Powwow Committee Tips Part 3

Powwow Committee Tips Part 3


Part 3. Visitors. Visitors to a powwow expect to have a safe, educational and fun experience, so make sure they do.

  1. Enlist Volunteers From the Community. The members of a powwow committee are overwhelmed with the coordination of head staff, dancer registration, dance contest, drums, the feed, security, parking issues, etc., it’s necessary to have a good group of volunteers. You’d be surprised at how many people in the community would be happy to volunteer even if they’ve never been to a powwow.
  2. Provide Security. Always have security, even if it’s a small powwow. Volunteers can be used and if a very large powwow it may be necessary to hire professional security. Powwows are drug and alcohol free events, but there are always people that show up drunk or high or are determined to cause trouble. Security can keep an eye out for these types and escort them out so they don’t disrupt the day. Security will also keep watch for a lost child or someone getting injured or ill.
  3. Provide First Aid. Always have a booth or tent for minor injuries or for those not feeling well. Provide a cot or two so people can lay down. Have plenty of water and ice, a good first aid kit and if possible, have someone trained in medical emergencies to volunteer to man the booth. We attended a powwow once where a volunteer was giving tired powwow participants foot massages.
  4. Provide an Information Booth. Powwow committees usually have booths where they sell their programs, official powwow t-shirts and other items. If you can’t have a separate information booth, then incorporate that with the committee booth. Many people who attend a powwow for the first time feel intimidated because they do not understand the components of the powwow, let alone the etiquette so it’s a good idea to always have powwow etiquette in the program and if not, have a stack of flyers with powwow etiquette printed to hand out.
  5. Accommodate the Disabled & Elders. Always have a special sitting area for the elderly and disabled with shade. If possible, have golf carts to shuttle these people from the parking lot to the powwow area. Try to provide parking that is close by for those with handicap parking placards.
  6. Have a Children’s Area. Sometimes kids get bored or tired of walking and running around. If possible, have a special area with tables and chairs, crafts, snacks and volunteers to keep them busy.
  7. Try Not To Charge for Both Entrance & Camera Fees. People going to a powwow don’t favor having to pay an entrance fee plus a camera fee to take photos. Ideally, no entrance fee or camera fee should be imposed, but if funds are really needed to cover powwow expenses, try to only charge for one or the other.

In Conclusion:

  1. Don’t Schedule Your Powwow the Same Day as Other Events. One of the biggest mistakes any event planner can do is to not research what other events are going on in the area at the same time. For optimal attendance, make sure another powwow is not going on within a reasonable driving distance or during other established community events happening the same time. A little research on dates is very important to holding a successful powwow. You don’t want to complete for attendance. So much energy and work go into a powwow by so many people it’s a shame to have poor attendance by both dancers and visitors.
  2. Have Fun. Your powwow should be free of hassles and negative issues with good planning. But of course bad things can happen; but if you are prepared it will be handled well and everyone should have a fun day!

Categories: Powwow Committees

About Author

Becky Olvera Schultz

Becky Olvera Schultz is an artist and photographer whose background includes journalism, advertising and marketing. She has been in involved with the powwow circuit for several years, participating as a vendor and as a member of powwow planning committees. For more information on Becky, visit her art site at www.native-expressions.com