 5 hours* or more can receive free admission to the convention.
*A husband and wife may split the hours, but will be scheduled for six hours (instead of five as for an individual volunteer).
NOTE: Free convention admission does not include AESA membership, children or teen admission, food, etc. Free convention admission for AESA volunteers does include free spouse admission. Free spouse admission only applies to AESA volunteers. Those volunteering for an exhibitor are handled differently. See additional information in the Exhibitor Volunteers section above.
Volunteers will be paid $25 an hour in Convention Credit! tickets for every hour they work. The tickets can be used to enter raffles for prizes given to attendees.
ARE YOU EXCITED? IT’S GOING TO BE GREAT!
The earlier you register, the more you save! Join us for THE special education event of the year June 12-13, 2020 at Maryvale Church of the Nazarene. Discover strategies for successful educaton, enjoy community, renew your vision for why and how you have chosen to educate your child, find resources and curriculum, and build momentum for the coming school eyar! Register online by June 7 or register at the door.
Board of Directors