Yesterday was setup day for Brandemonium; a branding and marketing conference I produce. We had a steady stream of volunteers helping sort badges and stuff giveaway bags. The conversation varied from whimsical to political, but it was always polite.

It was interesting to meet everyone. Some of them have volunteered at just about every event I’ve done. For others, it was a first time. It was a very diverse group in every way imaginable with only one consistent theme: They all worked happily and diligently.

I ordered pizza for lunch and many were surprised we fed volunteers. Really? It was the least the event could do for these people. I complained many blogs ago about people flaking on their event commitments, but not taking care of your volunteers is just as bad.

Not every situation calls for lunch, but given the circumstances, it made sense. I’m sure I’ve fallen short on accommodations for volunteers and even staff. I was able to take a step back yesterday and realize it’s something I need to do better.

We finished our tasks an hour ahead of time. It made for a very stress-free setup. I’d like to take this time to thank all the volunteers that helped and for all the volunteers that will make Brandemonium possible over the next few days. You reminded me not to take what you do for granted. I’ll make sure to be a more gracious host in the future.