You’re sitting at your desk staffing for your next event, and after you’ve exhausted every internal staff member and company resource, you realize that you still have spaces that need to be filled with staff and equipment.
Is there a time conflict with certain shifts? Will some of your staff be out of town? Has your event gotten larger than initially anticipated? There are plenty of reasons why event planners need to contract out work. It is not uncommon and will likely happen with most event companies at one point or another. Here are a few easy tips to help you navigate the process of working with contracted event staff.
1. Understand that they will be different from your staff
First thing’s first: contracted staff do not work for your company. You’re probably thinking, “that’s obvious!” Well… it is. But it doesn’t end there. Due to this one simple fact, you must understand that there is a solid chance that they do not share you or your company’s core values, goals, or ideals. They will have different training, different connections, and different personalities than your internal staff, who you are used to working with. Understanding this from the beginning will allow you to move forward in the most effective and efficient way possible.
2. Meet your team before the event
Taking the time to meet with your contracted event staff before the event can be highly beneficial. At this meeting, you can put a face to the name you’ve been reading about in emails or the voice you’ve been hearing over the phone. It gives you that human connection that is essential for a healthy working relationship. Now when it comes to the day of the event, you’re not taking time trying to learn names, figure out who is who in terms of staff, and understanding how to best work with each person’s personality. You can use the foundation formed in the initial meeting to flow smoothly into the event and be able to focus on the tasks at hand instead of introductions.
3. Communicate your company’s core values
What your company believes in and how your company represents itself are, in almost all circumstances, different from those of the workers you are contracting out to work your event. They may act a certain way while you act a completely different way. Letting your contracted workers know what your company’s core values and behavioral expectations are beforehand will give you an opportunity to make sure that everyone is on the same page and are ready to go into the event with the same mindset.
4. Express your company’s goals for the event
Communicating what your company is hoping to accomplish with the event will help align everyone and give both your internal staff and contracted staff a common goal to shoot for. Whether it’s a time-based goal, an attendance goal, a goal for client’s satisfaction, or another goal set by the company, each staff member contributing to the event will know what the company is shooting for while moving forward.
As you have probably figured out by now, communication and interaction are the two key elements in developing a great working relationship with workers that are contracted out by your company. In the events industry, everyone has to work directly with someone who is not a part of his or her company at one point or another. Learning how to adapt to these situations will be best for your contracted workers, your company, and for developing better relationships to utilize in the future.
Image credit: Osman Kalkavan