With COVID receding in the rear-view mirror of our daily lives, the events industry is still left dealing with some of the lingering effects. Everyone has heard talk of the ‘Great Resignation’ in the media and how labor shortages are impacting industries and services all across the country, leaving event planners with possible headaches when working with event venues and hiring event staff. Dealing with these issues can be difficult, and costly, but if you keep the following things in mind, you can reduce the impact when coordinating your next event.
Plan in advance
One of the critical things to do as we move out of the pandemic is to continue to plan ahead. It may take longer to secure all of the roles needed for your event and finding experienced professionals last minute may not be as easy as it once was. As soon as you confirm your event dates, create a list of your staffing needs and work to get commitments as soon as possible.
Increase your budget
Whatever you’re planning to budget for staffing, be prepared to increase it. With decreases in the available workforce, multiple events may be vying for the same AV and event professionals to work their events. If you have multiple events per year, consider contracting professionals for multiple events to help you secure your staff in advance and offer them multiple work opportunities throughout the year. Also, make sure you offer a positive working environment for all staff members. Nurturing these relationships and taking care of your staff members is not only the right thing to do but ensures you have a network of reliable professionals you can reach out to year after year.
Increased venue/labor costs
Hotels and convention centers have struggled to fill many internal positions, including cleaning, kitchen, and catering staff, that are critical to their operations when hosting outside events. With an increase in demand for in-person events as COVID restrictions are removed, be prepared for an increase in all costs associated with your event venue, including additional staffing charges to hire temporary workers to address the staffing shortages venues are experiencing.
If you are looking to continue to incorporate remote elements into your event, be prepared for your staffing needs to increase to manage the additional logistical elements required with these types of events. Don’t rely on your internal team to handle additional logistics and outsource when you can. This will help you to coordinate everything from rehearsals to schedules for all of the various in-person and remote speakers.
Manage Attendee Expectations
Recently, you may have noticed your favorite restaurant or local store posting signs asking customers to be kind to their employees as they navigate the pandemic and staffing shortages. Your event venue is probably dealing with similar issues and you should be prepared that service levels may not be as they were prior to the pandemic and you may need to manage your attendees’ expectations. It’s important to discuss these concerns with your event venue ahead of time and make sure that everything possible is being done to provide the highest level of service possible, which may mean dedicating more of your budget to hiring additional staff to mitigate these issues. It is also good to have a game plan in place on how to handle any potential complaints from attendees. You may even consider communicating with attendees ahead of time about their understanding as we all transition back to pre-pandemic times.
Interested in learning more about how AV Chicago can help? Contact us today!