Think of a time you had a client that you built an incredible rapport with, worked diligently with on the planning of their event, but when the event day came, something happened on site that soured the experience? It’s happened to all of us and it can be SO frustrating, especially since event planners cannot be available 24/7 to make sure everything goes exactly as planned. I’ve been that planner who thought she could micromanage it all - but it caused so much stress and took up valuable time that could have been better spent on other projects.
Putting out fires out is inevitable, but if you are throwing your event to the wolves without any event-specific training, it can cause more stress and money than you think. While most restaurants and lounges offer general training to their staff, there are so many specific needs when it comes to private events that require additional grooming. Events are unique, often more costly and require more training for the event staff. Offering additional or continued training will not only show you care, but will encourage and motivate your team to do better. Below I am listing the 5 reasons why investing in your staff is essential for success!
1. Your team is an extension of your reputation. You work SO hard to gain a client and to build their event; it seems almost unfair that an avoidable slip up can tarnish all those logged hours and worse, make you look unfit to produce. As planners, we are more than just a contact for a client, we are responsible for the entire event in their eyes. A properly trained team requires very little when you think about the benefits of what it does for business. Every single guest will form an opinion of you and your party, but you cannot control the experience of every single person on your own.
2. Training frees up your time for yourself: The more the team knows about the event and expectations, the less there is to explain. Think about your team and how much time they’ll have to set up and be prepared if they aren’t panicking about where decor was stored, what the bar package is or what type of party is being held. Mistakes WILL happen, but they won’t be the ones that could have been easily avoided with preparedness. You’ll also save time by not having to reinvent the wheel every time you have an event.
3.Your expectations are clear and there is no guessing: What YOU believe is the perfect bar set up may NOT be what your bartender believes is the perfect bar set up. How the host wants the furniture arranged may not be what the server decides to do. There are so many ways to perceive event details, especially when you’re working alongside a team who wants the best for the event just as much as you do. Preparing a protocol for these types of details (and time for questions) will leave little room for error.
4. A cared-for team works harder: Aside from the event details, addressing the questions and needs of the team is also crucial. Nothing can be more frustrating than when a team member asks when they will get paid, their tipshare, breaks, etc. 5 minutes before your event begins. These aren’t bad questions, they’re being asked at an inconvenient time when the priority is the party. Put yourself in their shoes. They may care about the event, but they also care about their own benefits. It may not be the best time to discuss right before an event, so answer their questions ahead of time or make sure it is clear WHEN these questions can be answered. Nothing is worse than a team member preoccupied with personal concerns and not concentrated on their work.
5. High turnover is costly and time consuming: We’re already in an industry where there is high turnover. Two of the biggest reasons team members quit is because they don’t get along with management or they’re not learning anymore. Did you read that? Your team WANTS to learn! Everyone has a desire to grow, and that doesn’t always mean a new position. Sometimes, it’s a new skill or responsibility. Invest in your biggest asset and you will retain those wonderful people who you work alongside.
How much time are you investing in YOUR team? Do you rely on basic training or do you hold continued educational seminars for your staff? If not, where do you think there is room for improvement: service, interaction, appearance? Be sure to subscribe to She Said Celebrate and receive all my tips and advice for building your all-star event team.