Oregon Mediation Association

PO Box 40041
Portland, OR 97240
Phone: 503-872-9775
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Join OMA!

 28th Annual OMA Fall Conference

Ambridge Event Center ~ Portland, OR
November 7 & 8, 2014

Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions &
Job Descriptions

Deadline for Volunteer Applications is OCTOBER 17th

The Volunteer application is part of the online registration form. To register and apply to be a Conference volunteer, please click HERE.

Thank you for volunteering for our 28th Annual OMA Fall Conference.  We are pleased you’re interested in helping make the conference a success and look forward to working with you.  Below are some frequently asked questions and brief answers which we hope you’ll find helpful.  If you have additional questions or concerns please feel free to call or e-mail one of the coordinators.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I contact if I have questions or need information about volunteering?
Contact one of the Conference Volunteer Coordinators:  

What is a Volunteer Agreement? All volunteers are required to abide by the OMA Conference Volunteer Agreement upon submitting conference registration. Please complete and submit online by October 17th, 2014

In order to receive the conference volunteer registration rate, your commitment requires that you provide three hours of volunteer time if you are attending only one day of the conference or six hours of volunteer time if you are attending both days of the Conference.  If this commitment is not fulfilled, you will be expected to pay OMA the regular Conference registration fee for each day you attend the Conference.  

When do I pay my Conference registration fee?  You will be taken to the payment page at the end of registration, where there will be various methods of payment available. If you do not pay your registration fee after registering as a volunteer, please pay it by October 17, 2014.  If we receive your registration and your fee has not been paid by the volunteer agreement deadline, your volunteer slot may be reassigned to someone else.

What is the Mandatory Volunteer Meeting?  There will be a mandatory Volunteer Orientation meeting at 7:00 a.m. on both days of the Conference.  If you are volunteering only one day, you need only show up for the meeting on that day.  If you are volunteering for both days, you need only attend Friday’s mandatory meeting.  Make sure you arrive on time for the start of the Volunteer Meeting.   

New Volunteer Orientation: There will be an optional New Volunteer Orientation held for those who would like a brief overview of what to expect at the Conference.  Please confirm your plan to attend by emailing Lynn Steyaert at [email protected] Please plan to arrive at the Ambridge Event Center on Thursday November 6, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. to attend the new volunteer orientation.  The orientation will consist of a tour of the facilities and a brief breakdown of tasks and assignments.  Previous volunteers need not attend.

Where will the Conference be held? The OMA Fall Conference will be held at the Ambridge Event Center, 1333 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in the Lloyd Center District of Portland. Entrances are located on the east and north sides of the building.

What should I know about parking and transportation to the Conference site?  The Ambridge Event Center is easily available by public transportation.  Visit http://trimet.org/  to plan your route.  The Ambridge Event Center is a very short walk from the Convention Center MAX stop.

Free parking will be available for Conference participants at several nearby parking lots. However, parking is limited and lots will fill early in the day, so plan a lot of extra time in case you need to find on-street parking or a pay lot. Visit the Conference Parking and Transportation page on our website in September for more information.

There are several paid lots in the area within a mile of the Ambridge Event Center. These include the Oregon Convention Center lot, and other lots at 7th & Oregon and 7th & Irving. There is also some on street parking available but it will be very limited. On street parking is patrolled and you will be ticketed if your meter expires so don’t take chances.

What should I know about overnight lodging?  Information on conference lodging options, room sharing, and home stays is available on the Conference Housing page. If you would like us to try to find a home stay for you, contact the OMA office at www.omediate.org immediately and we will do our best to find a host.

The Conference brochure lists two hotels offering discounted rates for OMA Conference attendees, based on availability. These hotels are located within walking distance of the Ambridge Event Center.  Mention OMA when you make your reservation. Make your reservations now to ensure a room.

Where should I check-in when I arrive at the conference site?  When you arrive at the Ambridge Event Center, please visit the Volunteer Table first.  After you check-in and attend the mandatory Volunteer Orientation meeting, be sure you visit the Registration Table to sign in and receive your Conference packet and name tag.

Where do I check-in for my volunteer assignments? Unless otherwise instructed, check in at the Volunteer Table shortly before your assignment begins.

Do volunteers get lunch?  Lunch is included as part of your Conference registration.  If you are volunteering during a lunch shift, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator or OMA staff in advance to make arrangements to get your meal either before or after your shift.

Conference Reception:  Regardless of whether you will be attending the full conference, all volunteers are invited to attend our Conference Reception from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 7th.  Please join us for light refreshments, networking and our silent auction!

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Below you will find brief job descriptions for some of the many volunteer duties during the conference.  If you’ve been assigned to a job you don’t feel comfortable doing, please let us know right away. If you have been assigned to a job which does not have a description below, ask one of the Volunteer Coordinators for more details about your assignment. Some tasks will end up taking less than the full amount of time allotted so please be flexible and know your efforts are appreciated however long you are working.

Thursday Set-Up Volunteers: Help set up the Conference site Thursday afternoon starting at 1:30 p.m. Put up signs and decorations, help set up the registration desk and vendor areas, put out supplies, put up easels, and help with a variety of tasks.  If possible, help transport supplies from the OMA office to the Conference site but this is not essential.

