Staffing costs are the core expense of any event management company. But these go beyond just labor costs to the employee salaries, training and possible benefits. Staff scheduling software has also become a must-have expense for every modern event management company.
The industry-leading staffing apps can be out of reach for small event management companies operating on a tight budget. Luckily, there are a few excellent software providers that make their apps accessible also with zero budget.
Free staff management or scheduling software may not offer all the advanced features of paid options. But it may still have everything that an event organizer needs to start with event staff management and scheduling.
👉 Jump straight to our shortlist of the best free event staff scheduling software.
How to plan staffing as an event management company?
Event staffing is a bit like putting together a puzzle that changes every day. It is far from traiditional 9-5 work where people settle into their usual roles. Event staffing is about bringing together a crew of temporary pros with specific skills just for that event. Event coordinators, tech whizzes, customer service champs – each piece matters big time for the event’s success.
The workload is often a rollercoaster. Events can have very complex schedules and timelines, so the number of staff needed for each event can go up and down like crazy. Sometimes you need to assemble a crew in a flash to match the event’s pace. And the hours? Well, they’re as flexible as a yoga instructor. You might need people working evenings, people working weekends, you name it – all to make sure the event shines.
And event staffing isn’t just about doing the job; it’s about doing it with a smile. You’re not only dealing with technical stuff or setting things up, but you’re also in charge of the face of the event, which is interacting with clients, attendees, and vendors. Good people skills are as essential as knowing your way around the event floor.
Plus, get ready for some hands-on action – lifting, moving, setting up – it’s all part of the deal when you need to replace a missing employee, adding that extra spice that you won’t find in a regular office job.
What is the best event staff scheduling software?
Event staffing often means assembling a crew with specialized skills just for that event. Think of it as crafting a dream team for a limited-time performance. Your event scheduling tool needs to consider hiring, training, and coordinating these short-term roles, making sure everyone’s got their cues right.
The software should be adaptable to the ever-changing demands of event schedules. It should allow for quick adjustments, real-time updates, and last-minute changes.
Since event staffing often involves temporary roles, the software should also streamline the hiring process. It should enable quick onboarding and offboarding of staff members, without requiring much training or special instructions.
Given the irregular hours inherent in event staffing, communication is paramount. The chosen software should offer robust communication tools like notifications and live messaging.
Is catering software the same as event staffing software?
Absolutely not. There are major differences between event staff scheduling and catering scheduling software:
Event staff scheduling software focuses on coordinating a diverse temporary workforce for events. It handles internal communication and distributes flexible shifts to freelancers or hourly workers.
Catering software manages the culinary aspects of events. This can include menu planning, dietary considerations, ingredient inventory, and meal delivery schedules. It’s responsible for orchestrating the gastronomic experience, maintaining the quality and timing of food service.
Some catering apps can certainly include the staff scheduling aspect. Often these are larger software suites that bundle many things together. This means that the same app will also provide guest reservation management, budgeting, and general project management, for example.
The following list is about staff scheduling software only.
Free scheduling apps for event management
Here are our four favorite event staff management and scheduling apps that can help manage your event staff. All of these fulfil the requirements described above, can be used for free to a certain extent, and have excellent mobile apps for on-the-go scheduling.
Zelos Team Management
If fast communication is important for you, Zelos Team Management is a great choice. It’s perfect for getting the crew quickly scheduled for non-recurring events, especially when it’s last moment.
The core features are self-scheduling and live communication. Crew members can download mobile apps to get notifications, or log in through a browser app on their computer.
The free plan includes an unlimited number of staff members. This lets you keep inactive staff on file without any additional costs. Premium subscriptions come as fixed price packages, independent on the number of staff.
If you’re looking for free employee scheduling software, take a shot with Sling. This is a simple shift planning app that lets you gather staff availability and then create a work schedule for them. You can still mark shifts as open for signup, and employees can swap shifts between each other.
The free package comes with all of the basic scheduling features. Premium features such as payroll processing are billed according on the number of staff on file.
Shiftbase is a well-known app for scheduling shifts for employees. It will let you assign shifts to employees based on their availability, do shift swapping and time tracking.
Shiftbase’s strengths are labor cost planning and demand forecasting. This makes it a great option for businesses that have a more stable and predictable workflow.
The app lets you manage up to 75 employees for free, and the premium packages charge per active project member. This is great if you can want to keep also inactive employees on file.
An exceptional industry leader in workforce and human resource management is Connecteam. In addition to scheduling features, the app offers a myriad of other functions for communication, training and social interaction.
While the basic scheduling is included in the free package, it is extremely tempting to upgrade to the premium version. You will definitely want to access all the fun features!
What is staff scheduling software
Staff scheduling software helps event planners and coordinators schedule and manage the assignments of event staff. This can include servers, bartenders, or security personnel. It allows you to create schedules, assign shifts, track employee availability and time off requests, and communicate with your team.
A good scheduling tool makes sure that you have the right number of staff members on hand for each event. This way you can stay organized and on top of scheduling tasks.
How apps help you schedule staff for events
There are several challenges that you may face when scheduling staff for successful events as an event management company. Scheduling apps can be a miraculous cure for many of the problems.
Ensuring adequate coverage
It is important to have enough staff on hand to handle all aspects of an event, from setup to tear down. With a scheduling app you can plan shifts in advance and have enough staff members scheduled for each event.
Managing staff availability
Some staff members may have other commitments or may not be available to work certain events. There’s always a team member who is close to impossible to schedule.
Apps can let you create a self-signup schedule where staff members pick up their own shift. Or if you want to create the schedules manually, you can ask them to indicate when they are available to work.
Dealing with last-minute changes
Events can be unpredictable, and changes to the event’s unique program, schedule or the number of staff needed may occur at the last minute.
Most staffing apps let you publish easy updates to the schedule. This is especially useful in case of last-minute changes, such as requesting additional staff members when needed.
At off-site events you may need to provide your crew members with an appropriate transportation bakc home.
Some scheduling software has features that allow you to coordinate transportation for staff members. This can be grouping people to board your arranged transportation, or creating carpools among them.
Managing staff workload
It is important to ensure that staff members are not overworked and have sufficient breaks between events.
Scheduling software can help you track time and ensure that staff members are not overworked. Apps usually have tools for tracking hours worked and breaks taken.
Keeping track of staff hours
Tracking the hours worked by staff members is crucial to get payroll and budgeting right. Scheduling apps will tell you the exact hours worked – already confirmed by staff members themselves.
Ensuring compliance with labor laws
Event management companies must ensure that it is complying with all relevant labor laws, including those related to overtime and breaks.
Scheduling software can often help to ensure this compliance. They can alert you if violations occur in the hours worked.
Start small but start now.
Even if you are working with a modest event or a small team, the benefits of a good scheduling app will be evident from the start.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment or the grandest event to implementing a staff scheduling app for your event team. By taking that first step today, you are setting in motion a transformation that will revolutionize your team’s efficiency and effectiveness.
Embrace the power of technology to streamline your workflow, improve communication, and simplify the scheduling process.
Remember, every great journey starts with a single step, and by starting now, you’re paving the way for future accomplishments. So don’t hesitate, seize the opportunity, and find a top-notch scheduling app be your partner in creating exceptional events.