To All of our A/V Freelancers !!

Patty McGoldrick
Audio Visual Staffing Expert with over 30 years of experience
First off this article is not for those successful freelancers that are in business for themselves and have been for many years… So, I don’t want to hear anything about everyone should know this, this is understood or even this is basic knowledge because no one in this industry teaches new and some seasoned freelancers the do’s and don’ts of how to act on show site. It just doesn’t happen! Therefore, it is my privilege to try to articulate in a grown up way how to act while working on an av job in the Live Events Industry…

You must dress properly for the venue. Show blacks is the preferred dress code, no t-shirts, shorts or sneakers unless otherwise told or a dark polo shirt with khaki pants.

First and foremost, as far as complaints I hear from my clients and buyers of both my Immediate Connections clients and buyers of is that sometimes they cannot find a technician. It is as if they are “missing” and this makes them feel they are paying you for not working. You must at all times be visual on a show. If you are stuck somewhere or are tied up with a problem you are trying to solve for the client, in the best interest of the client then why not notify them of the situation? This will not only account for your whereabouts it will give the client confidence in your skills to rectify a problem without him or her having to deal with it. You get points! Always, always be visible! #2 on the list is yes, you wouldn’t think anyone would do this in the middle of a work place but they pull out a vapor cigarette and just start using it! I have heard this recently and one client thought he smelled marijuana… Can you imagine my having to defend this? Let me tell you yet another story about these vapors… I had a technician in an outside event in a tent at M.I.T., yes I said M.I.T. who pulled one out during a retirement ceremony. I couldn’t believe it! I have no defense, let’s face it, I am up the creek without a paddle! I didn’t charge for him I was so embarrassed! I spoke to him and after he thought about it and realized it was not appropriate. Everything about smoking these days and he never thought about it. Boy did that make me furious! Why did I have to deal with this? Why don’t people just know? I guess that is why I am writing this post. #3 Is phone calls while on another client’s job site! I had it happen yesterday where the buyer said I don’t mind them answering a call, getting a date and saying I’ll call you back but to be having conversations on cell phones while someone else is paying you is unacceptable! Unacceptable! Don’t do it… Either make it quick or don’t answer at all!

These are the top 3 issues I continue to hear even with technicians that have 10+ years of experience behind them. I think it is because no one has ever given them the “how two’s, don’t do’s” of business. Every freelancer out there should know a client or buyer will not say anything to you directly. If you come through an agency like mine, we will sometimes hear about it or they won’t come back. They won’t hire us and they won’t hire you. If you are out on your own they will definitely not hire you again. I can usually talk my way through an unhappy buyer’s complaints but it is the ones that don’t complain that we all need to worry about. At Immediate Connections we send out Feedback forms after each job that takes 30 seconds to fill out and boy do we get results from those. Very good results! Mostly exceptional comments about our great freelancers but sometimes they aren’t which gives us the ability to act immediately to contact the client and do something about the complaint even if it is just listening. It really is an incredible tool! Clients are much more apt to tell you the truth in writing than in a call. In well, the freelancer gets rated because you are working directly with the buyer of the service. They picked you sometimes over 10 others so they expect you to be better than the others. If you are not, you will get a poor rating which every other buyer of the service can see. So watch out when you are hired through It’s you and the buyer, I can’t help you there!

I do hope someone gets something from this post! It is basic information but hopefully it is useful, it is real, and can bury a freelancer in a matter of a shift! Thanks for reading…

Patty McGoldrick
Immediate Connections, Inc.

February 2017