Short Staffed? How to Pull Off a Seamless Event Anyway

September 30, 2022 Desiree Homer

It’s a tough hiring market right now, with worker shortages across nearly every industry segment. As an event planner, you rely on the help of others for a variety of tasks associated with planning and hosting events. So, when the big event day arrives and you have more call-offs than you have able-bodied workers, what do you do? 

If you’re like most resilient New York event planners, you’ll roll up your sleeves and tackle whatever comes your way. But for those short-staffed, last-minute event challenges, these are the insights you need to help you come through the event seamlessly. Keep these secrets in your back pocket and feel even more confident and prepared, even when you’re event planning with less help than you anticipated.

Request Volunteers

If you have enough lead time, you might be able to request volunteers. Not all events will warrant such an ask. However, if there is a mission or cause worth supporting, you might be surprised how many folks will show up to help. Volunteers might also be available from sponsors, exhibitors, or your client, too. Just remember, you won’t get any volunteer help if you don’t ask.

Check with Staffing Agencies

If you need muscle, service, or clean-up, entry-level workers from a staffing agency are a great last-minute resource. You’ll be responsible for covering wages and a markup fee from the agency. But you’ll have vetted workers ready to go without the hassle of hiring, payroll taxes, or workers’ compensation.

Talk to the Venue

When you encounter a serious last-minute cancellation of workforce help, talk to your event’s venue. They might be able to assemble some additional help, for a cost, of course. But having a few extra workers is better than none. And even if your venue partners can’t provide additional help, they can be a great resource for finding last-minute assistance you need to pull off the event seamlessly.

Explore Sponsor Help

Another option that may not work with every event type involves incentivizing sponsors. Offer additional passes to the event for sponsors who can help with certain tasks. Manning a registration booth for a breakout session, for example, might be a lucrative opportunity for a sponsor. Especially if they’re allowed to provide branded handouts and display signage, they’ll likely find more value in providing assistance.

Friends and Family

Sometimes, you get left in the lurch in the final hour, with no time to plan or explore other options for more help. It might be worth calling in a favor from a close friend or family member to step in for an extra pair of hands. Even if you only find one person to show up on your behalf, two of you will get more done than just you.

You’re a resilient New York event planner with all kinds of tricks up your sleeve for executing the perfect event. But sometimes, when workers or staff leave you hanging at the last minute, it can be challenging. Consider these ideas to explore options that make sense for your event and situation. 

And discover other inspirational solutions to your everyday event planner problems when you network with the best of the best in the business at this year’s Event Planner Expo. Get tickets today!

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