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The Importance of Human Resources in Successful Event Management

Human resources are critical in the organisation of any event or conference, regardless of the size of the audience. Event management needs the involvement of HR too.

This section is the go-to for event planning and support on a variety of factors that all contribute to the event’s smooth running and success.

When it comes to events, many people argue the relevance of budgeting for a dedicated HR team because they believe it’s a job that can be done by one person or that tasks can be shared across departments – but this isn’t the case.

However, there is a need for devoted HR before, during, and after events.

Assume you work at a conference centre with an administrative, sales, marketing, and events crew all on-site.

It is the job of the HR professional to guarantee that all of the named departments have the necessary assistance, training, and facilities to perform in a safe manner, all of which contribute to the seamless operation of an event. For scheduling, allocating work, tracking time, and managing finances, a virtual project management application is beneficial. This frees up time for vital duties like creating relationships and holding training sessions, which are especially important in the early phases.

Event Management

What Role Does Human Resources Play in Event and Conference Planning?

While the core tasks of an HR department will always be available to event planners, there are a few characteristics that are unique to event and conference planning.

After consulting with a number of HR specialists, we decided to make it simple and compile a list of the most significant roles that human resources plays. The following are the top ten HR duties in this industry:

Job Description Development

When it comes to hiring permanent, contract, or volunteer employees for a forthcoming event, creating correct job descriptions is critical.

A job description serves a variety of objectives, including:

  • Assisting people in comprehending the listed job function
  • Providing the right goals and direction for those who will be doing the work
  • Assuring that employees who take on the job perform consistently
  • Assisting event organisers in finding the perfect individual for the job

That’s not all, though.

The descriptions may need to be changed extensively each time, depending on the sort of employees required and the type of employment being offered (permanent, voluntary, etc.), which can help to speed up the applicant process, especially when using third-party recruiting.

A typical job description would include the following sections:

  • The type of job being provided (full-time, part-time, etc.)
  • Relationship transparency, for example, the applicant would report to the events coordinator.
  • The employment role’s purpose and objectives
  • The job’s major responsibilities
  • Criteria to be utilised in evaluating successful applications

Recruiting for New Positions

The human resources department finds candidates for available positions and assists in the hiring process.

According to a poll of 1,600 recruitment and HR professionals, the largest challenge in hiring new employees is a lack of talent, which puts even more pressure on HR professionals to not only identify the appropriate applicant but to do so creatively.

Here are a few examples:

  • Current employees who can propose a qualified recruit will receive financial rewards.
  • Enlisting the assistance of current industry acquaintances and contacts
  • Social media advertisement that stands out (think a whacky 30 second YouTube video)

Most human resources departments may enlist the help of a recruitment firm to increase their chances of finding the perfect applicant, but in the events business, this is generally avoided because budgets vary based on the size and structure of the event.

Interviewing Techniques

After the HR team has gathered a number of possible candidates for the posted job(s), it is up to them to schedule and conduct interviews.

Many careers in the events sector necessitate specialised knowledge and experience in a variety of fields.

For example, if you’re recruiting a sound technician for a music event, it’s critical to ask particular questions, which would include quoting certain equipment, which would necessitate the HR team briefing the events coordinator first and, in some circumstances, educating themselves (depending on time limits and the size of the department).


Training is a crucial topic for all HR professionals to focus on: giving the appropriate training to the appropriate personnel. The department will be in charge of basic introduction courses (think health and safety).

What about jobs that necessitate a specific set of abilities? Is it possible that the upcoming event may require more volunteers than usual?

In these circumstances, it is the responsibility of human resources to arrange for the training to be conducted by an expert in the field or by someone with experience.

Allocation of Tasks

Many people think that the task will be assigned by the event management team, but human resources frequently collaborate closely with coordinators to guarantee that:

  • Budgets set aside for third-party participation are not exceeded.
  • Prior to the event, departments are informed of their goals.
  • Tasks are assigned to the appropriate workers.

To be fair to event planners, without HR personnel, the smooth running of an event before, during, and after the event is never guaranteed — which is why experience always pays off.

Managing Expectations and Performance

We touched on it briefly in the last section, but managing employee performance and expectations is critical to a successful event.

Whether the event comprises 50 or 500 employees, the HR department must ensure that they collaborate with other essential figures to guarantee that performance levels are properly controlled.

Performance must be monitored in order for a lighting technician to enhance set-up times or for the director of catering to ensure that their team is appropriately managed. Realistic expectations must be set.

HR professionals are in charge of planning and maintaining performance management, as well as working directly with employees and their supervisors to establish demanding expectations that will allow them to expand their skill sets and gain more experience in the events sector.

HR management software is quickly becoming one of the most common methods for tracking employee performance, defining new goals, managing staff absences, and much more.

Reward & Payment

Despite the fact that the majority of employees are not motivated by money, ensuring that employees or contract workers are paid appropriately for the work they generate at events is critical for a variety of reasons.

If employees are not paid on time or in the correct amount, the reputation of the event, the firm affiliated with it, and the reputation of sponsors may be tarnished.

As a result, HR experts must collaborate closely with an internal finance department or a third-party to ensure that employees are paid the amounts promised.

Rewards are frequently utilised to acknowledge and recognise team members for their good work as permanent employees of a corporation.

Human resources is responsible for creating the appropriate prizes for the appropriate departments, based on employee preferences.

Keeping Time

Depending on the venue or the nature of the gathering, events are frequently given a strict time limit.

This means that employees’ schedules and patterns are set to make it obvious where they need to be and what duties they need to complete at specific times.

Labor regulations must be followed in order for this to be a successful procedure, which include:

  • The maximum number of hours that employees can work
  • Any staff members that need to work overtime

If hours are not properly allocated and regulated, the event’s organisers may risk legal action for either (a) working personnel for too long or (b) not compensating them appropriately.

Event Security

Safety at an event is especially crucial, and it takes months of planning and consideration.

Heavy equipment and enormous displays, for example, are frequently used during events, which may necessitate the use of forklifts or other modes of transportation to transfer equipment to different areas.

According to event statistics, there were 66,000 recorded injuries at events in Europe due to crowd safety failures in the last eight years, emphasising the importance of knowing the projected attendance figures.

If an event is going to be congested, ticketing has become a popular technique to track sales progress, making it easier for HR professionals to hire the appropriate security and first-aid personnel (in case of an emergency).

Issues like this create a number of safety concerns that must be addressed in order to keep personnel safe and secure on the job.

The HR department is significantly involved in developing a number of safety measures and doing risk assessments to ensure that no injuries occur during an event, for both participants and attendees.

To summarise, the purpose of this RisePath article is to provide a better understanding of the critical role that human resources plays in the effective operation of events and conferences, as well as what their overall job involves.

This comprises:

  • Creating detailed job descriptions for permanent, contract, and volunteer employees
  • With 100 percent ingenuity, advertising fresh job openings.
  • Interviewing potential candidates and setting up interviews
  • Providing or organising training for all departments across the company in important areas
  • Assigning tasks to staff and keeping track of their progress
  • Setting realistic goals when managing employee performance
  • Ensuring that employees are paid correctly and on time
  • Creating labour schedules and patterns that respect time constraints
  • Creating clear safety procedures that safeguard both employees and visitors

Christine Lee

Christine is a former HR manager from Fortune 500 tech companies and has managed hiring, compensation and benefits, and payroll responsibilities for multiple companies.

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