STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD

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STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD

Pedro Schmidt

HR Coordinator

Do things differently, find new ways to stand out from the crowd. We all know that it’s not easy to take the first step, and this might sound cliche, but the first move is the hardest. Same when you're simply writing a blog post, you must start from something and the first paragraph is always more difficult.

To stand out from the crowd, you need a life change and there are 3 things to do if you’re trying to stand out. First you need a reason, you must make a decision that you are going to move on. It wont happen automatically. Focus on this and start the second process - the brainstorming.

Brainstorming is a process for generating new ideas. All ideas are noted down and you analyze your options. You must decide what's the reason you need a change, what will actually change in your life and what the steps are to make it happen. Be prepared to identify your objective, what sets you apart, and your preferences.

Third and most important: Take a risk and work hard. Many people won’t take up the challenge because they are afraid of failure. Only those who are willing to take risks and to work hard at their dreams who eventually break through and succeed.

If you’re inspired by this post and you need a change in your life, start your brainstorm right now. Don’t be average, be awesome.
 

“Don’t let life change your goals, because achieving your goals can change your life.”

 

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HOSPITALITY VS CLERICAL STAFFING

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HOSPITALITY VS CLERICAL STAFFING

Julia Valler

President

For a staffing company, interviewing is routine. We have an average of 5 to 10 people apply for bartending, serving and modeling positions on a daily basis. Our interview process consists of several steps: general introductory discussion, catering & bartending tests, as well as behavioral questions. This process allows us to hire the best of the best and then train them to our standards.

Many times our clients are so happy with our staff that they reach out to see if we can help them fill their clerical positions. Even though our catering interview process is very thorough, it is meant for hiring hospitality staff - not clerical employees. Similarly, we don’t hire in our office based on a staff member’s performance on the catering floor. Our interview processes are 100% different for office positions and catering positions; however both interview models are unique to our company. We will reject outside clerical requests because our vetting process is specific to our office needs.  

We strive to provide specialist, regardless of the request. We believe that every role within the company is important and we strive to determine a perfect fit for any role.

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TRENDY, TRENDING & YOUR BRAND

Jacqueline Stevens

Event Planner

There is a difference between what is trendy and what is trending. You should 100% differentiate this as it pertains to a business model. Articles like “2016 Event trends”, or “Street Style: Trends for Spring” flood your phone everyday. This is clickbait at its finest - posts that rely on The Consumer suffering from chronic FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). The definition and evolution of cool is always changing. How does your company stay relevant in an ever changing market?

Avoid adopting trends in branding/developing your company. If you incorporate what is currently hip for creative impetus, you set a short shelf-life for your business. Trend mimicking, by definition, sets you behind the times. It broadcasts your lack of ingenuity, especially if you are in a creative field. At a company’s infancy, this is startup suicide.

Defining trending topics in marketing is actually important. To generate a following you can jump on the bandwagon during early stages, so hashtag away friends. Generate new followers by incorporating stories and headlines that are relevant to your own unique and creative brand. Make it contextually relevant to your vision.  

My favorite example is Steve Jobs, a severely uncool innovator who created an empire and stayed defiantly lame in personal aesthetic. He was so above “cool” that his lack of fashion-sense became hip posthumously (see: normcore). Though arguably less innovative since Jobs' passing, Apple has defined tech trends for the past 15 years.

Set the trends, don’t let trends define your business or your creative process.

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TOP 5 THINGS THAT WILL KEEP YOU !NSP!RED

Pedro Schmidt

HR Coordinator

People need little kicks to get going and get things done. Big things start from small ones, and motivational posts can do miracles. So here’s a TOP 5 list of how to keep yourself inspired and motivated:


1- LOVE WHAT YOU DO. First of all, you must love what you do. Nobody’s creative and productive when they do not enjoy what they are doing.

2- SOCIALIZE. Spending time with people you care about isn’t time lost. It's time gained. You gain perspective, happiness and new ideas, all states of mind that are essential for inspiration. Make time in your schedule for friends and family. It’s a sure way to stay inspired.

