In 2018 our school held our first ever fete and while it was a huge success, it was a massive learning curve. Our small organising committee each took on so many roles on the day, that many of us did not get to enjoy the fete as we were too busy working.
One comment was that stall holders and organisers did not get to participate in the silent auction and raffles, as they were stuck on their stalls, especially in the closing minutes when the final silent auction bids were being taken.
Often the people who volunteer to help run events such as these are the same people who are generous with their spending, so it’s important to ensure that they are not curtailed in any way.
While one option is to ensure that all organisers get ‘time off’ during the event and there are a flying squad of stand-ins for stall holders who need a few minutes to go to the bathroom, buy food or have a quick look at the stalls, another solution is to create a special volunteer role called a Personal Shopper.
This job is to take care of the fete organisers and stall holders who are working behind the scenes to make the event run smoothly. The personal shopper’s role can be varied and wide-ranging and include:
- Visiting other stalls on behalf of organisers, taking photos of products if necessary, and buying products for them.
- Purchase products for organisers using a pre-prepared shopping list (eg. Three tombola jars, strawberry jam, knitted tea cosy, two potted succulents and a fruit cake).
- Purchase raffle tickets
- Bid on silent auction items
- Purchase food and drinks
How you manage money with this role will vary depending on how well the individuals know each other and other factors. Some people might be happy to provide the Personal Shopping with a purse of cash. Others might prefer to create a ‘credit’ system in advance, using tickets or ‘fake’ money which needs to be reimbursed at the end of the event.