How to staff your upcoming event
How to staff your upcoming event
When it comes to event planning, it’s very tempting to organise it yourself to save money. After all, budgets are tight, and you want to feel that you are getting value for money. But one of the reasons why hotels and conferencing venues can charge high fees is because they manage all of the stress for you. They know exactly what staff are needed (and how many) and how long set-up times will take, and they will arrange any post-event activities such as cleaning and general housekeeping.
If you are planning on hosting your own event and hiring something like a marquee, village hall, or community centre, you may need to think about what staff you need for your event to run smoothly. While many family or friends may offer to help, it’s essential to have contingency plans in place in case they cannot get involved.
We’ve seen events run seamlessly because they’ve had the proper staffing in place.
But unfortunately, we’ve also witnessed events fall flat because the right people weren’t available for the job.
As experienced wedding and event planners in Devon and Cornwall, we’ve collated a comprehensive guide to help you staff your upcoming wedding, birthday party or corporate event.
Catering and bar staff
We know you’ll see this as necessary!
If you include menu choices or refreshments within your event, you must think carefully about how it will be managed. For example, suppose you’re hosting a birthday party, celebration or wedding at a village hall. In that case, limited catering facilities, including a fridge and potentially a small oven, will often be available.
But how do you plan to serve the refreshments? Will it be a help-yourself scenario, or do you need something more formal?
Hiring waiting staff or experienced bartenders can be an easy way to simplify your day. Rather than trying to manage everything alone, you can rely on others. They’ll know when to bring out the refreshments or food, when to replenish them and they’ll ensure that all of your guests are carefully looked after.
Please get in touch with us if you want recommendations for trusted third-party catering teams or experienced bar staff. We have a network of contacts across the UK that we can use to support your event.
Village halls or community centres are cheaper than mainstream hotels and hospitality venues because you need to figure everything out yourself.
One of the disadvantages of hiring a hall is that you are responsible for the cleaning and housekeeping. This means that there’s no heading off on your honeymoon straight after the big day, nor will you be able to lay in bed sleeping off the hangover after a big birthday bash.
Instead, you’ll have to return to your venue to manage the clean-up or worst case scenario make sure it is completed straight after you have finished. As well as remembering to take your own bin bags and heading over to the bottle bank, you’ll need to be aware of the correct recycling procedures, or you could potentially risk a fine.
To make this easier for you, why not speak to a local commercial cleaning company to find out how much they would charge to help you clean and tidy up? Not only could this make your life much easier, but it will give you the best chance of securing your deposit back.
Admin and reception staff
With any event, you need a team behind you who can manage the administrative paperwork on your behalf. This could be for essential tasks such as liaising with suppliers to confirm set-up times and access points. Or it could be about simple aspects such as meeting and greeting your guests or even telling them where to hang up their coats.
At Inspired Occasions, we manage a lot of the administrative legwork for our clients. We can organise events entirely on your behalf or work with you to make your life easier, whether it’s a wedding, celebration or work event.
Why not talk to us if you need additional bodies to help staff your event? We know how to bring in teams of experienced staff who can help your day run smoothly, freeing up your time so you can enjoy your hard work.
This is essential if your event requires any form of AV or technical equipment. If you’re hiring a village hall for your wedding, who have you got available who can set up any microphones for the wedding speeches? Or, if it’s a corporate event, how will you make sure that any projector or video conferencing equipment works well?
Big venues will have their own in-house technicians on hand. Still, smaller venues, may not have anyone immediately available, especially if your event occurs over a weekend.
As part of your planning, you must have contingencies to ensure that your technical equipment works properly.
This might sound dramatic, but depending on your number of guests, you may need to consider factoring in security costs.
How many people can you have at a party before you need to factor in security? Unfortunately, there’s no legal answer to this, but a good rule of thumb is to have one security guard for every 100 people.
Hiring an external security team will give you peace of mind that should anything untoward happen; someone is available to prevent any issues from escalating. If you’re hosting a street party, a festival or a charity event, having some form of crowd control is essential.
As the party organiser, you could find that you are personally liable if an event gets out of hand. Therefore, hiring a security team could be the best investment you make.
Please talk to us if you need any advice about your upcoming event. We can advise on potential ballpark costs for external security services and provide recommendations on trusted teams we’ve previously worked with.
Health and Safety
Along with security teams, if you’ve arranged a significant event with hundreds of people, you may need to think about hiring health and safety staff (and don’t forget event insurance!).
For instance, if you are hosting a corporate event and delegates bring in their own electronic equipment, have you checked that any devices have been PAT tested? You might need to think about risk assessments or fire safety services. If hundreds of delegates are arriving, you might need to bring in external medical teams such as St. Johns Ambulance as event first aid cover.
There is some helpful information on the Health and Safety Executive website about how you can run an event safely. We would recommend that you read through it before booking a venue. You might decide that hiring an experienced conference venue or hotel is a safer option because they will manage this for you on your behalf.
Again, this is more for significant events with hundreds (or even thousands) of people – but have you thought about a stewarding team who can direct guests to where they need to go or answer any questions? Just imagine a local park run event or a community fireworks display – can you imagine any of them running as smoothly without their stewards on hand?
How will your guests access a toilet or baby changing area if your event is outside?
You may need to hire temporary Portaloos or something a little more luxury – especially if you are hosting an event or party in a marquee within a local park or field. Hiring temporary toilets is easy, but you may also need to hire toilet attendants to ensure they remain clean, tidy and usable.
Managing an event yourself is complex
Hopefully, this list of staff will help you think about some of the complexities of hosting your own event. The logistics alone can be endless, and depending on the type of event that you are planning, you might find that it makes more sense to work with a hospitality venue or conferencing centre because they have the skills and resources in-house to handle a lot of these tasks.
But none of this means you shouldn’t organise a big event alone. If you’re on a strict budget, it can be a great way to keep your costs down and account for every penny. But we believe that when creating your budget, you also need to factor in your time and stress levels. Your time is valuable and hiring professionals to manage individual aspects of your event (such as cleaning or catering) can be a cost-effective option.
If you need advice on how to staff an upcoming event or support finding trusted suppliers to manage your event, please get in touch. We work with people across the UK to plan and manage corporate events, personal celebrations, birthday parties and weddings.
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