HIRING HELP FOR YOUR EVENTS
It does not matter if you are planning an event for two people, or two thousand, having Production Assistants (PAs) is necessary to ensure optimal customer service and guard your sanity as a planner. However, I consistently see a pushback on hiring help for events, mostly because of the extra expense. To this point, I encourage event planners to include the PAs fees into their overall fee. There are so many benefits of having extra help for events, that it is worth every penny.
BENEFITS TO HAVING PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS FOR YOUR EVENTS
Help you carry heavy items and rearrange furniture
Decrease setup time needed
Allows you to focus on client and vendors while they take care of smaller tasks
Can step away from the venue to get something, allowing you to stay on sight (we usually call these “runners”)
Assist you in guiding guests to their seats
Aid you flip a room faster
Help you keep your cool is a client or guests is being irrational
HOW MANY PAs TO HIRE FOR YOUR EVENT
How much help to hire for your event largely depends on the intricacy of the event. For example, having a short amount of time for setup, or having to flip a room quickly, will require more PAs than the norm. However, for a standard event we go by a certaing number of PAs per guest count. Here is the guide we have tailored at Love.Style.Events, after over 12 years of producing weddings and corporate events:
1-40 guests 1 PA
41-100 guests 2 PAs
101-175 guests 3 PAs
175-250 guests 4 PAs
250 guests+ Minimum of 4 PAs
When you reach the 250+ guest mark, it is best to have at least 4 people helping you, and then add more depending on the area you need. For example, you might need one to handle all the transportation, the security and check-in, or an intricate outfit change for the bridal party before a big dance performance. It is important that each production assistant is given specific tasks throughout the entire event. At Love.Style.Events, all production assistants attend a walkthrough at the venue the day before, I usually do this before the rehearsal to save my time on traveling to the venue. At the walkthrough, the PAs get an overall idea of the event and are given their production timeline. On the timeline they see their name next to the specific tasks they are in charge of. I take this time to answer any questions and make sure they are clear on their tasks. This helps minimize delays on the day of the event.
HOW MUCH TO PAY PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS
A production assistant’s fee is based on their experience and capacity. Also, they usually require a minimum amount of hours, usually 5-8 hours minimum. Lastly, remember that you are in charge of any meals and parking fees for them. Here is a guide for how much Production Assistants get paid in Miami, FL. This should give you a rough idea if you are in the US.
$10-$12 an hour No experience necessary. Just a willingness to hustle and help you where needed
$15-$20 an hour Experienced production assistant
$25-$30+ an hour Project manager for a specific area of the event. The “muscle” also lands in this range. Strong men or women that help lift big items (also known as stagehands)
I can not say enough about having adequate help at your events. When you see those gorgeous events in magazines that look like an impossible amount of work, know that they are done with the help of a battalion of production assistants. For this Trisha Yearwood event, there were over 30 PAs and interns working to get this set up for the multitude of guests. Hire them, keep the good ones on speed dial, and watch your business grow.
For more info and guidance on growing your event planning company, remember to join us in our free Facebook Group, The Event Planners Forum.