It is difficult to ignore the number of people choosing to go freelance. Within the events industry the percentage doing so has increased by 46%* in the last 3 years. This really is reflective of the industry as a whole and how the landscape is changing.
Client work is no longer ‘seasonal’. Budgets and a businesses needs are continually changing, which in turn leads to more pitching for work and shorter lead times when those briefs do come in. So it can be hard to predict when the busy times will be and what they will entail, so how do you forward plan for that?
Well really you can’t, but having access to a talented pool of freelancers means that the resource can be there when it’s required, rather than having to pay for it when it’s not.
From the business side, of course it’s nice to have a full roster of full-time staff, and there’s a lot to be said for the feeling of “family” that can develop among a group of co-workers. But for a lot of jobs, it’s far more efficient (and just as effective) to hire freelance talent. A freelancer who works from home won’t have a lot of overhead costs, so can offer competitive rates. Plus of course the amount of time spent on a task can be predetermined and can be flexible if a job doesn’t require a full day, week or even month of work this won’t be a problem.
The flexibility that freelancers offer us can also bring difficulties. The best people are always in demand, so with clients briefs coming in last minute it can be difficult to secure the people that you really want or need, so there is an even greater need to build this network to reduce this being an issue.
Relationships are everything and in the world of the freelancer this is so important. It’s essential to be a person or a team of people that others want to work with and to create an environment they are happy being a part of – when you have a choice this can really be paramount to who you get in and of course the overall success of the project!
Freelancers tend to have a wealth of experience because they are more exposed to working with different clients on varying projects and furthermore their role on each job can change on a project-by-project basis. Therefore the industry knowledge they have, along with that all important and extensive ‘little black book of suppliers is very valuable and can bring great benefit to a project.
When considering the needs of the project it’s important to see freelancers as a skilled extension of the team who can bring the relevant knowledge to the project. I know I have huge respect and admiration for everyone we work with and that the rise of the freelancer can only be seen as a positive for the industry and to us as an agency.
*Statistics sourced from Elance
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