It wouldn’t be an underestimation to say that the live events industry suffered extremely at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic. The start of 2020 showed real promise for staffing agencies. Many brand ambassadors had a busy year already scheduled, but at the end of March, when the United Kingdom went into lockdown, the world crumbled, as did the events and experiential industry, resulting in major cancellations across the board.
While many agencies were able to claw back some finances by negotiating cancellation fees, it was the brand ambassadors that were hit hardest of all. The casual nature of the role meant that there was very little in the contracts to keep them supported. With no chance of being furloughed and very little opportunity to make money, many brand ambassadors took on full-time employment within sectors less likely to be affected by COVID. With restrictions lifted, and a sense of life returning to some sort of normality, we now must find a whole new generation of brand ambassadors. What can you do to ensure you find the right people to represent your brand?
In between lockdown and restrictions being lifted, we kept communicating with our core staff, and whenever work did come up, we ensured they were offered these roles. With so many staff falling out of the industry our core brand ambassadors have since gone on to become leaders in the industry, and it is their feedback, advice, and contacts that we highly value to help us bring talented new individuals onto our books.
By engaging so closely with our core team, their passion for the industry shone through, and motivated us that we should not just focus on the ability to earn a profit but critically concentrate also on the importance of dealing with people on a human level. Something we have always prided ourselves on.
If you want to find the next generation of brand ambassadors to ensure your events thrive, you’ve got to bridge the gap and rediscover your passion for connecting with those representing you on the ground, rather than just thinking about profit.
The events and experiential industries involve providing enthusiastic individuals with varied and exciting work. One of the biggest sources of inspiration for finding new employees and brand ambassadors has been universities. University students are a perfect fit for the events and experiential industry. Because when you’re looking for young diverse, vibrant, intelligent and motivated individuals, where else could be better?
Students are a perfect fit for what we at Purity have been trying to achieve. Via social media and in-person connection with students on campus, we’ve been working hard to build relationships all over the UK.
Because the pandemic threw students all across the UK into online learning, we’re grateful that society has now reopened to the point where we can run in-person recruitment days on campus. Face to face communication being a vital part of the role of a brand ambassador.
Additionally, positive referrals have been crucial to bringing new talent on board. The brand ambassador approach to work is a very unique one, and in order to counter the lure of “safe” employment, we have been working to recruit people using our extended ambassador network.
One of the biggest mistakes many companies in the events industry have made is viewing their promotional/events staff solely as a financial commodity to be traded, rather than a vital asset without which any experiential campaign is doomed to fail however much budget has been spent on ‘the build’. Many brand ambassadors felt that when the pandemic hit, this was their opportunity to reevaluate everything, especially their approach to earning money. As a result, so many immediately went to full-time safe employment. But one of the best ways we can counter this is by being fair in our pay.
Prior to the pandemic, the base rate of pay for an 8-hour shift was £10 to £11 per hour for a brand ambassador. Fast forward to the other side of the pandemic, skilled staff are now being better rewarded, which means that if you want to bring premium talent to the forefront of your campaigns, you need to pay fair.
A promotional staffing agency such as Purity Staffing values the person over the notion of commodity, and it’s something we all forget, but it’s so important to the overall mission. We can forget that what brand ambassadors do is an incredibly difficult job, but it has long been seen as a thankless task.
One of the positives that have come out of the pandemic is that the notion of skill is more valuable than ever. As inflation and rising costs have hit us all, we are happy to say that we can pay above the older rates so we can have the best staff on our campaigns. As the expression goes: “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys!”
Now more than ever, the importance of a fair wage doesn’t just mean that you are playing fair, but you are showing to your clients that you are willing to invest in every single aspect of your campaign, right down to the people in front of it. If anything, the people who front your campaign need to be given that support and reassurance. Paying them fairly and above board is so crucial for morale.
The future of brand ambassadors looks bright once again as live events are now making a fully-fledged return, which means a greater opportunity for brand ambassadors. You need to ensure that your brand is represented by the right brand ambassadors.
Having experienced highs and lows, our Purity Staffing team has helped brands across the world connect with their audience. With over 15 years of experience, we can help you to tailor an approach that will engage customers old and new and help your brand go the distance it deserves. Get in contact with our team and book your initial consultation today.