Great Reasons to Embrace the Navigator Basic Training
Some Navigators have been around for a while, starting when Balloon Fiesta was a smaller community-based event. Over the years, Balloon Fiesta has evolved into a truly world-class event. Today’s guests are sophisticated, well-traveled, and have high expectations for their experience. They’ve saved their money to experience an event the caliber of the Kentucky Derby, not a local fair.
Balloon Fiesta is making strides to stay ahead of the change in demographics of our guest. One of those efforts is the implementation of Navigator training. In the past, volunteers showed up for a shift and received on-the-job training. But as the event has grown in size and complexity, OJT is no longer enough.
What is training, anyway? At a minimum, training is communication. Balloon Fiesta is an enormous, complex event. The sheer number of details can’t be absorbed by simply showing up. It is up to AIBF to communicate with you as much detail as possible. The Basic Training videos lay the foundation for the most important information that everyone should know.
Training ensures a consistent experience for the guest. No matter which Navigator they ask, they should get the same answer.
Training empowers you to be self-reliant. Because the event is run by just a handful of staff, you are being asked to act as their proxy, handling situations that may be challenging, and providing the guest the best service possible. Knowledge is power.
Training gives you confidence. Whether this is your first year as a Navigator or your 25th, if you know how to solve problems, you’ll feel like you’re making a contribution.
Training allows you to connect and forge new relationships. Based on a 2013 survey of our volunteers, the primary reason people volunteer is to meet new people and make new friends. Frustration and unpreparedness aren’t conducive to making connections. But if you know the information and can share it confidently, with caring, joy and enthusiasm, the doors to friendship open wide. You are allowed to be yourself, connect on a personal level, solve problems, and truly touch someone’s life in that moment.
Finally, training can be fun! Challenge yourself to learn something new. Delight in facts you never knew before.
So, if you find yourself resistant to watching the Basic Training videos and taking the quizzes, ask yourself why. There really aren’t any good reasons to avoid it, while there are lots of great reasons to take it on!