Lesson 5 – Support Staff

Support Staff

You can’t have an event with only yourself and the entertainment.  Support staff is just as important, and they will help make your life much easier if they are organized.  In this module, we will discuss a few of the major types of support staff and what their functions are.

Our focus quote for this module:

” Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer



Security is important to have at a public event. It may not be necessary for a small children’s birthday party, but is necessary for a larger event. Security can escort people from an event who aren’t invited. They can help remove people who have overindulged in alcohol or who are being disruptive. A security officer can be contracted with a guard company, or you can hire an off duty police officer. It is helpful for the security officer to have current or former police training and experience, but it is not a mandatory requirement.



At larger and more formal events, having a valet is a great asset. A valet is a person who parks the vehicles for attendees at an event. A valet can make your guests feel very important, like they are one of the Jones’s! Not only will a valet make your guests feel special they also provide a great benefit to your event. Valets allow the vehicles to be parked in a way that maximizes space, prevents traffic jams, and allows for easy departure. They also ensure the cars will be parked farther away from the venue and save your guests from having to walk a long way. Valets are also able to know exactly where a car is parked, saving guests from wandering the parking lot looking for their vehicles.


Waiters / Waitresses

Serving staff are important for events that feature food and/or drinks. Whether you are serving a full dinner or hors d’oeuvres, you will need someone to serve them. Serving staff helps pass out and serve food and drinks. They would also be the staff utilized to pick up empty food and drink receptacles. Another function of the serving staff is to educate the guests about the food they are being served. They should be able to tell the guests what the major ingredients are and what preparation methods were used for the items being served. Lastly, the serving staff can be utilized to give feedback to the catering chef. They have the ability to inform the kitchen if the food is received well or if people are complaining about under or over salting, etc.


Clean up crew

The set up and cleanup crew are another important part of planning an event. Whether your event only has a few chairs and tables or an intricate entertainer display, you need to have people who can put it together and clean it. Depending on the needs of the event, the set up and cleanup crew can be the same people, or two different sets of people. The set up crew is the crew that is in charge of building any displays, setting up seating, and any other preparations. They would help with placing the predesigned decor of the event. Once the event staging has been done, the cleanup crew would come in and make sure that the area is clean, free of dirt and debris. After the event, the staging needs to be taken down, and everything needs to be cleaned.


Practical Illustration

Laquinda and Brian are recently engaged. Laquinda decides that she wants to have a huge, lavish wedding in three months. Brian is on board with whatever Laquinda wants but he doesn’t want to spend a lot of money. Laquinda wants the event to feel luxurious and decides that she will splurge on the food and décor. She decides she can cut costs by having very few support staff. Altogether, there are 500 people invited to the event. The frugal couple then elects to only hire three servers and no other employees. They feel like they can do all of the other job functions required for the wedding themselves. On the day of the wedding, the happy couple and their family are hard at work setting up the venue. The wedding starts late because it took so long to set up the venue. After the ceremony, the guests are very hungry. Many of them are annoyed because no one could find a waiter to check on their food. When the reception is over, everyone leaves at once. This causes many traffic jams because hundreds of people are trying to leave at the same time. Before leaving for their honeymoon, the newlyweds and their family have to stay after and clean up the venue.