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Image of the Week: 50 is the New 20, Working with Older Volunteers at ITS European Congress


Europe’s largest event in Intelligent Transport Systems and Services took place in Glasgow last June. After the success of its 22nd World Congress in Bordeaux (France) last year (with more than 12.000 delegates), ITS turned once again to MCI for its expertise in professional congress management.

For the 11th ITS European Congress edition, MCI Brussels joined forces with MCI Amsterdam providing full PCO services to deliver seamless operational excellence.

With an extensive exhibition, live demonstrations and a programme of high level and technical sessions with industry’s experts and political leaders, it was imperative to have a solid and dynamic team of hosts and hostesses onsite to welcome and guide the 2,000 delegates.  That responsibility is traditionally handed out to students who make up for the bulk of volunteers working at congresses and conferences.

To find the valuable hosts, Sophie Thaon, Conference Coordinator at MCI Brussels came up with the idea to post an ad in a Glasgow Volunteer group on Facebook.


To her surprise, most candidates who responded where well in their 50s!

Pauline Montell, Registration Coordinator MCI Amsterdam said she was truly surprised when she met the volunteer team onsite but her surprise quickly turned into admiration for the excellent work they accomplished.


Confident and able to express themselves more comfortably, the volunteers were pro-actively seeking out delegates to help out, all the while with a smile on their faces. They provided valuable assistance in the registration area redirecting delegates to the self-scanning machines and to the correct cues. Unlike students who would be more inclined to wait for someone to reach out to them, the ITS volunteer team took initiatives.

One of the volunteers brought us cookies at the registration desk to share with the technicians, his wife had baked them the previous evening, how kind is that?” said Pauline, “I would definitely like to work with older volunteers again.”

So next time you are seeking out dynamic and collaborative volunteers for your congress, reach out to more mature candidates, they could be your best hosts!

50isthenew20.2 (2)

A big thanks to the whole Glasgow Volunteer team!

For more inspiration and ideas, read our clients success stories here.
Contact us here to find out how we can help to engage your target audience through world-class congresses.

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