“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford
Henry Ford was a man who knew the worth of good employees. To him, being efficient was dependent on the ability to hire and keep “the best workers.” So, he sought to reduce turnover within his company. He surprised the industry when he increased the pay of most of his workers by almost double. He also shortened their work week to allow for more leisure time. These may seem like drastic measures, but they resulted in drawing the best auto mechanics to Ford. And, their expertise led to increased productivity and lowered training costs. The same can be said for hiring expert event staff, who are best equipped to reach marketing goals and also bring the benefit of direct sales, when required.
Ford had a team to help guide his employees and ensure their ongoing happiness. But, event marketers must often personally oversee every event and experiential marketing aspect. And, when you consider the weight of event staff management alone, arguably the most important element, this is unfortunate.
Why Event Staff Management is Critical to a Brand’s Success
A Harvard Business Review article correlates good management to increased revenue. The source shows how customer satisfaction affects customer behavior and impacts the bottom line. They used retailer Sears as an example. “When employee satisfaction improved by 5%, customer satisfaction improved by 1.3%, which led to a .05% improvement in revenue.” Harvard Business Review says, “That might not sound significant, but for $50 billion Sears, that that came to an extra $250 million in sales revenue.”
Your event staff’s happiness can also have a large effect on revenue, too. After all, they share many of the same responsibilities of retail workers. They greet visitors, answer questions, and promote a pleasant experience. They represent your brand and embody all that it stands for. And, they’re often trusted for skilled tasks, such as product demos or specific forms of entertainment. In short, they see all your plans to fruition, while building crucial relationships with consumers to produce sales. Yet, your event’s results will depend on your ability to carry out effective event staff management.
The 5 Biggest Tasks of Event Staff Management
To sum up Henry Ford’s stance on management, you must bring people together and guide them to ongoing work as a team to find success. You can achieve this when paying careful attention to these five elements of event staff management.
Assembling your team is not a job to take lightly. Like Ford, you’ll want to find expert staff to deliver benefits such as increased productivity and minimal training. This means you’ll need to carefully screen candidates. You’ll want to assess their experience, ensure they fit with your brand, and call on their references. Depending on your audience, you also might want to run background checks. And, you’ll want to hire them as W-2 employees to be compliant with Federal law and avoid potential penalties and fines.
Once you’ve chosen the best event staff, proper onboarding brings a variety of crucial responsibilities. First, you must complete all admin tasks, working with HR on paperwork and setting up any necessary accounts. Then, the most critical work begins. You’ll want to start with getting them familiar with your company, its mission and its values. Next, you must train them on the specifics of your event or experiential marketing campaign. This includes your goal, your primary message and talking points, the uniform, rules for etiquette specific to your brand and more.
It may seem early to worry about your event staff’s happiness waning. But, know that the information you give them now is key to their retention. In fact, not grasping responsibilities or getting effective training are the reasons over 40% cite for leaving. This is of the 17% of employees who quit in the first three months, which results in much time wasted in the hiring stage.
3. On-site Management.
While hiring, you may have chosen one or more persons to perform on-site event management. If not, you must do so before your event or experiential marketing activation. These people will need skills above your regular event staff. These include interpersonal, communication, problem-solving and delegation of tasks, when necessary. Otherwise, associated problems may create a bad experience for attendees. And, when consumers can’t trust or have a poor perception of your brand, they won’t buy from you. Worse, they may share their adverse opinions with others, expanding the negative narrative.
Event staff often work variable shifts outside of regular business hours. Throw in the fact they’re “off-site,” possibly in other cities or states and/or spread out across different locations. Now payroll just got a little more complex. Some event marketers trust event staff to report hours and submit them on schedule. Others put in place event technology to automate and confirm event staff check-in. Either way, payment must then be made, whether by check or direct deposit. And, all applicable taxes and related withholdings deducted, many of them on a state-by-state basis.
5. Ongoing Communication.
You may have weeks or months when your event staff aren’t needed. Yet, this doesn’t mean you should lose contact. Keeping in touch with your talent is a critical aspect of event staff management. Doing so helps them feel valued. And, this keeps them from being wooed by other brands who know their worth. Messages can be simple. And, app-based event management platforms can help automate communications to make it easy.
How to Be Most Effective with Event Staff Management
Many event marketers don’t have the time or resources to devote to everything that event and experiential marketing requires. Yet, those that realize the attention event staff deserve will likely look to outsource responsibilities. They know a company with experiential employee management services can deliver the knowledge and hands-on guidance this critical element demands.
Experiential employee management services are often delivered by full-service event staffing companies. You can source your own staff for them to onboard and manage. Or, use their staffing services as well. These experts maintain a bank of experienced event staff through ongoing communication. They’ll bring together the best event staff team for you to begin your efforts. They’ll execute admin tasks and provide top-notch training to keep your event staff and progress their skills. And, they’ll work with them on-site to fulfill your goal and achieve success for this initiative and those beyond.
At EPS, we have been sourcing, training, and managing premier event staff for almost 20 years. We know what it takes to start, progress and guide your event staff to success. Contact us to learn how our experiential employee management services can help achieve your goals.