Coast to Coast – Event Production Training with the 360DG Field Staff
Exceeding expectations is the norm within the 360DG team. If we had to pick just one thing (out of many) that sets 360DG apart, it’s that we are made up of dedicated, enthusiastic, and trustworthy individuals determined to help us hit our goals and programs out of the park. Crafting captivating programs and having a seamless event production process takes a village, and we’re proud to have a robust one of our own.
When it comes to building out our team, we look for people who are passionate about providing top-tier hospitality. We seek out individuals with friendly smiles and positive energy to ensure they make an excellent first impression at our events and programs. Vice President of Regional Operations for the West Coast, Susan Wormald, says it best: “You hire great people with hospitality hearts. The actual responsibilities of the job are trainable, but a hospitality heart is something that you have inside of you.” The whole experience begins with hiring the right people, from pick-up to send-off.
Not only do we want every 360DG team member to feel supported in their work, but we also want them to build solid and meaningful relationships with one another. So, in true 360DG fashion, we took the initiative and made it happen. Here’s how we helped forge connections, inspire growth, and show appreciation for our field staff from the East Coast to the West Coast.
ONE BIG, HAPPY FAMILY
We brought our teams together across the country in Orange County, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Florida, Chicago, Arizona, etc., to show them how much we appreciate them for constantly going above and beyond (and beyond some more) within their roles at 360DG. Our annual training lasts about 6 hours, including a lunch in the middle or a happy hour at the end, where the staff can build connections and connect with the operations managers individually.
THE FACES OF 360DG
We have approximately 870 field staff employed throughout the country that help our programs run like well-oiled machines. They are some of the first faces our program participants see when arriving at the airport, the first impression of a weekend or longer of events and activities. They assist with transportation, event production, entertainment, food, and beverage, along with serving as tour guides for our activities and hospitality desk staff assistance. And this only scratches the surface. There are countless ways they help us run our programs.
Our teams already have ample knowledge to succeed in their roles, but we want them to feel autonomous and empowered – from the moment they start on a project until the very end. At our trainings, we provide them with guidance on presenting themselves the “360DG way” and review standard procedures regarding payroll, uniforms, and communication to give them the tools they need to flourish. Depending on the location, some trainings have more structure, like in Los Angeles/Orange County, while others are more of an intimate conversation with leadership. Keep reading to learn how our cross-country field staff training went down.
With most of our events, our transportation services play a crucial role in how attendees get around, but we want to make it an experience of its own, rather than simply driving from point A to point B. Our transportation staff is trained to perform a 10-step detailed process that requires them to prepare the vehicle and driver, check the route, and create an engaging environment in the vehicle once the guests are loaded. En route, they introduce themselves and the driver, list off fun facts about where they’re headed, and explain the event or program they’re on their way to. Once the program is complete, the field staff checks the vehicle for lost items, coordinates timing with the driver, and connects with the operations manager to discuss how the transportation went. By reviewing the expectations and steps that need to be taken care of, we can ensure our staff is prepared to succeed.
EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
When it comes to creating standout events, guiding tours, and assisting hospitality staff, all new field staff go through a process of shadowing 360DG veterans so they learn the expectations and how we operate. Each facet of our programs works differently and requires different levels of experience.
For example, our tour guides oversee services and all of the elements involved without actually giving the tour. We hire experts in the field for the tour specifically (think: wine tours, historic tours, local destination experts, etc.), and our field staff joins the tour guide to make sure every other element of the activity runs smoothly and that the guests are supported.
For hospitality desk assistance, the 360DG field staff typically have a background in meeting planning and can easily assist with registration, rooming lists, and special dietary needs. They work directly with clients, the hotel, and guests. So when hiring we look for individuals with knowledge in these specialty areas.
GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
We like to include a philanthropic portion in any of our training forums. In addition to providing various trainings, we wanted to extend our support to their communities through engaging initiatives. In our Orange County/Los Angeles training, we partnered with an organization that creates superhero capes for children’s hospitals of Orange County and Los Angeles. Our field staff filled comic art-printed bags with stickers and decorated capes that are given to pediatric hospitals for kids to wear when they go into surgery or chemotherapy so that the kids feel like they are superhuman.
We know how impactful the little things can be; that’s why we extend our efforts to bring a smile to others. While creating out-of-this-world programs is our bread and butter, supporting our employees and their communities is also a significant part of our mission. We are proud of the team we have created and continue building at 360DG. We rely on the willingness and support of our field staff to help us create memorable experiences, not just for the attendees but for everyone involved in event production.