Event Staff Onboarding: How to Ease Your Burden

Event Staff Onboarding

“Without commitment, you’ll never start, but more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish.” – Denzel Washington

Let’s begin this post with a disclaimer. Your HR onboarding process should never follow the lead of Denzel Washington’s character in the 2001 thriller Training Day. In fact, doing so may lead to serious problems, like it did earlier this year for a Sheriff’s deputy in Lake County, FL. And, while Washington’s quote may not be in direct reference to the subject, there is advice to heed related to event staff onboarding.

Your onboarding process is critical to your event staff’s ability to begin their job. And, how thorough it is impacts how effective they’ll be moving forward. When they’re not successful, they lose confidence and may jump ship. Your approach must also be consistent for all event staff. When it’s not consistent, your event staff share different messages and confuse your attendees. In turn, experiential marketing activations suffer. So, too, could your brand’s perception and your business as a whole. This makes companies with solid event staff onboarding processes better positioned to reach their marketing goals.

Why Onboarding is So Important to Event and Experiential Marketing

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports companies lose one in six “new hires each month for the first three months.” Consider the time and effort that goes into screening and hiring individuals. That is a considerable waste. The biggest reasons for their leaving is not having “clear guidelines” on expected responsibilities (23%) and the need for “more effective training” (21%). And, that’s why employee onboarding is “key to retaining” and “engaging talent.”

Though event staff may be temporary or not full-time, their onboarding is important. In fact, some aspects of the process may be more critical for event staff than it is for other types of employees. This is because your event staff interact with potential customers. They become the face and voice of your brand. They help people to trust your company, a strategic advantage per Harvard Business Review. And, all this can lead to sales, loyalty and brand staying power. Yet, your event staff can only achieve these goals with the right knowledge and tools. You can give them this through proper onboarding. 

[Tweet “44% of employees leave due to lack of info from the start. Effective staff onboarding is vital.”]

4 Ways to Streamline the Onboarding Process

You have many responsibilities when it comes to event and experiential marketing activations. But, none are as important as the preparation of your event staff to represent your brand and carry out your plans. You can make event staff onboarding a priority, while being efficient and saving time, with these four tips. 

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1. Define your process.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” This means, if you take the time now to prepare your onboarding process, you will save valuable time later to focus in other areas. So, begin with a checklist, and first consider your administrative tasks. These include new hire paperwork and setup of any accounts, such as with event technology or apps. Next, think about your company. Ask yourself what they need to know about your mission, culture and goals. Will they need to review any materials, or will it all be available in training? Finally, analyze their role. What do you expect from them? Outline all these things, and be committed to your process to start on the right foot. 

2. Standardize training.

Once you know everything you need to share with new event staff hires, it’s time to define your training process. In doing so, you set the stage to share must-have information. And, you work to establish consistency among your event staff. As mentioned earlier, this is key to building trust with potential customers.

Create another checklist to keep your process organized and to ensure necessary updates. These may be for new event and experiential campaigns, and may include your goal, talking points, uniform, rules for etiquette and reporting procedures. By putting in this effort, you get on the right path to the “effective training” many employees feel they lacked for their retention.

[Tweet “Learning mgmt systems can save time at event staff onboarding and every experiential activation.”]

3. Ease training.

To save time, you may choose to implement an online training system. Such a program, also known as a learning management system (LMS), frees you from holding in-person training for every new hire or event. It also guarantees consistency in messaging since the same details are shared at every training, no matter the time or location of the event. And, it permits your event staff to learn at their own pace to improve retention of information. Further, when you train via the LMS, you streamline the process to keep them engaged and prepared to do their best job. They’ll know where to go for information with minimal intervention on your part.

4. Revise as necessary.

It’s a great practice to get feedback following your onboarding process. The input helps prove event staff have the knowledge and tools they need for success and their retention. Yet, should you discover you need to make changes, don’t wait. If every person gets the same quiz question wrong, or doesn’t understand a topic, it is likely a flaw in how it was presented. Update your processes then and there to ensure their completion. Otherwise, you may get busy and forget. And, this could result in onboarding mishaps with future event staff and other undesired consequences.

Your Most Efficient Means for Event Staff Onboarding

Brands executing a large event or those running several experiential marketing campaigns understand the importance of event staff onboarding. Some have learned the hard way. Yet, many find a solution in experiential employee management services.

Through this partnership, an event staffing company serves a similar service as an employer of record and fulfills HR obligations to relieve a company’s burden. These include onboarding, payroll, insurance, and benefits, to name a few. Their expertise in event staffing ensures companies’ compliance with employment regulations. It also lends to their clients’ event and experiential success since they are already “people experts”. And, they have established best practices and tools for successful execution. In short, an event staffing company can provide the foundation and consistency brands need to finish first in experiential marketing.

Since 1999, EPS has helped thousands of brands manage their number one event marketing asset, their event staff. Through our tried and true experiential employee management services, we will do the same for you.
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