Frequently Asked Event Industry Questions:
- What is the best way to manage an events workforce?
- What systems are being used to manage an events workforce?
What is the best way to manage an events workforce?
A mobile, events workforce consists of short-term employees or contract workers whose work is contingent on multiple events or projects, based on their skill sets. These types of crew members are more commonly known as “freelancers”, “independent contractors” or “contingent” workers. They often work for multiple companies at the same time, giving them the flexibility to set their own work schedules. This type of project-based professional has become more common in industries such as retail, transportation (i.e. Uber, Lyft), food and beverage, creative services, as well as many others. However, the event production industry has been operating with contingent workforces for many years, from their highly skilled technicians like A1s, Electricians, LD’s, Riggers, V1s, and more to less technical event staff, brand ambassadors, bartenders, models, etc.
Here are a few interesting statistics about the overall contingent workforce:
- By 2020, it is expected that 43% of the total US workforce will be contingent. Source: Intuit, The gig economy may be bigger than you think
- By 2027, close to 6 in 10 (58%) of Americans will be independent or will have worked independently. Source: MBO Partners Looking Forward: What Will the Independent Workforce Look Like in 2027.
- The majority of people that freelance, 86%, CHOSE to do so intentionally. Source: The 2016 Field Nation Freelancer Study
- Because freelancers are out of pocket most of the time, 85% of them prefer mobile devices over a desktop or laptop to conduct business. Source: The 2016 Field Nation Freelancer Study
For more interesting contingent workforce stats, go to: The Ultimate Guide to Gig Economy Data: A Summary of Every Freelancer Survey We Can Find. As the gig economy continues to expand, what does this mean for staffing & event companies? Check out this infographic, The Growing Gig Economy, to find out.
What is the best way to manage an events workforce? The most successful event companies do so by employing robust workforce mangement technology solutions into their labor workflows. Workforce Management (WFM) in general combines multiple internal processes and activities needed to maintain a productive and efficient workforce as well as a profitable company. Workforce management platforms are technology and mobile application solutions aimed at automating these critical processes and provide transparency into a company’s workforce data so that they can make better business decisions. A key element of workforce management is scheduling. However, the best workforce management platforms include other important features such as:
- Applicant tracking
- E-signature capabilities
- Time tracking
- Vendor management
- Performance management
- Event content management
- Travel management
These integrated workforce management solutions can be implemented to increase a company’s productivity, profitability, and overall accountability.
What systems are being used to manage an events workforce?
Event workforce management systems streamline and automate the processes and activities needed to properly manage mainly contingent, mobile crews including highly skilled event technicians, and event labor or staff, with the goal of doing so in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
While the event industry often deals with the very latest equipment and technologies for producing breathtaking and memorable event experiences, many event companies still use manual processes, whiteboards, and excel spreadsheets for internal event workforce management activities such as requesting availability, scheduling, communication, time tracking, travel management, and more. Many event companies also struggle with attaining profitability when it comes to their event labor due to a lack of real-time visibility into actual labor costs and often find themselves going over their labor budgets for an event due to client changes, overtime expenses, travel costs, etc.
Why are many event companies challenged in their event workforce management processes? One of the reasons is due to a lack of technology solutions built for the specific and unique needs of event companies. While there are workforce management technology solutions on the market built for other industries, event companies have traditionally struggled when attempting to make them work for an event workflow, which is very different from any other type of workflow.