• Lorie Grooms, CMP

challenge: on-site staff reduction

Updated: Dec 15, 2019


As a meeting professional, there will be times that you will have to pull off a meeting or conference without the benefit of having your whole team. I've experienced this challenge multiple times for a variety of unforeseen reasons. When this happens, the work load and stress increases, but nevertheless, the needs of the client remain the same...

Here are some tips on how to get through a last minute reduction in event staff:

  • Take some time to yourself to evaluate the situation.

  • Review the agenda/program to identify where there will be holes in coverage.

  • Contact key stakeholders to make them aware of the circumstances.

  • Have a meeting with the remaining event staff to assign tasks.

  • Decide how to answer questions from attendees when they ask what happened. Make sure all team members are providing the same answer. Be aware of confidentiality issues related to the person it effects.

  • Notify the host venue, so they can assist where available.

  • Identity volunteers that can assist in filling gaps.

  • Hire temporary help from the local CVB (Convention & Visitors Bureau).

  • If appropriate, have a member of the leadership team make an announcement to the conference attendees at a general session or other group setting.

  • Focus on one day at a time.

  • At the end of each day, review and prepare a list of tasks for the following day.

  • Continue to smile and provide excellent customer service.

...until we meet again!


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