Season 1, Episode 3: Scott Tokar discusses flirting and unwanted attention during activation with Robin Bell, Veronica Tevelde, Becky Jo Schwarz, Alexis Baize, Jennifer Canale, and Philip Victor.
We bring you a “face-to-face” interview with the creator and moderator of the over 250 “Brand Ambassador of ___” FaceBook groups, Philip Victor. Then, we end with a “Face Palm” moment with Jennifer Canale who tells us about an Assault with a deadly Giraffe!
Face the events from brand ambassadors and event stoppers to magicians and presenters. It's the one and only podcast to introduce the faces in and around the tradeshow and events industry. And here's our host, Scott Tokar.
Scott Tokar 0:24
Hello and welcome to face the event the podcast that's all about event staffing, brand ambassadors, live presenters, crowd gatherers, badge scanners, hosts hostesses, the faces in and around the event and brand ambassador world. My name is Scott Tokar. I am your host, and in today's episode, we're going to be discussing unwanted attention flirting, what you should do, should you be getting some unwanted attention from a visitor or maybe of a fellow staffer while you're out on an activation. We also have a wonderful interview from a new friend of ours, Philip Victor Philip Victor is the brainchild, the creator of the brand ambassadors of groups of Facebook. So if you've ever been on Facebook, and you're part of these groups, the brand ambassadors of Orlando are brand ambassadors of Chicago brand ambassadors of Las Vegas, there are 250 of these brand ambassadors of groups, including branded masters of Facebook. Philip Victor is the creator and the lead moderator of these groups a great resource that you should go check out right now. We're going to be doing an interview with Philip Victor. And followed by that just like normal will have a facepalm and embarrassing moment, or something that really makes you put your palm on your forehead and say, I can't believe that actually happened in an event or activation. So let's get started right away with this all important subject. What would you do if you were being flirted with or if you had some unwanted attention on an event
Jennifer Canale 2:01
unwanted attention again, you're always on and you are always a professional. One of the things that you have to learn is how to say no politely.
Becky Jo Schwarz 2:09
So in this industry, especially for the women, I feel like you could get yourself into a conversation where the attendee wants to just keep on talking to you and get to know you. It's past the point of it's now professional, and you need to move on with your job. Wow. It can happen. And you have to remove yourself and remove yourself in a respectful way, remain as professional as possible, but also look as busy as possible, because a lot of times people's manners go out the door when they get to trade shows. But you should always have some sort of way to escape that situation. Hopefully by saying, Oh my goodness, my client just called me I need to go Excuse me. I'll be back.
Veronica Tevelde 2:57
I would have to say that there. A line that you draw, because you're approaching and for a female, you're approaching all kinds of people, and you don't want to come up to a man and make them
Jennifer Canale 3:09
feel threatened or anything like that. So, you know, usually keep your distance you never want to do anything offensive, because the person who is being rude to you just might be one of your clients, major customers.
Philip Victor 3:22
You know, if you happen to be talking with somebody who is the, it might be the next huge client, or buyer or whatever for the company that you're working for. And you're like, Okay, this person is clearly hitting on me or this person is being inappropriate. But I don't want the client to lose this opportunity. Like it's sort of a full house family matters moment, but also, the best thing you can do is make sure you're safe and and i would say pass that person off to somebody else.
Alexis Baize 3:50
Sometimes. You can, maybe, you know,
alert a co worker on the sly and
Becky Jo Schwarz 3:58
they can rescue you, you If you can't get the attention of another talent to kind of help help you align that is important for you to be able to use is, oh, hey, my boss is you know, standing right over there. And I don't want to get in trouble for taking up all of your time. So I really need to get back to the work. But thank you so much. And if you have any questions about the product, I can, you know, send you over to So and So
Philip Victor 4:25
get yourself out of that situation, pull somebody else in both three other people in to sort of neutralize it so that you don't feel like you're having to make these difficult decisions or again, safety is most important. So you know, get yourself out of an unsafe situation, whether that means leaving, or bringing more attention and passing them off to somebody.