Friday Set-Up Volunteers:  Set up will be held approximately 6:30 a.m., before the conference begins that day.  Tasks will be assigned that morning and may include setting up displays, moving light weight equipment or supplies, putting out materials, and directing people to various locations.     
Saturday Set-Up Volunteers: Set up will be held approximately 7:00 a.m., before the conference begins that day.  Tasks will be assigned that morning and may include setting up displays, moving light weight equipment or supplies, putting out materials, and directing people to various locations.         

Registration Desk:  Check in participants and hand out packets. Refer people with questions or special needs to the proper person. Provide detailed attention to conference attendees as they register.  Registration is often fast paced and volunteers will be providing calm, friendly assistance during the process.  You will be working under the guidance of Conference staff.

Help Desk: The Help Desk is a central communication hub throughout the conference and you will be provided with all information you need to be a Help Desk volunteer. Respond to questions from Conference attendees, welcome people, assist people who register late in the day, and help solve problems or find a Conference Committee member or Board member who can assist you. Help desk volunteers provide a friendly face and great customer service to conference participants.  There may be some down time while you are on the Help Desk so feel free to bring something to read, or you can chat with other people who are volunteering nearby.

Raffle Sellers: Sell raffle tickets throughout the entire conference.  Conference participants will be purchasing tickets for wonderful baskets donated by Community Dispute Resolution Centers. The raffle drawing will be held on Saturday at lunch. Consistently and frequently pick up raffle tickets at the registration table throughout Friday (including at the Conference Reception) and all morning up to lunch on Saturday.  Raffle Sales Volunteers need to be very proactive. They need to actively approach people and encourage them to buy tickets, including during the breaks, meals and at the beginning and end of the day.  Frequently turn in all raffle proceeds to the Help Desk.

Auction Cashier: Your primary job is to help accept and process payments during the Auction.  Volunteers will assist the Auction Coordinators with processing any necessary paperwork and documents.  

Workshop Attendants: Workshop volunteers will help with set up, maintenance and comfort of workshop spaces.  Volunteers will also serve as liaison and support to presenters, and assist attendees where needed.

Friday Lunch Assistants: After checking in at the Volunteer Table, proceed to the Ballroom.  Lunch assistants will help steer people to the appropriate lunch line (vegan, vegetarian, etc.) and help people find the networking tables where they wish to sit.

Saturday Lunch Assistants: After checking in at the Volunteer Table, proceed to the Ballroom. Lunch assistants will help steer people to the appropriate lunch line (vegan, vegetarian, etc.).

Reception Set Up:   After checking in at the Volunteer Table, proceed to the Ballroom.  Tasks will be assigned at that time to assist with reception preparations.  

Continuing Education Table Volunteers: At the beginning of the day, you will be at the Continuing Education table and check in participants who are signing up for social work credits (NASW) or continuing legal education (CLEs). You’ll also be telling attorneys to add their name and Oregon Bar number to the Oregon State Bar list if they are not already on it.  Answer questions about Continuing Education credits.  We will provide you with that information.  If you are a Continuing Education Volunteer at the end of the day, you will collect NASW evaluation forms, hand out certificates, and check people off on the NASW list.

Reception Greeters/Helpers: Tasks will vary depending on our needs. Tasks may include: stand at certain entrances and encouraging people to come to the reception; handing out bid numbers, answering questions, assisting with the auction check-out process, or helping in other ways. Tasks at the end of the reception may include: moving left over auction items, taking down decorations, making sure rooms are neat and ready for the next day, moving light boxes, gathering materials or supplies, etc.

Saturday Clean-Up: Clean up tasks will be assigned at the conclusion of the conference (5:00 p.m.); tasks may include gathering light weight equipment, packing boxes, taking down signs and decorations, loading materials in a car or van, etc.

Evaluation/Name Tag Collection Volunteers:  Collect Conference evaluations forms and name tags at the end of the day and (on Saturday) hand out treats to those who turn in the forms.

Evaluation Results Data Entry: We will need one volunteer who will take all Conference evaluations, tabulate the results and prepare a Word document with all ratings and input.  Compiling these results will need to be completed between November 3rd and November 4th.

Floating Volunteers:  Check in at the Volunteer Table on the morning you are volunteering, and check in throughout the day between sessions, so that if we need additional help we will know where to locate you.  It is very important to be flexible. We also invite any volunteers who are willing to check in at the Volunteer Table during the day and see whether additional help is needed.

Drivers and Errand-Runners: During the two weeks prior to the Conference, we can sometimes use volunteer help with errands, e.g. picking up auction items from donors or picking up other materials and supplies.

Photographers: Take candid photographs throughout the day, e.g. take approximately 30 photographs each day. If taking photographs on Friday, make arrangements to transfer the photos to Brian Egan, our Audio Visual Coordinator, at the end of the day on Friday so we can use them in a slide show on Saturday. After the Conference, provide the OMA office with copies of the photographs. Camera not provided.



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