The training provided to event staff is a vital factor in the smooth running of the event and in achieving a quality experience for all participants.
Training may take many forms:
Practical experience – involvement of the trainee in prior events where they receive mentoring from someone who is experienced. For example, a trainee announcer may act in an assistant capacity on several occasions before taking on the role on their own. This is an excellent form of training.
Training sessions – using a person who is experienced in event management to instruct others on how to carry out their tasks and responsibilities. Simulations of activities in the event may be utilized.
Provision of documentation – event staff receive and are instructed to read documentation such as job descriptions, instructions on how to work equipment, procedures and policies to be followed
Internet site – documentation can be provided to event staff via an Internet site. One advantage of this method of training delivery is that the trainer can obtain information about trainees’ progress and understanding through the use of questionnaires and forms which trainees complete on line. As the trainee completes questionnaires and forms information is relayed back to the trainer and stored.
The table below provides an outline of the training to be given to event staff. The list should not be regarded as exhaustive or in priority order.
Training event staff
|Arrival and departure||Event staff should have full knowledge of the times they should arrive or leave. It is recommended that the arrival of staff should be 30 minutes before they are required. This enables last minute instructions to be given and to enable replacement of staff who fail to appear without delaying the event programme.|
|Communication||Event staff should be instructed in how to contact the Event Director or other event staff prior to and during the event. Event staff need to know who to contact if they have a problem. Training will also require the sharing of telephone and mobile telephone numbers, and may require instruction in how to use a two-way radio.|
|Emergencies||Event staff should be instructed in the range of emergencies that may be encountered and what they must do if there is an occurrence. They should also be counselled to expect the unexpected. Event staff may receive training in first aid, use of fire extinguishers, how to raise the alarm, evacuation procedures and who to contact in an emergency.|
|Equipment||The use of equipment is often problematical. For example electronic scoreboards and public address systems are often moved from venue to venue and may be damaged in the process. Problems may arise as a result of faulty electrical connections and detached components. Event staff should receive training in how to set up, position, test, repair, service, dismantle and transport equipment. There may also be circumstance where equipment may cause injury are a result of incorrect lifting technique, electric shock, sharp edges and heat (to name only a few hazards).|
|Expenses||Ground rules need to be set in the matter of claims for reimbursement of expenses by event staff. Arguments and misunderstandings between Event Director and staff over what expenses can be claimed should be avoided. Out-of-pocket expenses of event staff should be anticipated in the event budget. Expenses may include travel costs, clothing costs, telephone and postage costs, accommodation costs, and meal costs. If all event staff receive a job description (recommended), then this would be a suitable place to convey information about what expenses can and cannot be claimed.|
|Location||Event staff need to be fully informed of the location(s) to which they should report. In large events, there may be multiple events running concurrently and confusion may reign if people do not know where they are supposed to be. In such circumstances maps should be provided.|
|Handling Money||The handling of money is a considerable risk at events. Money may be collected at the ticket office, entry barrier, food and/or merchandising stalls. Risks include the failure to provide documentation to record cash collections, failure of staff to properly account for monies taken, theft by the public and/or staff, incorrect charging of customers and the accidental loss of money in transit. It is vital that event staff receive appropriate training if their responsibility includes handling money.|
|Safety||It is the legal obligation of all event staff to do all they can to ensure that the venue, and everything that happens within it, is as safe as possible for all persons. Training should be given in checking for obstructions and hazards and in ensuring that people behave in a manner that does not endanger anyone’s safety.|
|Security||Aspects of security include maintaining crowd control, restricting access to certain areas, keeping a watchful eye over equipment, making sure doors, windows and gates are not unintentionally left open, holding on to keys, and keeping close control over cash on the premises. It may also include marshalling cars into parking spaces.|
|Service delivery||Event staff need to strive to ensure that the event is a quality experience for all persons involved – spectators, participants and staff. Training of event staff should include aspects of service delivery such as courtesy, listening to complaints, provision of hospitality, hygiene and ensuring people are assisted.|
|Staff amenities||Looking after staff is an important aspect of event management. Staff should be informed about food and drink provided for them if their stay is lengthy. The staff roster should allow for staff to be relieved for rest periods.|
|Timelines||Event staff should receive training about the factors that may cause delays in the event programme such as:
|Transport||In order to get a full compliment of event staff it is often necessary to provide transport from nearby train and bus stations or to arrange for people to be picked up from home. Where necessary training should include details of transport arrangements.
There may also be a necessity to provide training in the transport of equipment to ensure that damage does not occur.
References: http://www.leoisaac.com Lecture from Event Management Class (Sites Power Training Center - Dubai)