How can I attract the right talent to my event planning business?

Rebecca Tromans
Rebecca Tromans
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    In business, having the right people matters. That is especially true if you deliver events, which are a people-focused business by their very nature. However, the global events industry is also facing a skills shortage, with many experienced events professionals moving around or leaving the industry entirely during the disruptive years of the early pandemic.

    Now, many professional event organizers are facing the challenging question of “how do I attract new talent to my business?”. It’s a question we hear frequently from our customers, and was a hot topic for discussion at our AirTime 2023 conferences. 

    And while there is no “silver bullet” solution to a very complex question, we can offer you some strategies to help you make your company more appealing to prospective employees. To get to the heart of what makes you unique, it can be helpful to grab a whiteboard and bring together a small group of the right people to really understand what makes your company tick. 

    Below we offer some suggestions of what you might consider, although the list is by no means exhaustive:

    1. Consider what you can offer around hybrid work arrangements. 
    2. Identify your unique employer value proposition. 
    3. Identify any learning and development experiences – both formal and informal. 
    4. Start building a strong employer brand. 

    1. Consider what you can offer around hybrid work arrangements 

    Employers in some industries have been able to offer prospective employees the very attractive perk of greater flexibility around remote and hybrid work arrangements over the past few years. For many meeting and events companies, it’s hard to meet those offerings with complete flexibility. The nature of our work means that often we’ll be required onsite, and travel will usually be involved. We typically work in small teams, and sometimes it just works better if we’re face-to-face.

    While you may not be able to offer prospective employees the flexibility to work remotely whenever they feel like it, it’s still an important consideration as part of your overall mix. For example, can you offer a day or two of flexible working a week, when the role isn’t required onsite?

    It’s okay if the answer is no, and you need your team to be in the office five days a week. However, in that case be prepared to wait a bit longer to find the right person for the role. 

    2. Identify your unique employer value proposition

    You may think that most candidates are focused on salary and the ability to work remotely, however that isn’t necessarily true. These days many jobseekers are just as interested in their prospective employer’s values, culture and other benefits.

    For a start, consider these:

    • Client base: Do you work with high-profile, blue-chip clients? Or are you considered the go-to events organizer in a well-respected industry? 
    • Sustainability and social agenda: Do you have a published Net Zero goal? Are you a paperless or zero waste office? Do you support the local community with gifts or donations, or enable employees to “give back” in other ways?
    • Diversity and inclusion: Do you have a strong diversity and inclusion agenda? Are you specifically looking to build a workforce that is more inclusive of various groups, whether age, gender or ethnicity? Do you have above average female representation in the workforce, or on the leadership team?

    3. Identify any learning and development experiences

    Formal learning opportunities are incredibly valuable to most employees throughout their career – often just as valuable as purely financial incentives. You should always make it known if you are willing to support your employees to broaden their professional horizons with qualifications, certifications and further study.

    However, many of life’s most valuable lessons come along when you’re least expecting it. When you’re courting new candidates, make sure you also cover any “on the job” learning and development opportunities you can offer. For example, you might have some subject matter experts who are especially well-regarded in a particular industry, or perhaps you have an outstanding leadership team who are prepared to mentor or guide new employees (either formally or informally).

    Or perhaps the successful candidate will have the chance to work on innovative projects or with industry-leading technology (such as EventsAir!), which will help develop their skills and broaden the appeal of their CV. You may also like to discuss internal mobility and the possibilities for future promotion, as well as opportunities to attend conferences and events as a learning opportunity, and to network across various industries. 

    4. Start building a strong employer brand

    Your employer brand signifies the perception your workforce holds about you as an employer. It’s the way you promote your company to both potential hires and current staff. Mastering the art of employer branding enhances your ability to retain and attract top-tier talent.

    So, where do you start? 

    Crafting a compelling employer brand involves articulating the core identity of your company and harmonizing these aspects with your desired candidates. Now that you’ve considered the above factors and drawn up a short (or long) list of what you can authentically offer prospective employees, it’s time to make it known! 

    The really big highlights should feature in each of your employment ads on LinkedIn and other channels, as well as in the careers section of your website if you have one. Also make sure you are openly sharing, promoting, and amplifying the voice of your employees, their contributions, and exciting company milestones – this all contributes to the strength of your employer brand. 

    Finally, always keep in mind that it can take time to find the right candidate for your company. However, if you’re looking to attract someone who is focused on their longer-term career development pathway, all of the above factors can be very appealing, so it can really pay to identify and promote them in a consistent way when you’re marketing your business.

    How can we help you grow your events business?

    At EventsAir, we understand the importance of selecting the right event technology partner – someone who can help you deliver successful, inspiring events both today and in the future. We do this by working with an amazing team that pushes the limits of what’s possible, every day. And we can help support and grow your team, too. 

    Our technology continues to lead the events industry globally and can add exceptional value to professional conference organizers who are looking to attract the next generation of events talent. Plus, we’re proud to host AirTime for our customers in three locations around the world every year, offering the opportunity for your team to network with others in the industry and learn from a plethora of professional development opportunities. 

    We have one simple mission: to help event planners deliver the WOW in their events with the world’s most powerful event management technology. We’ve delivered some of the world’s biggest events, and we’d love to help you too. 

    EventsAir