Modeling Agencies and Promotional Talent Businesses Come of Age

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Modeling agencies and talent management businesses have changed a lot since the industry was first created. While most industries can blame their evolution on economic shifts, and technological changes, modelling and promotional talent management has remained relatively static, for one simple fact – the product hasn’t changed.

In other industries, there have been significant or limited changes to the product or means of distribution. Even seemingly slow-moving businesses such as fresh produce sales has been revolutionized through advanced distribution methods and automated ordering systems. Far more obvious is the impact that has been made in industries that have experienced a complete overhaul of their product, such as the music industry and book publishers. Modelling agencies and promotional talent businesses, on the other hand, have not experienced anything quite so significant. Hiring humans to promote a product is arguably the most effective and direct means of engagement, but humans are the same as they have been for countless centuries. Additionally, there have been no significant improvements in how to send humans from one place to another, as Star Trek style transportation systems have not yet been invented. This has meant that modelling businesses have, from the outside, remained almost exactly the same as they have been for decades. Sure, there have been some changes including more effective communication methods – or at least more communication methods – like text messaging, email and social media, but generally speaking the product and the means of delivering the product have been limited by the disappointing lack of robotic humanoids and a frustrating shortfall of flying cars.
So where is the significant change?
While other industries have been focusing their communication improvements on technology, people-based industries such as recruitment agencies, promotional modelling businesses and modelling agencies have gone in completely the opposite direction. Focusing on increasing traditional communication, and using technology to empower that type of communication.
At PUSH Agency, we have the largest database of promotional talent in North America. We have built that up as a result of hard work and patient development, and are proud to be leading the industry. However, we have had to be more flexible than we thought in terms of the types of communication we have with the talent we rely on as a business. It wasn’t long ago that everyone thought we would simply be communicating via text, and that traditional phone calls would go by the wayside. We found that to be true…except when it isn’t. Blanket rules don’t apply when you are dealing with a significant cross-section of the population. We have talent who are from a wide range of social groups, varied ages and locations. Even within each of those demographics, we can’t determine exactly how a certain subgroup will respond to a specific type of communication. This means that if we are only communicating in one way, then we are inhibiting our ability to use our entire database effectively because even if there are a small amount of people who don’t respond well to a certain type of communication – text messaging for example– then we, if only using text messaging, cannot effectively engage with those people. In other words, if we only email our database, there will always be a percentage of our database that will never respond.
So, we have had to become not more specific in our communication but far broader and more flexible. As technology has evolved, we have had to embrace every part of it because the value we add to our clients is access to the best promotional talent in the country, and we need to make sure we are accessing it to the best of our ability. So, we have become a cutting-edge, old school, high-tech, phone-based business. We have an in-house development team who created an incredibly complex database and engagement platform, and who continues to improve it every day. And we have phones – actual phones that are plugged into the wall – that we use when needs be.
As an example (and this will serve to give nightmares to those of you who enjoy a steady and monotonous work day) many of our engagements are in regional areas, where there isn’t a significant amount of promotional talent but where some of our clients have a steady base of customers, and an opportunity to expand that base through promotional activities. We almost always have a good amount of PUSH Agency talent in the area, but when the event is of a significant enough size, we must sometimes rely on and uncomfortably high percentage of those people. Our fancy database is designed to pair with our project management tool, and as a result we can see potential staff shortfalls before they occur. If this should happen, it’s our job to find a way to fill the gaps and put contingency plans in place should people pull out at the last minute. Our team then jumps on the phone to anyone who hasn’t responded, or to those who were uncertain as to their availability. We then ask our promotional talent who have accepted the job if they know anyone, have any friends, or of heard of anyone who is with other modelling agencies who may be interested in the event. Then, we ask everyone to put a shout out on all their social media channels, and we do the same. In addition, we also email blast neighboring areas from our database, and text message anyone who has potential to be in the area. Modelling agencies used to make a phone call, book the talent and then get on with the rest of their lives. Now, it’s our job to make sure we can live up to the highest of expectations, and deliver the best possible talent no matter where they are, or how they communicate. Our database gives us the opportunity to deliver what other modelling agencies and promotional businesses cannot – exceptional talent we already know. But it’s always important to have a fallback position, and our ethos is that we do whatever it takes to make sure events and promotions go off without a hitch, with the best talent, and service so good that no client could expect it.

Event Planning Hints and Tips

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Event planning can be overwhelming. Obviously, you want your next event to be successful, but often due to the fact that so many things need to be organised, structured and there are so many suppliers, and people to manage, things get lost.

Usually the most important things.

