In-person events are back but that doesn’t mean that everything is in full motion again. Event planners are struggling to staff their events.
From a manpower shortage to the wrong crew members being scheduled for an event, Event Planners are facing a maze of problems.
So in this blog, we’ll go over the four most common event staffing problems in addition to practical and effective solutions to overcome them.
Why is there a staffing shortage?
You might wonder why there is such a staffing shortage in the first place. The event industry is back in business and recovering since COVID-19, but it’s also grappling with crew scarcity and a lack of skilled labor. In the US, the leisure and hospitality industry is struggling to fill 1.6 million open job positions.
Why is there such a shortage? Because the industry traditionally offers lower wages, unstable hours, and mandatory in-person attendance. Making many positions unappealing for those seeking a steady lifestyle.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s end all be all for your event company. Depending on your problem, you can implement practical solutions to ease your event staffing challenges.
Let’s dive in.
Challenge 1: Not enough skilled labor on hand
Many event companies are experiencing a shortage of staff, especially skilled labor. And this shortage not only affects the quality of your events but can also tarnish your company’s image in the eyes of clients.
To remedy this, encourage and offer training and development opportunities to your in-house employees. From a yearly education stipend to offering monthly trainings, doing so ensures your team remains up-to-date on current tech and strategies.
Additionally, build your network of freelancers by asking your current team for referrals. Word of mouth is golden in the event industry and your network can be your best recruitment source. So tap into your network for recommendations and specialized talent to build your pool of skilled labor.
Lastly, when creating vacancies, don’t simply advertise responsibilities. Highlight the fun and excitement to be had. Show people the thrilling opportunities your event company offers. This inspires individuals to be part of something exceptional, not just fill a role.
Challenge 2: Your planned crew isn't showing up
You meticulously plan an event, only to have a significant portion of your crew not show up. Whether some team members were simply disorganized or they weren’t informed, when this happens, it’s not only frustrating but it also looks unprofessional for your company. New clients won’t become repeat customers and, based on their experience, they won’t recommend you to their colleagues if this keeps happening. This scenario is common in the event industry. Why? Because you have no central way of communicating with your team. It’s common to use email, WhatsApp, calling, and texting to communicate with different team members. However, if there’s a last-minute change, you have to remember each team member’s preferred communication method. This can quickly get chaotic and messy as you try to reach multiple people across different platforms. Last-minute staff shortages happen, but it shouldn’t be the norm. To avoid such scenarios, communicate any new events and upcoming schedules to all of your team members. Use event staffing software like Rentman to manage communication channels when working with freelancers and remote crew. Easily send out emails with someone’s personal schedule or a project call sheet to ensure everyone is kept up to date about their work schedule and updates. Meaning, planned crew are more likely to show up.
Challenge 3: You don’t know who's the right person for the job
Some events require people with a specialized skill set. However, if this is a niche skill, how do you know which crew member or freelancer possesses it?
When you need to remember who has a specific skill set while also managing communication across different platforms, and manually updating an Excel spreadsheet, it can be difficult to figure out who to best schedule for a job.
Identifying the right person for the job shouldn’t be a difficult task that hinders your day. But it does take some upfront preparation.
Whenever you onboard new team members or freelancers, have them fill in a questionnaire that highlights their skills and experience. Then organize this information into accessible folders so that anyone who needs to create a plan can have easy access to it. And quickly identify the perfect fit for each role.
Doing so leads to efficient crew allocation while ensuring Crew Planners or Project Managers spend less time searching for the right person and more time focusing on other essential aspects of event management.
And, if you’re basing more of your assignments on someone’s skill set rather than seniority, newer crew members can be given tasks that match their skills. Doing this optimizes your workforce and reduces the need for lengthy training sessions. Thus saving you valuable time and company resources.
Challenge 4: Crew members with the wrong skills are being planned for events
If a crew member with a mismatched skill set is assigned a task beyond their capabilities, chaos follows. Such a mistake leads to errors during an event, panic, delays, and unhappy clients.
But such an event staffing mistake can easily be avoided. How? By, again, discovering the skills and experience of your staff and organizing that information into folders.
Armed with accurate and up-to-date information about each crew member’s skills, Crew Planners and Project Managers will make fewer mistakes when selecting the crew for an event.
Ensuring no last-minute panic, minimal staff shortage, and happy clients.
The bottom line
Solving the event staff shortage will take time. But practical solutions such as a large network of freelancers, a clear system to highlight everyone’s skills, and a communication plan ensure you can minimize disruptions and always have the people you need and can trust to help at events.
If you want to take your efforts to the next level, consider implementing an event staffing solution. Rentman can help you manage everyone’s availability via one easy calendar, stay on top of last-minute changes, and communicate schedules in just a few clicks.