Creating the Alford Experience: Event Labor Management

Creating the Alford Experience: Event Labor Management

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Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you that a company is only as great as its people. Steve Jobs once said “It’s not the tools you have faith in. Tools are just tools, they work or they don’t work. It’s the people you have faith in or not.” At Alford, we believe that our people are the ones who make all the difference, tirelessly creating the best experience for each client. Our dedication is to your show, and that drives what we describe as our crew-first philosophy.

While most event production companies hire a third-party labor provider, we choose to personalize the process and use our selective criteria to cater to our client’s preferences. So, to understand more about how we differentiate ourselves within event labor management, we have spoken to our in-house professional, Kevin Geer.

Kevin Geer graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. In college, he worked at a distribution center as a warehouse manager and wanted to utilize both his skills learned in logistics and education. Starting out at Alford Kevin worked in Operations before quickly moving to Support where he became Labor and Travel Coordinator and is now the Labor and Scheduling Manager. Coming up on his 5-year work anniversary, Kevin has built a valuable skill set with insight that allows us to make the best decisions for scheduling the perfect show crew.

Our practices for hiring an event crew centers around more than technical skills, availability, or even cost. We take pride in our decision to foster lasting relationships with staff and freelancers, gaining trust and valued insight in the process. And while Kevin is on the front lines of labor management, it’s our executive leadership team and our account managers that are eager to help make these decisions. It’s protocol for our leaders to be involved in the details of the show staffing process, and that’s been a defining cause for our success. Several times a month, Kevin will meet with our President, Steve Alford, our Executive VP, Tom Alford, our VP of Business Operations, Melanie Reed, our VP of Sales, Gary Scott and the account managers, to examine upcoming events and to strategize about fulfilling our client’s needs. “The number of resources that we put into the selection of our people, shows our dedication to that “crew first” philosophy,” said Kevin.

Alford’s personnel selection is an in-depth process that focuses on our client’s specific traits, particularly those of their personality type or working styles. We learn about the ways our clients prefer to communicate, their level of technical knowledge, or desire for the latest gear, and most importantly we make it our mission to understand exactly what the client expects in order to create the best experience.

“The number of resources that we put into the selection of our people, shows our dedication to that “crew first” philosophy.”

We seek out individuals who represent our company values in all situations, as Kevin said “We look for someone who owns those Burgundy values. They’re humble, professional, team players. Patience and adaptability are also highly important because there are constant changes on show site and high-stress situations need to be met with professionalism.” Over the years, we have built an expansive list of dedicated staff and freelancers. These men and women are highly integral to the success of our client’s shows, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly.

Some 63.64% of staffing companies say their ability to increase their talent pool is the number one issue the industry faces. By nurturing a quality over quantity mindset to Alford’s in-house process, we have mitigated this obstacle. Our talent pool is filled with some of the most uniquely skilled technicians in the industry, many of whom have been with us for decades. As Kevin noted, “The people that are on our skilled labor list, stay on there for a long time.” And the reason we’re able to maintain these long working relationships is because our culture is one based on inclusivity and family. We bring our children, our dogs, and our most authentic selves to an environment that supports us in ways that build loyalty and pride in our work.

While most companies have moved away from outdated ways of managing staff schedules, like using excel or pen and paper time sheets, nearly 19% of the industry still uses these methods. We differentiate from most companies through our custom event database, Backbone. This system gives our crews access to show details quickly and efficiently, also logging hours and cost. At Alford, we use our database system to streamline and advance that process, giving us more time to hone in on our hiring processes.

Creating lasting relationships with people has long served as our strongest indicator of success. We strive to maintain genuine and thoughtful decisions when it comes to our client’s show crew. Putting faith in our crew members and in the client’s vision results in an experience that reminds everyone why you’re putting on a show in the first place, for people.




Alford Media