A good event planner is a focused one, and it’s important that the outcomes you were seeking when the event was originally agreed to, are still at the forefront of your thinking. Don’t let distractions and details get in the way of a good event. Remember:

What Do Your Attendees Want?

There is a reason you are getting prospects or clients along to this event. At some stage, you or a member of your business decided that they would receive a specific benefit through attendance, and it would benefit your business in a certain way. Remember what that benefit was, and make sure it is being served by the actions you take. If changing something will impact directly upon that benefit, consider whether it would be worthwhile.

Event Planning is Project Management

Event planning is about creating an event, but also about making sure that event runs smoothly. Too often, event managers become seduced by the next great initiative, plan or product that will make the event, “even better.” The best result in any event planner can hope for is a well structured, predictable event that meets all business goals, and from which attendees leave impressed. New initiatives introduce complexities that, instead of making the event better, can make it difficult to manage and take away from the final result.

Take Nothing for Granted

We’ve spoken about the importance of communication before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Making sure your suppliers and other team members, including event staff,  have a detailed understanding of expectations, timings (timings are crucial) and performance standards is the magical glue that keeps a good event together.

Don’t take for granted that something is, “common sense,” or that a team member will understand what they need to do. Everyone has the best of intentions, and it’s your job to make sure that those intentions are combined with clear instruction, scheduling and support. External suppliers need to know where the lines of communication are – who do they speak to when they arrive? Internal employees need to understand where the boundaries of their responsibilities lie, and how they can best fulfil their role.

If you’re on the ball, and make sure things are well structured, event planning will be a breeze.

Talent for Promotions, Modeling Agencies in Los Angeles

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At PUSH, we work with models in Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York and Cleveland. As a non-traditional modeling agency focused on finding the widest range of talent for promotions in North America, we have to be flexible. But when your job is to find the best talent, across such a wide and diverse populace, how does PUSH Agency create a predictable result for clients?

Traditional modeling agencies in Las Angles, Phoenix, San Diego, or wherever, focus on finding the right talent for a particular function. That may be catwalk modeling, photo shoots, lingerie modeling or catalogue work. They learn what experience the model has had, take their measurements and add them to their book.

At PUSH Agency, we don’t take the granted that someone will either be good at a certain task, or bad at it because they haven’t done it before. For example, one of our brand ambassadors may have a particular skill set, but one that can be moved into another area also. They may be talented event ambassadors – excellent at liaising with VIPs and comfortable and a high-stress environment, all skills that would work well at a cocktail event for senior industry executives or politicians.

Our database, the largest talent database in North America, is designed to identify geographical opportunities, but also skill set crossovers that may be useful to us, our clients and obviously beneficial to our brand ambassadors. Through this, we have been able to discover hidden talents, and make the most of models that wouldn’t always get opportunities, simply because they didn’t feel they have the required skills.

Through not buying into industry norms, and striving to create the best possible outcome for our clients, not just tick boxes, we have been able to create consistent and duplicatable outcomes in Los Angeles, New York and… well, pretty much everywhere.

Does it always go perfectly? No of course not, but we consider ourselves to be the hardest working modeling agency, brand ambassador and event marketing business in America and are focused on our client’s outcomes, not our industry’s problems.

 

Experiential Marketing through Events and Emotions

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Experiential marketing is a crucial component of what we do. Sure, we do event marketing, guerrilla marketing, street events and a bunch of other things that get the social media wheels turning, clients applauding and prospects paying attention, but experiential is the key to all of it.

Experiential marketing involves creating something that will appeal not only to our PUSH customers, but more importantly to the target audience, and attendees. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but it must be interesting enough to evoke an emotional reaction. Emotions are the reason experiential marketing is regarded as one of the cornerstones of effective brand marketing.

Interestingly, creating an experiential marketing campaign is less about the way you plan and structure your event and more about how you think about the attendees in relation to the interaction. Good marketers will look at an event through the eyes of attendees, and ask themselves what they would be most impressed with. Perhaps a demonstration of a soon to be launched product, or something as simple as an interactive video. Maybe it’s a virtual reality display, or a cutting-edge visual presentation. It doesn’t matter, the main thing is asking, “what would our target market most enjoy?”

The goal of experiential marketing theory varies, as with all types of marketing. However, impressing and exciting are non-negotiable. You should attempt to impress your attendees at such a level that they talk about with their friends, family and colleagues. Many successful campaigns have been launched using free sample handouts to people on the way to work – with the free sample containing an additional sample for someone in the office. This incredibly simple, yet highly effective strategy means that if the target market is local office workers, you can double down on your promotion through encouraging literal sharing. Other similar campaigns include rewards for social media shares and lunchtime events held in the foyers of buildings.

Regardless of who your target customer is, understanding where they are and what they want can lead to an exciting and compelling experiential marketing initiative.

