Building relationships between a brand and the public isn’t a job you can leave to just anyone. For live events — where you have the power to forge strong brand connections in person — the staff will largely determine whether your event is a glowing success or a massive letdown.
Your event staff has to ooze passion and excitement for the brand to get others on board with the experience. These brand ambassadors will set the tone for the entire event and help potential customers connect to a brand in more meaningful ways. But to find the right people for the job, you need to know what to look for.
Your brand ambassadors need more than a vibrant personality to get the job done right. When seeking talent for your next event, make sure they also pass this checklist:
1. Reliability: Reliability is the most important quality on the list. You can’t risk hiring staffers who will trickle in 30 minutes late to your event.
Job interviews won’t give you an accurate sense of how reliable someone is, so ask for references and call them. The candidate should have a record of being reliable and punctual. Managers might not remember everyone they’ve ever hired, but they’ll remember someone who didn’t show up on time or follow through with his or her responsibilities.
2. Confidence: Most candidates will kick their personalities up a notch during interviews. Look for people who smile comfortably in photos and during the interview; this will foreshadow how they’ll interact with the public. If they don’t wow you during the interview, they probably won’t do it for the public, either.
Strong conversational skills and the ability to hold eye contact are two signs of a confident candidate. Leave out a detail or two during the interview to see if the candidate uses it as a conversation starter. If he simply nods at everything you say, he’s probably concerned with collecting a paycheck, not elevating the brand.
3. Attention to Detail: The details, regardless of how trivial they may seem, create meaningful customer experiences that last well beyond the moment.
Set up very specific application procedures to see whether candidates can follow directions. If they call when you said not to or send a Word document when you’ve asked for a PDF, hire someone else. A résumé riddled with misspellings is also a sure sign of a candidate who doesn’t value detail.
4. Physical Attractiveness: This last point may be taboo to talk about, but I’m a firm believer that physical attributes are incredibly important in this industry. No matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel, how someone looks is the first thing people notice.
Physical attractiveness means different things to different people. However, it’s important to create the ultimate brand experience, and your staff should reflect the brand’s desired image.
Set Your Staffers Up for Success
Even if you’ve managed to check off every item above, you still need to prepare your talent to deliver on event day.
The interactions between you and your staff can influence whether the event runs smoothly or crashes and burns. If they get to know you on a personal level, they’ll be less likely to show up late or slack on the job. And if they like and respect you, they’ll want to give it everything they’ve got. Consider investing in your staff by offering a competitive salary or perks like free meals. When you treat your staff well and really care about them, they’ll be eager to tackle any task that comes their way.
You want your staff to walk into an event feeling confident, but they need to know what to expect for this to happen. Check the weather leading up to the event, and give them a heads-up. Contact them a day or two before the event to ask if they have any last-minute questions. The more information brand ambassadors have going into the event, the fewer “surprises” will arise. Most importantly, use the two to five minutes you have on the phone to strike up casual conversation and befriend them.
Your event will only be as good as the people running it. Invest your time and energy into pulling together an energetic, reliable, and brand-loyal staff, and they’ll work hard to make it a success.
Anthony Russo has been a self-employed business owner for more than five years, and his seven-figure agency, Identity Marketing, is recognized among the top companies in the field of experiential promotional marketing. Russo is also a professional speaker and an emcee for large national events.
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