Twestival 2010: The Ad-Hoc Volunteering Experience – II
This is the concluding part of the Twestival Goa event organising experience. This part covers more of the parts that I had somewhat actively participated in and when more of the important things got done. So the final lap begins…
Hunting for sponsors was delayed and kept at the backburner for many genuine and unfortunate reasons. I remember the main reason being the finalising of the venue and the artists, but more importantly the venue. The intended venues had a lot of petty issues which were an indirect way of saying they didn’t believe in the event or on the other hand, we were (in our exaggerated estimation of time) putting a lot of potential venues onto plan B on basis of accessibility and space. After all, we wanted Goa Twestival to be as big an event as possible, thanks to the excitement fuelled by Amanda‘s (Twestival founder) intent to highlight our event as ‘flagship’ event. Finally in the month of March with weeks left, the lead organisers found themselves without real-world support to do the actual hunting for sponsors as the venue and the artists were still volatile choices.
To start with, some of the core group members had a list of sponsors from the ex-event manager and a list of press contacts from FN. At the time, I was busy at my job and to help out I’d have needed specific names, addresses and times…feels like I’m just buying time here. Even then, it wouldn’t have been possible unless I had taken leave beyond my allowances which were in the negative already and with an under-manned company like mine (then), it’d be much harder anyways. So initially, I’d just ask around or get to see some huddle posts that BITSians were travelling to and from Panjim almost on a daily basis, often meeting, re-meeting the same people (with a lot of expectations and promises)
They aren’t always the WTF kind y’know. I mean from my limited experience I’ve met the “yes today no tomorrow”, “no today, i’ll think tomorrow, no by tomorrow”, “yes today right now” people. I’ve also heard of experiences like “God Bless! … when you pay” (?!), “Are you that good for us to sponsor?”, “required person not available”, “willing to pay even though its not possible to be there”. You know I’ve just tried my best recollecting and completing the whole picture, which was kinda easy knowing that there were just 2 persons who actually were doing all the running around and getting into actual sponsor hunting. I mean the kind of work load I was being put under (at workplace) it’d be a miracle, if I could find the right person and then I’d ask him/her “Would you please sponsor my asylum stay?” Hell, I’m much better now.
Great Human Beings
I think great people need not be mixed with the general samples category and definitely need a special mention. I’d say the 2 lead organizers Neha and Varsha from BITS are great human beings. Twestival is perhaps just one of the instances of their intentions to bring positive change to the neglected parts of society. They mention about not having delegated tasks that they themselves did the running around for. Maybe they’ve had experiences that they took as a sign to work alone, rather early (or late, considering when the actual hunting around started). Luke is a great person. I told that in part I, didn’t I? He may have no time, but that’s the thing I’ve known about really busy people. They just need no time to fix things. He fixed us a venue, gratis when nothing in our preparations and plans were getting fixed as long as we’d a venue fixed/afforded. I’ve seen it with my ex-boss. Its however not just Luke, but actually Nisha, who owns the Lava Lounge, in Chicalim to whom we the organisers are most grateful. Besides, I think the staff at Daily Bread are great people, letting us meet though we didn’t always order (but we did last day, to make it up…so we’re not that bad). And I’d say every one of the volunteers who contributed time and effort and the people who donated money for the sake of the cause (education) or for helping realise a more attractive event are great by the virtue of their intentions and sacrifices.
This is majorly BITS. Or maybe BITS only, that’s what I felt. These people helped out with all the indoor work like stuff you don’t need to reach out to somebody for..not too far for technically. Given our budget (aukaat), outsourcing wasn’t an option…so in-house. In-campus, rather. I’ll be able to tell only about the outcomes of the efforts that’s gone into all the in-campus work.
