Attracting Talent

Navigating Event Labor Dynamics: Trends in Outsourcing, Compensation, & Travel

From outsourcing practices to crew pay rate trends & travel preferences, explore key takeaways for event professionals navigating the evolving landscape.

Understanding the ever-changing labor trends is crucial for success in 2024 events. LASSO recently released our 2024 State of the Events Industry report to provide valuable insights into Travel & Labor, shedding light on outsourcing patterns, compensation trends, and crew travel preferences.

Here, we’ll explore the key takeaways in crew management from the report and explore their implications for event professionals striving to create exceptional experiences.

Outsourcing Insights: Striking a Balance

The report reveals a spectrum of outsourcing practices within the industry. A significant 56% of respondents indicated that they outsource less than one-fourth of their labor, showcasing a preference for in-house talent. This inclination towards internal resources suggests a desire for greater control and familiarity with the event team.

In contrast, 22% of respondents reported outsourcing in the range of 26-50%, indicating a moderate reliance on external talent. Another 13% admitted to outsourcing between 51-75%, and a minority of 9% were heavily dependent, outsourcing more than three-fourths of their talent. This range of outsourcing percentages highlights the diversity in strategic approaches, reflecting the adaptability of event professionals in meeting the demands of different projects.

Pay Rate Trends: Investing in Talent

One of the most significant revelations from the report is the trend in crew pay rates. A noteworthy 54% reported a moderate increase in pay rates, demonstrating a commitment to recognizing the value of skilled professionals. This acknowledgment is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent, as a competitive pay rate is often a deciding factor for skilled individuals in the industry.

Even more striking is the 44% of respondents who reported a significant increase in crew pay rates. This is a notable shift compared to the statistics from 2022, where only 29% reported a significant increase. The year-over-year analysis underscores a positive trajectory in the industry's commitment to fair compensation, a promising sign for those dedicated to building a robust and motivated event team.

Crew Travel Patterns: Balancing Mobility & Stability

Understanding the travel preferences of event crews is essential for logistical planning and resource allocation. The report discloses that 48% of respondents sometimes travel their crew, indicating a flexible approach to mobility. Meanwhile, 34% reported traveling their crew all the time, suggesting a more nomadic work structure. In contrast, 16% admitted to rarely sending their crew on the road.

These travel patterns have implications for team dynamics, project execution, and overall job satisfaction. Striking a balance between travel and stability is crucial for ensuring a motivated and cohesive team, capable of delivering exceptional events regardless of location.

Attraction of Talent: Paying for Excellence

The best way to attract great people is to pay them a competitive rate and compensate them quickly. This sentiment, echoed in the report's key takeaways, emphasizes the importance of fair compensation in talent acquisition. The statistics reveal a positive shift in the industry, with more than half experiencing a moderate increase in crew pay rates.

In a competitive landscape, where skilled professionals are in high demand, event producers and organizers must recognize the correlation between competitive pay rates and the ability to attract top-tier talent. It's not merely about filling positions but about building a team that can elevate events to new heights.

Retaining Valuable Assets: The Crew is Key

While attracting talent is crucial, retaining valuable crew members is equally vital. The report emphasizes that the crew is the most valuable asset in the event industry, and investing in their satisfaction is a strategic move. The data indicates a significant increase in crew pay rates for 44% of respondents, a positive sign for job satisfaction and retention.

Recognizing the crew's value and compensating them accordingly contributes to a positive work environment, fosters loyalty, and reduces turnover. This approach aligns with the long-term goals of creating a stable and skilled workforce capable of tackling the challenges of the ever-evolving events landscape.

YOY Analysis: A Positive Trajectory

In 2022, only 29% of those surveyed significantly increased their pay rates, indicating a cautious approach to compensation strategies. The current statistics showcase a shift in mindset, with 44% significantly increasing pay rates. This positive trajectory signifies the industry's recognition of the importance of investing in its workforce, ensuring a more sustainable and thriving future.

By recognizing the importance of fair compensation, adapting to changing travel preferences, and investing in the most valuable asset—your event crew—you can navigate the challenges of the industry and position themselves for sustained success. The positive year-over-year trends in pay rate increases are indicative of a thriving industry that understands the pivotal role its workforce plays in its success.

LASSO’s 2024 State of the Industry report dives into evolving labor dynamics—in addition to other dynamics and opportunities shaping the current events industry environment. Download your free copy today: 

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