Robin Bell 4:44
You can tell them that you have someplace else in the booth that you have to be a nice talking to you by you know, feel free to utilize the you know, my bosses right over there and I don't want to get in trouble by taking up your time.
Veronica Tevelde 4:59
There's one time that comes to mind. And I'd say it was an LA was probably about maybe 10 years ago and did the presentation. At the end of the presentation, there was this guy sitting in the front row. And he kept asking my name and if I wanted to go to see a movie or a play or something like that, and I was like really? No thanks. Because in the audience, who is still sitting there with my husband.
Scott Tokar 5:28
We want to thank our friends, Jennifer canali, Becky, Joe Schwartz, Robin Bell, Alexis bays, Philip, Victor and Veronica develop it for their insight. So if you're on Facebook, and you're a event staffer or brand ambassador, chances are you're a member of one of the 250 brand ambassador of groups that are part of Facebook. Now these groups have titles like brand ambassadors of Las Vegas, brand ambassadors of Kansas. City brand ambassadors of Chicago, Washington, DC, St. Louis Orlando. If you are looking for activations gigs jobs in these cities, you should really belong to the brand ambassadors of groups. Just go search them on Facebook. Now the these groups are the brainchild of the invention of Philip Victor, who's our guest. Today, we're going to be talking to him about finding jobs and opportunities. We're going to talk to him about defining what is a brand ambassador. We're going to talk to him about modeling and flyering and street teams, listing with agencies traveling to and from local shows. And most importantly, we're going to end our interview today, talking about low paying gigs and how not to get trapped into them. Phil Victor has been an emcee and a brand ambassador for decades for over a decade now. He's done stuff for Lego Land for Eli Lilly for at CES He's really a true professional in the ranks of brand ambassadors and events, staffers and presenters. So without any further ado, let's get right into our interview with Phillip. Victor. Philip, how you doing today? I'm doing well. Thanks. I'm doing well.
Philip Victor 7:18
Welcome today and weather's nice, and I feel good. So Well, welcome to face the event.
Scott Tokar 7:24
Um, thank you, you know, I would like to ask the very first question of everybody. Now you do both events and trade shows, don't you?
Philip Victor 7:33
Scott Tokar 7:34
So um, I you know, I come from the trade show world and and so I always like to ask people do you remember your very first trade show?
Philip Victor 7:44
My first trade show, I believe was around 2000 or 2001. And it was a surf show in Orlando, where I technically call my hometown and I was just a model type person at the trade show. I don't remember the client, you don't remember the client.
So I think it was a Craigslist, Craigslist,
Scott Tokar 8:10
Craigslist. Is that where you got it? I believe so. Now, a lot of people know you because you kind of run and kind of moderate the brand ambassadors of groups which are prolific on Facebook. Tell me what is the brand ambassadors of and what does it encompass?
Philip Victor 8:32
brand ambassadors of Facebook groups are e community of groups that have been created for markets that I and others feel need representation around the country, around Canada. There's a few in the UK and Australia and a couple in Europe that are more placeholders than anything to be quite honest. But it's a community of groups. where people can come together to find staff and to look for experiential type jobs.
Scott Tokar 9:06
So Can anyone belong to these groups? They're on Facebook, right? That's right. And and you you find them by like, I found them just looking for brand ambassadors in general. But if I if I type in brand ambassador of Los Angeles because that's closest to where I am, then I was asked to be a member of that.