3- MOVE. Exactly, exercise stimulates the release of chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells and the development of new blood vessels. (Harvard Health Blog, 2015)

4-TRAVEL. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2013 showed that individuals who traveled to a different country experienced greater self-confidence, extraversion, open-mindedness and conscientiousness.

5- READ. The internet brings you million alternatives and entertainment. You just need to learn how to use it. Follow up with your favorite blogs / artists / entrepreneurs.  It will gives you nice pressure and motivation to achieve your goals too using their own success experience.


As Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is Intelligence having fun."

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STAFFING INNOVATION

info@juliavaller.com

Julia Valler

President

David Stark Design and Production is an event design and planning firm that is sought after for their innovative and imaginative events. Not long ago I had an exciting opportunity to present my company and services to their event design team. The theme of my presentation was Innovation, which I meditated on with my team. We have not invented staffing services; temp agencies make up a large portion of our city’s workforce and event staffing is a bi-product of that field. Even with that being said, we still bring aspects that set us apart as a hospitality staffing agency.

INSURANCE. It is important for all vendors to be prepared for a Worst Case Scenario. Our clients always feel immensely more comfortable when we bring up the fact that we are fully insured. Regardless of the amount of staff that we have on hand or the type of event or project that we have going on, our team is entirely protected in the event that an accident were to happen on-site.

HIRING. Sourcing talent is very important when it comes to hiring. We send our talents out to represent a wide range of brands and sometimes even to work at private residences, so it goes to no surprise that we have to be very selective. All of our talents come through three main sources: staff referrals, model agencies and restaurateurs. Our HR department then interviews the applicants and vet their skill level prior to hiring and training.

TRAINING. Many people come to us with having years of experience under their belt, but even so, they are still required to go through training with us. Training has two components: Catering 101 & Event Etiquette. We always want to ensure that all staff members are fully aware of our specific standards before they hit the floor. We understand that training does not end here; we have a carefully designated percentage of new staff on each event, so they can learn from the experienced majority. Also, we always provide a Point Person on each team, regardless of the team size, to lead our staff to success. At the end of the event, the team’s Point Person completes a thorough report on the skill level of each individual staff, so we can monitor their progress and develop the skills of each individual. We do not just staff bodies, we staff individuals.

We strive for innovation, even if it is incremental. We constantly re-examine our process in order to improve customer experience, staff development, and our company as a whole.

 

“Training should not be confined to trainees. It should be a continuous process, and should include the entire professional staff of the agency. The more our people learn, the more useful they can be to our clients.”

- David Ogilvy

 

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ROCK AND ROLL ALL NIGHT...AND PARTY PLAN EVERYDAY

Jacqueline Stevens

Event Planner

Sometimes a magical moment happens when your job and side hobbies merge together in one special event request. Most people don’t know this, but I was in a rock band that played the NYC circuit. Event planning took a backseat for some time while I played venues like the Bowery Ballroom, shot a music video, and was crushed by a band’s ultimate divorce.

My heart skipped a beat when Whiskey Vinyl requested our staff for an event at HighLine Ballroom. A music label wanted to book our team to represent their brand and I got to coordinate. It was a match made in #eventprofs heaven.

Our girls were asked to arrive onsite in relaxed uniform, something that is completely out of the norm when dealing with high-end events. The models questioned how relaxed our directions were; they’re used to our mantra of “punctuality, presentation, professionalism”.  

Anna and myself, along with ten models, headed into the venue to meet the coordinators and musicians in a green room. We were handed t-shirts, scissors and were directed to “have at it”.  Anna and I didn’t graduate from FIT, but we could’ve fooled you. Our DIY uniforms were on point. The camera was on our models all night and our “summer line” was on display for all to see.


I couldn’t have been more thrilled to be there that night, witnessing the marriage of my interests in such a tangible way. New York truly is magical sometimes.

 

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BEAUTY AS WE PERCEIVE IT

Julia Valler

President

I feel very blessed sometimes to have the job that I do and that I love. This is probably a weird beginning for a post about the perception of beauty but seriously, we get to do some really fun things. We interview models, schedule photo-shoots, brainstorm on event ideas and then we make it all happen. With every event, there is always something new that we learn, since every event presents its own unique experience. There is one thing though that we have learned real quickly - everyone’s perception of beauty is different.

