As an event staffing agency, we are often faced with not being able to assist potential clients. As with any business, if the budget doesn’t allow for our assistance, or we cannot fulfil all obligations then we will be honest in our assessment, and try to offer our advice, in the hope that we may be able to assist in the future. The types of advice we offer to clients who can’t afford us yet, or who we can’t assist for whatever reason as an event staffing agency are broad but usually fall into one of the following two categories:
Finding the Right Event Staff
How to identify and attract event staff that will complement the event, and not put it in danger of failure is one of the crucial skills and the reason we exist as an organisation. Event staffing agency best practice is one of combining art with science, and a lot of hard work. However, there are a few things you can do to give you the best chance of finding event staff that could make all the difference, and making sure your event goes off without a hitch.
– Look for Attitude First, and then Expertise.
Hire people who are eager to take part in your event, and who present as having the right personal attributes. Find people who are teachable, will listen to instruction, and who will be in the right place at the right time. Skills can be taught; attitude cannot. One caveat to this, if you have a highly technical product or a technically demanding skill set requirement, then obviously disregard this to a logical extent.
– Resist the Temptation to Fill the Required Roles Quickly
This is especially important if you have a number of roles to fill. Large events require a lot of event staff, and the temptation is often to simply get a lot of people in a room and offer them jobs – after all, it’s just an event right?
An event staffing agency that is effective will interview every single person, or at least have a structure in place to determine whether they are suitable or not. We use the largest database of promotional talent in North America, and drill down on core attributes and skill sets depending on our client. For a business who is doing it on their own, it may be more practical to conduct an online test or a telephone screen. Perhaps if it is a local event, bring groups of people into your offices, and offer a group briefing, followed by individual testing or interviews. When completed in a structured manner, these can be done with great effectiveness and in a short period of time. For a national event in many locations, talk to PUSH.
Run a Good Event
– Make Sure Everything is Intentional
Have you ever been to an event, either put on by an event staffing agency or not, and been impressed with how smooth and structured everything was? The event ran on time, and the room seemed unusually professional in the way it was presented. Staff were effective, and you felt compelled to go where you were told.
This is the difference between an intentional event and a reactive one. Before an intentional event, the event manager will usually have incredibly pedantic requirements about the way things are supposed to work. They will ask that seating is perfectly lined up, and will triple and double check to make sure this is the case. If there are notepads and pens on chairs or tables, they will be presented in exactly the same way for each setting. Timings will be rehearsed and non-negotiable, and any adjustments that need to be made will only happen if noted on the official run sheet. Everyone dealing with this event manager will likely become agitated and mystified as to why they are so finicky about minor details.
It’s because minor details are the reason events are perfect, or just good.
Intentional events leave nothing to chance because a good event manager knows that things will go wrong, but through being pedantic they can minimise the chances of it happening too many times. An event manager who is, ” walking the room,” to make sure everything is perfect before an event starts is reducing the chance of variables, not trying to make other staff member’s lives difficult… although that is usually the result.
Reactive event managers are a nightmare for an event staffing agency because they assume everything will go well and as a result things are overlooked, and mistakes are made. In an event, mistakes are made before the event starts, and only realised once they have happened. Average event managers justify these failings through shrugging their shoulders and pointing out that it could happen to anyone… I mean, who could have seen this coming?
A good event manager.
So preferably hire PUSH for your next event, but if that’s not possible, then you can take on the mantle of the event staffing agency, and produce something wonderful.