How to Maximize Your Event Results with Interns

Now that the economy is taking a nosedive, this is the perfect time to give interns the chance to work on your upcoming event.  Interns are typically hardworking college-age youngsters willing to contribute in any capacity for event success. 

Many such interns are simply looking for experience to put on their resume hoping to find a job.  

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), more than 80% of college interns report their internship experience helped them find the right career path.

Let’s take a quick look at the many ways interns can improve your upcoming event.


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Who are interns?

Interns are opportunity-seekers. 

Individuals in need of real-world experience are more than willing to work for minimum wage or even no wage at all. 

You will likely find countless interns willing to do the following work:

  • Event marketing such as social media
  • “Boots on the ground” face-to-face marketing
  • Sales/cold calling/follow-ups
  • Ticket-taking/registration at the gate
  • Personal assistant work 
  • Report/guest list management
  • Event setup/tear down 


Even some retirees looking for an opportunity to get out of the house and remain active will consider volunteering their labor and time to your event. 

Keep an open mind, consider onboarding all interested parties and your interns really will make a meaningful difference in the quality of your event.



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volunteers via Purplepass.



How to find interns

The best place to look for interns is local colleges and universities. 

  • Put up some fliers on college campus billboards
  • Partner with local schools/colleges and have them advertise your job listings
  • Post some ads on Craigslist or job finding services 

a group of students studying together at a table looking at laptop

As is often said, who you know is just as important as what you know.  Hardworking, trustworthy interns are likely to have similar-minded people in their personal circles. 

Extend offers to these individuals and it won’t be long until you have an entire team of interns working hard on your upcoming event. 

You can sweeten the deal for coveted interns by highlighting the fact that those who complete an internship are nearly 15% more likely to snag a full-time job, school credit, or recommendations as a result of the experience.



Tasks you can delegate to interns

Interns are willing to do just about anything to help make your event a success. 

However, this does not mean you should entrust interns to handle the most challenging or important components of event planning. 

Save those difficult projects for the proven industry professionals. 

Since most interns tend to be young, it makes sense to assign them to social marketing and other advertising endeavors. 

Your interns will spearhead your quest for essential online exposure through the use of:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Live streaming 
  • PR work
  • Newsletters/email marketing
  • Backlinking support
  • Blogging/content creation

Interns can also perform administrative tasks, take tickets at the door and do the little things that keep your event planning humming along such as making copies and coffee. 

Be sure to hire interns with a wide variety of interests. 

This way, some of your interns can handle hands-on marketing tasks such as the creation of fliers to advertise the event. 

a female student holding a piece of paper smiling at her colleagues

Bring a couple accounting or finance majors onboard to pitch in with:

  • The event’s accounts receivable/payable tasks
  • Bookkeeping duties
  • Ticket pricing and sales
  • Running reports
  • Sales
  • Other number-oriented tasks

Most importantly, you should extend internship offers to those who plan on working in the event industry after college. 

Pay particularly close attention to how these individuals perform. 

If they excel in their internship duties, you should give serious consideration to bringing them onboard as paid part-time or full-time employees after the internship ends.



Internship compensation and perks

Plenty of interns are willing to work for minimal, if any, compensation. 

The majority of those willing to intern at your organization seek real-world experience they can list on their resume.  However, some interns will jump ship for other opportunities unless you provide some sort of additional positive reinforcement. 

Consider paying your interns minimum wage or even a living wage to keep them motivated. 

Additional perks interns are sure to appreciate include:

  • Free food
  • Free coffee
  • Complementary tickets to the event
  • First dibs on paid positions that open after the internship ends
  • Written references that speak to the merit of their work ethic
  • School credit
  • Introductions to hiring managers and other power brokers in your organization for potential employment opportunities


As detailed in this informative article from Forbes, internships really are likely to help youngsters land a job after college or even before graduation.  However, this is not to say you should guarantee every intern a paid position. 

Dangle the carrot of potential post-internship employment and your interns will fully invest themselves in the event planning process.



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