Say hi to Braxton, a 23-year-old Texas transplant living in Boston. His job is working event full-time and he’s represented some of the world’s top brands. We sat down with Braxton to hear his story and find out what motivated him to pursue event work as his profession.
How did you get into event and promotional work?
I went to business school at the University of Texas and moved up to Boston a few years ago. My first job was in retail working at Hollister where I met a girl who told me about promotional work. She helped me find my first event gig and I loved it. She also ended up becoming my girlfriend so that was cool too. (laughs)
How long have you been doing event work?
I’ve been working events full-time for almost 2 years. It’s been great.
So, what was the first event you, and your future girlfriend, worked?
(laughs) Well, it actually was for a Wal-mart store opening in New Hampshire. It turned out to be a really fun event, I think that’s where I got hooked. Wal-mart hired a bunch of Brand Ambassadors to welcome people to the store, we had a few grills set up and were giving out burgers, hot dogs and passing out coupons. It was an awesome day.
Besides free hamburgers and hotdogs, why do you work events?
I’ve always been interested in marketing and advertising and working events really puts you face to face with big brands. I feel like I really found my passion. The experience I’ve gained by working with all types of brands has been invaluable and really expand my understanding of how companies market certain products. Also, there’s always a positive outcome; you meet great people, are the first to see new products, and end up leaving the event with a different perspective than when you started it.
Besides the experience of the actual event, the other major benefit is the freedom to make my own schedule. I choose the events I want to work and when. That freedom lets me pursue other hobbies, discover new passions and travel. Plus, the money is good!
Those are some good reasons, so what are some of your favorite type of events to work?
Any technology event, I love seeing new tech before it comes out. Anytime I see an opportunity to work for a tech company I jump at it. I’ve been lucky enough to work for a few big ones like Samsung and Microsoft, those events blew me away. But If I had to choose one, my favorite event might be PAX East, you get to meet so many cool people.
How do find all the work to fill your schedule?
I normally use Facebook and sometimes craigslist. Over the year’s I’ve signed up for so many websites and agencies that I get a flooded inbox every day.
The drawback to so much inflow is that there is a ton of noise. I have to spend a couple hours a day going through my email and groups to find good events. It’s a lot of busy work.
Besides busy work, what are some of the other frustrations you have with working events?
Dealing with payment is the worse hassle in the world. I love doing the work, so doing the work isn’t the problem, but tracking down payments will drive you insane. It’s actually crazy how long it takes sometimes. There are the good agencies or brands that pay you in 2-3 weeks, but there are times I’ve had to wait over 2 months to get paid. I actually spend about three to four hours a day sending emails and tracking down outstanding checks. It’s a really big hassle.
Ok, so you’ve tried Jobble, how does it compare to what you’ve been doing?
I love Jobble, absolutely love it. I really believe it’s going to be great. It’s so much easier than everything out there. I mean, I’ve been working events for 2 years and Jobble is definitely the best thing to come along in that time.
Not only can I just check the app to see events but payment is simple, I know exactly when I’m going to get paid and can even track it. It’s a huge time-saver.
How has the experience been using the Jobble app?
I had a few problems signing up, but someone was right there to help me get through my issues. I know it’s in beta so there are some kinks. Working events through Jobble was easy, I totally got how it worked and didn’t think twice about it. It’s so simple. Just set up a profile, apply for a job and a week later you get paid. I mean, I love it.
How about advice for people just starting to look for event or promotional work?