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Temporary Event Staff :: Their Value & Your Brand. You Get What You Pay For.

Putting the Value of Temporary Event Staff into Perspective

Having more than 10 years full time experience and 14 years overall, in the temporary event staff industry, I have learned alot. My aunt has a magnet on the fridge that says, “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”.  I feel like this relates strongly to how I feel about conducting business with both clients and temporary event staff.

As Tigris heads into it’s 10th year of business, I can reflect back on many memories ranging from the wonderful opportunities we’ve had and people we’ve met, in addition to some of the unexpected, sticky situations that have arisen. You have to take the good with the bad – but ultimately you need to stand your ground, whether your negotiating a new contract or asking someone to be accountable for something they did or didn’t do.

What I’ve firmly come to believe is you almost always get what you pay for.  We’ve had companies call us with a budget of $15/hr or less; but we typically pay our staff $18-20/hr or more.  We run a reputable temporary staffing business, not a charity, so we can’t even consider a budget this low.  I’m sure there are companies out there who can, but we don’t want to “stoop” that low so to speak or undercut the calibre of our services and the pay expectations of our team.

The Impact of Competition and the Recession on Temporary Event Staff

In spite of the recession, the cost of living continues to rise but prices continue to drop.  I have tried to figure out why but I think this can be largely attributed to the volume of new companies who are undercutting previously accepted hourly rates and associated fees and don’t bill for out of pocket expenses like parking and mileage. There are other large firms who bill for expensive consulting and management fees but subcontract staff at cost, as part of the package, so they become impossible to compete with.

To top it off, the event staffing industry is also becoming increasingly more concentrated with the growth of social media. It is becoming easier to find new clients to work with as well as new people to work for you. Social networking sites like facebook enable targeted recruiting based on geography, gender and even looks, so you no longer have to wait for people to come to you via traditional job postings.

Are these changes impacting the quality of temporary staffing being booked? It depends on who you ask I suppose.  If someone chooses one company over another, there will be a higher expectation associated with that choice if they are even minimally more expensive.  Unfortunately, people aren’t perfect but it’s important to remind your clients about this and try to manage their expectations.  Nobody is perfect.  They have their good days and their bad days – but the best temporary event staff and their agencies are consistent with their team and services they provide.

At the end of the day, clients have to weight their options wisely while keeping their bottom line in mind.  I guess you can think about it this way… Not everyone can afford to eat at The Keg every day but it sure does beat McDonald’s. Maybe you should think about it this way.  Temporary event staffing teams bring life to your brand so they couldn’t be more important.

Serena Holmes
Serena Holmes
Serena Holmes (formerly Schwab) is the President & CEO of Tigris Incorporated. She is a Broadcast Journalism graduate from Ryerson University. She began working in events in 2000 and started with Tigris as an events staff in 2004, was promoted to management and later accepted partnership. Serena took over operations of the company in 2008. Since that time the roster has tripled and the company continues to grow at a healthy pace. Some keynote clients include Rogers, Motorola, GTAA, CHIN Radio, Appleton Rum and many others. Google PLus Profile:

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