How to hire Oustanding Event Staff like a Pro!
If you’re a brand owner then your brand surely feels like your baby. And, chances are you’ve been the face of your brand at practically every demo and trade show…and maybe still are?
If you’re looking to scale your events team beyond yourself, this article has your name ALL over it.
We will be sharing top tips to help you get the right people representing your company at any event.
Not in the mood to read? Check our video summary of this article:
How to find the right event staff and stand staff members
The first thing you are going to look for is somebody passionate about your brand and your messaging. That person is going to identify with your target consumer and they will naturally want to spread your message.
For example, if your company is about healthy snacks then you want to find somebody who is all about healthy snacks. This person needs to create a natural connection with your brand and your consumers.
You also want to look for somebody who is outgoing. Just because someone is passionate about your brand doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to articulate your messaging effectively.
You surely don’t want someone asking “Would you like a free sample?” Probably, you are looking for an approach like “Hey, have you ever tried this product before? What do you think about it?” You want someone who is out there going for it, attracting people to your event space.
You also want someone approachable; depending on what your product or service is you may want that person to look presentable, friendly, smiley. Think about what image you are trying to communicate to your consumers and find a person that embodies that.
For example, if you have a Brand Ambassador promoting a healthy snack and they do not know the difference between vegan, gluten-free or paleo, that could be disastrous for your brand.
So you may want to include these kinds of questions when selecting your event staff at interviews.
We work with people we know are reliable and experienced. We then select the best fit based on their interests and passions. If none of our brand ambassadors is a good fit we then ask our event staff for referrals among their colleagues. 80% of our event staff works at events for a living.
Suggestion: we highly recommend you to hire only COVID-19 trained event staff, to keep yourself, your clients, staff and event attendees safe from COVID-19 associated risks.
Red flags to look out for when hiring
We have a pretty rigorous interview process. We start by requiring a video interview. Instead of doing it on the phone, or via email like some other agencies do, we choose to interview on video as it shows us all the richness of who this person is. And you can see if they are prepared for the interview even by the simplest things. For example, did they brush their hair?
We don’t want this person to forget about their interview or being late. Being on time means being early, especially for a video call which doesn’t require our candidates to travel.
Based on these simple signs, we can tell if this person can be considered or not. It’s better not to have someone than having someone unreliable.
And then, are they able to articulate something they are passionate about? To find out we normally ask our candidates to tell us about the favourite events they worked on.
If they can’t be excited about that it is unlikely they will be excited about any of our clients’ brands.
We then ask tougher questions. If they applied to promote a Kombucha drink, we would then ask what do they know about gut health? By the answer, we can tell if they are genuinely interested in the product in question or not.
The most effective way to train
Let’s talk about training. Finally, you now have the right person with the right profile.
Brand owners know it: their brand is their baby. The idea of having someone else talking about their brand can be a bit daunting. We normally record our Zoom call with clients so we can share it with videos to our selected staff.
We then do video chat training to keep our event staff engaged and to train them on what the event looks like and what our clients’ goal is. Our training is normally 30 mins long so we don’t overload our event staff with too much information.
We focus on the key messaging points the brand ambassador is supposed to share. Normally when promoting a service or brand the conversation with potential customers doesn’t go longer than 17 minutes. Therefore, during that amount of time, our staff has enough information to share the main 5 key points about the product or service, such as “why this product is different”.
We then talk about the flow of the event, the expectations, who the event staff will be checking in with, where are the samples going to be located (or flyers or similar), what kind of information we want to get out of this event.
The secret is keeping it simple and being able to communicate with potential customers in a short amount of time.
Then there is a whole list of FAQ for customers with very specific questions. For example for a company promoting honey, there would be customers enquiring on how the bees are treated. We make sure all these technical questions are included in the briefing before the event start.
We tend to have the same Brand Ambassadors and hostesses working for the same clients so we can track their performance and what we normally see is that Brand Ambassadors and hostesses perform 40% more sales and engagement on their second demo or exhibition. Yes…that’s right! So our staff gets more jobs and our clients get better results. It’s a win-win for everyone.
That’s why even when we have new clients we encourage them to sign up to a several months program, which is, of course, a win for us but it’s a win for them too. The event staff will get more comfortable talking to customers but also customers will feel more confident talking to the same person too. That hostess or Brand Ambassador may then oversell the next time, the client will provide more stock and the ROI will be much higher.
ROI is about connection, building relationships but it’s also hard to track
How to set measurable goals for your staff
What kind of goals should be Brands setting for demos or events?
A few examples could be:
- Units sold
- Emails captured
- Promo codes, coupons, vouchers.
For events, this last category of vouchers and similar is a very good way to measure ROI. For in-store demos, it gives an excuse to customers to purchase, otherwise, they may try the sample and then promise to buy it another time but they never do. It’s said that you need to see a brand 7 times before you buy it so demos and events can be turned into sales opportunity if done the right way.
