Before the day begins, the MC will need some materials at the podium (microphone) to reference throughout the day. The Announcements which have been personalized for this specific event/locale and audience is critical. Then someone from Youth Registration will need to bring the Door Prize Bowl (basket or box) filled with names of youths. Names will be pulled throughout the day. Prizes can be wrapped (or not) and displayed decoratively near the podium. The MC will also need a Youth Packet of materials to reference as he/she goes through the announcements.
Download: RW Announcements
The event has many moving parts and the schedule can easily get off track. Help the MC stay focused on Agenda and time frame by providing periodic reminders. Assign adult chaperons to the door of each mini-workshop and signal them to give a two-minute warning to the presenter. Then signal them to rotate the classes. The MC will also need to provide reminders during the exhibit for youths to visit the Auditors, where to place completed Exhibit Cards, and time remaining to finish (around 2:30 PM with 15 minutes left).
Download: RW Agenda
It is the Overall Chair's job to coach the team and encourage a celebration! Be sure to remind the team at the end of the day that a celebration and evaluation is planned. Email and call the team to remind them a few days in advance. Be sure that both food and drink are provided at the celebration as well as the survey data from the youth participants and evaluation comments from participants and volunteers.
Consider getting extra volunteers from the pool of adult chaperones attending that day. Join the Youth Committee at 10:30 AM to meet with those adults and recruit anyone needing something to do.
Adult volunteers and chaperones should be reminded to set a positive example for youths by actively participating in the RW exhibit by volunteering to assist in needed areas or by maintaining professionalism (recognizing they are representing their respective agencies within an environment of potential community partners).
It's a good idea to touch base with the workshop facilitators and review the schedule. Remind them that the workshops go fast so they should stick to their agenda as best they can. Also, make sure workshop facilitators are aware that the youth should have already attended workshops prior to this RW event and that the day's workshops are meant to refresh, not fully teach, the material discussed.
Definitely spend a few minutes with the Social Skills facilitators so they can meet each other and review the process of youths coming into the room and taking a place at one of the circles. Facilitators should position themselves in one of the circles of chairs. Explain that the groups will have different numbers of youths so to divide them as closely as possible between the circles. Remind them that the small group process is to encourage youths to listen and learn from each other so they can make the best possible first impression.
It is a good idea to meet with exhibitors that arrive early (before lunch) to help them acclimate, explain what is currently happening, where their booth is located, and the process for getting lunch. If exhibitors did not participate in the pre-event webinars or teleconferences, encourage them to arrive early and get a sense of the day before their assignment begins.
No matter how well you communicate the need for pre-registration, youths will show up who have not pre-registered or their registration was lost. This is when the "Job and Educational Reference Page - Blank" that you have personalized to your youth assignments is needed.
Take the un-registered youth to the side (consider having a prearranged table for walk-ins) and determine which career cluster you have available to assign him/her. For instance, if they say they want to be a teacher/college level but you have not made any assignments in the Career Cluster Education & Training for that educational level, then assign them to a job box and educational level that has available job cards (i.e., Education & Training/Vocational College level). Then assign the youth to a Team with a lower number of youths in it. Registering walk-ins can be hectic enough so make assignments easier by assigning a job/team that is available even if it doesn't match the youth career or educational level exactly. They will still have a meaningful learning experience.
This 20 minute meeting is an opportunity to explain to adults that during the exhibit portion, youths will be asked to develop a monthly budget. youths will be instructed to do this on their own (adult chaperons will not help - unless youths ask for it directly). Oftentimes, well meaning adults provide youths too much assistance and limit the youths' ability to build their skills. At this event, we ask adults to sit to the side and let the youths move between the booths to spend their money. Reinforce that this is the time for youths to feel the frustration of fiscal decision-making... before it counts.
Also, explain that after the exhibit, adults will have a "Follow Up" session with their young people to process their Real World experience and create post-event plans. Stress that this is when the adults discover what the youths want and need to learn. Request that they do not leave the event early and try to process their experiences later because immediate processing works best with adolescents.
Pass out RW Suggested Follow Up Group Processing Questions and RW Event Questionnaire (Answers) to the adults. Adults will use these documents to help youths share their experiences and review their questionnaires answered prior to the start of the day. There is also a RW Group Goal Planning document to help facilitators plan post-event activities. Finally, ask each group to sign the RW Follow-Up Group Meetings Locations to determine where they will meet their youths after the exhibit is over. Give the completed sign-up sheet to the MC to use later in the day. The Resources Coordinator may need a few minutes to recruit adults willing to assist with vacant needs.
The Materials Committee will need to be on-site early to set up any workshop, check-in, or refreshment area that could not be set up the night before. Exhibit tables, podium, door prize area, and area for the RW Team to keep their supplies should also be pre-set. While the mini-workshops are being conducted, the exhibit area can be set up with signs and props not supplied by exhibitors. Once exhibitors arrive on-site, committee members need to be available to assist as needed.
Plan B is critical to the Materials Committee. Be prepared to have materials for any booths that could possibly lose their sponsorship. Keep the RW Booth Cost Information readily available. Communication with the Resources Committee to anticipate which sponsors might cancel is helpful.
Download: RW Booth Cost Information
Since the Auditing Room is the last stop for youths during the Exhibit session, the RW Exhibit Card Box used for the Grand Prize drawing should be placed there. It will also provide incentive for youths to go into the Auditing room. Only completed RW Exhibit Cards should be placed in the box and eligible for a Grand Prize. When cards are drawn, the MC will need to check that all squares are stamped appropriately and a name is on it the card before winners can be named.
Download: RW Exhibit Card