Awesome Design Work
Design work consists of tickets, posters, blog theme, twibbon, pitch for sponsors, etc. All designs done by students (not just of BITS, if I recall correctly). Ticket and poster designs, literally done overnight, were I think the awesome highlights of the event and so was the print job, which justified the design. Though the price to performance ratio would be better explained by the people who’d got it printed. Everyone has an opinion, only few have the information in its entirety interpreted in full accuracy to justify their opinion. Even then, there’s no guarantee it’d be respected or agreed to. 😉
This refers to mostly the written matter. A lot of the matter comes from the parent Twestival and Concern Worldwide organisation, but there are times where original content specific to Twestival Goa has to be written, and published in a controlled frequency or on-demand as the case may be. Officially appointed Content Manager Asmita took it upon herself (afaik) to keep the blog updated and relevant so that people weren’t exactly being misled to visiting Goa for acts and activities that weren’t possible to have as the date of the event came nearer. On the brighter side, there were also the contests that were being featured leading up to the event day.
Contests and auctions, as I read through the reports of various Twestival events around the world have been quite a common choice with sponsors chipping in with interesting deals, celebrities putting up some of their personal stuff (scratched with autographs I guess) for auctions or other volunteer run contests. All for the sake of interest and hopefully consequent awareness of the cause that Twestival Global is supporting all over the world.
Casino Royale (a casino, duh!) have been most generous with a contest prize of a pass to Casino Royale for 10 winners, each worth 2.5k INR. There were simultaneous contests on Facebook and Twitter. Since this wasn’t initiated or handled by me, from the outside it reminded me of the Win E72 contest from NDTV. Then again, its a formula to get maximum entries with a low entry barrier and yet let the best of (judgement of) creativity decide who wins. Useful idea for a contest that’s given less than a month to run and run well it did. The winners were supposed to get their passes from the venue. Getting it from Casino Royale in the first place was an interesting experience…not worth bloating this post up with, though.
Goa Tourism Development Corporation is not yet ready with their prizes.
Lead organisers Neha and Varsha have led themselves through most of the Twestival preparation work and have mastered the art of taking lifts in the course of having to travel to Panjim for most of the work at the expense of their BPKKBGC classes. They both have shared the work well between themselves but for an event of the size they planned for, each one’s share still piled up to be quite a lot. The fact that Twestival Goa did happen is a proof that efforts small or big have not gone wasted. While on the topic of lead organisers, its also important to mention that Neha’s Dell laptop and the Reliance broadband+ stick have both been real helpful in a lot of cases, esp. while meeting potential sponsors/donors. Thanks to them and the people who cooperated with them, Goa had its first Twestival Global celebration.
It Feels Good
Lack of education not just affects what advanced technology you are able to wield but also your basic health and rights. It won’t matter if you didn’t know how to read this, but it’d matter if you knew nothing about hygiene or nutrition and neither did anyone of your elders. Education leads to awareness. For that matter, even those who are helping accelerate global warming and making living conditions harder for the poor and uneducated need special type of education. Maybe we’ll have an event for them in some years.
It feels good to
- have made an effort to approach people and spread the word about Concern Worldwide‘s work in the field of education to uplift lives of poverty stricken kids and consequently their families.
- have met people who have been so positive and encouraging in their responses and support towards the cause as well as the event, which has been organised by one of the youngest Twestival teams of India.
- also remember the experiences with people who’ve not been able to spare some generosity. Perhaps there’s a different way to appeal to such people.
- have participated online and offline in organising the event.
- have got almost all in place. Something to call an event atleast. 🙂
Well, we certainly were a bit disappointed (though the lead organisers had more right to) with the inability to raise enough funds/sponsorship for bringing TRDP (our most wanted act), I learnt that TRDP themselves took it a bit more badly. Well there’s always a next time, hopefully. 🙂
Phew! That’s the end of the much longer part II. I am not intentionally describing the event. Think independently for the event that you want to host in your city next year. Only one warning. Don’t ask losers like Goa Times to cover your event, esp. Page 3 dumbasses.
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Tags: Concern Worldwide, Education, Goa, Goa Twestival