The long-term effect of price cutting is becoming the elephant in the event industry. Pinnacle managing director Heath Freeman summed it up when he said: “Customers are no longer asking ‘what price can you give me?’ – they’re asking ‘what price can you give me in the current climate?'”
Often claimed to be a baromter for the state of the event industry, the staffing sector is…worth casting an eye over. Pinnacle’s Freeman says his (crewing) sector has taken a substantial hit over the past year: “We have been squeezed to the minimum and it is not currently sustainable in the long term – we are having to use less resources to get the same job done. There is pressure to cut prices, but it’s a slippery slope and we must stay realistic. After the turnaround, prices will have to go up.”
Freeman says that he will need to convince companies that you get what you pay for when it comes to crewing, and that his profit is reinvested. “I don’t think any crewing companies are in the business of ripping people off,” he says. “We offer a very simple service. However, I see some start-ups offering low prices, and I know that they can’t be putting in the right training.
“Businesses are starting to realise the value of using a good staffing company. We have people who have been trained to undertake a wide range of jobs, which means that we can afford to take fewer people to a job and get the same work done,” he adds.
It seems quality still holds value in these tough economic times, but the long-term effects of customers demanding added value and low costs are far from decided.
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