Philip Victor 9:26
Yes. The brand ambassadors of Los Angeles group, I'm not sure if this is important to point out but that is actually not one of my groups. Oh, okay. But, you know, we're affiliated under the same idea and, and guidelines, but yeah, all you have to do is look in your nearest city. That was the main purpose of their creation. Initially, the main purpose was because I was living in different places for pursuing different goals and different curiosities and I had already registered with so many agencies which were hard to find out About in the first place, this is we're talking, you know, in the early 2000s, I started creating the groups in 2011. But I had registered with so many agencies and there was challenges to figure out, like, who are all the agencies out there and who has jobs in my city and, and, you know, if I lived in someplace and registered with an agency, and then I moved someplace else, and then all of a sudden, I finally started getting notifications for the jobs in the prior city. So I just wanted to kind of streamline the ability for people to find work in places where they wanted
Scott Tokar 10:30
to work. Now, this is a place to find what jobs are going on, but it's also a place where a lot of people share information there about you know, not just jobs coming up, but agencies that are good, or they're also talking about, even even some of the stuff that we talked about here on the podcast, like what's the best shoes to wear that kind of thing?
Philip Victor 10:53
Yeah, so things. Things are in flux, and I'm I'm personally very open to evolution of what the platform does and what it offers. I have a group of moderators, I want to make sure to mention them early on, probably over the course of the time that the groups have been in existence. There's been, I would guess, around 215 moderators, but there's a healthy group of about 170 that are regularly helping to oversee all 250 approximate groups. So the reason I bring them up, in addition to a thank you to them because they're all volunteering their time to do that, to keep things streamlined and spam free and sort of on the right tracks in the groups that they handle. We regularly have discussions as to like what is a good thing for the group and what's what's sort of adjacent or a distraction or a peripheral? So the main purpose of the groups is to find jobs and find out opportunities and for people who are offering opportunities to find staff. That's the main purpose of the groups there are. There's there's a subjective amount of helpful, helpful hints and industry tips that take place on the group's. They're not discouraged or encouraged. It just sort of happens organically. And then in terms of agency information, I've always been a proponent of lifting up and recognizing agencies that do a great job. And if you've had a great experience with an agency, by all means, comment away in terms of any disparaging information, which, unfortunately, realistically, there is, from time to time on both sides, both sides of the coin. We encourage people not to post that on the groups because it can lead us down an unpleasant road and there's groups specifically designated for that information. And again, it's not In any way to try to avoid it, it's just to make it efficient, streamlined. So if you're looking for a job, it comes to my groups, if you're looking for reviews on agencies, you go to specific groups designated for that. And moreover, there's now a platform called trusted herd, which is helping to take care of that as well.
Scott Tokar 13:19
So, um, the the group there on Facebook, how many people are in and you do the national group as well as I guess some of some of the cities you said 250 of them. that's a that's a whole lot of them right there.
Philip Victor 13:32
Yeah. So yeah, there's when I first set out I just did a few in cities that I had lived in worked. So Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago, a few different places, Atlanta,
Scott Tokar 13:46
those are the big markets to Yeah,
Philip Victor 13:50
a lot of activations I mean, there's a lot happening all over which is exciting. So, I had some success with those, you know, it took some time to create momentum. Any kind of platform or any kind of brand, and then people started saying, oh, what about this more about this one. So I decided top 10 cities and I decided top 50 cities top not meaning popular, but but a population. So that kind of expanded out to states and such. And then we do have some national presence, but I feel like the real that's the real secret sauces in being as specific as you can to to the market.
Scott Tokar 14:25
Now, when we say brand ambassador. How do you define that? Well, tell me tell me because there's so many different words when we talk about people that work in events. There's many different titles here. Do you have a specific like, definition for brand ambassador?
Philip Victor 14:44
Um, well, if I was speaking to a lay person who was outside of the industry, I would say a brand ambassador is any person who represents a brand. I mean, that's redundant, or, or, or so but that's how I would describe it to You know, a lay person, I'm not sure exactly who will who will witness the video and who needs education on it. But yeah, like experiential marketing marketing that takes place that's not just on print media or on a computer screen, it's something that has a personal touch that is being that there's some sort of in person effects and oftentimes that involves a human talking to a consumer. And that's so that's a brand ambassador, in terms of when you're delineating brand ambassador from a promotional model or a host or a demonstrator or different things like that. I would just say a brand ambassador is a slightly more general and less specified term of somebody who is consumer facing. So I,
Scott Tokar 15:49
I think brand ambassadors often I think of anywhere from like a golf. Host, a hostess, someone that might be representing a brand at a Got a golfing or a tennis match or at a supermarket or at a at a liquor store or at a bar or, and but where I come from is the tradeshow world. So I see a whole lot of them in the tradeshow world doing badge scanning and crowd gathering and those kind of things. It all kind of fits under the same thing. Right?
