The legacy from Aarhus 2017’s Volunteer Programme
One of the organizations that has particularly benefited from the volunteering program is VisitAarhus. The Director Peer Kristensen from VisitAarhus says: "When the cruise ships come to Aarhus, the volunteers play an active role in receiving the guests. The value of the experience that the guests experience when they arrive in Aarhus exists because of the volunteer programme – which also creates value for Aarhus."
Peer Kristensen highlights why volunteers in this case adds more value than employees: "It sends a positive signal to the city's guests that volunteers are welcoming them in person. It creates another experience when it is locals who want to spend their free time welcoming the guests – this is something that Aarhus is gradually becoming known for within the major cruise lines."
The Volunteer Capital hosted a public meeting on September 23rd 2017, with the aim to learn from the Cultural Capital 2017’s volunteering program. The aim is to help both the volunteers, companies, politicians and other who are interested in volunteering, to understand the value that the programme brings and what the citizens themselves can carry on from it.
At VisitAarhus they are pleased that the Volunteer Capital has this agenda, and they also want to ensure that the programme continues: "It's important for us to talk about the concept of volunteering because it works! They have been talking about this concept for 10-15 years. Now it has finally been successful and we have seen a positive and rewarding result of it, so of course it should continue. Obviously, it requires some resources to run a volunteer program – but there is an energy in volunteering that contributes to a unique value creation."
For the coffee producer BKI, their partnership with Aarhus 2017 and their engagement with the volunteering programme meant that they got new collaborators who, among other things, reinforced the company’s commitment to the local area. BKI has participated in several events at European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017, which has led to collaborations with new actors. Event Manager at BKI Søren Griepentrog says: "When we go out for cultural events, we meet exciting organizations and other companies. Here, it gives rise to a dialogue about the potential of new collaborations."
After the partnership with Aarhus 2017, BKI has experienced an increase of queries and events that might continue in 2018. BKI will, among other things, be engaged in Aarhus as Volunteer Capital 2018 and the new partnerships has made both local and national organizations interested in their company, Søren Gripentrog explains.