Volunteer at BuildingEnergy Boston

What does it mean to volunteer at BuildingEnergy Boston?

NESEA depends on nearly 100 volunteers to help make each conference and trade show 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. All volunteers must be NESEA members and volunteer positions are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

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

How much time does it take?

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 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

You cannot attend Tuesday pre-conference workshops for free unless you are an assigned volunteer in that workshop and volunteers assigned to a half-day Tuesday workshop cannot attend other workshops that day for free. Please also note that 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.

Ok, I'm ready—now what do I do?

First, you need to make sure your NESEA membership is current. You can renew or become a member here. If 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.

Examples of volunteer tasks

Registration support: We need a few friendly, eager people to help at the registration booth 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, and collect legible signatures for continuing education credits (very important to attendees!).

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.

Set-Up/Take-Down: For those who are available 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 distributing 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.

Still want to volunteer?

Great! Click here to access the volunteer application form. Note: In order to view the form, you must be a current member of NESEA, and you must be logged in to nesea.org.

Questions? Please contact the volunteer team at bevolunteer@nesea.org or 413-774-6051 ext. 14.

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Our Mission

NESEA advances the adoption of sustainable energy practices in the built environment by cultivating a community where practitioners share, collaborate and learn.