Party Clinic: 10 ways to ... source the right party staff

There are many factors to consider when sourcing staff to man your party, according to High Society managing director Fergus Seccombe.

1. Contact more than one company Obtain quotes from companies that can supply the right staff at the right price.

2. One-to-one relationships Meet your booking contact. View the company's training facilities, procedures and staff database information, which should provide a good idea of its standards.

3. What type of events has the company previously staffed? Will the staff have the relevant social skills to deal with royalty? How will they behave in front of celebrities?

4. Where does it source its staff? This will give you an indication of the age ranges of the people employed, and perhaps how transient the workforce is.

5. Know your event The correct ratio of staff to guests is essential. Ask your staff representative for their opinion - their experience could help.

6. Read the company's terms and conditions It has a direct bearing on your event and what you can and can't do.

7. Confirm the booking in writing It is vital that you receive confirmation in return - this will ensure that date, time, venue and staff numbers are all correct.

8. What support do they have after normal office hours? Are "reserve staff' available in the event of a crisis?

9. Book early to ensure priority Any changes should be communicated immediately. Some companies may levy charges if you make changes less than 48 hours before an event begins.

10. Supervisor or event manager assistance This may be invaluable if you are to meet your client's needs.

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