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Behind the Scenes at the Primetime Emmy Awards


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This past September, Party Staff had the honor of supporting the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards with our passionate hospitality staff. When it comes to high-profile events like the Emmy’s, it takes an army of event staff to ensure they’re a smooth-running success. For more than two decades, Party Staff has been a trusted vendor for the Emmy’s, providing exceptional staff to serve food and drinks to some of the top names in Hollywood. We sat down with our Staffing Operations Director, Tim Jacobs, to get the inside scoop on what takes place behind the scenes at one the biggest events in Hollywood. Here’s a breakdown of what it’s like to work the event:

Setting the Stage

The Emmys can be more challenging than other events because of the prep work required to make sure the evening is executed perfectly. Before the big day, additional background checks and security clearances must be completed for every employee that will be working the event. Staff members also have to prepare their mandatory attire – servers wear a white dress shirt, black pants, shoes, and belt, while bartenders opt for sleek all-black attire.

The Opening Act

Employees receive staggered call times throughout the morning, with 50 staffers arriving at the Microsoft Theater every 30 minutes. Upon arrival, employee’s check-in and receive wristbands that give them access to the exclusive event. More experienced staff members are given the opportunity to work the red carpet, serving champagne and hors d’oeuvres to arriving guests while guiding them into the theater.

Around noon, staffers are served lunch and given a briefing that includes a run-down of their schedule as well as client expectations for the evening. Then, employees are separated into various groups, depending on the sections they’ll be attending to.

The Main Event

Insider fun-fact: while typically the Emmy Awards dinner is served as individual plated meals, this year it was done as a family style tray pass. Servers deliver large plates of each dish to their tables and guests share the food between themselves. One of the main reasons this new serving technique was implemented was to encourage communication between guests. There’s nothing like delicious food to get the conversation started – this year’s menu also featured more vegan and vegetarian options than ever before.

As the evening winds down, our employees bus tables and serve night caps to their esteemed guests before they continue their night at nearby after parties. Staffers are gradually cut as guests file out. When they leave for the evening, they sign-out with the client and return their wristband for security purposes.

Join the Encore Performance

Tim offered sage advice for incoming employees looking to join the world of hospitality staffing with Party Staff: “Be positive, be proactive, and be confident. Take advantage of the training that Party Staff has to offer, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. We’re a team, and having the confidence to say that you don’t know something is the first step to success in the hospitality industry.”

Outside of the Emmy’s, Party Staff works a plethora of other prominent events. From serving the Waste Management Open in Phoenix to catering personal lunches at Microsoft’s Seattle headquarters,  Party Staff’s 13 teams across the west coast are constantly providing unbeatable guest experiences at our clients’ most important events. Party Staff also offers unparalleled opportunities to our staff, including the ability to manage your own work schedule, attend skill sharpening courses, and work job sites that give back to the local community.

Ready to jump-start your hospitality career? Learn more about opportunities with Party Staff by reaching out to our team today.

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