The job hunt can be just as taxing on the employer as it is the employee. Sifting through resumes that aren’t quite up to snuff, meeting with candidates that just aren’t right, wondering if you’ll have to settle or compromise on the quality of your work…going into interviews hoping the perfect employee will show up can actually make your search harder.
Part of the search for a great event planner is knowing exactly what you’re looking for. And when it comes to hybrid events, the requirements get even more specific; how can you find an experienced, knowledgeable event organizer who has hybrid events down pat, after their relatively recent rise in popularity?
In this article, we give you the four main skills to look for when hiring a hybrid event planner, plus useful questions to use in your interviews!
The classic leading job interview question: “Tell us a little bit about your experience.” It might seem cliché, but it remains important to get a good idea of your potential event planner’s industry experience. You don’t need to go with the priciest industry veteran - taking a chance on up-and-coming event organizers can lead to a great event that’s easier on your budget - but your candidates should be able to discuss their experience with events similar in size and scope to your own.
It may be tricky to find event planners that have ample hybrid event experience, considering the only recent rise in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As hybrid events become more common, organizers are learning the ropes for themselves, but don’t be surprised if you can’t find a tried and true hybrid event planner. Instead, look for demonstrated experience with both in-person and online events. A hybrid event might be a new challenge for your event planner, but a planner with a diverse skill set and event portfolio can meet the occasion.
Here are questions to ask potential hybrid event planning candidates about their event experience:
What successful event planner is operating out of last year’s technology? Candidates who keep up with the industry’s new platforms and find ways to innovate on traditional event planning technology will be well-equipped to handle your hybrid events.
The key to a smooth, successful hybrid event is technology that goes off without a hitch. Since hybrid events are designed to bring virtual and in-person audiences together, your event planner should be familiar with both virtual event technology and your venue’s tech features to seamlessly bring the whole event together. Event management platforms, live stream capabilities, virtual and in-person audience engagement, venue tech specs: your event planner should understand how to leverage the vast world of event tech to put on a great hybrid event.
Here are questions to ask potential hybrid event planning candidates about their technological know-how:
The growing popularity of hybrid events has been a result of the ups and downs of COVID. No doubt we’ve all registered for events that have been canceled or pivoted to virtual due to rising case numbers, or had to decide between event formats for our own meetings or conferences. When looking for a hybrid event planner, it’s a good idea to ask how your candidate handles contingencies.
In this day and age, it’ll be important to ask event planning candidates about their experience with COVID-19 safety plans. Have they worked any in-person events since the onset of the pandemic? If so, how have they adapted their event planning strategy to account for safety and cleanliness? Besides COVID considerations, asking about other emergencies that may affect your event’s timeline - natural disasters or venue issues, for example - will give you a good idea of how your candidates stay calm in a crisis.
Here are questions to ask potential hybrid event planning candidates about crisis management:
Hybrid events are inventive by nature – they’ve become the perfect way to connect people all over the world through the latest and greatest event tech and increasingly unique audience engagement tools. Your next hybrid event is the perfect opportunity to bring on an event planner eager to innovate on the hybrid event format.
We’re familiar with simulcast event sessions and pre-recorded video content. How can your event planner work to surprise and delight both in-person and online audiences? This ties in with event industry experience as a whole; taking a chance on a newer event organizer or production company with exciting ideas about hybrid formats could breathe new life into your events.
Here are questions to ask potential hybrid event planning candidates about their creativity and vision for your event:
When hiring an event planner for your next hybrid event, go into your interviews knowing exactly what you want out of an employee. An seasoned events professional with a finger on the pulse of the events industry and a desire to put on exciting, unique events is the ideal. And with hybrid events, someone with both virtual and in-person (or hybrid itself!) experience, plus the foresight to prepare for contingencies, will ensure your event is in good hands.
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