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An event staff member is someone helps prepare venues for occasions such as concerts, sporting events, plays, trade shows or other types of live events. Event staff members may work in a variety of positions such as concession stand workers, ushers, ticket-takers or security personnel. Some work to set up lighting, sound and scenery equipment. Still others work to keep the events organized and clean.
Depending on the size and scope of the occasion, staff members hired to work prior to an event might perform duties such as setting up bleachers or chairs, building stages or preparing the playing surfaces for sporting events. Pre-event staff members who work in arenas might be responsible for quickly covering the ice after a hockey game by setting up a wooden floor for an upcoming basketball game.
Event staff members who work in concessions not only serve food and drinks, but must also know how to operate cash registers and check identification for customers who wish to purchase alcoholic beverages. While in general staff members need not know how to cook, they do need to keep an eye on what is being served, maintain food safety practices and work quickly while practicing good customer service skills.
Even staff members who work as ushers are responsible for making audience members are in their proper seats and that all fire codes are followed by keeping the aisles clear once an event has begun. Ushers may also be required to provide basic information such as the length of the event and the locations of concessions and restrooms. As with concessions, staff members who work as ushers should possess good people skills.
Most events, regardless of size, feature individuals who keep the crowd under control and protect the performers during the course of an event. Security members also are typically responsible for checking bags and purses before allowing entrance into an arena or stadium.
Event staff members can sometimes work as entertainers themselves, helping to supplement the main attraction. These include announcers who introduce teams, bands or other stage acts. Some events feature dancers who provide entertainment between breaks in a game or between sets of a concert.
Attractions such as concerts or professional sporting events often consist of electronics or pyrotechnics, which means finding people who know how to operate scoreboards, projection units, lighting equipment, sound equipment or the flames that shoot out of the stage. These duties generally require prior training, such as a background in theater or audiovisual technologies.
Many events also hire staff to hand out free giveaways such as T-shirts, tickets or collectibles to keep fans entertained. Janitors and custodians may also be employed to keep stadiums and arenas clean during events, making sure garbage cans are emptied regularly and restrooms are clean and well-stocked.
Sam Amico is a reporter for NBA.com and worked as a writer and editor at daily newspapers for more than a decade, covering everything from rock concerts to college football to courts and crime. He attended Kent State University and is the author of the book, "A Basketball Summer." He also is the co-host of a nationally-syndicated television show, "The Wine & Gold Zone."