The Benefits and Challenges of Hiring Interns for Sponsorship Event Management

Published March 26, 2018 | Category: Best Practices

Have you considered hiring interns? Do you already have an internship program in place? Either way, if the answer is yes, you will surely encounter some challenges among the obvious and less obvious benefits. While every internship situation is unique to the organization, the intern, and the task, many of the challenges and benefits are similar.

What are some of the challenges of hiring interns for your sponsorship event management services?

Need for training

Even though you won’t spend the amount of money you’d spend on a full-time or even a part-time employee, the amount of time you’ll spend training interns is often the same, if not more, because you are not hiring someone with experience. Interns are usually young, still studying, or fresh out of school. Many of them haven’t developed workplace interpersonal skills. All of those challenges need to be addressed with thoughtful training. While it would be great if you could provide in depth full-circle training for your interns, this is usually not possible. Focus on training interns for the tasks they will be performing the most. Decide if that’s sports marketing, or event management, or perhaps communication with sponsorship partners. That will help them to start developing an expertise too.

Quick turnaround

The average cycle for an intern is 2-6 months. This is a significant challenge, because the goal is to harvest the effort you put into training and just when interns are settling in, poof, they’re gone! We know this can be a bit overwhelming, but please don’t neglect investing time and effort in new interns, because the more you do it the better you’ll become at it over time.

Handling sensitive information

To be able to delegate some tasks, you’ll often need to hand over a lot of information. Sometimes that information is sensitive or confidential. While we can’t tell you the magic formula for how trusting you need to be and your internal compliance and legal counsel can best direct you on how to remain within the law, it’s safe to assume you need to have an NDA in place for each of your interns. While there are some horror stories about interns unprofessional behavior and information misuse, don’t be discouraged. Have confidence in your good judgment, decide the proper risk level, and honor your interns with trust and respect, and that will usually be reciprocated.

Keep the motivation on a high level

We know that interns are not in it for the money. But they are in it for different stuff – learning new skills, building their portfolio or CV, learning about corporate culture or agency life, and networking. Give them opportunities for all of these things. Learn about their interests and passions and try to align their strengths with the work you assign them. Treat them like real team members, and they will act like real team members.

Confusion with the role description

We can imagine your organization is often overwhelmed with managing workload, and not enough manpower to do it. So you hire an intern and you might think she’s an all-round player that can help you with many different things. Sometimes, that might be true, but most of the times, it’s not a good equation. Define the intern’s role yourself first. Decide where they would be needed the most and stick to that. That way both your attention and efforts as well as the intern’s will be focused.

The benefits of internship are numerous as long as you know what you want to accomplish, you have an idea of the tasks interns would be useful for, and you have some time to invest in their training. If that’s the case, assigning an intern to help you with your event planning and sponsorship management can have several benefits. Here’s what you need to know to create internship relationships that are set up for for success.

Give them clarity about their role and what’s in it for them

The biggest mistake you can make is to overpromise and underdeliver. For example, your intern might think they are going to get hands-on event planning experience, and they end up printing out meeting agendas and getting coffees. Nobody expects you to give sensitive tasks that take years to develop over to interns, but you need to make sure you value your intern’s time, their potential and talents, and give them clear directives.

Motivate interns by making them feel like they are truly a part of the team

They might even become that eventually if the opportunity presents itself, or there’s space for a new hire in your organization. It’s almost always better to hire someone you already know and whom you’ve already trained. So, you never know what kind of a diamond in the rough you might find.

Use their creativity and fresh eyes

Include interns in meetings and brainstorming sessions, especially if you need to generate a lot of ideas for a project aimed at their age group. Interns tend to be younger so they might be more in sync with new trends, especially if they are social media related, so why not harvest those insights and ideas. At the same time, they will gain experience from participating in meetings, and they will also learn how to better approach the tasks in your organization by actively communicating with the team.

Train them to use the tools

One thing young people are usually good at is new technologies. Most businesses use numerous tools and automation in their processes. Whether it’s email automation, guest management, or statistics tools, they can execute a lot of process using them while learning about the business at the same time. By assigning an intern to work with tools such as EventHub, you will save time while allowing your interns to become immersed in your business and get hands-on sponsorship event experience.

Let them make a first stab at things

Whether it is a presentation you’re doing, a research project or even a client proposal, interns can be helpful getting started with your guidelines, and gain valuable experience doing actual work.

Hands-on at the event

When the event finally arrives, there are several tasks to be done on-site, both before, during and after the event. You can include your interns in almost all aspects. Interns will experience the high that comes from being an important part of on-site event operations.

Hiring interns should be mutually beneficial – the intern learns new things, develops new relationships and builds his résumé, while the organization saves money and taps into fresh, young ideas.