2018 Volunteer Instruction Sheet


We count on you to show up and take care of your assignment. We want you to enjoy the conference, keeping in mind that you are a volunteer first and you do not have the same privileges as the attendees and the presenters. At these conferences we have a volunteer staff of anywhere from 80 to 90 people. To keep things straight and working smoothly have this information with you at all times.

The Volunteer Dress Code is Business Casual, no jeans, flip-flops, or shorts. Wear your name tag at all times. You are only issued one badge. If you take it home at night remember to bring it back the next day.

You have all checked the volunteer schedule and returned the assignment form to me. Thank you.
Please print off your own copy of just the sessions pdf which I already sent everyone.
You will all get one copy of the program, but only one.
So bring your own printed copy of the classes and schedule in the pdf.
Here is the link for the PDF of the schedule.
2018 SFWC Schedule To Print

Also print off your own copies of the volunteer schedule.
We do not bring extras of those.

Once the conference has started, if you must switch from an assigned session, notify the person in charge of the master schedule in the volunteer lounge.
Each day there will be a  team of lead two volunteers running the volunteer room for that day, who will handle this.
We do allow you to switch sessions with someone, if you must, but you have to let us know ahead of time.
**It is not okay to make a change on your own.***

During the conference you may not send a replacement for the day, decide one person is enough for a session, or swap places with someone and not tell us.  This creates problems in staffing and scheduling. Speakers do let us know if their session has only one volunteer or if things do not run smoothly.

There is so much activity going on during the conference, we count on you to show up where you are assigned to, and to do the job correctly.

At the conference you must keep track of your assignments. 
Never feel shy to ask for help. Everyone wants to help you if you have any questions or need help.

Make sure you’re familiar with the layout of the hotel, and the rooms used by the conference. It’s helpful for attendees if you can point them in the right direction for restrooms, too.
Each session is identified by Room Name and Level: C=California (or Cellar), L=Lobby, M=Mezzanine (1st floor), 2 (2nd floor)  on the program.

On Thursday, those who will help stuff the attendee bags will meet at the Mark Hopkins at 9:00 a.m in the California room. This is busy and hard work, and also a lot of fun.


Daily check-in
Mason Room, next to California rm

Each morning sign in with the Volunteer room leads. 
You must be on time. This means checking in an hour before your first scheduled session or other obligation.

This does not apply for stuffing bags on Thursday, or breakfast duty, . For those two jobs, please just sign in and go straight to the job.

*** For all session assignments, if you have not checked in and it is 30 min before the start of the session, we will replace you.
Please CALL  or text us if you know you are not going to make it.
 It it happens more than once, you will not be invited back.***

Remember to check in at the Volunteer Room for any last minute changes throughout the day while you’re on site.

You must also sign out when you leave for the day. This is mandatory because you are committed to the entire day and we may need to place you in a previously unscheduled session. This is another reason to stay in touch with the volunteer room.

LUNCH-Mason Room

We will be ordering in Pizza and salads on Friday
Sat-a huge assortment of subway platters.

There is also an abundance of snacks, chips and beverages in the volunteer room. Feel free to bring something to share with the other volunteers.

Parking is NOT paid for. The Mason Garage often offers an early bird discount.
The garage is located on the east side of California St. as you’re going toward Grace Cathedral.
You can go online and looks for discounts from various SF garages.


Each breakout session is assigned two volunteers.
Timekeeper signs and a program, and name plates for the speakers will be in the podium in each room.
Make sure you have returned those items to the shelf in the podium at the end of your session.
The used nameplates can be returned to the volunteer room.

Show up at the assigned room 20 minutes before the start of the session. In most cases, there will be a session about to end when you arrive. Wait in the hall and take the time to tidy the area. If there’s a water table, throw away any wrappers left out, put dirty glasses on the tray and away from the clean glasses. If there are flyers on a table, make sure they are stacked neatly.
Make sure the correct session name is posted on the door.
Inside the room 15 minutes before the session begins-help the exiting volunteers to clean the room, pick up trash, flyers left on seats and the floor, and used glasses.

  1. The name cards for each speaker will already be in the room, under the podium.
    Put the speakers name plate on the podium or table where they will speak from.
  2. Between the two of you decide who will be the host and who will be the timekeeper.
  3. When the speaker arrives, introduce yourself and ask if they have handouts that you can help distribute. 
  4. Make sure they have water.
  5. Ask them if they want you to introduce them (the host will do this), and if so, if they have brought an introduction for you to read. If they have not, read their bio in the program. Many speakers prefer to introduce themselves, and that’s fine.
  6.  Remind the speaker that since the session is recorded it is important that during Q&A they repeat each question.
  7.  The timekeeper signs stay in the room all day and should be under the podium for each session.

