Even the best event planners are only as good as the staff that makes the event possible. The staff aren’t just the people that set up the venue and register the attendees.
These are also the people that help with the preplanning phase, help stir up social media interests, and so on. It goes without saying then that you need to carefully select your staff to include the people best suited for the demanding duties of event planning.
Obviously, skill and experience are the vital points to look for. However, don’t forget that the prospect employee’s attitude and mannerisms count as well.
You can pick up cues about the person’s general personalities and traits during the interview. Is the person naturally articulate? Does he have a sense of humor? A person that has a ton of experience may have a stiff personality. Likewise, someone that lacks experience could have a go-getter persona that could resonate really well with guests.
Event setup is all about teamwork. Just because your team consists of highly experienced and professional individuals does not mean they will work well together. If you already have a partial staff, then you need to evaluate whether new employees can form a solid working relationship with your existing team. If your budget and time allows, consider a corporate team building exercise to gauge how well members work together.
Ultimately, you want people who are natural leaders but can take a back seat to a follower role when necessary. The last thing you want is two or more people with clashing personalities.
The person may have event planning experience, but does he have a background in your industry? While it’s not absolutely mandatory, it certainly helps if the person knows a thing or two about your niche.
If you’re hosting a video game exposition, for example, is the employee an avid gamer himself? This is important because guests might be asking that person industry-related questions. Will the staff, in this instance, be familiar with the latest Call of Duty release, Or the current landscape of MMORPGs?
With that in mind, does the employee have a strong social media following across various networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? Does he even have a social media presence at all? Browse the person’s social media activity. Does he have a lot of posts that generates a lot of likes, retweets, and comments?
While the final decision is yours, you should have a powwow with your existing team to discuss prospect candidates. Your team, after all, will be the ones working with the new recruits, so it only makes sense that you factor their input into your decision making.
Consider having your team take part in the interviewing process even if only as observers. This way, they’ll form a solid impression about the candidates they believe are coachable and can follow directions.
Hiring a staff as unpaid interns is a possibility if you’re operating on a shoestring budget. Keep in mind, however, that most of your applicants will be inexperienced candidates. This doesn’t mean they’ll be low-quality staffers, but you should be aware that to attract the cream-of-the-crop candidates, you have to offer a fair pay rate.
You can also sweeten the deal by throwing in several freebies, such as a free meal, employee discount, etc. Ultimately, though, candidates want to be compensated fairly, so be willing to pay what you feel the staff’s experience is worth to you.
If an employee does a stellar job, then you want to keep that person on board for future work. This saves you the trouble of having to scout for new work recruits every time an event approaches.
With that in mind, is the candidate open to future opportunities, or is he only looking for one-time work? If the former, is he generally available during the times you hold your event?
If you attended multiple job interviews, then you may at some point been asked a strange and seemingly unrelated question. This might be something like identifying your favorite Disney character, or what do you think of lava lamps?
The purpose of these questions is to gauge how well candidates can respond when thrown off with a question that’s very left field. Come up with a few weird questions of your own to assess how applicants hold up when presented with an unsuspecting situation.
Your staff is the people that makes the event what it is. It only makes sense then to assemble a crew that can work cohesively to achieve a common goal; choose wisely.
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