Philip Victor 16:19
They all are. Yeah, I think, you know, I would, I would say even when I'm at a show presenting, I'm a brand ambassador, the same as someone who is helping to gather an audience the same as someone who is Manning a green screen photos and in some way, perpetuating knowledge of that brand. So yeah, it's it's a very all encompassing term. So all of these, all of this work can be found, you know, on these Facebook groups on the brand ambassadors of Facebook groups, and if you're looking for more specialized work, there are some even more highly specialized like just specifically for tours or just specifically for trade shows.
Unknown Speaker 17:00
And different people find functions purposes.
Scott Tokar 17:03
Yeah, you know, the interesting thing is, is that the word brand ambassador, I love that title. I think that that really describes well, and I think that the customers that are hiring us out there, they resonate with the word brand ambassador, but at the same time with the internet today, as you could be on Instagram and call yourself a brand ambassador, because you got sent some free shoes, and you've got to got to show them on Instagram. That's not what we're talking about here. Right?
Philip Victor 17:34
No, but that is a very good point that you bring up, because that's definitely a new paradigm on that term. And so it can be confusing for people. I mean,
Scott Tokar 17:49
you know, those
Philip Victor 17:50
the folks on social media who are deemed brand ambassadors are also doing a similar thing. I mean, they're representing brands in some way. I don't want to take credibility away from it. When I say water, snap snap
two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen.
Scott Tokar 18:11
Yeah, it's, it's a great product, highly recommend it.
Philip Victor 18:15
Um, so, you know, in person, there's brand ambassadors that don't do much more than that either in some cases, but, you know, that is a, it is a confusing term as I've talked to. I was speaking with a lawyer a couple of months ago about something she's like, Oh, we have a brand ambassador groups and I was like, man, she was also the social media people. And I said, Well, I mean, yes, but different. But I don't want to confuse you. So maybe we should just come up with
Scott Tokar 18:38
Yeah, I just saw an executive recently that stepped down from their, from their job, and they decided they still wanted to be involved with with the brand and they called themselves a brand ambassador. So going from a C level, CEO position into what they're calling a brand ambassador. So it's like the terms just really confusing. But for those of us that No, the live activations is predominantly what we're talking about. Yeah, yes. So what what kind of live activations have you done?
Philip Victor 19:11
I've done a few.
Scott Tokar 19:13
Well, I you know, I can give you some of some of the companies I know like like Eli Lilly and Coca Cola and Intel and Panasonic and, and those are companies that you've worked for, in what capacity What? What have you done for those kind of companies?
Philip Victor 19:29
So I feel like I've scratched most of the surfaces of the brand ambassador and experiential marketing or promotional world. I've been someone who modeled and then probably my next progression was flyering, putting flyers on doors or handing out flyers and a busy downtown area, maybe with a little tagline or a slight message. One of the most fun promotions or maybe most memorable when I lived in Chicago, I handed out hand warmers For the Fort Lauderdale Tourism Bureau when it was snowing outside, and people are like, what is this? And I'm like, well, you want a hand warmer, right? Because your hands about to fall off but also, we're just reminding you that Fort Lauderdale is warm all year round. Yeah, they're having a great new exhibit on Egypt. So you should go book a trip. In terms of some of those that you mentioned. Panasonic, I was a product demonstrator for for several years at CES and Eli Lilly. I was I think I represented them at the American Medical Association trade show. I've run green screens I've run obstacle courses. I've emceed parties. I've also at at Comic Con a couple years ago, I worked for FX doing this like pretty creepy voiceover in this strange room for like a horror show that they had, which didn't really leave me feeling great at the end of it all. You know, it was fun for the participants.
