Have you ever found yourself in the situation where your event staff have turned up on site ready to work and they are not at all what you imagined? Perhaps they don’t represent your brand well in terms of their appearance, or can’t relate to your target audience? Or perhaps they are great staff, just not right for your event? Don’t worry – you’re not alone!
Having the right staff on your team is vital to the success of your event, but you may feel that this can sometimes be difficult to achieve. Organising the staffing is quite often something that is overlooked until the last minute but even if you have allowed yourself plenty of time to arrange your staffing, how can you ensure that you secure the right people?
In a recent article we looked at how to make sure your promotional staff are well trained and ready for your event, but in this article we are going to offer you some advice on why we think you should use a staffing agency, and how best to brief your staffing agency to ensure that they deliver on your expectations.
Use a professional staffing agency
Staffing of any kind is faced with its challenges, but event staffing is even tougher.
The majority of the temporary event staff that are actively working in the industry are just that – temporary! They quite often have other commitments whether it be university, a budding acting career, or a young family. Juggling changing availability, sometimes at short notice, can be extremely challenging even for the most experienced of staff managers who have access to an established staff database. Surely your time is best spent making your event a success rather than dealing with time consuming staffing issues.
Resist the temptation to use friends and family. And colleagues from other parts of your business also fall into this category. Whilst they will no doubt be bursting with enthusiasm, are they used to actively approaching people, and do they know how to immediately engage a customer and entice them to interact? Furthermore, anything can happen at an event so it is vital that your team has the experience required to cope with unforeseen situations.
How are you planning to pay your staff? In the busy period prior to your event you will have enough to organise without having to consider setting up new staff on your payroll and dealing with tax and national insurance issues, for what could be a very short employment. Brief your staffing agency and they can take care of that for you, allowing you to concentrate on what’s important – your event!
Be clear about what you want when you brief your staffing agency
Now that you have chosen your agency, be absolutely crystal clear about your requirements. What type of staff do you want? How would you like them to portray your brand, and what will you need them to achieve in their role? How many staff do you need and where will they be working? These are just some of the questions to consider.
A good staffing agency will be able to advise you on this. If you are not sure what type of staff you need, be sure to give your agency as much information as possible about your company or brand, your event and the role of your event staff. Not all staff are suited to every event environment so it is vital that your agency is fully equipped to find the people that best suit your brand and your event.
Be completely honest!
Whatever the role, you must be upfront about it when you brief your staffing agency. It can sometimes be tempting to gloss over the negatives, but in order for your agency to find the right people for the job, they need to know absolutely everything! If your staff will be required to wash dishes – tell them! If you need them to conduct door-to-door surveys – tell them!
Most promotional staff will have jobs they love, and also jobs they don’t want to do. It’s therefore really important that your staffing agency is fully informed so that they can make the right decision about your staffing.
Consider the logistics
When determining the role of your event staff, think beyond their role when your event is live. Do you need them to do anything before or after that your staffing agency should be aware of? For example will your staff need to receive a delivery before the event and take anything with them, such as a pop up stand or giveaways? If so then you will need to brief your staffing agency accordingly to ensure they book staff that have their own car. It also means that you will get a really accurate quote.
Ensure you receive staff profiles
Once your agency is briefed and ready to book staff, make sure you maintain control by having final approval of your team.
A great agency will, as standard, send you profiles belonging to shortlisted staff so that you have the opportunity to review their person spec, experience and photo, prior to your event going live. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there will be no surprises on the day. This is a particularly important step if it is a new agency relationship.