By ATN Event Staffing
When it comes to planning an experiential marketing campaign, one of the first things you should consider is your experiential marketing staff. Your staff serves on the front lines of your event, is responsible for engaging with your consumers, and ultimately, they have a direct impact on the way a consumer perceives your brand – all of which affect your bottom line.
With that said, it’s important to understand the basics of staffing an experiential marketing campaign. Here, we take a look at a few tips that will put you on the path to staffing success.
Whatever you do, do not wait until the last minute to find staff for your event. Give yourself plenty of time to find the right people to represent your brand and once you find them, understand that it doesn’t end there. You’ll need to take care of all things HR – staff agreements, tax documents, perform background checks if applicable, and of course, train your staff. All of that takes time, so be sure to start the staffing process early on.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to source, hire and manage your staff is by passing the buck on to someone else. An event staffing agency will take care of everything for you from start to finish, including recruitment, hiring, onboarding, training, management, and payroll.
If you choose to go it alone though, there are plenty of avenues you can take to source and recruit staff including job board listings on college campuses, online advertisements, and social media job listings.
During the application process, you should not only ask for a resume, but also a short introductory video and/or current photos. This will ensure that potential candidates are a good fit for your brand and that they align with your brand’s image. When reviewing resumes, look for experience in the event industry as well as customer-facing experience (retail, hospitality, etc.).
Video conferencing or a phone interview is an absolute must! This will give you more insight into the candidate’s personality and their communication skills, both of which are imperative to the work that they will be doing.
As the saying goes, it’s all in the details. Your staff needs to understand not only the logistics of the event, but also what you expect of them, their responsibilities, and their working environment. Here is a sample checklist of what should be communicated:
In experiential marketing, authenticity is key. With that said, your staff should know the ins and outs of your brand, and the product or service that they are promoting. Send detailed information prior to the event for your staff to review. But don’t stop there. Training documents are great in theory, but if no one reads through the materials, it’s pointless. In addition to training materials, require a pre-event test to ensure your event staff arrives prepared and ready to engage. If you have the time and capabilities, conduct a phone and/or in-person training, too.
Multiple confirmations via phone, text, and email will give you peace of mind. Ask your staff to confirm that they have received the details of your event and that they understand what is expected of them. If someone does not respond to your confirmation request, that could be a huge red flag and you should begin preparing to replace that person.
Life happens and people get sick, have emergencies, or sometimes they just don’t show up. For those reasons, always have backup staff on standby and ready to work. The best way to handle these scenarios is by having paid onsite backups that arrive onsite at the event start time, that way, no time is lost in trying to replace someone. If that’s not feasible for you, on call backups can provide a little security too, but know that it’s not quite as effective as having onsite backups.
While it may not seem that difficult, experiential event work can be tiring. Events are busy, they’re often long, and the staff has to be “on” at all times. For that reason, it’s important to find ways to keep your staff motivated throughout the day. A few ways that you can do this is by giving ample breaks throughout the day, offering water and healthy snacks for break times, and for longer shifts, provide the team with a hearty meal. While it may not seem like much, a little goes a long way when it comes to keeping your event staff happy and determined.
Experiential marketing campaigns can be improved over time based not only on the consumer feedback you receive, but also your staff’s feedback. Post-event staff reports give you a little insight as to what went well, what didn’t, and any areas for improvement.
By taking these tips into consideration, you’ll be well on your way to successfully staffing your experiential event.