Volunteers, Help Wanted & Checklists





Wow, it’s mid-September, but it still feels like summer!  I’m still in flip flops and  wearing white (even though it’s after Labor Day).  I suppose I should put down the iced coffee and take up the pumpkin-spice beverage of choice and get to work!

With September, comes the full throttle of trade shows, with a little downtime in December.  And with that in mind I think it would be a good time to review the basics of what is needed for a smooth and efficient event (well the best we can do).  But just what are the basics of trade show planning? It depends whom you ask, but generally speaking, I’m referring to:  site selection, vendor selection (i.e registration, audio-visual, decorator, F&B, speakers…)

What oftentimes is overlooked until the end, is the need for acquiring support, such as  temporary helpers or contractors.  Sometimes, the budget allows for this, and sometimes not.  Sometimes you may have to weigh the pros/cons between temp help and volunteer help.

Regardless of when or why or if you need temporary help (for pre-planning, exhibit sales, greeters, room monitors, registration clerks, show office support to promotional models, etc) a good checklist is a good thing to have.  Hopefully, what I have provided is good fodder for such a list.

Checklist To Help With Hiring Temporary Help

Determine Needs
1.  For what reason is a temp needed.
2.  How long will a temp be needed and what is the budget for this temp?
3.  Whom will the temp be reporting to?

Outline Tasks
1.  Decide in advance what tasks the temp will be authorized to perform (i.e. general correspondence, special-event management, attendee registration, etc.)

Identify Skills
1.  How many years of experience are needed?
2.  What kind of experience is needed?
3.  What specific skills are needed?

Details to Resolve
1.  What hours, and what basis will the temp work and get paid for.
2.  Will the temp be considered a company employee or a private contractor during the assignment?
3.  Can temp accept other assignments while working at the company?

Get Ready for the 1st Day
1.  Provide background info about the company, its policies and culture.  Include information about work hours, dress code, phone and e-mail usage.
2.  Make sure  all needed equipment and/or supplies is ready (e-mail account, phone extension, electrical power, computer, etc.).

5 Mistakes that can make your travel (Un)friendly

1.  Not Booking your seat when you book your ticket.  This can have the unintended consequences of either being stuck in the middle or worse having an aisle seat near the bathroom where people standing in line for the bathroom are unknowing or don’t care about hovering into your personal space.

2.  Trusting your flight will have WiFi.  Whether traveling with the fam or on business always confirm there is WiFi.  If not, download the apps, or work files to your local device/computer.

3.  Forgetting to bring an extra bag.  When vacationing or at a tradeshow there’s a high probability you will end up with trinkets that might make your luggage overweight.  Have a sturdy bag (maybe one from an exhibitor’s booth–;) ) where you can shove all the goodies and still be able to carry it.

4.  Not getting a jump on jetlag.  Nothing worse than arriving at your destination and can’t keep your peepers open.  Start with mini nap stints during the flight.  Then, when you check in, go for a walk, or hit the gym or have a run (in other words, do some exercises) then take a hot shower or bath and go to bed early.

5.  Assuming the gate agent cares to help you.  You know, you forgot to pick your seat, or you want to change it, or worse, you are delayed and need another connection, or a plethora of issues that do come up.   Waiting in line just to be told, sorry, can’t help, just adds to your stress.  Go directly to the executive club concierge.  Aside from their smiley and professional greeting, the place has some freebies you can use.  Not a member, join one.