Scott Tokar 20:58
You're lucky you live in San Diego. Home of Comic Con, the real Comic Con. That's right.
Philip Victor 21:03
Yes. Right. Comic Con, do you
Scott Tokar 21:05
find that you're getting most of your work through agencies? Or are you getting it? Like independent contractor? wise? Do people call you How does that work?
Philip Victor 21:14
When I was in the thick of it in terms of really hustling to get like a one day gig and a three day gig and so forth, which I feel like I would, I would say the majority of the community are brand ambassadors like, that's how they're operating. I know that there's some people that are specialized, and there's some people that are on tour. So their work is kind of taken care of for months at a time. And then there's some people who are just like, I have a regular job and I like to pick up a shift on the weekend. But for people who are like actually trying to make a living doing experiential marketing, or they're trying to, you know, piece together work, which is a not too unfamiliar thing with our sort of on demand, work environments and this era
Scott Tokar 21:55
kind of economy thing.
Philip Victor 21:57
Yes, exactly. When I was in the thick of it, I was doing mostly through agencies. So I was signing up with as many as I could, and answering emails as often as I could, as often as I could, and really expelling a lot of effort to get those jobs, which again, was some of the inefficiency that brought me to creating, creating the platform. So we can get in with an agency where, you know, they, they know you're reliable, and they have a lot of work in your area. And that's, that's sort of the holy grail, assuming it's what you like to do
Scott Tokar 22:28
now. So you don't sign with a like a single agency, you you you open yourself up to many agencies, right.
Philip Victor 22:37
That is correct. Yeah. Unlike Hollywood style, this is a sort of a free for all, like, most people that have been in it for a while are signed up with dozens of agencies, unless they're getting just they got really lucky to get a ton of work from the first one that they signed.
Scott Tokar 22:53
Now there any special rules working through agencies, I mean, when you can't hand out your own business card when you're working for an agency, you should hand out their business card, right?
Philip Victor 23:03
That's That's correct. You know, I, I guess I've never delved into talking to agencies and saying, hey, like, Do you care if we ever bring you up? Or would you rather us promote you? I haven't, I'll be honest that I haven't really heard that side of the coin. I know that, you know, if you get hired, like, direct through clients for something, then, you know, they're like, yeah, by all means, like, promote yourself. But oftentimes with agencies, there is an independent contractor agreement of varying lengths and validity. And those those agreements involve language that that pertains to competing or soliciting different things. Yeah.
Scott Tokar 23:48
Again, I'm a magician. I'm a trade show magician. And
Philip Victor 23:52
so, by the way, what's that? A fantastic one by the Oh, thank you.
Scott Tokar 23:56
Yeah. Well, it's fun watching you on the show floor two. I think we were both Working CES last year, we didn't get to work, I got to work the CES with American Express this year, we had multiple magicians and that kind of thing. But you know. So running my company corporate effects when when people are hired and when other magicians are hired on for a big activation like American Express, I actually provide my magicians with business cards that say corporate effects on them, but they have their name on them. And, and I actually like them to help promote me because the more business they bring to me, the more I want to hire them again. So, you know, I don't know if that's really on the radar of the brand ambassadors, the public speakers, the live demonstrators, but but if you do have something like that, and you help promote, when people say, Hey, I saw Philip at the show, and I want to hire him, and they're calling their direct to the agency. Oh, my goodness, that gets you right to the top of being on that agency's list, you know,
Philip Victor 24:59
yeah, I mean, I think that's a that's a real Win Win when you when you are talent, I gotta I don't know where my frame is, there you go, you got it and, and you are quality and your client likes you and you're working with an agency that appreciates you and there's there's just mutual respect happening in all directions, then it's just a win win to continue promoting the agency that hired you and, and speak highly of the client. It's, it's never well I don't say never It's not often beneficial in the in the at the end to look to view things selfishly and that's from its from anybody's standpoint, whether it's the the talent or the agency or the client like is open as people can be with each other as encouraging as they can be with each other. You know, not everybody's perfect, not everyone's a good communicator, but communicating Well as you can so that, you know, you understand as talent understands the objectives of the client and agency and you know, I'm saying not to get into it all communication is super important and right and yeah, it's it's a great synergistic move when you're all promoting each other's interests. Right? Well,
Scott Tokar 26:16
it's such a weird thing because it's such a crossover. Like I say, I know I have a whole lot of magicians that are that are listening to the podcast as well because they know me from from that world. You know, most of my work has always come independent contracting. So you know, the customers hiring me directly. But, but you know, I've done many years, working with agencies all around the country, and, you know, there's a, you need to respect and honor them as much as possible because, you know, a lot of times that is your food line right there. Tell me about presenting when you're presenting. Several of our guests before this have talked about memorization and erupting Do you work on your prompter?
