Volunteer at BuildingEnergy Boston


NESEA depends on nearly 100 volunteers to help make each conference a success. We also call volunteering a "work scholarship"  because in exchange for your help, often at sessions of your choice, you get to attend on Wednesday or Thursday for free. Please see the chart below for the work exchange calculation. You cannot attend Tuesday workshops for free unless you are an assigned volunteer in that workshop. All volunteers must be NESEA members

Please visit our conference webpage for the most up-to-date information on all conference events.


We have four basic options available for volunteering. Essentially, if you are willing to go wherever we assign you, you get a little more conference for less less volunteer time.

Option Hours volunteered what you get


Stay in one session room all day (we assign the room, don't worry, you still get breaks)

2 day conference pass (one day we assign the sessions, one day is all yours)


6 hours of session room volunteering, pick your sessions (first-come, first-serve)

1 day conference pass (for the day you are volunteering)


5 hours of whatever we assign you (set up, session room, lunch tickets, etc.)

1 day conference pass


9 hours of whatever we assign you (session room, lunch tickets, set up, etc.)

2 day conference pass

Hours worked in a Tuesday workshop CANNOT be credited towards Wednesday or Thursday. Hours worked prior to or after the conference can be credited towards Wednesday or Thursday only. 

Volunteers assigned to a 1/2 day Tuesday workshop cannot attend other workshops that day for free. 


First, you need to make sure your NESEA membership is current. Click here to renew or become a memberIf you have questions about your membership, contact Membership Manager Katie Schendel at kschendel@nesea.org

The next step is to familiarize yourself with the volunteer/work exchange responsibilities below. 


Volunteer positions are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, and are only offered to NESEA members. 

What kinds of tasks might a volunteer do? Here are a few examples.

Registration support

We need a few friendly, eager people to help at the registration booths throughout the day, each day, but especially first thing in the morning (morning people welcome!). Good people skills are a must. Typing wizardry is also helpful. 

Session volunteers

Usually two per room. You need to arrive in the session or workshop room 30 minutes before the start of the session, and introduce yourself to the session chair and speakers. You'll check conference badges and take tickets at the door, assist speakers and  the chairperson, act as timekeeper, and coordinate lighting, seating, water, and room comfort. If an A/V issue arises, you may have to track down the on-site A/V professional or a NESEA staffer, or contact the Seaport World Trade Center. You'll also count and record the number of attendees in each session, collect legible signatures for continuing education credits (very important to attendees!), and then hand these documents in to the volunteer coordinator at the end of your session. 

Aggressively cheerful greeters

Greeters direct traffic in the lobby and at escalators, and help attendees find their way to workshops, sessions, registration, bathrooms, and so on. Very cheerful, helpful and patient people are needed for this job. 

Rovers who can go with the flow

Rovers check in with the onsite volunteer coordinator, set up and restock the literature tables, and more. Plenty of tasks materialize during the course of the event that may require your assistance. Be available, flexible, and ready to run and help with the unpredictable! 

Enthusiasts for the Exhibit Hall

Working with NESEA's trade show organizer, you act as host, direct attendees to exhibitors, direct traffic, and help set up presentations for exhibitors. 


For those who are avaialbe before the conference, there is lots to do on Monday and Tuesday to prepare for the big event. Activities might include assembling conference packets, setting out cones on the exhibit floor, and dsibursing session room signs throughout the Seaport. At the end of the conference (Thursday, late afternoon), we need help retrieving everything we brought, and loading it back on the truck.


Go ahead and fill out this electronic volunteer application, where you will be able to specify which options, sessions, workshops, and other tasks interest you. Shortly after you submit the form, we will be in touch with you to confirm your tasks for BuildingEnergy16!  

Please note that you will be considered only a potential volunteer until we receive your form and check your membership status. We will make every effort to match your top choices with our needs, but please understand that it may not be possible in all cases.

Questions? Please contact the volunteer team at bevolunteer@nesea.org, or at 413-774-6051 x14. 

Thanks for your interest in volunteering!