Ten Steps to Build a Better Business Events Staff

October 17, 2023
Older man shakes hands with smiling woman while standing in a group of people at a business conference.

A better business events staff will contribute to a better local meeting industry – if some researchers are to be believed.

Getting there requires work, however, for employers who historically may not have been invested in upskilling their staff. For convention centers and local business events partners who are ready to provide more to attract the right talent, developing a clear strategy is key. Providing the right training and upskilling depends on current trends, your specific destination needs, and a whole host of other factors.

The landscape of the business events industry is continuously evolving, driven by advancements in technology, shifting attendee expectations, and emerging trends. To meet these challenges head-on and stay competitive, it is essential to focus on upskilling and reskilling a talented workforce. By investing in their professional growth and development, you empower your staff to adapt, embrace new technologies, and deliver innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of event organizers and attendees.

Work internally or outsource to create modules – in-person or online – to offer your staff training options and upskill them to stay ahead of the curve. Apply some, or all, of these ten topics to your upskilling strategy to build a better events staff.

1. Tech Training:

Provide your staff with access to any and all relevant technology or apps that will help them work more efficiently. From booking platforms to IT tools for video conferencing, be sure your staff isn’t floundering in dated ways of doing things.

2. Customer Service:

Working with meeting planners and customers can be a pleasure or a pain, but ensuring that your staff knows how to deal with even the most finicky of demands is essential to building a better business events staff.

3. Media and PR Training:

While not pertinent to every team member, a certain amount of media literacy and understanding of PR can go a long way for your team. If they understand how their actions can play out poorly – or positively – in the media, they might think more diligently about everything they do.

4. Sustainability Practice:

Think twice before printing. Work with greener suppliers. Provide clearer signage for recycling. They are all small gestures that can make big changes in the long run if your staff is primed to be more eco-conscious.

5. Industry Knowledge Enhancement:

If your destination receives lots of biotech events, or maybe multiple sporting conferences each year, it’s wise to train staff on these industries. If they are more knowledgeable about the industries you’re attracting, it will help make your destination and convention center that much more appealing to meeting planners.

6. Cultural Competence:

For destinations seeking to attract meetings from across the globe, a few modules on the importance of navigating cultural differences is essential. Certain groups have certain needs and expectations, but if your staff isn’t prepared to address them, meeting planners will look elsewhere.

7. DEI Training:

Diversity goes beyond just cultural differences, so training your staff to understand the ever-broadening scope of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is among the most important modules for your convention center to consider. It’s one thing to say your destination welcomes everyone, but it’s vital to guarantee your staff is implementing such a welcome at every level.

8. Professional Certifications:

For staff who may be looking to upskill in project management or to become a specialist in a certain area, consider modules and training to steer them towards these professional certifications. Having specialized staff with credentials will only make your convention center and business events industry look that much more appealing.

9. Leadership Development:

A better business events staff will always benefit from better leadership. Offering training to let would-be leaders rise to the top will keep your team inspired and eager to do more.

10. Trends Training:

It’s easy to become complacent with how things are done traditionally, but as the pandemic showed us all, our local business events industries need to adapt quickly. Consider offering training to your team to touch base on the trends among meeting planners and decision makers, if even just to keep them informed and interested in this ever-changing landscape.

For convention centers and destinations looking to maintain and build a better business events staff, these ten ideas are just the beginning. Get in touch with [email protected] to learn how DCI’s 60+ years of experience in destination marketing can help give you the competitive edge in the business events and MICE sector.

Written by

Elisa Marongiu

Sales Executive