Philip Victor 27:03
Yeah, I do. I do hear prompter. And you know, I, I also memorize I have memorized I've learned memorization relatively well, because of acting and other emcee jobs. And it just kind of depends on what the situation is in terms of which one makes more sense at that particular event.
Scott Tokar 27:25
Right, right. Right. Well I find a lot of times if you earn these skills, beyond just handing out hand warmers into the world of presenting and actually being on an IR and actually doing that that something a little bit more you increase your your marketability, you increase your money potential there. And yeah, being able to step up there right there with a script, especially for medical shows, like you said, like, I did a lot of work with Abbott at one point in time and and and, you know, you're you have to be really honest script for them because the FDA is watching you when you're doing that to
Philip Victor 28:03
that. Yeah, there's the consequences that you're speaking about in terms of jargon, but also just accuracy, depending on the industry that you're looking at are, are pretty, pretty important. I mean, I pretty important is even a far understatement, as far as that's concerned. So I mean, yeah, when you're talking about medical, if you're talking about really heavy, detailed tech or no computer science stuff, I remember. Yeah, quite a few shows where if I was memorizing, the time it would take just to get those those sequences of phrases together, where you're really diving deep into what the product is, or the drug is. It's very important and essential to be completely accurate. And
Scott Tokar 28:57
I think that the more you work with a particular client Now, most To my clients, they hopefully this works for everybody that they end up really liking you and they want to bring you to another show. And a lot of these shows are transient. So although Comic Con is always in San Diego, the big comic con, the there are other Comic Cons around, there's the Salt Lake City one. And if that particular company likes you, they might actually ask you to come to Salt Lake City to do the show. Do you don't do a lot of shows out of town?
Philip Victor 29:27
I do a lot of shows out of town. Well, you know, I might year to year changes based on my other work that I'm doing. But I would say that my tendency would be more to hitting the same shows where you know, be that that they're out of town, as opposed to working with a client who was doing I guess a lot of changing locations. I would be up for that. I definitely hear a lot of fun stories about people going you know, over to Europe and Different places. I don't know how many of those are the show is in a different place than it was the prior year. But, you know, if you don't mind traveling, it's it's an awesome opportunity to see new places and get to know new cultures. You know?
Scott Tokar 30:12
Well, I can tell you, I can tell you right, from my experience and a lot of people, the guests that we've had on the podcast so far, because they're at that level of doing the live presenting, they end up getting the opportunities to travel overseas, but when you are in Amsterdam, you don't hire your brand ambassadors through an agency. You hire your brand ambassadors through the ride, the convention center, and those people where a convention center uniform. Usually the girls wear a scarf and the guys wear a tie and a blue blazer and they're your hired hands there. It's done very differently in Europe, and I guarantee you we're going to do a show specifically on European and maybe Dubai exhibiting in the future. I would be I would love. I haven't done anything in that area of the world. It's really a blast to be able to travel but there's the advantage of staying at home is that you get to drive home and eat at home and see your family and you know so there's there's advantages to both sides of this coin, you know, don't don't look at at traveling as being the end all and beall out. Yeah.
