Senegal Software hosts The GIG Series once a month to get staffing industry professionals in the same room, discussing their latest takes on reaching success. After a quick rundown of what the GIG Series is all about, we kicked off the discussion with Hedy Popson, President of Productions Plus- The Talent Shop.
Popson reflects on her +30 years of experience in the GIG economy and her journey to the top of event staffing management, before sharing her agency’s approach to curating talent to clients, measuring event data and staying competitive in the event staffing industry.
How Do You Curate Talent to the Right Clients Despite Being a Large Enterprise?
“We're a very large agency. We have 85 internal employees. But we really look at ourselves as an extension of the client's brand. We are a boutique level agency. We provide boutique service. But we're large in that we can pull from our huge database of talent and make sure we're finding just the right match for that client and their overall marketing needs. And that partnership, I think, is what gets all of this and brings it home.”
How Do You Measure Large Sets of Event Data?
“KPIs are huge because we deal with big Fortune 100, Fortune 20, companies. So, we cannot ignore data. It's not an option for us. And we don't get to pick what data is important. I'm really looking at two things right now with our staff and with all of my account managers and our internal team. We thrive on the passion of this business. And with 6,000 people out there, yes, things are going to go wrong. But our activation rates and our fulfillment rates are 97% to 99% on any given weekend. It's pretty incredible, and we worked 35 years to get there.
But what's more important now, ROI or ROE? Because the experience, the return on that experience, is going to be what makes the client decide how they participate, where they participate. Mercedes has a really great group of marketing people running some of their marketing, and they really took a chance. They kind of got out of some auto shows. They do sponsorship at stadiums. They have pop-up stores now across the country. So, they're really trying to go and focus on their market. So, in those places, we look at how many people came into the pop-store today. We created our own patented-pending technology called "Engagement Tracker," and we look at how we move people through the purchase funnel. And I think that's great data to take back to anybody that sells in events.”
How Do You Stay Competitive in the Age of Technology?
“I think it's really important that we remember, technology is our friend, but it's not a replacement. So, yes, staffing has moved on a lot. There are a lot of small staffing companies. There are a lot of companies that can click 'n pick. As I like to say, "Pick your people, get on an app." All of that's a vital part. And when we go through our Paychex system and we're using an app for payment, and people are checking in in real time, and we have geo-tracking, all of that is extremely important. All of us are people companies. So, if we cannot sell people, then we're selling experience that, truly are activation companies, display houses, people out there that have been doing that for years. I try not to merge the two worlds very much.”
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