Just last year 33% of Americans participated in some form of independent work and the number of participants in what’s colloquially called the “gig economy” is expected to increase not just in the United States, but around the globe.
Workers in the gig economy choose to sacrifice steady income and job benefits for a flexible work schedule and the ability to “be your own boss.” Customers who work with these freelancers appreciate generally reduced prices and increased levels of service. In many cases the services provided through the gig economy represent a win-win for workers and for customers.
Many event organizers may be able to benefit from the services offered by various marketplaces. Whether it be from a ridesharing company that provides vent attendees with discounted transportation, or a marketplace that offers the help from on-demand business people, savvy organizers will find that a plethora of interesting services are available thanks to the growing gig economy.
Some readers may already know that Uber, the now $50B ride-sharing company, gained early traction by teaming up with events to raise awareness about the Uber brand. Well the now behemoth company continues to work with event organizers interested in providing rides for event goers.
Organizers can offer event attendees discounted rides by sharing a predetermined promo-code with them. Of course this means that the organizer usually ends up subsidizing a portion of event attendees’ rides, however in some cases, Uber has partnered with events or event sponsors to offer attendees special perks.
Take this year’s Art Basel, an art event held annually in Miami Beach, Florida. During the event a headline sponsor, Effen Vodka worked with Uber to provide event attendees with unique transportation experiences, the promotion was called “Land, Sea, Air”. Riders could choose to take a yacht, sea plane or luxury SUV by entering a special promo code in the Uber app.
It should be noted that other ridesharing services like Lyft offer similar partnership opportunities.
For event organizers worried about arranging a ride for event materials instead of event attendees, Roadie might be the ideal service. Roadie Roadie is a delivery network that pairs people shipping items with people traveling across the United States to form a delivery network. Event organizers who need to move items from point A to point B may find Roadie to be more cost-effective than standard delivery services.
One of the most common refrains from event goers who travel to a meeting or event set in an exotic locale, is the feeling that they never had the chance to explore the location. Instead, the attendee was stuck in an event venue for most of the day, and at night retired to a staid convention center hotel.
Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, Homeaway, and VRBO may provide event goers with the ability to better experience the host location. As reported by Skift, Airbnb may soon provide event goers with the ability to book a home through a widget embedded on an event website. While it is doubtful that Airbnb could guarantee specific room blocks, like a traditional hotel can, the company is interested in somehow making home-sharing more accessible to event goers.
Airbnb’s recent addition of Experiences means that guests have the ability not only book a place to stay, now they can also book a trip that brings them closer to the true nature of the destination.
Organizers may find that attendees (especially young event attendees) are more willing to travel to events in far-flung locations, if a home-sharing option is available. Some travelers feel that staying in an Airbnb or Homeaway provides a more authentic travel experience that can turn an average event into a memorable one.
Freelancers and Distributed Workers
Just as rides and hotels have become on-demand thanks to rich marketplaces like Uber and Airbnb, business professionals have become on-demand as well. With platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, it has never been easier to find talented professionals.
Upwork features tens of thousands of freelancers with expertise in marketing, development, graphic design and administration. Since freelancers are distributed around the globe, they can even work on a project while the customer sleeps.
Fiverr is a similar freelancing platform that features many talented professionals with similar expertise as Upwork. The difference is that for the most part these services start at $5.
Occasionally some of the advice on found in Bizzabo resources involves work that is somewhat technical. Analyzing the data from an event website for example, involves installing a bit of code in the website header. Upwork can supply web developers capable of installing this code in an hour or less. This is just one small example of how adding a freelancer to an event planning team can help to take an event to the next level.
For tasks involving manual labor, TaskRabbit is a great option for event planners who need something assembled or cleaned and Shyp provides organizers with an on-demand courier for instances where a package needs to be delivered in a hurry.
As online learning continues to grow in popularity, platforms like Skillshare and Udemy provide experts with an opportunity to share knowledge through for-profit online courses. In a world where event planning strategies are constantly changing, event organizers may find these online classes to be valuable.
Event organizers could opt to take a course on web design lead by a professional designer at InVision, a prototyping company that specializes in great design. Alternatively, readers might prefer to view a lecture from marketing thought-leader, Seth Godin. There are thousands of online courses available capable of teaching organizers valuable new skills.
Wrapping Up: What Organizers Should Remember About the Gig Economy
Most event organizers have limited time and resources when planning an event. The gig economy can help event organizers to work more efficiently by cost-effectively scaling available resources. When needed, experts can be brought in to accomplish challenging work. Otherwise there’s no need to pay those experts when event planning tasks quiet down.