You would think that all of the requests we get for models are standard in nature. However, this is not the case. Different brands want to be represented and associated with different looks.  Some of our fashion brand clients would look for your typical muscular, built male model while other clients may go for completely opposite image. Some clients want to see staged professional pictures; where as other clients want to see their natural selves. The general perception of a model is that they have to be tall, while others see petiteness as beauty. It is hard to guess with a first time client selection, because their perception of beauty might be very different from ours, but once we see them make their first selection, it is easier to assist them in the future.

When hiring brand ambassadors, promotional models or trade show models we concentrate on personality rather than look. The clients might be looking for different features, but they certainly expect our staff to be articulate, well mannered, friendly and outgoing to represent their brand correctly or engage with the audience. We find it ironic that there is no room for modeling stereotypes in modeling business.

 

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THE BUSY SLOW SEASON

Thai Nguyen

Hiring and Recruitment Coordinator

The holidays are officially over, the snow has finally kicked into gear and everyone and everything seems to have gone into a dry spell as we all hibernate for the winter. I personally have booked my trip to sunny Cancun, Mexico to escape the cold and seize the slow season as an excuse to vacation while there’s nothing to do anyways. While there is some truth in the notion that there’s nothing to do, there are definite ways to keep the momentum going. We have already been thinking of ways to generate excitement during this slow time to prepare for what is to come during the actual busy season.

Businesses and industries aren’t necessarily seasonal anymore. If you think about it, in fashion, everything is always one season ahead. Slinky, barely there swimsuits are shot in the Winter when it’s thirty degrees and below, while heavy, fur collared coats are shot in the Summer when perspiration is the inescapable reality. In the holiday markets, there’s a reason why all your Christmas decorations are being sold alongside Marvel comic Halloween costumes. It’s because these businesses and industries extend the actual “season” to optimize on their profit margin.

How does this idea translate into events? For us, it’s been taking the time to embrace an internal renovation of how we operate to develop better efficiency when events start picking up again. We are restructuring our relationships with our staff to hopefully create sustainable value and quality for our clients. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been a lot of rethinking and readjusting, trial and error, long hours and manual labor. It really is like renovating a home. You can change out your bathroom toilet, but that may lead to updating all your bathroom pipes that may then lead to a poorly operating sewage system and all of a sudden, you find yourself having to update the bathroom sink and bathroom tub and shower,  along with the original plan of just changing the toilet. It’s really all a trickle effect. We changed one thing and then we suddenly found ourselves having to change fifteen other things in order to accommodate for that initial change.


The process has not been easy and immediate but once it’s all set and done, we can expect more promising results and a string of consistency in our operations to act as a foundation. In this slow season, we are kept busy with optimistic success from our current act on changes.

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IN THE EVENT THAT YOU’RE OUT OF THE OFFICE

Thai Nguyen

Hiring and Recruitment Coordinator

Thank God it’s Friday!! Happy hour, cocktails, all weekend catch ups over brunch and nightlife euphoria are in overdrive for most of us. Then for those of us who work in events, this means ironing out your black or white button up, polishing your black dress shoes and confirming to the booking email for the job that your agency is sending you out to. But let’s be real. Probably twenty-five percent of us will actually complete all those tasks. That’s besides the point though.

Like any other dancer, artist or performer moving into the big city, catering events have always acted as my second or third shift jobs, aka my rent. After a number of years with simultaneous catering and events companies, an opportunity of working in the office for one of those agencies as a booker rolled off my skinny black tie and fell right into my lap. Now, strolling into the office with my regular 9-5 and still catering it up after hours and on weekends, the shared idiosyncrasies of events in different capacities become apparent, whether I’m in the office, sending out staff, or I’m out of the office working in events.

THE RUSH

The moment when guests are invited into the main floor for dinner service, only to find that they’d rather stand, linger and schmooze with the those they haven’t seen or have already seen but gossip is keeping them from taking their seats. All while you stand there with red and white wine in hand with a smile plastered on your face, thinking to yourself “Just sit down,” because you still have to offer them wine, ask if they want fish or beef and move on to bread service and first course serve out, all in the time frame it takes you to Uber a car on your phone, because the father of the bride is about to make a speech.

