You’ve spent countless hours searching for the perfect venue, finalizing your budget, and advertising for your event. While you may have put hours of thought into these logistics, there is one important part of the convention that is often overlooked: Staff.
The staff you choose for your event will be the first and last impression of your attendees. It is vital to your event that you have friendly, competent, and customer-service oriented staff to assist your attendees.
What Do I Need To Know Before Hosting My Next Convention?
Here are four questions you need to ask before you host your next convention:
Why do I need staff?
Whether you agree or not, your staff is the face of the event. They are often the first person your attendees interact with on-site. They provide directions, answer questions, assist with crowd control, support registration and the check-in process and scan badges.
Many companies host events under the impression that their staff will travel out-of-state to work the event. However, you should consider the opportunity costs associated with having in-house staff travel to support the event. Often times, staff who travel from out-of-state have no prior knowledge of the venue or its surrounding areas and are unable to provide valuable information to your attendees.
Since budget is typically a major consideration, many companies believe that they can rely on volunteers and non-profit groups to provide support. While this may be a good solution, it is not always the best choice because volunteers may not be reliable. Additionally, if you are considering utilizing volunteers or other creative staffing options, we recommend consulting with outside counsel to ensure that your organization stays in compliance with IRS employer classification regulations and Employment laws.
How do I find staff?
Now that you understand the importance of choosing the best staffing option for your event, you will need to secure a partner who is able to fully support your needs.
You will want to ensure that your staffing partner has a valid business license, insurance, provides workers’ compensation coverage for its employees, and has a large enough database to accommodate the size and scope of your event.
If you have any additional requirements such as background or work experience, be sure to address those with your chosen staffing agency.
Is my staff fully trained?
Once you select your staffing partner, the next step is to ensure the staff are properly trained. With many of your attendees coming from out of town, it is crucial that your staff is familiar with the venue and points of interest around the surrounding area.
It is helpful to provide your staff with a map of the venue which will allow them to become familiar with the property. If you have chosen to utilize a local staffing agency, your staff will already be familiar with the venue and better prepared to provide detailed directions.
Hiring staff with prior convention experience will help ensure a successful event. Staff should also have a general understanding of your event in order to better assist your attendees. The more information you can provide ahead of time, the better prepared your staff will be.
Do I have the right people in the right place?
Believe it or not, people do not always read signs that are posted. As a result, it is extremely important that you have staff in the right places to keep the flow of the event moving.
For example, many events will have a sign posted at the top of an escalator to direct attendees. However, this may cause a backup. Instead, placing someone at the top that is able to direct attendees as they step off the escalator can alleviate such bottlenecks.
Registration can be a huge headache if it is not properly controlled. By having fully-trained staff in the registration area, you will be able to keep the lines moving. It is also recommended that you have staff directing attendees to the correct lines to avoid delays.
Need Help Finding the Right Staff?
On an annual basis, Eastridge Workforce Solutions supports over 200 unique events. In the past year, Eastridge’s Convention Division has provided over 6,000 associates in support of conventions and events held in 13 different cities.
As part of the hiring process, Eastridge meets with every associate face-to-face to ensure their skillsets and backgrounds match the needs of our clients. Additionally, Eastridge offers on-site management to ensure that every aspect of your staffing program runs smoothly.
The Directors of Eastridge's Convention Division are Certified in Exhibition ManagementTM (CEM) by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and have a combined 30 years of experience in the industry.
Let Eastridge help you find the right staff for your next convention. Contact our Convention Division today.