Thoughts from Cuckoo HQ
22
Dec 14

How To Source The Best Event Staff

We're often asked how we put such good Event Teams together for our events. There's no huge secret to it as far as we're concerned. That said, we've put together this short post to share how we do it.

I recently read a good blog post over on Event Manager Blog entitled 'How To Retain Casual Event Staff' and it reminded me of this post I'd started and never finished about how to SOURCE good event staff. 

Sourcing comes before retaining but the approaches share similarities. 

So, here's how we suggest you go about sourcing good event staff. . . 

#1. Understand the importance of good event staff

Unless you actually appreciate the importance of good event staff and how key they are to your event, then I'd suggest you not bother reading the rest of this. 

Events is a people business. 

That means a few different things but one of the things it means is that your people make your event.

They ARE your event, in many respects.

They can be the single difference between things going well or being a disaster. 

We've seen it time and time again and anyone who works in events will likely tell you the same. 

#2. Tell them. . . 

Don't be afraid to tell potential freelancers or part timers why they should want to work with you. 

If you're offering better money than most - tell them.

If you're offering an opportunity to do X, Y, Z  - tell them

If you're looking for someone now with an eye to other upcoming work - tell them. Don't bullshit them, though. 

If you're going to be feeding them on the event - tell them

If you're offering them on-the-job training or skills development - tell them

#3. Look for recommendations

Talk to other people in the industry. 

Ask about how their events are going. Ask about the freelancers, part timers they're using. 

Ask for recommendations for people to fill roles you have available. 

The industry (especially here in Ireland) is small and there's only so much work going for people. 

Decent people understand that. 

Also - ask you current team members to recommend people. They know how you work, what you expect and what you need. 

#4. Don't be precious

Of course, the flipside of 'Be interested' is that you can't then be precious about your own freelancers and part timers. 

Loyalty is a great thing and if it comes naturally and those you use for your events choose to only work on your events then that's great and speaks volumes of you and the culture of your business. 

Don't stand in the way of them getting other work though.

Recommend them for roles with other companies, on other events etc. when asked for advice.

#5. Ask around about people

Don't be afraid to ask for feedback on people you know others have worked with. 

Not having heard anything negative about someone does not mean, should you ask around, you won't learn something negative. 

Are you willing to risk your reputation and the possible success of your event by involving someone without having checked them out properly first?

#6. Talk to us

Without putting TOO fine a point on it - talk to us.

One of our well-established and oft-stated aims is to put together THE best Event Team around. 

We invest a lot of time and effort into doing so. This sees us sourcing new Team members in a variety or ways, as well as looking after our current Team members well. 

  • We are establishing a base level of training for all our core Event Team members. The training will include Disability Awareness, Child Protection, Fire Safety, Traffic Management and more. Read more here
  • Our core Event Team comprises people we've worked with for years. They are VASTLY experienced people and long pre-date Cuckoo's existence.
  • We pay our Event Team well. We pay for their travel time to come to do our events and we look after them. 
  • We bring our senior core Team Members on training course we attend ourselves. For example, Rob recently accompanied us when we went to Belfast to study Crowd Science & Risk Analysis
  • We do a lot of talks in colleges, which gives us the opportunity to meet with Event Management students. Examples include a recent talk entitled Event Safety in the Real World in DIT and Event Planning, a presentation we gave to BICS last year.
  • We have established a mailing list specifically for event management students and people interested in / looking to get into the events industry.
  • We send bi-weekly emails to the mailing list detailing paid and voluntary job opportunities in events and related fields. This allows us to engage directly with people eager for work and a chance to join a good event team. 

We understand the value of GOOD event people and we want the best.

We invest time and money into finding them. 

Our Event Team IS the best around. 

 
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