Large experiential marketing events take months of work. Budgeting, negotiating, applying for permits, tracking shipments – it’s enough to drive anyone bonkers. And even if you nail all those logistics leading up to your event, there’s one piece of the puzzle that will make or break your event day: your staff.
Today we’re sharing how to find and retain the best brand ambassadors for your next big experiential marketing activation.
1. Plan early.
If you want to get the best brand ambassadors for a big event, like Coachella or the Boston Marathon, you will want to get these staff locked in early. How early? We recommend about 8 weeks out. These shifts are competitive and staff are looking to get the dates booked in advance.
2. Compensate fairly.
The larger the event, the more competitive it’s going to be to get staff. If you have lower rates or shorter shifts than other brands, you will find yourself struggling to get and retain brand ambassadors. Take a quick look around on Facebook groups and Indeed to see what other companies are offering.
3. Describe the role clearly.
No one likes to be the victim of a bait and switch. So, be clear from the beginning what you expect your brand ambassador to do during their shifts. Will they be filling out an event report? Taking photos? Handing out samples? Cooking or preparing food? Share as much information as you can in your job postings to ensure your applicants are interested in your position.
4. Interview in person or via Zoom Video.
Speaking to the applicant lets you get a feel for their personality. You also get a lot of other information – did they show up on time for the interview? Were they well prepared? Did they hold eye contact? Did they display confidence that they would do well representing your brand? We recommend speaking to someone for at least 30 minutes before booking them for your event.
5. Highlight any perks.
Do you offer a catered lunch? A shaded resting area? Free product at the end of the event? If you have any perks you can list in your job description, that will help you gain more applicants. Brand Ambassadors, like all humans, want to feel acknowledged as people. Small things like breaks and cold water can go a long way toward making each person feel valued.
6. Pay for parking.
Sometimes parking can run $50-$100 for a big event. If your brand ambassador is covering that cost, they will most likely evaluate if the shift is worth their time, given their net pay. If they don’t do that math up front, they will certainly do it as the event gets closer. If they decide late in the game that the wages aren’t worth it due to the cost of parking, you could end up with last minute cancelations.
7. Book a back-up.
There are 600 reasons a brand ambassador could call out. Trust us, we’ve heard almost every one. We recommend booking a backup brand ambassador in case your staff come down with the flu, has car trouble, or gets abducted by aliens. Backups work best if you pay them to physically come onsite, as opposed to calling them if you need them. It seems the latter almost never results in them actually showing up to the shift.
There are some really stellar brand ambassadors out there. We hope these tips help you connect with the best folks for your next event.
Do you need help finding great brand ambassadors? Give us a shout! We’d love to help!