The freelance lifestyle has it’s ups and downs. When it’s working for you, then it’s the only way to work. You know what that feels like – you’ve got regular clients, as much work as you want, and you get to set your schedule exactly as you want it to be. But when it’s not working or when you are deep within the industry’s quiet period, then you can feel like you’re basically wasting your life away. No-one wants you to work for them, your parents want you to get a real job and you have to watch every penny going out.
Not a nice place to be.
Of course we believe that our brand new website is going to be an invaluable tool when it comes to keeping you as employed as you want to be. But there are also some basic golden rules that you need to follow that will ensure you’re front of mind the next time an agency, crewing company or recruitment firm is looking for the perfect person for a job.
Let’s go through them.
It’s amazing what a difference this simple tip can make. No one really notices when you’re early but the same is not true for the opposite. When you’re in the business of events, which technically is another word for logistics, you want things to happen according to plan and to schedule. And that can’t happen if you’re waiting for people and not sure where they are or when they’ll arrive.
Be on time, be willing to stay until you’re no longer needed and try not to moan about the early start or the late finish.
This is the events industry after all. If you can do that, then you’re already in line to secure the next job.
Bring the right attitude to the job.
We’ve all been there. It’s just gone 23h59, you’re 14 hours in, you’re trying your best to get the job done and there’s someone on the crew who can’t stop moaning about everything. He / she grumbles about a task issued by the manager, moans that they’re better than this, that they demand better conditions, hate the catering, thinks this is all a waste of time… etc. etc. or all of the above. Don’t be that person.The industry is about taking the rough with the smooth. Some days you will get to ‘work’, do 4 hours work and go home. Other days a truck will get stuck and a 12 hour shift will mean that you have to stay over.
Use your sense of humour to get through these scenarios, work on getting the team on your side and make the best of any work situation.
Some jobs are better than others, obviously, but they all need to get done and if you can do it with a smile then you most certainly will be requested back.
Understand your position within the team.
Setting up an event, making it happen seamlessly, and returning a venue to its natural state is a demanding,complex and difficult task that involves so many variables it would take a text book to describe. EventPros are booked specifically to fulfill a role, be it as a mere member of a team to fill a gap or a more senior role as a project manager. Sometimes (and very often), you could have someone leading a team that is either younger or less experienced than you, or both.
The objective when arriving to a project is to work together to ensure the project’s success. Not to constantly work against the person above you because you believe he/she is not carrying out a task the right way.
Equally, there will be times when someone above needs help. Managers never have all the answers and have usually been chosen to act as the liaison between the client and the crew. But it is important in these scenarios that you try and put your idea across in the right way. Try using the line “That’s a good idea, but what if we tried…x/y/z?” Instead of “I’m sorry mate, but that’s just not going to work.”
Make sure you have the right gear for the job.
My father always used to say that arriving to a job without the right tools is like going to war without a gun. Part of your responsibility is to make sure that you have everything you need in order to perform your job to the best of your ability. Of course there are exceptions – no-one’s expecting you to show up with your own forklift but whether you’re a ‘lampy, chippy or project manager there is always a list of tools that will come in handy. Here are just a few:
- Leatherman – McGyver used to build shopping malls with a Swiss Army Knife and some string, so just imagine what he could do with a Leatherman.
- Wodger – this is a box full of pvc, gaffer tape, cable ties, random tools. All the ingredients that will take you and your team over the line.
- Podger – a stage builder and riggers weapon of choice.
- Truss hammer – Thor never forgot to bring his to a fight, and you should never forget to bring one to an event site.
You are only as good as your last event.
Remember that awesome show in Trafalgar Square where you were on top of your game and everyone said you made all the difference? Sure you do… but chances are no-one else does. You can’t ride on a great performance from years back, you need to deliver consistently and it’s critical to realise that you’ll only ever be judged on your last performance, so make sure it was outstanding.Those are the 5 golden rules.
Of course, it’s not rocket science but if you know what is expected of you then you know what to deliver, and you can expect to work as much as you want to on better and better gigs.
But wait, allow us to pass over one more pearler of a tip:
Follow up with your Project Manager after the event.
Just a quick call to thank them for the gig, to ask if it they were happy and to note your availability going forward.
You won’t believe what a difference it makes.