YEMP – Timing, planning, preparation, partnership with festival

The first planning for the YEMP starts at the moment when the planning for the festival starts. E.g. costs for the YEMP have to be included in the budget (in our case food and accomodation for all YEMPers plus coaches plus YEMP Steering Committee for a bit more than 2 weeks, for training weekend, preparatory week and festival week, plus travel for coaches, at least the international coach, and for the steering committee in as far as they are not covered through other sources, and maybe rental costs for rooms, and fees and travel, accommodation and meal costs for external experts for the training weekend)

In our case the number of YEMPers is fixed, but in case of other festivals this would also include the question of how many YEMPers can/should be accepted, which possible positions there are for YEMPers in the festival, which kind of accommodation can be offered to them (student accommodation? Or maybe home stays with staff of the festival?), whether the YEMPers should be locals, people from the country of the festival and/or international young managers, which skills (language and others) are needed, which rooms will be needed for the training weekend, etc.

The next step is to put together a steering committee (see next point) and find the two coaches


About 1,5 years before the festival we start working on the advertising material (in our case published in our own brochure with the programme for the following year, as well as in the festival brochure, both published a bit more than 1 year before the festival), plus on the Festival Website. During the coming 6 months additional promotion through Website, Facebook and newsletters.

In autumn the year before the festival we publish detailed information (including “Frequently Asked Questions”) and an application form for YEMP.

Deadline for applications is January 31st of the year of the festival.

The Steering committee selects the YEMPers in February the year of the festival, through a live meeting or – if there is no budget for this – through a Skype meeting. All applications are saved in a dropbox or google drive folder, there is an excel or google sheet into which all members of the steering committee can add their remarks and their personal ranking before the meeting, and into which we mark the final decision during the meeting.

Then the YEMPers are informed (selected, not selected, waiting list) and asked to confirm their participation and submit a copy of their booked travel as “guarantee” that they are seriously planning to come (since they do not have to pay a participation fee).

The steering committee prepares online tasks for the selected YEMPers between March and June/July in the year of the festival. These can include online presentations, writing a letter to a friend to convince them to join the festival, developing a quiz etc. (see examples from 2018 under chapter 4).

In parallel the steering committee prepares the training weekend for the YEMPers, making a programme and schedule, inviting external experts etc.


In late spring, about 6 weeks before the festival the management team of the festival should have a retreat during which they are also prepared for how to integrate the YEMPers into their team the week before the festival, always a crucial and touchy point, which tasks to give to them, how to prepare them, how to supervise them and how to make use of the coaches. (The weekend is also used for team-building and to mentally prepare for the festival by trying to go through all the aim groups and try to think what each person related to the festival may need in advance and once they have arrived …)

Before the beginning of the YEMP the festival organisers and the steering committee should agree to the positions which will be available for YEMPers during the festival. A first tentative distribution can be made in advance, on the basis of the written applications, but the final distribution should be done at the end of the YEMP weekend, after having seen the YEMPers in action.