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Experiential marketing has become a go-to strategy for many brands spanning across all industries.  As consumers crave real-life connections in our digital world and demand more transparency from brands, experiential solves the need for an authentic, in-person brand experience.  However, like with any relationship, these types of connections don’t just happen automatically.  Brands must work to create highly engaging experiences that are filled with fun and unique moments that spark conversations and keep people talking.

While there are many contributing factors in perfecting the brand experience, there is one very important aspect that plays a vital role in the success of an activation – your event staff.  These are the people that humanize your brand and breathe life into it.  And when it comes to hiring the right staff for your event, your best move is to partner with an event staffing agency.

How to Choose the Best Event Staffing Agency for Your Experiential Marketing Campaign

When it comes to event staffing, there is no one size fits all approach.  But as you compare and vet agencies, there are a few core attributes that you should look for.

+ Experience

Hiring an experienced event staffing agency can mean the difference between a stellar activation or a so-so one.  For starters, veteran agencies have the expertise and resources to source, vet, and identify the best event staff based on your needs and wants. Additionally, the longer they’ve been around the more they have seen, good and bad.  It’s a volatile industry and when it comes down to it, people are people, and people can be flaky, unpredictable, and unprofessional.  Experienced agencies know to expect the unexpected and can quickly identify any red flags and proactively work to solve any issues.  It takes years to grasp the ins and outs of event staffing and with so many fly-by-night staffing companies that come and go, it’s important that you find an agency that has been in business for a while.

+ Capabilities

Look for an agency that has a diverse portfolio that includes:

  • Staffing different types of events and activations (PR stunts, sampling programs, product demonstrations, trade shows, and so forth).
  • Staffing for various roles (brand ambassadors, lead generators, costume characters, product specialists, and labor staff to name a few).
  • Representing a variety of industries (automotive, alcohol, banking, healthcare, ETC).

A well-rounded agency will have a deep understanding of what it takes, and more importantly who it takes, to pull off a successful event.

+ Existing Relationships

Existing client relationships signify that other brands and marketing agencies trust the agency and that speaks volumes for what you can expect, too.  When an agency has repeat clients or multi-year partnerships, that means that their clients have seen great success in working with them.  Do your due diligence and ask for references, case studies, event photos, or anything else that may help you in selecting an agency that is best suited for your campaign.

+ Event Staffing Screening Process

There are a few important questions you’ll want to ask any potential event staffing company to ensure that they can successfully staff and manage your campaign.

  • Do they have a generous pool of staff to choose from in the market(s) that you are activating in? If not, do they have the resources necessary to source and recruit staff?
  • How are candidates vetted to match what you’re looking for and what factors are considered during the screening and selection process?
  • How are hiring decisions made?  Does the agency personally interview each person over the phone before making a hire?  Or do they hire electronically through an app or via email?
  • Who is responsible for managing the staff before, during, and after the event?

+ Geographical Reach

Not all event staffing agencies have nationwide staffing capabilities, and not all have the resources to staff in rural or remote markets, either.  If you are looking for a long-term staffing solution or partnership, you’ll want to find an agency that can handle your needs in any location, no matter how large or small, and no matter the region.

+ Contingency Plans

What happens if someone doesn’t show up, or isn’t a good fit, or disappears from an activation?  These are all things that can happen and these types of scenarios can have an impact on your event.  Ask questions upfront and find out what contingency plans are in place should anything go awry.  The top agencies will have a backup plan for the backup plan.

+ Value-Adds

The best event staffing agencies provide way more than just event staff.  They can help you strategize and develop a comprehensive event staffing, execution, and management plan that includes:

  • The type of and number of staff that you need for maximum engagement
  • Project and onsite agency management
  • Staff training and testing
  • Post-event reporting and follow-ups
  • Vendor recommendations

There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing an event staffing agency and not all of them offer the same things.  Start with the fundamentals above and build on those to find the very best staffing agency for your specific campaign needs.


ATN Event Staffing prides itself on being a trusted leader in the experiential marketing event staffing industry.  Founded in 2002, ATN has had the pleasure of working with a variety of brands in varying industries to provide staff for all types of live marketing events.  No matter the size or scope of your campaign, ATN can provide you with top-notch staff and unparalleled customer service.  We are here to help you succeed!  Click below to learn more about ATN and how we can help you reach your marketing goals.

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