If you’ve ever organised a corporate event or conference, whether it’s a small breakfast briefing or a global tradeshow, you’ll know just how much planning goes into making it a success. But all too often once the venue, catering, speakers, guest lists and technology requirements have been finalised, staffing the event becomes something of an afterthought. This will undoubtedly have implications on the day.
Recruiting the right
corporate event staff
for a B2B event is vital. Most event organisers will have their own stories about staff who weren’t right for their B2B event. Perhaps they were too chatty and not suited to the environment, or just didn’t match the brand values of the company that they were supposed to be representing.
If you set some time aside to concentrate on recruiting the right staff for your next event, you’re far less likely to have any concerns about what they’re doing, leaving you to concentrate on making the day run as smoothly as possible. Having provided staff for a large number of B2B clients across the UK, here are our top tips on finding the best people for your next event.
Think about your staffing needs at the earliest possible stage. When you’re planning your budget for an event, decide how much you are going to allocate for staffing. The number of staff required will differ between events depending on what’s involved, so be sure to think about how many people you may need and in what role. Once you’ve set a date for the event, give plenty of time for you or your staffing agency to source and interview potential staff. The best candidates are likely to be in demand with other event organisers and are offered bookings well in advance, so the sooner you can confirm their attendance the better.
There’s often a temptation to reduce your costs by enlisting friends, family or inexperienced but enthusiastic staff from your own business. Enthusiasm and a friendly disposition aren’t the only qualities that make for good corporate event staff. Anything can happen at an event so it’s important to know that you can rely on a team of staff who have experienced every eventuality when it comes to working in an event environment.
Describe who you want
Determine what your event staff will need to accomplish on the day. Are they merely greeting the attendees and providing refreshments? Will they be capturing data about those attending? Do you need them to distribute hand-outs or merchandise? Identify what skills are required and the characteristics that the staff should possess. Can they be relaxed in their approach or should they be a little more formal? Condense this into a job description that not only highlights skills, experience and abilities but also describes the temperament of the people you are looking for and the culture of your business. This means that you can focus your search on finding staff who are not only capable of doing the job on the day but also match the characteristics of your business and event.
Not just any event staff
Event staffing is an industry in itself, with agencies able to recruit specific staff for sampling campaigns, leaflet drops, experiential and guerrilla marketing, in addition to corporate events. While someone might be perfect for the latest pop-up campaign in Trafalgar Square, it doesn’t mean they’re right for your B2B event. If you source staff yourself or if you brief an agency to do so, make sure that any candidates selected not only have the skills that match your requirements, but also have the ability to engage effectively with the attendees at your event, whether they are Financial Directors, Marketing Managers, MDs or CEOs.
Keep them well informed
Before the event, ensure that all staff are well informed on the profile of your company and those attending, as well as their responsibilities during the event. You may instinctively feel that you should play down any negatives, however it’s important to be upfront and honest about the role and the event. If they are experienced event staff and the right people for the job, they will understand what is required of them. And if you do decide to use an agency, providing the full details to them right away will inevitably benefit the recruitment process.
With so much to organise when it comes to a B2B event of any size, it’s important to remember that the staff you use are an integral part of the day, representing your brand and interacting with both existing and potential clients. Make sure you take the time to find the right people for the job and you’re a lot more likely to experience a successful and stress-free event.
Ceri Gravelle is Managing Director at
, helping businesses across the UK find the right staff for their events.