VOLUNTEERS – IT COSTS NOTHING TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER
Volunteers are a valuable community asset and without them the show movement will definitely cease to exist.Show societies across the state are reviewing their volunteer recruitment strategies and engaging younger people with broad skill bases to ensure that Agricultural Shows remain the ‘must-see’ cultural and recreational event of the year.Agricultural shows have a long history of involving volunteers from every part of the community. Volunteers are involved in:
- Event organising and governance
- Judging / Stewarding / Penciloring
- Grounds maintenance
- Building maintenance
- Site sales
- Marketing, media and advertising
- Office support
- Youth activities
- Website management
- Social Media
- Professional duties such as veterinary, accounting and legal services
In Queensland, all the shows rely heavily on volunteers, which in 2011 meant more than 13,500 volunteer opportunities. Some of these volunteers provide time regularly and frequently throughout the year and some just volunteer on show day.
The impact of volunteering usually depends on a person’s age and motivation for volunteering. Many volunteers say that the main reason they donate their time is because they are actively helping their community and that volunteering was personally rewarding and helped them to make a difference.
MEMBERSHIP AND MEMBERS
Each agricultural show society is governed independently by a voluntary management committee. Show society committee members typically include local residents, farmers, and members of the community such as business owners or government representatives.
Membership rates vary from show to show. Typical membership provides members with a member badge and one transferable guest badge, enabling free admission to the show for the member and a guest.
Other benefits include:
- Access to the Members’ Grandstands and Bars
- Free use of lockers and/or cloak rooms
- Reduced competition fees
- Discounted venue hire for private functions
- Free parking
- Regular newsletters
- Junior membership
Some shows also offer corporate memberships, enabling the business to reward staff and clients with unlimited visits to the show. In addition to the individual membership benefits, corporate members are provided with the opportunity to attend exclusive corporate functions, allowing businesses to network with other organisations associated with the show.
Smaller show societies also have membership fees, although usually much cheaper in price and without all the benefits a city show can offer. Memberships are a good source of revenue and essential for good corporate governance.