This summer, as I’ve done for the past some 30 years, I volunteered at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival on the media committee. I get my hit of music from the world over and I get to give back, make a contribution.
I also get to meet interesting characters, like Louise, a fellow volunteer, pictured above. Aside from volunteering on the media committee she’s also volunteered selling FolkFest raffle tickets. I was curious about that task so I sat down with her to ask her about it. I found 7 lessons that apply to training & development in general.
1. The time to sell raffle tickets is NOT while the music is playing. People come with a agenda, to listen to music, and they don’t want to be interrupted.
- Implications for learning: be aware of what (multiple!) agendas your participants bring with them and how it influences their learning
2. People at festival stages 2 & 4 tend not to move (hmmm, something to do with shade perhaps).
- Implications for learning: some participants come eagerly, wanting to suck everything they can from the learning while others are more reticent and don’t want to move much. Know where are your participants on that spectrum and how does it affects your training.
3. Get one person sitting in a single row to buy a ticket and often the entire row will buy.
- Implications for learning: know who the influential participants are in your training, those who can influence the others. Get them onside, motivated and working with you.
4. Dressing up in costume and having fun makes selling raffle tickets easier.
- Implications for learning: okay you may not want to dress up in costume but do everything you can to make learning fun. It will increase both retention and engagement.
5. Make yourself identifiable. People should know at a glance that you’re selling tickets.
- Implications for learning: know how your dress, how you stand, your tone of voice, your cadence of speaking etc. all affect how you’re perceived as a learning and development specialist. Make sure they all fit the organizational culture.
6. Sex sells. Louise noticed that raffle ticket sellers dressed in skimpy costumes sold tickets faster.
- Implications for learning: while I DON’T advocate dressing skimpily I do advocate knowing the effect that your gender has on your training. It’s part and parcel of being aware of power and privilege issues.
7. Find captive people, like those lined up to go to the bathroom. Louise would approach them saying if you buy now you won’t be interrupted again. It worked.
- Implications for learning: find opportunities for teachable moments where participants are open to learning. Training can (and should) happen anywhere and everywhere.
Speaking of training happening anywhere and everywhere, thanks Louise for the lessons in learning via raffle tickets.