Staffing for successful events

Having the right skills in the right place at the right time

Authored by: Leonie Lockstone-Binney , Clare Hanlon , Leo Jago

The Routledge Handbook of Events

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367236489
eBook ISBN: 9780429280993
Adobe ISBN:


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There is now wide recognition that successful events can have very positive economic, social and cultural benefits for host regions. As staff play such an important role in the operationalization of events, for an event to be successful, it is essential that there be sufficient numbers of the right staff at the right place and right time in order to deliver a high-quality event experience. The fact that events are short term in duration and are staged infrequently adds a level of complexity to the recruitment and training of staff that is not prevalent in most other sectors. Staffing for events is a complex management operation in that it often involves both paid and volunteer staff who provide a range of complementary services. Adding to this complexity is the fact that paid staff can be full-time, part-time or casual and services can also be provided by a wide range of external contractors. This chapter examines how human resource management strategies are employed in the events field and assesses the staffing needs of events through the framework of Hanlon’s (2003) ‘pulsating’ event cycle. Prior to elaborating upon this framework, an overview of the limited extant literature on human resource management for events is provided.

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