Host- If you are doing the introductions, do not alter from what is written.
We have predone introduction directions in the podium for you.
Try not to say umm, and don’t make jokes or try to be entertaining.
These sessions are being taped, so please make sure you know how to pronounce the speakers name.
Practice this before you say it or ask someone.

The sessions are 45 minutes, 30 minutes for the speaker to present and 15 minutes for Q&A.
They should be started on time.

  1. As attendees enter the room, try to direct people to the front first. This keeps latecomers from disrupting the session.
  2. Make sure all volunteers sit in the back. If the room fills volunteers must give up their seats.
    Ideally, volunteers will not take a chair until attendees have found seats.
  3. When the session starts make sure the doors are closed.
  4. When the Q&A period starts make sure the question is repeated into the microphone. 
  5. The timekeeper can hold up the card with the picture of a microphone on it to remind the speaker.

The timekeeper, holds up a sign at 



1 min


During the Q and A, the timekeeper keeps track of the time and when the session is almost over, you have a sign that says

Hold that up and then the host, will get up and if the speaker does not wrap it up, the host will say that is all the time we have.

If you want to ask questions please meet in the hallway, we need to get the room ready for the next session.

At the end of the session, clean up the room for the next session. This is one our biggest complaints from other volunteers.
The people before them, run off and leave the room a mess. This is not acceptable. It is part of the job.

Use this check list to complete the room tasks. One of the two volunteers must check each box and initial the form and return it to the volunteer room.
These will already be in the podium of each room. Between the two of you, please decide whom is going to fill out the form and turn it in after the session.

At least one volunteer stays in the room until the volunteers for the next session arrive. Do not ever leave a session room empty.

If you have a problem in your session, do not leave the room.

***If your speaker has not shown up 5 minutes before class, immediately tell the floater, and call Linda or the volunteer room.
We will handle it.*** This does happen. Sometimes speakers miss their own sessions!

Check the hallway for a floater.

Their job is to take care of crowd overflow or other unforeseen problems.

If you do not see a floater nearby, text or phone the volunteer room or Linda.
If it is hotel related, contact Lissa.
We will have these numbers printed for you to keep in your badge for easy access.

***These sessions must end on time.  There is no going over time.
You need to politely stop the session on time and then ask people to step outside to talk and ask more questions of the speaker.
It does not matter if the session starts late, it has to end on time.

Other Volunteer tasks:
Meal Greeter and Seater: Be at the door of the dining room 15 minutes before the meal.

Instructions will be given at the time of the task for the following:

Volunteer Lounge
Meal Greeter lunch
Speed Dating
Ask a Pro
Nightly Dinner Sign-up

Remember, you are ‘on call’ during the days you are volunteering.
Things happen, and sometimes at the last moment we will need your help in a position you were not originally assigned to.

Please remember to be flexible and accommodating.
You are here to serve the presenters and attendees first.
Enjoy yourself.
You will help the reputation of the conference, and make it easier for you to make the connections you want.

All volunteers are allowed to hear the Keynote speakers if there is room. When the meal is completed, go to the back of the room and take a seat. If there is no meal served, wait until attendees are seated, and then go to the back of the room. We are not responsible for items you leave in the volunteer room. Someone will be in that room at all times during the conference hours.

All volunteers are welcome to the Friday night Gala. One drink ticket per person.

**** Recently we had some volunteers who were pitching to some speakers when they were suppose to be on duty helping with the rooms. They were not asked to return. 
You have a tremendous amount of freedom to speak to anyone at the conference. Not however, if you have an assigned duty.
This is not acceptable. Your assigned duties come first. We have no problem with you talking to speakers, on your own time.

Volunteers will be given phone numbers of staff who can help with issues.

Miscl other items.
Volunteers may not participate in speed dating, agent consults or free consults.

The WNBA runs a speed dating, they call Pitch O Rama, with almost all the same people on March 31st, 2018
You can sign up here for that.

All volunteers are invited to a big thank you Chinese dinner out, paid for by Harvey Pawl, a great supporter of the conference.
This is on Sunday night.
Use the sign-up form in the volunteer lounge to hold your spot.

Thank you for your help. Without the volunteers we could not have such a wonderful event.

If you have more questions, please leave them in the comment section on this page.

I will answer them there and email the person who leaves a question.

Thank you!