The Right Stuff: Building Top Notch Event Management Teams
Event Team Design Considerations
Foundationally, any event team should consider basic functions such as communications, safety, command and control, and contingency planning, Heim said. “These functions are part of everyone’s role. On larger teams, there are personnel dedicated to these functions,” he said.
In addition, Coco added, event teams need to address resources for operations, logistics, event experience, marketing, customer service and finances. “Most are self-explanatory and can be adapted to work for almost any size event but larger events will require a more in-depth look and further breakdown at each area,” he said.
Sid Greenfeig, vice president of arena booking for MGM Resorts International, said, “The team needs to fully understand the client’s needs and have the ability to fulfill the client’s definition of success and overall expectations.”
Personalities play an important role in team cohesiveness, Greenfeig added, noting that he looks beyond a specific skillset for an event to the broader scope of experience, industry expertise and personality. “They all need to mesh properly in order to be successful,” he said.
Heim agreed, noting that technical skills can be taught. Traits such as leadership, passion, drive, attitude, respect and willingness to be a team player form the basis of a high-performing team member. “I look for the type of person first and foremost,” he said.
Coco said team members who don’t take themselves too seriously and don’t mind getting dirty are good candidates for Red Frog Events, the producers of offerings such as Warrior Dash, Firefly Music Festival, Shamrock Fest and the Chicago Beer Classic. “Like-minded people tend to work well together but we aren’t afraid to throw conflicting personalities together in order to get the best results,” Coco said. “We view debate as a good thing as long as everyone on the team has mutual respect for each other’s thoughts and ideas. It usually makes for a better overall event.”
Growing & Improving
As events experience success and mature, Heim said that event teams will experience natural growing pains. One challenge he pointed to entails balancing what needs to get done with how it’s accomplished. “Specialization in roles can lead to narrowing the scope of the employee’s experience. It’s important to create an environment where your team can continue to learn and grow and broaden their experience wherever possible,” he said.
Heim also suggested that event teams never settle and always challenge the status quo. “Plan, brief, execute, debrief,” he said. “The debrief is often the overlooked step in the process but you learn just as much looking back as you do moving forward. It’s important to capture those recap notes from all members in your team shortly after the event while it’s still fresh in their memory.”
To read more articles from the June 2017 issue of SportsEvents Magazine, click here.