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Propared Blog

Tips and Advice for Managers, Planners, and Event Production Professionals

November 10, 2016

4 People Operations Mistakes Your Event Company is Making Right Now

This post was originally published in October, 2015. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Last fall, I read about a live event design and production company in California that faced HUGE fines over improper i-9’s for their employees. Running an event production company for the last eight years has given me some perspective on the human resource challenges faced by live event companies.

People operations is always a complex task for a business owner. Small or large company, it doesn't matter. Labor laws have evolved in incremental stages over time. Mainly this is because they are meant to address issues as they arise. It's almost impossible to predict every challenge, especially in such a rapidly evolving labor market.

But when these sometimes starkly different laws are fused together, they present a challenging set of rules. Even well-established, successful companies struggle to navigate. Imagine the difficulty (and cost!) for inexperienced business owners and entrepreneurs. You could compare it to quenching your thirst by drinking from a fire hose.

June 7, 2016

“Living” Wage: How the Fair Pay Debate Could Impact Your Event Business

What constitutes a fair and just minimum wage? Or perhaps the better question is: what should the minimum wage be, such that it is high enough for an individual to maintain a “normal standard of living?”

The debate over this “living wage,” especially in the broader context of existing minimum wage law is long and contentious. Spoiler alert: we don’t intend to solve it here. But recent legislation has passed or is pending in several major cities and at some state levels as well. At the same time, many more bills are currently working their way through state and local legislatures.

No matter the outcome, they will have a significant impact on many businesses. Especially event companies that often hire freelancers or contract low to minimum wage workers. Let's take a quick tour through a few of the issues businesses, and specifically event companies are going to face as the “living” wage debate heats up.

April 11, 2016

A Complete No-Nonsense Guide To Freelancing In Events

The term “freelancer” gets thrown around a lot these days. We do it, too. It’s an easy way to loosely define most of the people working in events. But “freelancer” isn’t a job title. It’s merely the method by which you conduct your particular business. There are freelance event planners, production managers, technicians, designers, and so on. With that in mind, let’s remind ourselves exactly what it means to use the term and offer some practical business tips for those that proudly call themselves “freelancers.”

February 4, 2016

The Importance of Business Planning for Freelance Event Managers

When I began freelancing in theater and events, I did what most young people do. I sent out a few emails and resumés and asked my friends for some connections. It was enough to get the ball rolling. Most of my early gigs came from someone calling me who just needed a warm body to fill a spot. 

December 3, 2015

Thank Your Crew! A Guide for Event Managers To Show Their Teams a Little Love

Every event and production manager knows: it can take a village to put up a project. That's why, as the holiday season gets into full swing, we thought it might be nice to look at some ways to say thank you to all the people (crew, techs, assistants, vendors, etc.)  who make the managers look so good. 

August 18, 2015

So You've Decided to be a Stage Manager. Now What?

A lot of articles you read these days about how to become a stage manager focus on how hard the work is, how difficult it is to find jobs, how little money you’re going to make, or even how all the good positions are taken.

100% UNTRUE.

There are so many amazing ways to create a successful career. The trick is to change your perspective. Take some time to expand upon the definitions that have been presented to you up to this point and suddenly, the pool of jobs for stage managers you could be hired for expands significantly.

July 7, 2015

4 Ways to Reimagine Working with Freelancers

Last night I drove up to Ft. Collins, Colorado to have drinks with Chris & Lee. They own Rockfan Entertainment, a live sound and staging company operating throughout northern Colorado. We had an amazing conversation about owning and operating small businesses in the events world. As we spoke, all three of us kept remarking on how similar our people management challenges were. Even though we work at practically opposite ends of the country (me at Propared and Tinc Productions in NYC, they in Colorado), the fundamental processes of event staff management - hiring, booking, and communicating - were strikingly similar. Last week, I touched on the unique challenge of connecting with ever-changing project teams. After chatting with the guys at Rockfan, I was reminded of some great lessons learned over the years.

April 17, 2015

Work-Life Balance for Freelancers

by Kaitlyn Ackerman

April 7, 2015

Transitioning into the Professional World

©Tinc Productions, 2015
March 17, 2015

Propared Interviews the Pros - Niklas Anderson

Nik Anderson - Designer, Manager, Electrician extraordinaire

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