Is Now a Good Time to Go Into Events? Redevelopment of the Temporary Staffing Industry

It came as no surprise that after the pandemic, the events industry had to rethink its structure. With financial losses, changes in demand and lack of opportunity, many temporary event staff retrained in another field and left the industry. Since restrictions were lifted, many event companies have tried to get back on their feet, but this has not been without its challenges. That being said, the demand from consumers for events is growing every year, and with new festivals comes new opportunities for employers and staff alike. With all this in mind, as an employer or employee,  is now a good time to go into events?

There is an ongoing debate in the Events Industry about whether there is a lack of new staff moving into this line of work or whether there is a lack of employers. If you ask anyone who works in staffing, they would tell you that recruitment has never been easier nor harder. Due to the increase in unemployment nationally, many people are looking for work and excited about the prospect of working within events. Despite this increased pool of people, most have little to no experience in events, through no fault of their own, albeit most employers and clients require staff with vital on-site experience in order to carry out the roles they offer. This is often an unfair standard to set for the younger generation who did not have any opportunities within this industry during the pandemic. As a result of this, those who do take an interest early on, but to no avail, don’t see events as a viable career path.

Alternatively, temporary and seasonal employment has trended online in recent years for those who want to travel or have more freedom in their time. Those who worked in events prior to the pandemic have outgrown this lifestyle and want full-time work or an alternative career with more security; this is understandable considering many had to retrain in another field as means for survival in the pandemic and opted not to return. With this shift, many doors have been opened for the younger generation of keen event workers and the opportunity to work bigger and more exclusive events are available for them much quicker than before. As someone relatively new to the industry myself, opportunities have come up for me that would otherwise have been unavailable. For anyone interested in this lifestyle, temporary events work  is a great option due to flexibility and unusual shift patterns.

Since the lockdown was lifted, there has been a clear shift when it comes to welfare standards, becoming less so a desire and more so a demand from staff within the Events Industry. As well as general mental health support, many factors play into welfare – from a fair wage to better perks. For many, this is a priority when choosing which company to work for and thus has created competition between employers to ensure they are creating a positive workplace experience. As a whole, this positive change has encouraged employers to redevelop their company welfare policies with a focus on staff’s needs as opposed to what will keep costs low. However, with the ongoing Cost of Living Crisis following a time of severe financial losses, many companies cannot keep up with these new standards and have opted for using volunteers as much as possible on the ground. Whilst voluntary workers may save money, often they are only there for the free ticket and this is evident in their work ethic. The introduction of deposits as means to prevent this has been effective, however, this scheme being carried over to paid workers introduces a new set of problems for those who cannot afford an upfront payment. For hot ticket events, such as Glastonbury, volunteers are utilised more so as tickets are almost impossible to secure, so it is a great opportunity for many to attend the festival too. This demand produces a higher level of volunteers, primarily made up of those who work in events anyway. Despite the obvious financial benefits of volunteers, most events opt for paid staff to ensure quality and welfare standards are met.

Within my own company, Festivall Services, it is a good example of how increasing costs is often mutually beneficial to both parties. Our core values are surrounded by three values; welfare, fair pay, and sustainability – all of which do not come cheap. Contrary to popular belief, increasing costs when it comes to meeting these targets has massively benefited the company in many ways. For a start, putting these factors at the forefront of the brand has attracted staff with similar values, leading to a higher standard of employees. When clients choose to work with us, they are opting for a company who provides well looked after staff who care about sustainability and wellbeing. This translates when on-site and working with customers face to face, all round creating a more positive event. As we see many event companies going green, working with a sustainable staffing company is vital to lead by example for festival goers. Not only do staff see these benefits, but both the employer and client gain when it comes to positive representation.

Regardless of the financial setbacks and the lost years, there has never been a better time to get into the events industry. As someone who has entered this space recently, it is clear to see the opportunities to explore so many different skills and interests all within the events industry and work your way into an exciting career. For those not looking for the standard 9-5 office job, events are the antithesis of this lifestyle and allows for more flexibility and freedom that young people nowadays desire. For employers, simply listening to what staff want when it comes to welfare and making adjustments in prioritising sustainability will lead to success within the company. Financial constraints are definitely still at play, but, as more awareness is brought back to the events industry, from a staff and consumer perspective, more money will be brought back into the industry too.

As the old saying goes; what goes around comes around.