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For many in our industry, the holidays are both a blessing and a challenge. The increase in holiday business can provide capital to cover the cost of off-season activities to plan and execute Spring events but it also leaves many #eventprofs scraping the mixing bowl for every warm body they can locate to fully staff holiday events.

However you choose to fill that void, the increased demand for -- and distracted supply of -- holiday staff can cause some very unique pain points, so we asked #3eventprofs each for one holiday staffing challenge they encounter and what innovative strategy they have employed to meet that challenge. Here's how each responded:

VIB Event Staffing
Toronto, ON Metro

Pain Point: Everyone is having parties including our staff during these peak periods. Therefore having staff available Saturdays, the prime event night of the week, is a challenge.

Strategy: VIB offers a monetary bonus for being available and working ALL the Saturdays in a month. We are also looking into a long term incentive program to continue to build loyalty and availability.

Valérie Sideco
Owner and Founder

Pepper's Artful Events
Boston, MA Metro

Pain Point: We find that (during the holidays) the demand for staffing goes up, so we are forced to counteract for lack of quality with increased quantity i.e. staffing models change to reflect 4.25 people doing the work of 3 because the supply of personnel may not be there.

Strategy: We now invest more money and resources in training senior managers and middle managers to delegate and provide guidance to less skilled team members. This is the most cost effective option for us as to hire and fully train every single team member would not make sense relative to the cyclical nature of the business and lack of January work.

Nick Long
General Manager

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts
Orlando, FL Metro

Pain Point: We don’t do that much holiday local social business but we do have a conference that ends right around the 23rd of December. We find some scheduled people would rather not work that close to the holiday and/or on weekends depending upon their relatives being in town or church/social events of their own.

Strategy: We have started a list of part time employees who are able to fill in for shifts when needed at short notice and it keeps us from running into overtime.

Ed DiAntonio, CMP, CPCE
Director of Catering and Event Management

Did You Enjoy This Article?
This is the first post in a series we're creating called #3eventprofs in which we pose questions to three event industry professionals just like you who are facing and overcoming challenges and finding success and opportunity along the way. Follow us on all social media to keep up with every installment.
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