Written by Molly Fast
Last year I staffed my first event in a really long time. My rebirth into the world of staffing events happened on the Susan G. Komen Washington, D.C. Race for the Cure in 2014. I felt battered and bruised, exhausted and spent and wondering what exactly I had gotten myself into. But I also felt exhilarated and motivated, happy and satisfied and grateful for the experiences I had and the people I got to work alongside.

Fast forward to one year later and I found myself back on the National Mall in our nation’s capital for the Komen Washington, D.C. Race for the Cure- again. And I’ve gotta say, I felt entirely different. I noticed in not only in myself, but in many of my co-workers who found themselves staffing more events than even before in 2014.

Taking advantage of a smaller event series on one of our biggest projects (the Susan G. Komen 3-Day) and finding some significant cost-saving measures, many of our year round staff ended up filling key positions to make sure our 3-Day series was properly supported. It took more work upfront in terms of training, communication and expectation setting as not everyone was “an event person.” But at the end of the season, we achieved what we wanted to- realizing considerable cost-savings and building up the confidence and experience of our teammates to become comfortable staffing events.

I ended up staffing six of the seven 3-Days last year. So when I was asked to staff this year’s Race, I jumped at the chance. All the pain I experienced on last year’s Race faded away. I had so many wonderful memories built up and I couldn’t wait to reconnect in person with my co-workers and have an opportunity to get back in event mode!

There are so many benefits to making sure your employees have a chance to staff events: experience, knowledge, exposure, connection, relationship-building just to name a few. But there are more that even I couldn’t have predicted a year ago! Walking around on event this year I saw a team of people who were confident, grateful and happy to be there. The experience we gained last year turned us into people who didn’t sit around waiting for instruction. Rather we went up to the people who likely needed help and asked to be put to work. This led to the setting up and breaking down of the event going much smoother than I remembered from the previous year. And that resulted in our days being slightly shorter, getting off site and into our beds a little earlier. When your call time is 3:30 a.m., this is most welcome!

The moral of my story is simple: take any opportunity you can to get on event. The benefits are so rewarding all around and your entire team will be stronger and better for being able to survive and thrive in the unpredictable and fun event atmosphere.

Molly Fast co-leads the company’s local operations for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day series and feels privileged to work with Event 360’s participant-facing team. For over a decade, Molly has been fortunate enough to combine her love of people with the ability to make a difference in the work she does focusing on exceeding expectations and delighting participants along the way. When not roaming around Ireland, Molly can be found taking photos or talking to strangers in Santa Monica where she lives with her husband and their black lab, Clancy. You can find Molly on Google+, TwitterLinkedIn and her favorite social media tool, Instagram.

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