For some event planners out there, tonight is the penultimate gig. Seldom are New Year’s Eve parties small and intimate — if they are, we bet they’re pretty high-end — making your temp event staff just as important as the talent, the food, the venue, the theme, and only slightly below the guest(s) of honor.
Because we often travel to our events, we usually hire temp event staff on-site. Staffing agencies are usually too big for our needs, so we rely on a few quick rules to help us weed out potential poor choices. The criteria isn’t anything we wouldn’t hold ourselves to; be sure you’re willing to be a prototypical example of everything you preach to your temp event staff.
Short timelines can get hectic when potential staff won’t commit until they make arrangements for the kids, schedule a dogsitter, ask their spouse, or turn down other possible gigs. In an effort to simplify, we always ask more people than we need and go with the first people to respond with an affirmative. No waiting a while, no calling them back — if they can’t reliably confirm their attendance, we won’t rely on them.
It’s hard to make last-minute changes when temp event staff isn’t familiar with the same communication methods as we are. Email, phone calls and texts (usually in that order) allow us to keep track of who will be where when. If hopeful hires can’t handle all three methods with ease, we’re careful not to depend on them. (Note: this is a hard and fast rule for on-site, unfamiliar recommendations only).
Black pants, black shoes and a black shirt. It’s not what we wear every day, but it’s the best color combination if you’re unsure what everyone else will be wearing. While we prefer collared shirts and pressed slacks, exceptions are often made as long as the person is professionally presentable.
“I don’t know” by itself is never an acceptable answer for any of us. The one thing we absolutely drill into our temporary staff is that they MUST follow “I don’t know” with “But I’ll find out for you” and then ask one of us, or someone in charge on site. There’s nothing more frustrating than a human drone.
Oh, and pay cash. It’s easier.