When planning an appearance at a trade show, an industry mixer, or any kind of occasion for your company, effective event staffing is key. The right people can elevate any event to a level of excellence; the wrong people can ruin it.
Given this, hiring people for your event might seem tricky. But finding the right personnel doesn’t have to be a boring or menial task. Using these five tips, you can get creative with your event staffing and make the experience both more enjoyable and successful.
Get Creative With Your Recruiting
To find the type of dynamic, creative person you want to be working your event, you should be using dynamic and creative recruitment materials.
This can differ from company to company, and from event to event. A staffing call infographic for an upscale cocktail party shouldn’t look the same as one for a grungy streetwear brand showcase. Give staffing agencies and potential employees an idea of what you’re looking for just in the design and styling of your recruitment.
Consider putting out a short video ad to give your staffing search some personality and buzz. Don’t forget: you’re choosing between many different applicants, but the bartenders and promo models you’re trying to hire are choosing between different events vying for their services. This means that you have to look like a fun and capable employer and your event must sound appealing. Make sure this comes across in your search for staff!
Another place to insert creativity into your recruitment process is in your interviewing. Ideally, interview candidates in person if you can, but if not then create a fillable form or survey that includes at least some out-of-the-box questions. Instead of just asking for years of experience and a cover letter, present your candidates with a problematic event situation and ask them how they would solve it, or have them recount their favorite event experience.
Seek Attitude and Personality Over Looks
Creative interview questions and recruitment materials also have another benefit: they will attract staff with good attitude and personality.
Of course, in the search for trade show models or general concierge staff, looks are a factor to consider. However, event experience matters a lot more, and attitude is crucial.
Your event staff should always have a positive and enthusiastic attitude. Guests and clients can sense when someone is being inauthentic, and personnel with a negative personality can bring down the vibe of an entire event.
Staff should also possess a collaborative spirit. Teamwork is key when trying to put on a great event or party, especially because much of your staff will not have worked together before and will have to fit in with your company’s employees and attendees.
When interviewing and looking for event staff, try focusing on these various soft skills and prioritizing them in your search. Not only will staff with good spirit make your guests’ experience more enjoyable, but they will also make the onboarding and training process much more straightforward and fun.
Send Out a Training Packet
The training process is often overlooked in the staffing process when most of the focus is on the hiring stage. But training the people you find is just as important as finding them in the first place.
It’s likely that most of your event staff will be new to your company, your venue, and each other, at least for your first event in a new city. This is okay and to be expected, and a good training strategy can make everyone feel comfortable come event day. By hiring people with a good attitude and quick learning abilities, you ensure that training will supplement any gaps in experience that you may find in your staff.
Since most event staff are either paid by the day or hourly, spending long amounts of time training can become exceedingly expensive. You can circumvent this problem, and give your staff a leg up, by sending out a training packet ahead of time.
A training packet doesn’t necessarily have to be a brochure; it can of course be a digital PDF or even a short video guide. Whatever the format, your training packet should include relevant information like contact sheets, maps of the event and venue, schedules, and info about the event.
Make sure to inform your event staff without overwhelming them with information. This will save you precious hours on the day of your event, letting you focus on the big-picture things in person and make everyone feel excited to be there.
Work With A Staffing Agency
Another great way to find quality event staff and talent is to work with a national staffing agency. Staffing agencies have several key benefits: cost, efficiency, and cohesion.
Oftentimes if you need to hire bartenders, dancers, greeters, and any kind of personnel for the same event, you can save time and money by going to the same agency as a one-stop shop. Some of the largest staffing agencies operate in many different cities nationwide and so are great options for repeat events or a trade show circuit.
Another benefit to staffing agencies is that they have dedicated staff themselves that can sort applicants out of thousands of potential candidates into top contenders for you to review. The next time you need to staff an event, they will also know your general requirements and desires for the type of people you prefer.
Okay, this may not be an incredibly creative tip. But you’d be surprised how many people try to skimp on their staffing budget and end up suffering the consequences.
Starting with a realistic budget is key for any event planning. The venue will constitute a large part of your spending from the get go, but make sure to plan in a larger amount than you might expect for hiring staff. Contact agencies to compare rates, and plan pessimistically. You don’t want to find the ideal people that can make your event special only to have to downgrade because of a lack of planning.
By adding some spark to your hiring process, event staffing can be transformed from something you’re dreading to something to look forward to. The more creative and engaging your recruitment strategies are, the more creative and engaging people you will end up finding.
In your interviewing and selection process, make sure to weight attitude and personality heavily, focus on experience, and don’t just base your staffing on first impressions or looks. Staff with the right attitude will make your event click. Try sending out a training packet ahead of time to save money and time when it comes close to event time, and to show your staff that you’re professional and serious about making your event go right. A pre-informed staff will make your life a lot easier day-of.
By working with a national staffing agency, you can deal with many of these issues at the same time, from finding qualified candidates to saving on time and money. Don’t be afraid to reach out well ahead of time to know what you can expect for your budget, and remember to plan in a little more money than you initially think you’ll need.
By following these tips, you can enjoy more success staffing your event with less of the stress. For more on business and technology tips, check out our blog and keep up with new posts. Happy staffing!