Meeting planners, even those who work independently, often find themselves in charge of event teams that only come together for the sake of overseeing a specific conference, meeting or event. This can be challenging, especially when you’re stuck with people who just aren’t your type.
In a perfect world you’d be fully in charge of all placements on your planning team. In the real world you often inherit a staff or group of volunteers and have no say as to who stays and who goes. And you can’t change that.
But when you are able to create an event team of your choosing, as Mom always said, “Make good choices!”
5 tips to remember
- Make sure posted job descriptions are accurate. Don’t be afraid to post your vision of the ideal candidate. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to find the right person.
- Focus on the personal interview. This means paying less attention to the (perhaps bumped-up) resume. We all know that a person can look fabulous on paper and fail the personality test, and vice versa. A good manager must be able to weed through resumes and narrow them to some great candidates for interviews.
- Make one-on-one interviews count. Prepare thoughtful questions and focus on the responses. Be aware of eye contact, body language, fidgeting and other signs of comfort or nerves.
- Ask yourself questions. What would you want answered if you were interviewing for the job. Are the hours odd? What’s the lowdown on pay? Do you micromanage the team or give them space to create and grow? Those are real-life questions, and the answers shouldn’t be hidden like a missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Be honest up front and expect to build an authentic, loyal team in return.
- Overcommunicate everything. Do so until you feel completely comfortable that everyone is on the same page. If that day never comes, rethink your style and method of communication. Do you have frequent team meetings? Do you prefer everything in writing? Are you approachable at the water cooler? Are you an emailer or do you reply to texts only?
As a leader, remember this: When building an events team, there are many ways to communicate and many opportunities to mess it up.
Please share your team-building tactics, complaints, questions and/or suggestions, in the comment box below. Thank you!
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