VS.

The two hours before an event and one of your promo models text you to tell you they have to cancel because they booked a callback for a huge film and have to fly out to LA immediately.. You suddenly find yourself scrambling through your contact list, texting and calling all the staff known in your rolodex who will actually reply and see if they are available, can make it to the event on time and with the right uniform. Oh wait..and can they also be 5’11 or taller, blonde with blue eyes and a size two? I better start recruiting!

THE SLIP-UP

The moment you roll up for an event and while you stand there in your white button up, you realize everyone else is rolling up in black! You could have sworn the details stated white. WHITE! WHITE! WHITE! Well it did. But it was probably the email confirmation for tomorrow’s event with one of the other five agencies that you are signed with. #cateringproblems

VS.

The busy week when you have events after events lined up, with multiples in one day and an unprecedented amount of staff being requested. Upon all the slots you have to fill, all the availability checks and confirmations you have to send out and between the hundreds of staff members you have in your system, you suddenly receive an email from one of your top male staff, confused and asking why he is confirmed for a high end women’s lingerie promotion and to arrive in full hair and makeup with black heels. Oops.

THE END OF THE DAY

The last minute of the event when your feet are throbbing and your back has given out from standing for ten hours. Starvation nation is calling because all you’ve had to eat were the few hor dourves you were able to sneak from cocktail hour. But but everything is golden because the day is done and aside from the 1.5 hours drive back into the city from the Hamptons, you know you won’t have to deal with that bride who had a little bit too much to drink again.

VS.

The end of the office day when you’ve booked and confirmed all your staff for the following days of events and your mind is at peace knowing you’ve got all your bases covered for your clients and you can now relax to dinner with your boyfriend. IF ONLY. In the middle of dinner when your boyfriend is asking you to move in with him, your client calls and is requesting ten more staff for tomorrow’s event at eight in the morning! All of sudden you’re Anne Hathaway from The Devil Wears Prada and you find yourself in the office...even when you’re out of the office.

 

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THE YEAR OF THE MILLENNIAL

Jacqueline E Stevens, Generation Y

Fordham University, B.A. Philosophy, 2010

It seems necessary to start this blog post with emojis. Actually, there should be an emoji keyboard for desktops. The millennial generation has ushered in new industries, modes of marketing and now an actual alphabet. This is an example of why businesses need to evolve with the current generational shift or face irrelevance.

Sounds dramatic? Let’s look at the numbers. 2015 is the first year where those born between 1981-1996 make up the majority of the workplace. With more cash-flow, millennials are also The Modern Consumer and ought to be considered your target audience in marketing campaigns.

How does this translate within an HR department? The obvious answer: an employer’s structure must adjust, not the pool of applicants. Yes, you can still maintain high standards of productivity and recruitment while adjusting. In fact, a recent survey from Great Place To Work found that Millennial companies score 14%-20% higher in innovation than others.

The freelance nature of events has become more attractive to millennials, who are victims of the economic crash in 2008. This generation often equates traditional business models to Wall Street corruption. Those who graduated with their liberal arts degrees from expensive private universities found themselves in positions where jobs were not available. How does an employer encourage productivity from this jaded generation?

Studies repeatedly show that mentorship is crucial in productivity. On our events, we call our mentees “Point People”. A point person is a team lead that holds higher rank on an event; it is a managerial assignment given to a freelance agent, with potential for growth in a company. We cultivate individuals from our roster of freelancers and develop their leadership skills, whether or not they have had formal training prior to working for us.

Sharing responsibility in a company’s development is crucial to your millennial team and has a direct relationship with your profit margin. Utilize your millennial workforce as the embodiment of the future and see the benefit within your profit margin. Or, force old business models on your team and they probably won't stick around long enough to adapt (and we will hire them).

 

 

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STRESS FREE STAFFING: 5 Tips to Get You On board

Julia Valler

President

With an event on hand, booking staff for that day should sound relatively easy, until you actually get to do it. Here are our 5 tips for stress-free staffing.

