Tips For Making Event Staffing Less Stressful
CFUR has been blessed with a lot of great people helping us with our events, and they have been vital in making sure our events are successful. If you too are about to venture into the world of event planning, here’s a good article from guest contributor Tori Lutz detailing what you need to do to make event planning and staffing easier:
Running an event is always tricky. In the best case scenario, you’re dealing with many moving parts, trying to keep everything going on time, dealing with large amounts of money, and relying on the punctuality and responsibility of others. In the wort case scenario, everything falls apart (just ask Ja Rule).
Events are tough things to approach successfully, but a great staff can make even the most complicated plan turn into reality. Thus, good event planning comes down to good staffing. Here are a few of the top things to focus on to make staffing your event less stressful.
Develop Your Vision
To make event staffing less stressful for both you and the people you’re planning to hire, it is important to start with a clear and defined vision. This should encompass what you want attendees to get out of the event, the general vibe, and your specific goals.
Defining your vision could be as easy as saying you want to raise a certain amount of money and have a relaxed, casual atmosphere at your event. Your goals could also be that people spread your event on social media, and that everything is very clean and put-together.
By setting certain goals, you immediately also define your staffing needs. An upscale gala-type event will need a certain kind of host and service staff; crowd security and sound technicians will be needed at a local music festival fundraiser; specialized Las Vegas trade show models will be needed for any brands looking to highlight new products in the flashy city.
The first step towards a stress-free event is to know exactly what you want out of it; much of the confusion and ambiguity that can arise comes from people not being on the same page where vision is concerned.
Plan Your Budget
We get it: adding up all those potential event costs can be painful, but underbudgeting is worse. All people are susceptible to the Planning Fallacy, that optimism bias that tells us our projects will take less time and cost less money than they end up doing.
When planning your budget, be purposefully pessimistic and add in buffer money for safety. Venue costs are often the most prohibitive when running an event, so try to get around that if possible.
If you’re organizing a local musicians’ concert, considering partnering with an existing venue or the city itself to use the space for less and donate some of the proceeds to a cause of their choosing. For example, try contacting a local winery or restaurant and encourage attendees to patronize the establishment. All these options can reduce your large venue costs, and let you spend in the right places.
Staffing is not an area you should skimp on when it comes to budgeting and payment; sub-par event staff can cause bad customer experiences, and your musicians and performers deserve to get paid well for their craft.
Do Your Paperwork
When staffing an event, especially a larger one, it’s crucial to have all your paperwork in order.
Make sure to have paper and digital copies of all important documents to access. Create spreadsheets to organize money and contact numbers, and share needed contact info for everyone well ahead of time so that tasks can be delegated.
Contracts for services should always be agreed upon and signed well before an event; trying to replace someone day-of is not fun. A signed contract, or even a deposit paid, will establish trust between employer and employee, and will ensure that musicians, performers, bartenders, and other staff will keep their calendars free and be there on event day.
Other helpful paperwork that leads to stress-free event staffing is pre-training packets. These function as digital brochures and can include important maps, contact info, event timelines, and other vital information that event staff can get comfortable with before the event. Don’t overwhelm your staff with info ahead of time, but do give them enough so they can feel prepared, and you don’t have to pay for more of their time to debrief them for hours on event day.
Keeping all your details recorded and in order can help you before and after your event, ensuring that people remain accountable throughout and helping you deal with any discrepancies that may arise afterwards.
Work With an Agency
So where can you find qualified individuals to be a part of your event? Though local classifieds and job postings are an option, staffing and talent agencies can be your best bet.
Event staffing agencies are located in almost every larger city, and service many of the surrounding areas. They often contain extremely large databases of qualified individuals, making selecting the exact right people to your specifications easier.
Staffing agencies often offer consultations to determine your exact needs based on your vision, even if you’re new to the staffing or event-planning business. Plus, you may pay less for hiring multiple individuals from the same site, as well as saving search time. Lastly, the paperwork becomes much more simple when contracting through an agency. All reputable staffing agencies will also background check those in their system, so you have no safety concerns to worry about.
All in all, events should be fun for both those attending them and those who help make them a reality. Even event staffing, a cause for stress for those unfamiliar with the topic, can be enjoyable and efficient when approached the right way.
As long as you have a clear vision for what you want your event to be, everything else will fall into place. Think carefully about your expectations for your event, both stylistically and concretely. Articulate that vision and write it down, and let it guide the rest of your event planning process.
Make sure to budget rather pessimistically; you’ll find that you may be end up closer to reality than you might have thought. In line with budgeting, try to keep all your legal and other documents tightly organized and easily accessible. One of the key factors in stress-free event staffing is getting you and your staff on the same page not only mentally but formally and legally. This gives you insurance and reason to relax a bit.
Finally, consider pooling your needs and going through an event staffing agency that can fill multiple needs at one time. Agencies can save you time, money, and stress.
We hope this article helps make your next event staffing experience a little less stressful. For more content from CFUR, check out our site!
Written by Tori Lutz