Event Management

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Event Staff

This is a guest post written by Margaret Colebeck. She is a trade show event staffing expert and blogger for Models4tradeshows. Her blog posts focus on providing tips and advice to event staffing professionals. Submit your guest post here.


The success of an event largely depends on the event staff working and how well they interact and engage with your audience. Not only is the event staff the face of your brand, but they help to build and establish relationships with your most valued customers.

However, many times staffing is overlooked which can, consequently, harm the event. In order to create the most success for your event, be sure to avoid the following mistakes when hiring event staff.

Event staffing

1. Delaying the Decision Process

One of the worst mistakes an event planner can make when hiring event staff is taking too long to make a decision. While event staff understand that a lot goes into planning and executing an event, they also have their own personal schedules.

Delaying the decision process for more than 1 to 2 weeks is generally too long and will result in top event staff becoming unavailable. In order to avoid this and ensure quality staff, keep the decision process as short as possible.

2. Not Factoring in Your Brand’s Image

Event staff are the frontline and face of your event and/or promotion. Therefore, when deciding which event staff to hire, it is important to remember your brand image and hire staffing that accurately reflect it.

3. Not Consulting Your Team

When hiring event staff, it is important to consider the other members of your team that will be working alongside these staff members.

Will their personalities complement one another? Nothing is worse than a team that doesn’t get along. Be sure to consult your team before selecting event staff.

4. Not Understanding Your Event Needs

Before hiring event staff, factor in the size, length, and audience of your event. This will help you to determine the ideal number of staff your need, along with their gender, age, experience level, and cultural diversity.

5. Not Interviewing Event Staff

You wouldn’t hire a full or part-time employee without first interviewing him or her, right? Then, why would you hire event staff, without interviewing and asking important event staffing questions first? Before hiring event staff always ask to interview them via phone, Skype, or in person.

6. Not Asking for Updated Photos & Resume

Along with interviewing event staff, you should also ask for an updated resume and photos (editor’s note: this is only for model related staffing where asking for a photo may be relevant to the job. Asking for a photo is NOT always relevant and against the law in some countries) . Doing so will help you determine whether their credentials and experience level are an ideal fit for your company and/or brand.

7. Not Sharing Your Company & Product Information

After hiring event staff, it is important to provide them with the necessary information about your company background and product information. Doing so will keep your event staff well-informed and prepared to answer any questions.

8. Not Investing Enough Money

The quality of the event staff you hire is in direct correlation with the amount of money you pay them to work. While seeking event staff on Craigslist may seem like a great way to save money, it is unlikely that they will be able to meet or exceed your event needs and expectations. Instead, it is best to work with an experienced event staffing company that is professional and reliable.

9. Withholding Job Information

It is important to be upfront with all applicants about the responsibilities of your event. While it may seem better to leave out the negatives or downsides of the staffing role, it may result in more stress. By being honest with your candidates about their roles during the event, they are more likely to work the entire event.

10. Hiring Based on Looks

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes event planners make when hiring event staff is hiring based on looks. While looks are an important factor for attracting attention to your booth, it is more important to hire event staff based on experience level, professionalism, and personality. Event staff that are hired for reasons other than looks are more likely to produce the results your team is aiming for.

In Conclusion

In the end, event planners must remember that staffing is one of the most important factors for lead generation and sales and event and should be treated as such. Therefore, event planners should allot enough time to hire and train event staff before they arrive onsite.

By keeping your event needs and goals in mind, and avoiding these event staffing mistakes, your event is sure to go off without a hitch.

Photo by Joel G Goodman