When executing a marketing event, you have just one shot. Events give your brand a unique opportunity to engage in a personal and meaningful way with consumers, but, as the cliche goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Properly training and preparing the event staff that you hire for these events can be the difference between seeing tremendous ROI or having to do damage control with unhappy guests. These temporary employees are of critical importance to your marketing efforts and it’s important that they understand how to best help you reach your objectives.
But are you doing event staff training and development the right way? Or in the past have you felt like dollars have gone down the drain with each training session? Are you satisfied with how your event staff members have performed?
In a 2015 InterCall Survey regarding employee training, more than a third of the 200 respondents felt that their current training programs weren’t a good use of their time. Moreover, the other third said that the content provided wasn’t engaging. And when training fails to engage employees, often they fail to retain the information presented.
If you feel the same way and think your staff training methods need a face lift, it’s time to switch to something new.
What Platforms Do You Use in Staff Training and Development?
In most cases, employees understand that job-related training programs are important. Equally important in terms of training effectiveness, however, is HOW the trainer presents the new information.
There are several methods that can be used for event staff training. Depending on who is being trained, their location in relation to the trainer, and what needs to be learned, one or more of these methods can be effective.
- Classroom training
- Question and answer sessions
- Interactive online courses
- Online resource center
- Hands-on learning
- Print documents / books / hand-outs
- Desktop apps
- Mobile apps
No matter if you use online or offline methods, one-on-one or group settings, or all of the above, the important thing is to keep your event staff engaged.
What Does Your Event Staff Want?
If you want your event staff to perform at their best, you need to give them the type of training that they want and need to be successful. It’s not enough to provide staff training and development materials and content. They also need to be motivated to learn so that they can retain their training and put it to good use when engaging with your customers.
Here are some of the things your staff wants and needs to have in their training:
- Training that is highly-engaging and presented in a relevant way
- The freedom to learn at their own pace
- Unlimited access to the content so they can study it again when needed, anywhere they are.
- A way to interact with other learners during training
The Best Practices for Event Staff Training
Here are some best practices for training your event staff that can help you be a more successful communicator while they are more successful in the field.
Use your in-house experts
You might be the driver of your company’s marketing goals, but are you the best person to train the event staff? It could be worth your while to bring in experts. Whether you are looking to the best communicator on your team, or even someone in your company who once worked as an event staff member, look to your internal team for training resources. Finding the best person who can connect with and relate to your event team will make your training message resonate.
Boost your staff member’s strengths
At the beginning of each training, treat your staff as peers who are ready to learn something new. Once everyone displays their strengths, help them grow into the right roles. Provide more in-depth training in specific learning areas.
Learning management systems can store and organize the different courses your staff needs. Trainees can access the materials online through tablets, phones, and/or laptops. But the biggest reason why digital is better is because it provides highly engaging training content. Your staff can learn using images, videos, and voice overs, where they can both enjoy the experience as well as retain the content.[Tweet “The biggest reason why digital is better is because it provides highly engaging training content.”]
Have your event staff apply what they’ve learned from the training and let them experiment their newly acquired skills. They can do this even if they’re located in another state. Try video conferencing apps like Skype and WebEx to allow staff to role play and practice what they learned.
Give your new staff a task right away
Practice makes perfect. Make your staff practice immediately, even while they’re currently learning. This method can be effective for quickly letting them absorb the new information they learn. Then explaining exactly why these items are useful in their job.
Encourage your staff to share their expertise
Allow specialists or veteran event staff on your team to share their expertise or general best practices. This not only provides new lessons, it also encourages team work and creates natural leadership on the team.
Communicate with your staff everyday
Did they encounter problems while working on the field? Do they have suggestions that may help the company improve their training material? Let them speak and give feedback to improve training, their own engagement, and the event itself.
Trainees learn better if they know which steps to follow. Consider showing them an outline of their work process. This will give them a first-hand idea of what should be done onsite and how it needs to be done.
Make sure that your staff understands their training
Trainers often ask the same question after each session: “Do you have any questions?” And often, people reply with a deafening silence. Instead, ask specific questions about the training, even as the session progresses. It’s not only a good gauge of how fast they are learning, it’s also an opportunity to course correct when needed so that everyone truly understands the topic. Moreover, continually repeating the training message ensures that everyone understands expectations.
Staff training can be difficult. Do you have the necessary tools to properly train the staff for your next marketing event? Contact EPS for a free event staffing assessment, which includes aspects such as staff training, logistics, post-event reporting and more. We want you to be successful!