Photo by Yvette de Wit on Unsplash
Originally posted on medium.com
Interview with CrewLance Co-founder, Samir Pekaz.
Q: Why CrewLance? How did it start, what’s the problem and who are you helping? But why do you think they need help, what’s broken… Do they really need help? Ok, I get it is good for event freelancers, but why is it good for those who hire freelancers (event production companies, event managers, exhibitors, etc.)? I see. Any piece of advice for them?
S: CrewLance is an online workplace that caters to event Organisers (Clients) and freelance event Crew (Suppliers).
A few years back, when I first moved to London and needed a job quickly, I tried few things and then decided to pay my bills with an old-acquired skill: working at events as a crew member and technician. It was fun being back in the events industry for a while, but soon it started to bother me that I worked in Zero-hour contract and being paid ‘peanuts’ even though I was well experienced. I was stuck. At that point, I made a decision to strike back, register a company, get my insurance, become a crew Freelancer (hashtag invented just now #Crewlancer) and find my own clients. Little have I known this is not going to be as easy as it sounds!
Twelve months on, I had a total of 4 clients (an Italian exhibitor I met by chance and few I have found on Craigslist). I soon figured that the problem was down to not having an extensive network of contacts and therefore no access to clients, same as many other people I’ve met. Problem discovery. So I was back to my old ways and more agency work.
FFWD>> The usual startup story of discovery, co-founding, validating, building, struggle. Now, we are in our BETA version and we are on the mission to solve this problem not only for freelancers but the opposite problem for their clients. CrewLance is now making it easy for freelancers and event organisers to connect directly, allowing organisers to book event crew in minutes and save from 30–60%.
CrewLance gives freelancers quick and convenient way to showcase their skills, take jobs posted by clients and build their own personal brand. Also, payments are processed quickly after the jobs are done and review made. This means no more waiting and chasing clients for payments. CrewLance is tackling a big wages problem as well, the race to the bottom — there are minimum hourly/daily payments for all job categories. If there are any problems on the job (which we all know occur sometimes), we settle any disputes.
The platform focuses on niche job skills. Event organisers and Exhibitors can use it to find event people with laborious and technical skills. The biggest advantage for clients is that all individual freelancers are previously interviewed and vetted and our 100% job satisfaction guarantee. As a client, you are more likely to hire someone already recommended by another client. By having an option to leave honest feedback clients are building safety into the workplace to benefit everyone. Feedback and reviews are provided by both parties, after every finished job. At every moment you know what you get for your money because we have a crew with different skill levels (Skilled, Pro, Elite) and we are open about this. Also, there is no charge for clients to post jobs or hire on the platform, rather we encourage clients to give back to local charities and donate £5 for every job they book with CrewLance.
If you are interested in how our platform works or you have an upcoming event and you want to hire the best London event crew in minutes, you can do so on our booking page in 60 seconds.
As an Event organiser or Exhibitor, you will execute your event as well as your weakest link in the chain is. Most of the professional Event organisers that are in it for a long run have experienced and known this. Why then to hire unmotivated, unexperienced fee earners to work at your event and pay a lot of money due to inflated agency fees? My advice to event organisers is to invest some time into sourcing your own event people, avoid inflated fees and hire skilled freelancers that will go above and beyond to contribute to your event experience. The reason is simple- they work for themselves, building their own brand and reputation. You want to be working with those people.
One of the most serious problems freelancers face is not to get paid soon after they provided services/equipment. The events industry in the UK is becoming very precarious. Business rules suggest companies keep money in their bank accounts for as long as possible. We can see the obvious problem here- freelancer will happily do a job for a client, but they will usually have to wait for 2–8 weeks to get paid. With CrewLance, freelancers get paid straight after their job is finished and reviews exchanged.
And this is what CrewLance is all about — to help freelance event Crew get more work and earn better wages, and on the Client’s side to improve access to top event industry specialists and speed up the booking process.
#Crewlancer #Freelancing #Events #Exhibition #London #Eventprofs
Photo by Yvette de Wit on Unsplash