Mentorship Programs for Event Professionals
How To Create Successful Mentorship Programs
Building Lasting Foundations for your Event Professionals.
Especially in the events industry, there are certain lessons that are best learned through experience. To avoid everyone making the same mistakes, smart business practices have evolved for seasoned professionals to share their hard-earned lessons with employees who are newer to the industry. Mentorship programs can be used across your business to help support your employees in a more personal way:
- Onboarding and training
- Career development
- Leadership programs
- Communities of interest
- Event teams
Although mentor relationships can sometimes occur organically, there is value in creating a program to ensure everyone is feeling support and the business is gaining maximum benefit. There are many reasons why your business may be interested in creating a mentoring program:
- Creating a corporate culture of communication
- Strengthening employee loyalty in supporting their personal success
- Seeking out individual strengths for event teams or promotion opportunities
- Avoiding burnout for both senior and junior employees—a common obstacle in the events industry
- Ensuring inclusive opportunities for all employees
All employees—both mentors and mentees—benefit from a thoughtfully designed mentoring program. Here we have the basic steps you can follow to support these relationships and ensure they are successful for everyone involved.
Design Your Program
Before you open up the option of participating to your employees, you must first design the basic elements of your program and decide exactly what you want it to do. Here are a few questions to answer while designing your mentoring program:
- What are the goals of the program?
Every business will have different goals specific to their culture and employees. Define what you want to accomplish and how you will measure it.
- Who will be eligible to participate?
This depends on your goals. You may decide to focus on new hires, employees with specific training deficits, or simply any employees who sign up.
- What will determine mentor or mentee status?
Most mentorships consist of the classic duo of a seasoned mentor and a less professionally experienced mentee—but what if your goals are different? If your goal is to help less tech-savvy employees learn from the tech natives, the pairings might look different. Alternatively, you could use a peer-to-peer mentorship where both participants use their individual strengths to help each other.
- What format will the program use?
A one-on-one mentorship could be just right for your program, but there are other formats that might be more successful for your goals. Consider group meetings, social media check-ins, or rotating mentors.
- How will you match people?
A mentorship is only as successful if the match is right, so put some thought into this—no drawing names out of a hat.
Consider using surveys about mentors’ and mentees’ strengths and weaknesses as a basis for a match, much like a brain date. Match mentees with mentors who align with their future goals. Use their job sector, experience, and personality to make a match. You can even use common interests to give them an ice breaker.
Advertise to Potential Participants
Once you have your program designed and your goals set, attract the participants you think would most gain from the program or add a useful skill. Entice employees with how a mentorship could benefit them, whether that is speedier preparation for an event industry certification or a concrete way to enhance the company’s effectiveness.
Send out a memo, hold a meeting, write it on a cake—whatever your employees will pay attention to. They should see it as a thoughtful, supported, and fun program that the whole company is behind so that they feel confident in giving it a shot.
Clearly set out the time requirements and goals for the program so that all participants understand what they are signing up for. Designate someone as a manager of the program to address any questions or concerns.
Support The Program
As the program gets started, highlight the work that the mentorships are doing together and give them public praise as appropriate.
Check in with all parties regularly to ensure that everyone is benefiting from the situation. It can be easy for some mentoring relationships to fizzle out without strong support from the company. Successful mentoring programs drive greater employee satisfaction, stronger retention rates and increased diversity.
After the designated amount of time, measure the results against your goals. This could be in the form of surveys or accomplishments. Who benefitted the most? What goals did you meet, and why did that happen? How could you tailor the program to better fit your employees for the next round?
With a thoughtful design and committed management, a mentor program can perk up employee morale and boost productivity. The events industry especially is built on relationships, so it makes sense to help your employees cultivate as many meaningful connections as they can. Mentors, too, can gain from sharing their experience and reflecting on their own work habits, reasonings, and accomplishments. Together, employees can build a stimulating company culture built on communication and teamwork.
At Omnience we specialize in smarker marketing strategies and results-driven event attendee experiences. Contact us for a consultation to find out more about what we do.