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Need to hire conference staff but have no idea where to start?  These tips and considerations will guide you through the process!

Conferences and conventions provide like-minded professionals the opportunity to network, learn new skills, and gain valuable knowledge. They also offer organizations a tremendous opportunity to establish themselves as a leader and an authority in their respective industry.

Unfortunately, the very thing that makes conferences and conventions so successful – gathering professionals from around the globe under one roof – is also what shuttered them during the pandemic. The good news is conferences and conventions are back, and people are more than ready to attend them.  

As you prepare for your upcoming conference or convention, remember that the attendee experience can make or break your success. Along with your speakers, breakout sessions, and activities, your staff plays a vital role in providing attendees with a flawless experience. 

5 Things to Consider When Hiring Conference Staff

1. Determine Your Staffing Needs

How many staff do you need?

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to staffing your conference or convention. The size and scope of your conference will be the driving factor behind your staffing needs. 

Think about the following:

  • How many attendees do you expect to host?
  • What is the size of the venue?
  • How many rooms will you be using within the venue for breakout sessions, speakers, breaks, dining, etc.?

A good rule of thumb is that for every one hundred attendees, you need one to two staff. Having enough people on hand will help provide a stellar attendee experience.

What types of staff do you need?  

When creating your conference staffing plan, you’ll also need to think about what types of staff you need and their roles and responsibilities.

Generally speaking, at the bare minimum, you will need:

  • Greeters
  • Registration/Check-In Staff
  • Directional Staff/Help Desk Attendees/Concierge Staff
  • General Support Staff
  • Setup/Breakdown Staff
  • Event Managers

2. Decide On Your Budget

Many event organizers underestimate the cost of event staffing which can be detrimental. You want to make sure that you have enough staff to provide a seamless experience and offer a desirable rate that attracts experienced conference staff.

You’ll also need to have a little flexibility in your budget to account for things like overtime, additional staff hours, and so forth.  

3. Identify the Right Fit

Your staff serves as an extension and direct representation of your organization. You can have the best speakers lined up and fun breakout sessions planned, but if your team is subpar, that could tarnish the entire attendee experience, and people will remember that. 

Choosing the right staff for your conference is crucial. You’ll want to seek candidates who can best represent your brand and those who can easily relate to and engage with your attendees. They also need to be problem solvers and team players.

hiring conference staff

4. Hire a Staffing Agency That Specializes in Conference Staffing

One of the best decisions you can make is to hire a conference staffing agency to take the entire staffing process off your plate. Experienced agencies will have the ability to staff both large-scale and smaller conferences, and they can help guide you through the process to help you reach your goals and maximize ROI.  

Not all event staffing agencies have the expertise, knowledge, or resources to take on a conference, so be sure to thoroughly vet any potential partners to ensure that they have conference staffing experience. 

5. Prepare and Train Your Conference Staff

Before the event, each team member should know what is expected of them, their primary responsibilities, and have a basic understanding of the organization/industry they are representing and who will attend. In the days leading up to the conference, you should conduct an in-person training session(s) to allow team members to tour the venue and receive additional training on their specific roles.  

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to hiring the right staff or event staffing agency for your conference! 

If you are looking for an experienced event staffing agency to assist you with your next conference or convention, ATN is here for you. We have staffed both large-scale and small-scale conferences for a variety of organizations, including HubSpot, Google, The Hollis Company, and more! Contact us to learn more about our conference staffing solutions!

Related Articles:

The Future of Corporate Meetings and Events

How to Choose the Best Location For Your Conference

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