“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan
The customer experience is paramount to winning business and is shifting marketing budgets to favor experiential and event marketing. A CMO.com article attributes this increasing investment in face-to-face experiences to their “conversational nature.” The article goes on to point out that “organizational person-to-person sharing should be the foundation of a brand’s consumer relations strategy.”
When choosing an event staffing company, every brand needs a partner who can supply the right people (aka talent) that excel in facilitating these interactions. However, an event staffing company should also bring the teamwork and intelligence you need to earn new customers, grow existing customers and retain them both. Look for these seven key competencies in your event staffing partner to win in the game of event marketing.
Flexibility and Know-how.
As businesses continue to recognize the tremendous value of marketing events, more and more event staffing companies will launch. Don’t place your bottom line in novice hands without first examining the track record of your potential partners.
You may want to execute in-person initiatives to reach a number of goals, from launching new products to generating more leads. Or, you may roll out a large-scale program focused on one event held in several locations over a period of time. No matter what your organizational goals are, team with an event staffing company that has the infrastructure and know-how to successfully pull off your project.
Review their experience with similar projects through case studies or reference calls. Get your questions answered and concerns addressed at the onset, allowing you to rest assured in their abilities.
Extensive and Competent Talent Pool.
Your brand messaging is proven to be effective, and you are positioned to execute the event of the century. However, if the right people aren’t on-site to interact with customers and prospects, your initiative could fail.
An established event staffing company should have access to thousands, even tens of thousands, of qualified candidates across the country. This empowers them to carefully choose the right talent for your event based on your specifications and their own direct experience with the staff. They should screen each individual before every event and should not rely on the same, go-to staff. Some or all might not be a good fit for your company or brand.
Legal Protection for Employment.
In the eyes of your event attendees, the talent that work your event become the physical embodiment of your company or brand. Both you and the event staffing company work together to decide which talent are best for your event, communicate talking points to them and reinforce how they conduct themselves onsite. As a result, according to the IRS, this control of “what will be done and how it will be done” removes their flexibility to perform as independent contractors or 1099s. Therefore, under “common-law employee” rules, any talent that work your event must be classified as W-2 employees.
Our government takes employee misclassification seriously and has recently called out high-profile organizations such as Uber, Pepperidge Farms and FedEx for misclassifying workers as 1099 independent contractors. In the case of event staffing, co-employment liability can result in the company that hires the staffing agency also being held responsible. If staff are misclassified as 1099 contractors, your company can be liable for back taxes, worker’s compensation, overtime pay, benefits, legal fees and more. Mitigate your risk by understanding how each prospective event staffing company classifies talent.
You’ve got the right people and you know they’re correctly classified. Now, how do you ensure they understand your goal(s) and will effectively communicate your message? Your event staffing company should take the lead on facilitating training and testing to guarantee everyone’s success.
Depending on the required knowledge and material at hand, options should include, or be a combination of:
- Conference calls
- Individualized coaching (online, in-person or over the phone)
- Self-paced, online training via learning management systems (LMS)
- And more
No matter the method, training should be interactive and easy to digest to encourage talent retention. Staff knowledge should be confirmed, before the event, through quizzes and/or verbal confirmation.[Tweet “Technology should never replace person-to-person communication.”]
Access to Technology via the Event Staffing Company.
In a world where mobile devices reign, you cannot afford to neglect technology at your events. While the traditional goal of event marketing is to interact and build relationships with clients and prospects, gathering actionable data has also become the norm. In addition, attendees will have phones in hand to document and share their experiences via social media. Make their feedback positive and get the critical consumer information you need by engaging technology wherever possible.
Your event staffing company should be able to offer the following:
- Staffing and talent engagement technology for booking, check-in and real time talent communication
- Mobile attendee check-in
- Engagement methods, including mobile surveys, lead generation forms, contests, etc.
- Customized post-event emails to keep the conversation going
While these capabilities will streamline processes for you too, ask about other ways technology can simplify event planning and execution. For example, ask if the event staffing company uses a comprehensive event management platform that includes time sheets, digital signatures, management reporting tools, data storage and more.
Despite the obvious role technology plays in business, hands-on interpersonal communication is critical (which is why events are so important!). To find real success with your event staffing company, make sure your relationship is one of mutual understanding and partnership.
The company should take the time to listen and work with you to realize your organization’s goals and expectations. Their team should be qualified to take a consultative approach related to staffing, event technology and logistics. Most importantly, an event staffing company should know that technology is not the end-all. Technology is critical in the fact that it accelerates processes and plays a vital role in keeping companies connected, but it is only a tool in the arsenal. Technology should never replace person-to-person communication.
Reporting and Follow Up.
Marketers understand the importance of measuring the success of their initiatives and understand stakeholders demand these numbers, too. This places a high importance on data gathering and your ability to engage consumers via technology. Make this process easy by choosing an event staffing company that provides reporting methods to help demonstrate ROI. Further, they should provide a location for your event data and offer it in a real-time accessible format for easy viewing and assimilation.
In summary, the quality of your talent contributes tremendously to a successful event. However, when you shoot for all seven criteria above in your event staffing company, you’ll have the framework for exceptional teamwork and intelligence to make your organization a champion in business.
Every marketing event is unique. If you would like chat with an event staffing guru about how to make your next marketing event a huge win for your company, please contact us! Our client services managers would love to learn more about how EPS can help.