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A Complete Guide to Structuring Your Event Production Team

Posted by Gabe Solomon on Aug 4, 2023 10:48:00 AM

Staffing an event is about more than finding skilled AV freelancers. The team structure of your event team is a key component in your success in creating events that your clients will love. All members should be working together to deliver production services, aware of what each is doing and how every part fits into the whole.

At Mertzcrew, we understand that small core teams offer the most flexibility and scalability for live event companies. Instead of moving a large group of employees from event to event, you can move a few small employee teams, supplemented with skilled freelancers that are specifically chosen for each project. This method frees you up to take on more events, increase revenues, and execute at a higher level.

So, with that in mind, here is our complete guide to structuring your live event team for maximum efficiency and scalability.

Understanding Labor and Talent in Event Companies

Every successful event is the result of proper planning and effective staffing. When it comes to labor, every event production company has some unique challenges and requirements that can’t be overlooked.

The first issue is location. It’s expensive to send a large group of employees out to an event venue. Not only is the travel costly, but it also limits the number of events you can take on. It’s essential to be mindful of your event budget, since the costs can impact your ability to service more clients.

Other key challenges include the following:

  • The ongoing shortage of skilled AV freelancers to work events
  • Finding the right crew management software for deployment
  • Decentralized communication & the risk of miscommunication with event staff and production crew
  • High costs associated with live event management

There’s a real need for adaptability and flexibility in small team structures, particularly if you want to be able to take on as many events as possible without sacrificing the quality of your productions. You can build flexibility into your team structure by using a small core team approach.

What is the Small Core Team Approach?

In live event companies, the small core team approach is both simple and transformative. To illustrate the point, let’s look at two hypothetical events.

For the first event, the producer relies on full-time employees to plan and produce events. When an event is in a distant location, the company pays for transportation and accommodations. Since most of their employees are at an event together, they can’t produce more than one event at a time and are unable to scale their company as a result.

For the second event, the production company structure is one that has split its employees into multiple small teams, each consisting of core staff with key competencies. Using a contracting service, they bring in skilled AV freelancers in the location where the event is taking place. The result is that they can handle several events at once. The company’s labor costs are lower because freelancers are paid for the specific days needed for each event., and with multiple events being produced concurrently, the company’s income may be exponentially higher than it would be with the first approach.

Advantages of Small Core Teams

We’ve talked about the efficiency of working with small core teams, but here are some other advantages to consider:

  • Increased productivity. Every team member must make meaningful contributions for events to succeed.
  • Lower costs. You can reduce labor costs by creating small core teams of employees and supplementing with freelancers.  Understand that you will likely pay more per hour for the freelancers than you pay employees, but you are only contracting freelancers for the specific time frame of the project whereas the employees are an annualized cost.  The net result is a more efficient spend and overall lower costs over the year.
  • Faster decision making execution. With fewer team members, there’s less hurdles to reach a consensus and work efficiently.
  • Better support. Small team members have the potential to make tighter bonds in order to support one another to make sure that the event is successful.
  • More trust and ownership. Each member of a small team has more accountability and will be driven to take ownership of their work and trust other team members to do the same.

As you can see, small core teams foster collaboration, communication, and efficiency while also providing a less expensive, more scalable way to grow your live event business.

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How Can Mertzcrew Simplify Contractor Management?

If you need help with contractor management, Mertzcrew can assist you. Our software service makes it easy to handle every aspect of working with freelancers.

You can use Mertzcrew to vet and track skilled freelancers in any location where you produce events.  You can use our tools to find new contractors and speak with them directly to determine if they would be a good option to consider on future projects.

With Mertzcrew, you can rest easy knowing that the freelancers’ tax forms and proof of insurance are taken care of and in place before the event occurs. We’ll streamline your communications, help you track services and expenses, and ensure that freelancers are paid in a timely manner. 

Building an Effective Team Structure

The key to producing memorable events that your clients love is building an effective small core team structure. A properly structured live event team works together and with great efficiency, while one that hasn’t been structured correctly may be prone to errors and miscommunications.

Here are some tips and strategies to build an effective team organizational structure for your live events:

  1. Set goals. Your first step is to understand the live event team’s goals because knowing your goals will help you determine which core team members and freelancers you need to achieve them.
  2. Identify tasks and skills. You’ll need to break each goal for the live event down into tasks, and then identify which competencies are required to carry them out.
  3. Create your core team. Your small core team will need to include management and support staff.
  4. Hire skilled freelancers. With Mertzcrew, you can review your list of approved freelancers and supplement as needed from our network.
  5. Delegate tasks to team members. You can use Mertzcrew to create a small core team roster and event schedule to make sure that each team member knows what’s expected of them.
  6. Communicate with your team. Communication is one of the most important aspects of live event production. With Mertzcrew, all communications are centralized and it’s easy to reach team members and freelancers when you need them.
  7. Evaluate performance. Ongoing feedback can help small core team members do their best work for the best results.

We can’t emphasize the importance of clear communication and collaboration in a small core team with defined roles and responsibilities enough. Proper communication minimizes the risk of mistakes and oversights, encourages cooperation and a supportive work environment, and incentivizes freelancers to work for you on future events.

The bottom line is that proper team structure in a small core team format supplemented with skilled freelancers gives you the best possible chance of a memorable event that will keep your clients selecting you for their future events. Outsourcing with Mertzcrew can help you to reduce your costs while maintaining the high quality your clients rely on.

Using a small core team structure offers your live event company the best opportunity to save money while delivering high-quality, memorable events that will thrill your clients and inspire them to hire you again. Scaling is easy when you learn how to structure your teams properly to maximize efficiency. The key is to structure your core team properly and supplement their skills with AV contractors.

Are you ready to scale your company with a combination of small teams and outsourcing? Mertzcrew is here to help with our freelance management system! Click here to request a free demo today!

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Topics: AV Teams