1. BE AS DETAILED AS POSSIBLE

All events are different in nature and require different skills/looks/uniforms/personalities/etc. Explain in specific detail as to what your event actually is and as to what type of staff you need to carry out the vision of your event. Emphasize the absolute must haves and acknowledge the details that you are willing to  compromise on. If you are unsure, ask for advice. Ex: Many times we have a client tell us the exact number of staff that they need for an event. However, after we ask for details, it becomes obvious that a team of 7 staff is not enough for a 150 person sit down dinner.

2. BOOK IN ADVANCE & SLEEP WELL

Many clients initiate a conversation months in advance, but do not book the staff until the week of the event. Even though staffing agents work magic, it is beneficial for all parties, from the client, to the agent and to the staff, to do it sooner rather than later. It allows you time to rethink specifics, make changes, book preferred staff and SLEEP WELL because the essentials are taken care of.  You will find it especially stressful when there are unresolved staffing issues the day before an event. Several parties are always involved in solidifying change (including staff), and everyone is already racing the clock. Our advice is to book early and if you need to make changes or adjustments let your agency know and they will gladly help. Everyone wins.

3. BACK UP OPTIONS

Our roster is composed of actors, models and other creative types that rely on freelance work to supplement their income. Because of the nature of their careers, their schedules can change at any given minute. If ten models is what you need for your event, feel free pick at least three alternate models so that you get the staff you like, even if one of your initial options happen to book a last minute photoshoot and have to fly out to LA. If you are hiring for a promotional event, where it is important that models have outgoing personalities, indicate the look that you prefer and let your agency do the selection. You can still see the models that are being booked for you, but you also get the staff that would be perfect for your event.

4. ASSIGNMENTS

For every event: book a team leader. This is your go to person who guides the entire team from the minute they walk into the venue to the very last second before they leave the venue. We suggest having a team lead even for small events. Unless you are a caterer, let your agency help you with assignments. They know the minimum number of staff needed for any event and the perfect number of staff. Ex: not everybody remembers that sanitation crews are needed for events with food, so it is good to get advice about the types of staff needed. Unless you want to deal with dirty dishes yourself.

5. SHOP AROUND

This is the most obvious, but at the same time the most important piece of advice. Saving money is always good, but it is also important that you work with professionals. Here are the things you need to consider while shopping for the agency: find out their hourly rates, ask about additional fees, pay attention to how fast the agency replies to you; events are organic in nature so you should find someone you feel comfortable with, see if they are willing to work with you before you hand them your credit card. And… don’t forget to include Julia Valler Staffing & Events to your shopping list.

 

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The freelancer

Jacqueline E Stevens

Event Planner

With a steady increase in artists relocating to New York and the recent economic climate, the new New York has become a risky place for creatives trying to fight out the competition. Which is why Native New Yorkers should be easier on transplants. Seriously guys, it takes a lot of guts to move here with the hope of fulfilling a dream in our recent socio-economic climate.

Event staffing became an answer to this climate shift; it provides freelance work that is available and that is flexible for artists in this tough town. Just looking at our roster, it is full of New York’s most vibrant and eclectic talent, who all took huge risks in venturing into this territory.

Our events staff are sent to us through agencies as soon as they’re “off the boat” and new to the modeling industry or theater programs. Several days are then spent in training to nurture a room of new New Yorkers and to give them the tools and skill-sets that will help them make ends meet. Our trusted captains, who have paid their dues and who have developed service skills over the years, guide our staff in perfecting their training.

It’s rewarding to watch our staff’s professional development. After a few months, we inevitably receive an invitation to their debut event (outside of work). I’m blessed to be privy to the arts and culture underbelly of New York City. The office team is regularly invited to plays, presentations, heavy-metal shows, or gallery openings. Then, I’ll catch my staff on a billboard in Times Square, or as a model on a sponsored ad via Facebook, or read about their band’s first tour.

I’m proud to work for a company that is based on the pursuit of dream-realization. With our personalized training, freelance framework and investment in The Individual, we see the NY Skyline of potential for both the company and our talented team.

“On what high-performing companies should be striving to create: A great place for great people to do great work.”

MARILYN CARLSON

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