Planning a successful event is anything but simple. What’s the secret to a well-organized affair that runs smoothly and leaves attendees happy and satisfied? It’s the event staff both behind the scenes and on the front lines, who work tirelessly to ensure an event goes off without a hitch. These staff members can help you create a truly memorable experience for your guests. The challenge is how to find trustworthy event staff that will treat every event with the enthusiasm and importance that it deserves.
Depending on your desired event staff roles and responsibilities, there are some ways to help you find the right team. It doesn’t matter how many staff members you have unless they are the right ones. Here are six tips to help you create a staffing and event management plan and find the right people to carry it out.
1. Identify the Roles Needed
There are so many different parts of an event, and you will need team members to fulfill needs in each category.
While planning your event, identify all of the areas that will require staff, and estimate how many people you will need to work each part. Planning this advance will help you realize your staffing needs early and prepare accordingly. In order to make sure you’re fully hired in time for the event, consider starting this process as early as six months from the event start -- or more for staff in charge of planning and logistics.
Create detailed job descriptions in advance so it’s clear what is required of potential candidates right away. Depending on the type of event you’re holding, you may need team members in these areas:
Event Planning Roles
There are many behind the scenes and planning roles to fill for any event. Some of these may include:
- Marketing: This is the group that will get the word out about your event and entice guests to attend. They may also be in charge of ticket sales, event websites, and marketing materials.
- Logistics and Scheduling: These team members plan each day of the event, ensure speakers are scheduled and confirmed, and are available to handle any sudden changes in the schedule each day should problems arise.
Live Day Roles
These team members work while the event is actually in progress. Some of these important roles include:
- Event Setup: You will need event staff to set up the event prior to the start as well as take it down once it’s over.
- Event Production: When it comes to events and meetings, there's no room for second chances. You have one opportunity – just one – to get it right. The best quality equipment and technology is key, but even more importantly, you need a highly skilled technical crew.
- Security: This group will ensure safety and security during your event. It doesn’t hurt to have a few security members on hand just in case.
- Check In and Information Desk: These team members are vital for welcoming event guests, scanning tickets, directing guests, and answering any questions they might have.
- Vendor Assistance: This group of team members will provide your event vendors with any special assistance or requests as needed during the event.
- Cleaning Crew: This staff handles cleaning needs while the event is taking place, maintenance each night if applicable, and general clean up after the event is complete.
Related Read: Equipment Needed for a Hybrid Meeting
Food Service and Entertainment
If your event will feature food and entertainment, you must make sure to hire adequate staff in these areas for a high-quality experience for your guests. Depending on your event, these staff members may include:
- Catering/Kitchen Staff: Perhaps you’ll hire a catering company to handle all of your food service needs, eliminating the need to hire specific staff in this area. If that’s not an option, you may have to hire kitchen staff to prepare food onsite.
- Bar Staff and Waiters: If drinks and food will be served to guests, plan to hire bar staff and waiters for your event. You may also want to hire a host that can show guests to their seats and generally overlook the dining times during the event.
- Event Host or Presenter: This person will oversee the entertainment, speakers, and presentations offered during the event. They can introduce guests and entertainment and keep the overall flow running smoothly.
2. Determine Event Scope and Budget
Now that you’ve reviewed the various types of staff that might be required, determine the exact scope of your event, including length, food and beverage offerings, entertainment, and speakers. At the same time, take a realistic look at your event budget. Do your staffing and entertainment needs fall in line with how much you have to spend? If not, make adjustments to your scope and reassess how much staff you can afford to hire based on allotted funds.
Be aware that cutting staff is probably the least desirable area to cut budget, so try to cut from other areas as much as possible so as not to sacrifice overall event quality. When in doubt, it pays to actually overbook the number of staff you think you need. You never know when an emergency might come up and someone can’t make it for their shift.
3. Choosing a Hiring Process
Depending on your staffing needs and the amount of time you have to dedicate to the hiring process for your event, you can choose from the following options:
Place ads online to help you reach the employees you’re looking for. This can help you reach a large group of potential event staff. Place ads well in advance to ensure you are able to fill event staff requirements in all areas.
You can also ask other people in your field if they have recommendations on websites or other hiring sources to consider.
Outsource the Hiring Process
Planning an event is extremely time consuming, so if hiring on your own seems too daunting, outsource the process to a company that specializes in event staffing. Not only will a recruiting company be able to help you better identify your staffing needs, they’ll be able to properly vet candidates to be sure they’re the right fit for your event team.
Some event staffing agencies may offer extra perks that you wouldn’t have access to on your own, such as creative ideas for planning your event, or insider knowledge and tips on how to better connect with clients and guests while the event is underway.
As an added perk, some event staffing agencies can handle the legal side of hiring for you, as well as manage payroll processes. You can ask colleagues or other event planners in your industry for recommendations on reputable event staffing services to hire.
4. Ask the Right Questions
Whether you are doing the hiring or someone else is handling the process for you, make sure candidates are being asked the right questions and can properly represent the brand or face of your event.
Interviewing for event staff is similar to interviewing for any job. When interviewing possible event staff candidates, first plan a short phone call. If the candidate seems promising, schedule an in-person or virtual meeting to learn more about their personality and determine whether or not they’d be a good fit for your event team.
Create a checklist or standard list of questions you can refer to during each interview. Some of the questions you might consider asking during the interview process include:
- What approach will you take to representing the face of this event?
- What is your previous experience working with this type of event?
- Describe some of your strengths. How will you use them while working this event?
- How do you handle unexpected challenges during events?
- What is one area in which you could improve your work at events?
- What is your favorite part about working with events?
- As a guest, what do you think makes an event successful and enjoyable?
You can also come up with other questions that may delve into knowledge of your business, their general availability and flexibility, and willingness to do what it takes to carry out a successful event.
5. Ensure New Staff Works Well with Existing Staff
Assuming you have some event staff secured already, you want to make sure anyone new you hire will mesh well with them. After all, they will be working very closely together. One way to do this is to involve your existing staff in the hiring process, or compare staff mentalities during the interview process. If your event staff members don’t see eye to eye, this could result in unwanted conflict that could affect the success of your event.
6. Base Your Decisions on Experience and Attitude
Above all else, try to hire event staff who have previous experience with a wide range of events. This will help them fit in quickly with your event team and ensure they can get the job done with minimal training. Look for candidates with exceptional customer service skills and positive attitudes. Both of these traits will go a long way to ensure happy guests who will be talking about your event for days to come.
Founded in 2003, AMP Event Group is a woman-owned and operated company providing event staffing and management services nationwide as well as AV equipment rentals in the Philadelphia area. 600+ happy clients can attest to the quality of our work. Our team’s knowledge of venues across the country has been leveraged in producing 3,000+ amazing events. Contact us today for your event staffing needs!