Philip Victor 31:23
I mean, I wish I wish the I've lived in San Diego for a few years now. And I wish I know the convention center is busy, but I don't see a lot of work for speakers at the San Diego Convention Center other than a couple of year. I I wish that. I think I wish people always say that and sometimes they don't mean but I wish there were more opportunities where they were like, hey, Philip, we got another thing at the convention center. I'm like, oh, man, 20 minutes away. Doggone it. Alright, I guess I'll go Yeah, exactly. Hey, go up to San Francisco and get a really nominal rate. For a lot of money and deal with anyways, it's nice to travel sometimes nice.
Scott Tokar 32:05
That's a great segue. Do you mind if I ask you? You don't have to be personal on yourself because you have an insight to so many people in the brand ambassador world. What's a fair wage?
Philip Victor 32:20
Scott Tokar 32:20
felt like? Is it by hour or by day if I'm going to have someone come and work? Are there different prices? Like if you're going to work a bar promotion, I'm going to guess you probably gonna get less than work at a trade show promotion.
Philip Victor 32:35
I wish I had a great answer for you on this. Well, in terms of trade show versus a promotion, and I'll say a non trade show promotion which could be street team. Could be a festival could be a grocery store could be a liquor promotion, which is also kind of a little specialized. But anyways,
the norm is, is evolving. Some people believe it's evolving. For the better Some people think it's devolving. It's just hard to say my sister was in the tradeshow industry as a model as a spokesperson, as a crowd gather before I was, we're talking like late 90s. And she was living in Las Vegas for a fair bit of this time. And she was in the Radio City Rockettes when they were in Las Vegas, and so a lot of her fellow dancers would do trade shows because they were lovely, and tall and appealing, etc, etc. And I don't want to go into stereotypes that we heard back in those days. And the point is, from what I heard, I didn't experience it firsthand. I was never one of those ladies, but from what I heard, a lot of those individuals wouldn't go to a trade show for less than 350 400 450 a day, even if they were just at the front corner, saying Hi, welcome to my schedule. I scan your badge like, that's, that's what they were making. Right? Fast forward to current day you go to CES. And there are, there's there's people making a lot of money, don't get me wrong. And that can be coincidence or because they negotiated or because they know the client, whatever it is. And then there's a lot of agencies that are paying folks at CES $20 an hour $18 an hour $21 an hour. And so people that knew what it was, are like out crying, like, How can this be things must change. And that's reasonable for some reasons, and it's not reasonable for others. And it's just a lot of factors in terms of like, what you can expect to pay someone I think, if you're doing something like a comic con, you know, which I guess is technically a trade show or you're doing a different kind of trade show. You know, standard one, I guess it's more typical to do a day rate similarly like to tour work. If you're just sort of a day player on a regular promotion, it's more typical to do hourly And in terms of what is equitable, it's really just all over the place. This is a big conversation and I want to say struggle because it's it's not like there's worse things, but it's a big conversation, a big discussion through having the brand ambassador groups because some people believe that should be lower and more people believe it should be higher and some people have good reasoning to believe that and some people don't and
Scott Tokar 35:26
so now some of the some of the brand new bastard groups I've seen, I don't know if it's your because you mentioned that there's some that you're not in control, but some of them actually say, we don't want you to listen, anything that doesn't have this minimum dollar amount. Have you done that?
