Event Labor
May 16, 2017

Event Labor Decisions: More Than Meets the Eye

When the time comes to plan your event, one issue comes up almost immediately every time: Should I book local labor in the city where the event is held, or should I contract my approved production company to book all labor?

In a perfect world, you might find cost savings in travel and hotel costs, assuming that the labor contractor at the hotel will provide the best technicians and support staff. They would also manage that labor effectively, setting appropriate call times and keeping a close eye on your overtime each day. Unfortunately, we live in a slightly less than perfect world.

Why Production Company Labor?

Your valued production company partner should have several key concerns always in mind on your behalf.  Chief among those is risk. What risks increase or decrease as a result of your labor decisions? Will you have the very best technicians available? Are they fully vetted, in terms of their skills, experience, and security?

With a quality production company, you can be assured that they’ve taken the time to check the quality of each crew member for your event. They train in the specific gear you are utilizing and conduct background checks on each person, from load-in to load-out.

You need to be assured that your crew is from the “A List,” whether they are setup labor, stage managers, video, audio, Technical Director, Lighting Director, or support staff. Even in those cases where local labor is a clear cost saver, your trusted production company is best positioned to inquire and hire the best fits for your event and manage those individuals through the entire process.

Avoid the Risks

Risk arrives in many forms. It could come in the form of trusting your event to those with misaligned skills or interpersonal interactions. The success of your event relies on not only having the highest level of technical performance, but also on each member of the crew being able to interact positively with your executives, planners and attendees. Your production company partner has this experience and can balance risk against savings, making sure your event staff is poised for success on both sides of the drape line.

Talk to your production company account executive, that person who has gained your trust and is looking to grow the relationship even further. That person who can explain to you the costs of each decision and weigh those risks in clear terms for you. Often times the local labor option is the best option, but other times it may be prudent to utilize the best of the best as provided by your production partner. Either way, many industries use the same phrase, and it certainly applies here: Don’t go it alone.

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