The Runner

Organised fete organisers know they can be run off their feet on fete day without having to run after supplies and small change. That’s a job for …runners.

Fetes use an army of volunteers—from stall coordinators and sales assistants to erection and demolition crews, parking attendants, spruikers, baristas and sausage sizzlers.

But often a really useful role that everyone benefits from is overlooked when volunteer positions are being filled.

It’s the role of the runner.

What a fete runner does

In the film industry this person would be called a ‘go-fer’: ‘go for this and go for that’.

You may also think of the person as a ‘floater’—not dedicated to a specific stall or stand but moving around—mostly, but not always, within the fete grounds.

This is the person who a harried stall coordinator can call on to fetch extra supplies from on-site storage.

This is the person who may need to jump in a car and pick up stock from a supplier.

This can also be the person who runs from stall to stall delivering small change or even refreshments.

What you need in a fete runner

It’s likely you need a small team of runners: think relay team.

These are active responsible volunteers with stamina. A good sense of humour helps too.

At least one of your runners will need a driver’s licence and car (in case of emergency supply pick-ups).

Runners’ movements need some coordination: a team controller, someone who knows who is where and can make good use of these ‘foot soldiers’.

Each runner needs a mobile to receive texts providing directions for the next ‘assignment’.

4 ways to support fete runners

  1. Keep your runners hydrated. Provide plenty of bottled water.
  2. Think relay. Delegate in turns so they’re not worn out too soon.
  3. Have a list of suppliers for emergency stock. Better still, supply a map for easy identification.
  4. If a runner needs to go offsite to pick up emergency stock, pre-arrange priority parking. The time – and steps – saved will be worth it.

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