Philip Victor 35:41
Yeah, I mean, pretty much. I my memory fails me as as to whether or not it was from the onset of the groups but for at least for the last six years, I would say is a is a safe assessment. We've had a minimum. The minimum nationwide has been 15 an hour. Okay. Now, if you're saying like, if you hear that number or you know, someone hears that number and they're like, outraged, yeah. How do you, you know, it's like, well, that's the minimum, right. And you can't post on the group unless it's above that, okay. other markets obviously have a higher cost of living and some markets have a low cost of living in some markets have a high supply of jobs and other markets have a low supply of jobs. So again, it depends on a lot of things. But the reason I even bring that up is because I've worked events, like for example, when I lived in Los Angeles, I worked events at the Hollywood Bowl, which I think is awesome venue. And some, like, you know, even with over a decade of experience, including as a tour manager and a, you know, a presenter, and like a lengthy resume, I still took jobs that were like, we're gonna pay you 16 bucks. It's 16 bucks an hour. It's a three hour event. So it's kind of like, was it worth it to get up to bed for this or to drive or to find parking or to deal with anything involving Los Angeles traffic, not really. But with the job, you also got to you got a ticket to see the concert that night. So it's like, Okay, well, you know, that's that's something that would appeal to people. Other jobs. I've seen jobs that paid 14 an hour in markets that are not New York or San Francisco or Miami, and their 10 hour events. Like it's 140 bucks. So am I am I should I be telling people who maybe are new to the to the world of experiential, who are building their resume, who might be really hard upon cash, should I be telling them that they should not be able to even see an event that makes them $140 in one day, it's a tough balance. My my take on it is to present people with as much transparency and as much opportunity as possible, and let them decide if they're worth it. matches up with whatever that job is. And I also see the points of people saying, Well, if you allow lower paying jobs, you're, you're sort of propagating further agencies to lower wages and sort of compete by doing that. And, you know, I think that's where it's important. Once you've been in the business for a while to see like, what are the agencies that undercut? And who does seem like they don't treat people well, or they don't recognize people or etc, etc. And that's kind of the direction that I think, is important to take things. Because, you know, I don't know how all agencies work and what's in their margins. I know some agencies take a small margin and some agencies take a 60 or 70% margin. Is that fair? I don't know. I don't know how many staff they have and with insurances, so there's just a lot involved.
Scott Tokar 38:46
Well, you know, I think that, that as the talent as the brand ambassador as the as the person that's accepting the job, you are your final stop. gap you get to choose. All right, I'm willing to go out to that because I want to see you know, this concert I that so it's worth it to me you know to do that a lot of the people that work at the at the baseball games selling peanuts, make peanuts, but they get to go to the World Series if the team goes to the World Series. So you know, they really love baseball and they're in it for more than just the money. I totally get that. But remember, you don't have to accept the job. If someone's only offering you $14 you don't have to take it, you know, this.
Philip Victor 39:33
This is a very important message that you're saying right now that I interrupted, sorry, no, go ahead,
Scott Tokar 39:38
please. You're the guests. Please tell us more.
Philip Victor 39:40
It's a very important message. It's, it's, it's, I would say it's parallel to what people talk about with the power of dollars. You know, if if you don't believe in what a company does, don't buy their stuff, don't shop, don't be a patron at their store. And, you know, to some to some respectable extent and I won't get into it. Tell your friends what you believe and why you believe it. So I'm not saying to spread misinformation, I'm not saying to defame and slander, I'm just saying, like, if you have an experience where you don't feel like you're being respected, whether it's in the real world or the promotional world, you know, kind of put your money and you know, in terms of being a consumer or put your labor in terms of being a brand ambassador representative, put that in the put that in the baskets who deserve it, you know, people talk about like, in terms of, well, you know, the minimum should be higher, and we should have a union and this and that, and we could, we could have many episodes just on on that topic alone and what the benefits and detriments of those things are. But, you know, also at the end of the day, like, I'm in the Screen Actors Guild, and shortly after I moved to Los Angeles, Screen Actors and Writers Guild went on strike. So what are the producers do? They just started making reality TV, they were like, if y'all don't want to make shows for us, because your demands and Our opinion are erroneous, then we're just gonna hire non union people. So like, that doesn't mean give up. There's not a simple solution. It just means like that. You have to sort of strategically fight the fight when there needs to be a fight about it. And again, like, if you're, if you're if you're an All Star, and you don't accept something, then then like you said, Don't Don't take the job. If you're new, and you see an opportunity to earn some money or earn some credits. I wouldn't say to sacrifice your morals. I'm just saying like, you can take a slightly lower wage. But ultimately, hopefully, the Principles of Economics would
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