When organising an event of any size, staffing it effectively with people that are reliable, trustworthy and professional can be a bit of a gamble. If you choose to save a bit of money in the staffing area and hire cheap labour to fulfil the roles you have available, then you will probably find that your event is portrayed in an unprofessional and lacklustre manner. Arguably this is a fairly sweeping statement and not overly fair, there will definitely be some quality staff who will work hard and be adamant professionals that you will be able to hire cheaply, either because they are just starting out, or are only looking for a second income and it is not their primary earning channel. These people do exist, but sadly they will almost certainly turn out to be the minority of the lower-cost end of the talent pool.
Your wisest course of action would be to employ the services of a professional staffing company that will have the right people on their books and ready to dispatch to your event. But even putting your trust in the hands of professionals comes with its fair share of issues that you will need to work together to avoid.
Openness is everything
There is no point in arranging to have tried and tested event staff booked for your big event if you treat them as a product. They will be very capable and expect to turn up and get to work, but they are not psychic, and as such you need to ensure that the temporary staff, or at least their manager/coordinators, are included in all relevant meetings and briefs. You should use this time to establish everyone’s roles and responsibilities and make sure that everyone knows who to contact in case any unexpected problems should arise. Be open with everybody and don’t treat standard information as proprietary to your regular staff; you are a team for this event, make sure everyone feels it.
It’s not just about the event
The event itself will probably go smoothly enough, but if you want to get the most out of it and your staff, then you need to get everyone up to speed on your brand. Depending on the type of event, you may need to have some brief training for temporary staff regarding the brand image and some basic product awareness of whatever is at the heart of the event. For example, if it is a trade show, make sure that your customer-facing staff all know the layout and have a basic understanding of the products and companies that will be in attendance. This will help ensure that everyone is capable of presenting the most professional impression of the event and its participants that they possibly can.
By including temporary staff, however you choose to hire them, in the relevant meetings and briefs as well as ensuring they have some basic knowledge about the wider aspects of the event, will help ensure not only success on the day, but should also paint your business and any others involved in a very positive light.