Ushering in the future

Student Olivia Graham has advised on the management of volunteer ushers.

For large ticketed events at the Dunedin Town Hall and the Glenroy Auditorium, Dunedin Venues Management needs ushers to help ticket-holders to their seats or assist attendees out of the venue in the event of an evacuation. Currently Dunedin Venues use security to carry out these tasks but this can significantly increase the cost for the client. Therefore, implementing the use of volunteers ensures The Dunedin Centre can remain affordable for all clients.

Olivia Graham majored in Event Management and Human Resource Management for her Bachelor of Applied Management. Her research project for Dunedin Venues Management considered what strategies a venue management company could use to encourage volunteer uptake. Olivia conducted an online survey of potential volunteers, interviewed Dunedin Venues Management staff, and investigated how other venues manage volunteers.

Olivia's report was comprehensive and provided four key recommendations for the company to implement:

  • An online application form for new volunteers to complete
  • An agreement between the volunteer and Dunedin Venues
  • A certificate of achievement to recognise the volunteers' completion of training; and finally
  • Once the volunteer program is up and running, implementing feedback surveys for clients and volunteers to assess the effectiveness of the program.

It is expected that together these initiatives will provide clients with an exceptional service at no additional cost, as well as providing the volunteer with a satisfying and fulfilling experience.


May 2017

Image credit: Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, used with permission