Staffing costs are the core expense of any event management company. But staffing costs go beyond just 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.
While free staffing software may not offer all the advanced features of paid options, it may still have everything that an event management company needs for their staff scheduling.
Free staffing apps for event management
Here are our four favorite staff scheduling apps that work well for event management AND have a free option available!
Zelos Team Management
If quick communication is important for you, Zelos Event Staffing is your choice for getting staff scheduled for events, even if it’s often last moment. The core focus of this app is on-demand staffing with a self-signup feature, but you can also manually create the schedules for your team.
The standard subscription is free for an unlimited number of staff members, so you can also keep inactive staff on file without any additional costs. Also premium subscriptions come as fixed price packages, independent on the number of staff.
If you’re looking for simple scheduling, take a shot with Sling. This is a simple scheduling app that lets you gather staff availability and then create a 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 basic scheduling features, but upgrading to premium features such as payroll is based on the number of staff on file.
Shiftbase is a well-known app for scheduling and tracking shift employees. It will let you assign shifts to employees based on their availability, and keep track of their hours. Shiftbase’s strengths are labor cost planning and demand forecasting, so it’s 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 (so you can still keep file of inactive employees).
An exceptional industry leader in workforce apps is Connecteam. In addition to scheduling features, the app offers a myriad of features for communication, staff education and social interaction.
While the basic scheduling is included in the free package, it is extremely tempting to upgrade to the premium version and get access to all the fun stuff!
What is staff scheduling software
Staff scheduling software helps event planners and coordinators schedule and manage the assignments of event staff, such as servers, bartenders, and security personnel. It allows you to create schedules, assign shifts, track employee availability and time off requests, and communicate with your team.
This helps you ensure that you have the right number of staff members on hand for each event and can help you stay organized and on top of scheduling tasks.
Main challenges of staff scheduling for events
There are several challenges that you may face when scheduling staff for an event management company:
Ensuring adequate coverage
It is important to have enough staff on hand to handle all aspects of an event, from setup to tear down. Good scheduling software will allow you to plan shifts in advance and ensure that there are 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, making it difficult to schedule them. Scheduling software will let staff members indicate when they are available to work, making it easier for you to schedule them for events.
Dealing with last-minute changes
Events can be unpredictable, and changes to the schedule or the number of staff needed may occur at the last minute. Most staffing apps let you publish easy updates to the schedule in the case of last-minute changes, such as requesting or removing staff members as needed.
If staff members are working at an off-site event, transportation may need to be arranged. Some scheduling software has features that allow you to coordinate transportation for staff members, such as assigning staff members to specific vehicles or arranging carpools.
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 ensure that staff members are not overworked by providing tools for tracking hours worked and scheduling breaks.
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 by tracking the hours worked by staff members and alerting the company if any violations are occurring.