We work with our clients to set a reasonable goal. 50% of Brand Ambassadors and Hostesses hit the goal. We recommend finding a hittable goal and if it’s an ongoing event or campaign we adjust it monthly. 50% is a pretty good result.
Then we have financial incentives. Depending on the client and on the event or campaign, normally health and fitness ambassadors get £5 extra an hour. If we are dealing with a larger program with multiple staff, we’ve agreed with our clients in the past for a £1k bonus for a 10 weeks program. Top performers make more this way. A higher salary makes people push harder.
For lower budget companies non-financial incentives can still helpful. It depends on your brand and event. It doesn’t have to be £5 extra an hour. It could be a branded jacket or a free product. Anything to show appreciation to that event staff member, setting goals and incentives when that goal is met. After all, let’s not forget the staff you and your staffing agency selected are passionate about your brand.
If the Brand Ambassador or hostess sold more, mathematically you can afford to provide the incentive thanks to their help.
How do you determine the number of staff for your event?
You should base this on the number of attendees or how difficult your product is to offer. It varies. If it’s a product to consume calculate the maximum number of samples you want to offer at the event, no matter how many people are attending. If you hire more people it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be able to offer more samples, as this depends on the event itself, your location and your product too.
For conferences, exhibitions, trade shows and corporate events you can use the following formula:
NUMBER OF STAND VISITORS ÷ NUMBER OF SHOW HOURS = STAND VISITORS PER HOUR
STAND VISITORS PER HOUR ÷ MAXIMUM NUMBER OF VISITORS PER STAFFER PER HOUR = TOTAL STAND STAFF MEMBERS or EVENT STAFF NEEDED
To use this formula you will need 3 pieces of information:
- Get the number of show attendees and the number of show hours by the show organisers or sponsors
- Percentage of attendees that will visit your stand. According to a recent Seers study, 16% of attendees will visit your stand at a show specific to your industry. 8 % of attendees will visit your stand at a more general show.
- Minutes each staffer will devote to each stand visitor: depending on how elaborate your product demonstrations are.
For example, let’s say you are attending a general business service expo with 5,300 attendees and it’s not specific to your industry. So you can expect 8% of attendees will visit your stand. Let’s also say that your product demonstrations are brief and your event staff will only need an average of 3 minutes with each visitor. The event you are exhibiting at is 8 hours long:
5,300 x 8% qualified prospects = 424 total stand visitors
424 stand visitors ÷ 8 show hours = 53 visitors per hour
53 visitors per hour ÷ 20 visitors per staffer per hour = 2.6 stand staff members or event staff
You may want to round that number up to 3.
Tips for Event planners:
- Ideally, you should tell your event staffing agency all details in advance. Someone with 20k followers on Instagram pumped about health and fitness being able to fit into a costume are not quick to find. We need info in advance to find the right person. Picking the right people to work with shouldn’t be just based on a photo.
- Super detailed contract, with clear expectations for all sides
- Time management should be discussed in detail
- For us to send the best and fastest quote possible we need the date, time, location and job description.
- If you don’t have these details yet, you can ask your client or team to share the budget amount they are willing to spend.
- Communicate your needs: we are all humans, don’t be afraid of stepping up to your jobs. If your event involves 40.000 people you need directional people. Good communication not only supports your event but your needs and our staff needs, within the job description.
Useful tools for Event Planners, all available on smartphones too:
Desktop software and a mobile app version for managers and employees. Manage your clients, staff and schedules. Easy to Use.
Organise conversations, share files, and get answers faster in Slack. Keep your whole team in the loop by messaging in open spaces called channels. Sync Across All Devices. 100k+ Paid Customers. 65 of the Fortune 100. 12m+ Daily Active Users. Users in 150+ Countries.
Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars
Create, edit and collaborate with others on documents from your Android phone or tablet with the Google Docs app.
Sign, edit and send documents to clients using the best PDF signer you can find online! Perfect PDF signer to add signatures, initials, dates or text on PDF forms online so easy! Easiest Setup Experience.
Manage your workload, communicate with your team, and celebrate goal achievement.
Generate, Negotiate, & eSign Proposals. Intuitive & Easy to Use.
Payment processing platform. Simplify fraud aversion. Present in +120 countries. Trusted by global banks. SCA-ready e-commerce. Low-risk payments.
TextExpander lets you instantly insert snippets of text from a repository of emails, boilerplate and other content, as you type – using a quick search or abbreviation.
Expensify is a software company that develops an expense management system for personal and business use. Expensify also operates a venture funding arm known as Expensify Ventures.
IN CONCLUSION: What is the single most important element for an event?
It’s the people. Passionate people will resonate with your target consumer. The reason why they will purchase the product is that the staff you will hire speaks their language to them.
When people feel appreciated, heard, understood, paid and cared for not only they work better but they recommend us to their friends and we have other reliable and professional people to work with.
Did we not list one of your favourite tools?
How do you select your event staff and stand staff members?
Let us know in the comments below!