event staff

Workforce planning for the event industry: what is it and how to do it?

Every event requires talent. Talent is a crucial aspect for your business. Making workforce planning a vital component in your company’s growth.

However, many companies don’t fully understand how to leverage workforce planning to plan their current and future workforce needs. Thus limiting your ability to reach key growth and revenue goals.

So let’s talk about how to align your business goals and your workforce to ensure you always have the talent you need at your disposal.

Here’s what we’ll go over.

1. What is workforce planning?
2. Key elements of workforce planning
3. Who is responsible for workforce planning?
4. Example of workforce planning

What is workforce planning?

Workforce planning is about aligning your company’s priorities and needs with your employees and anticipates your organization’s staffing needs over the next two to five years. To achieve your company and revenue goals, use workforce planning to create a long-term plan and ensure you always have the right people on hand to keep your business running smoothly.

To do this, you need to look at your current team and take stock of who might leave or what skills you might need in the future. By doing this, you can prepare in advance and avoid problems when crew members suddenly leave or when your company grows.

However, don’t confuse workforce planning with workforce management which focuses on ensuring you have the right people assigned to the right roles. And this isn’t just about scheduling, workforce management encompasses such as payroll and time-keeping among other things.

Let’s make this more concrete.

What are the key elements of workforce planning for the event industry?

Workforce planning supports the growth of your company. So, since your workforce plays a central role in your company’s future, here are six steps to create a workforce planning strategy for the events industry.

key elements of workforce planning for the event industry
  • Strategic direction: Have a clear company vision and define the direction and long-term objectives for your event company. Then ask yourself what crew and freelancers will you need at your disposal to reach those goals.
  • Workforce analysis: Analyze your current team. What positions and skills do you have on hand? How big is your network of freelancers? Make a list that outlines the current workforce resources you have on hand.
  • Supply analysis: What’s the status of the market? Are there any external factors, upcoming trends, and market shifts that will impact your business or recruitment efforts?
  • Demand analysis: Armed with this information, jot down the crew and skills your company will need to grow and reach your objectives. Also, note how many people you will want to hire in-house vs on a freelancer basis.
  • Gap analysis: Look at your notes and identify the gaps between the skills and people you now have at your disposal versus those that you need in the near and distant future.
  • Solution implementation: Brainstorm how you will bridge that gap. From offering additional benefits to retain your top talent to working with recruitment agencies to fill gaps, plan out a long-term strategy to attract the talent you need to succeed.

Who is responsible for workforce planning?

If you’re a larger organization, your HR department is typically responsible for workforce planning.

However, if you’re a smaller company and you work in the event industry, you won’t have many in-house employees. So senior management such as the CEO or the Project Manager or Crew Planner will typically put together such a plan.

What is an example of workforce planning?

Let’s say you’re an event company based in the Netherlands and planning to expand to the US. Currently, all of your crew members speak Dutch and are based locally. Use workforce planning to find out:

  • The number of in-house crew members and freelancers you would need in the US.
  • The various skills and knowledge you need your team members to have to successfully plan and execute local events.
  • Any language requirements (for example, do they need to speak Dutch too to make communication easier).
  • The desired location of your crew members.
  • The budget and resources you currently have to meet these desires.

A workforce plan will include a brief analysis of your current situation, highlighting your long-term goals, your future workforce needs (number of people, skills, contract type, salary), external challenges, and a plan of action that outlines how you will bridge that gap.

For instance, if you want specialized full-timers, what benefits will you offer them to retain top talent? And will you work with a recruitment agency abroad to find local talent? Or will you use Rentman’s job board so you don't have to manually pick and invite crew members for each job? 

Our job board and crew scheduling software make planning and communicating with your freelancers a breeze. No matter their location. Plan your crew with ease, knowing you'll always have the right people for the right job.


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