Sónia Brochado: Lead by example

Managing people, motivating them, bringing them to their maximum potential is a demanding but decisive task when talking about event staff.

Sónia Brochado, Btrust CEO, with an extensive experience in this sector, shares some clues to address the challenges of preparing those who work at an event.

What are the main criteria for choosing an event's staff?

In Btrust's case, the main criterion is that in the face-to-face interview candidates show that they have the necessary DNA, that is, that they share our values and that they feel confident so as to reach the second phase of the selection process, where they will be given the opportunity to perform a first task.

What features are absolutely key and decisive in a staffer?

Honesty, punctuality, proactivity, excellence, care with his image, professionalism, responsibility, intellectual curiosity, the will to grow professionally, team spirit.

How can a staffer's profile be adapted to the company hiring him? Are there strategies to help with this match?

The process begins by researching and collecting the maximum information about the client company, its culture, its way of doing things and what goal they intend to achieve with the service we are going to provide. It is vital to know the features and the type of talent with which this company identifies itself. After collecting information as detailed as possible, we move on to the match phase in which we search in our CRM those who have the profile sought and later we publish in our internal group the job opportunity to sort the availability out.

What is the leadership role in this process? What are the main challenges of dealing with employees?

Leadership is essential if we want our employees to help us being the best company operating in the event staff segment in Portugal and Europe. To perform functions in an exceptional way, teams have to be inspired, motivated and oriented. We have a democratic leadership style and like to lead by example. I have already worn a nun costume and distributed flyers in August with the Btrust team in one of the most challenging jobs we have had. I did this because I wanted to convey that at Btrust when we have a challenge it is a challenge for everyone and that we must always work with pride and give our best.

The main challenges are to be familiar with all the talents of our employees and to touch each one's soul so that their eyes shine when they are working at an event or brand activation. We want our staff to feel happy and to touch our customers' souls while they are with us.

How do you motivate these people whose bond to the company is more fleeting to work their best at events?

What we try to do is showing them that we care about each one of them and we love surprising them every time we can. We are their mentors and we want to support them in developing professional talents and values that will be useful in any profession. We have invested a lot of time, even money, in their development, such as launching the Btrust Academy so that they can have free training, in Btrust give aways, offering "treats" for their birthdays or when we feel the person is in need of energy to feel happier, in recommending their services when they intend to work in their training area... But above all, I think the main motivation is to be faithful to our values and spread joy in during work.

Do you believe event staff is valued in the sector?

Team management is one of the biggest challenges for most people and I know several people in the industry who avoid selecting and managing people who work at events. We still have many companies that ask us for people to work at an event without having clearly defined their goal or exactly what they want to achieve. I can tell you a real story, it was in a real estate convention where we had a great team working and a guest turned to one of our hostesses and said "You are work in events because it is difficult to get work in your own business, isn't it? And this is an easy job to do." Our hostess replied that she was passionate about her work, that she loved studying medicine and in her spare time working with Btrust at events, as besides building financial independence, she learns immensely and gets to know fantastic people. In our case, team management is our passion and the exercise we do is to have no expectations on anyone. We want to educate the market and show that this work can be very demanding and that those who work with us invest in themselves to be the best professionals in the area of events.

How important is debriefing and staff evaluation?

It is extremely important, because only then can we be sure of how the event went and if there is something we can improve. Staff evaluation is usually done by our client, co-workers and our people managers. This evaluation aims to analyse whether the employee did a service as expected or exceeded the expectations, as this is the objective. As well as allowing you to know more deeply their performance and potentialities.

Given your experience with international events, how do you evaluate the quality of Portuguese staffers?

Our Portuguese staffers have a very high level of professionalism, multi-skilling, protocol, proactivity and language skills. My dream was to be able to pay the same amount in Portugal that I pay in France or Germany, because in these countries I get to pay three times more than I pay in Portugal for the same level of experience and profile. At Btrust we encourage our teams to travel and work in the area of events in several countries, because this exchange allows a greater development as professionals and people. It is wonderful to receive feedback from our customers to say that Btrust in Paris, Dubai or Frankfurt has the same DNA and culture and that it is amazing how we have managed to maintain these values.

Tags: BTRUST, Staff, Leadership