Recruiting Brand Ambassadors for Events

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Brand ambassadors are difficult people to recruit, insomuch as they are an extraordinarily varied type of individual, and the requirements for success are insanely broad. In a regular recruitment process, a skillset is determined, along with other criteria, both quantifiable and non-quantifiable. These include: previous experience, perceived cultural fit, qualifications, references and complimentary non-work experience. From there, a robust interview process determines who is most suitable, an offer is made and the right person for the job is selected.

“Recruiting brand ambassadors is about doing all the work in advance”

When recruiting brand ambassadors, however, things are much less structured. Not only do we need to screen on geographical availability, experience, product knowledge, suitability for the event itself and a bunch of other criteria, but also we have to do this multiple times, and usually in a very short time frame. In other words, we have to recruit in advance.Our database, the largest talent database in North America, is designed with brand ambassador recruitment in mind.

In event staffing, no assignment is the same and so we have to do all the work in advance so that the client’s experience of PUSH Agency is one of no stress, excellent service. In order to do this, we are regularly searching for a broad range of talent, both for upcoming jobs and potential work. We can afford to make big statements about how big the opportunity to work with us is, because PUSH has so much work on a national level. We work with brand ambassadors and clients on events as broad as product launches, parties, street promotions and guerrilla marketing campaigns.

recruiting brand ambassadors

Then, our talent database does all the heavy lifting. any database, including and especially talent databases rely on two critical components – the amount of information put into them, and how manipulative all that information is. We take care of inputs through robust campaigns to attract the best brand ambassadors in America, and the backend is handled by our specialist team. Our database can search on an incredibly broad range of criteria, and as a result our searches are fast, effective and reliable. We are constantly improving our database with our in-house information technology team, that works hard to make sure our searches are the best, and our inputs are in line with what our clients are looking for.

Recruiting brand ambassadors for events is about discipline, consistency and recruitment and most importantly, having the team available to do the work with passion and eagerness.

Push Agency Event Staffing – Your Complete Event Staffing Solution!

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Event staffing and event management are complex and often arduous projects involving a wide range of staff members, external suppliers and freelancers. Hiring brand ambassadors, and perhaps even entertainers, caterers and suppliers for industries that you are not familiar with could be a daunting and sometimes incredibly frustrating task.

That’s something we discovered early on at PUSH Agency. When we started talking to businesses about brand ambassadors and event staffing, we quickly learnt that event management and the creation of a process that makes life easier offered just as much value as having the largest talent database in North America. We began getting more involved with the event management side of things, and through that started talking more about the project itself, what was trying to be accomplished and our senior team members began offering advice on how to best improve and enhance the event. Of course, this wasn’t always necessary, as many organisations have internal events teams that simply need brand ambassadors to complement their existing processes. Examples of this include Heineken, MGM and our involvement in the recent Guns n’Roses tour… which we have been talking about ever since.

event management
It is through these diverse experiences that we have learned the importance of open and honest communication, not only between PUSH Agency and our talent, but also with clients and key staff members. It’s important that every event management assignment has communication structures in place that ensure brand ambassadors live up to the expectations set by the client, and agreed to by us, and those brand ambassadors have a good experience of the client, and enjoy themselves so that they perform at their best during the event.
We have found that there are several critical areas that must be communicated in a crystal-clear fashion so that everyone knows exactly what is going on, the expectations of them and lives up to their agreement, from the agency, to brand ambassadors and clients.

1.Who Says What to Who

Event staff management is a complex project, and where events often fall down is through someone, with the best intentions failing to understand who they are supposed to be communicating with, and as a result failing to get the right instructions, or explain themselves to the right person. Examples of this include a brand ambassador not introducing themselves to the appropriate event staffing person, or event manager when arriving at an assignment, and product training being provided on an ad hoc basis due to nobody being assigned responsibility for up-skilling, and brand ambassador effectiveness. the result can be less than ideal, with often unforeseen circumstances arising – a VIP isn’t greeted adequately due to a brand ambassador not being aware of who they are, or what they were supposed to do with them, or the agency sending someone who doesn’t have the required product knowledge because training was, “supposed to be provided.” This is why PUSH Agency takes a – sometimes annoyingly – detailed brief from clients, and avoids any communication issues.

2.Tone, Style and Language

Effective brand messaging through event staffing is an important part of any event. If your brand ambassadors represent your organisation in a way that is authentic and compelling to your audience, you will likely see better results. We created our talent database as a relatively simple tool, but as we learnt more about what constitutes a successful engagement, and why some events fail, things became more detailed.
It’s important the brand ambassadors have adequate product knowledge and a detailed understanding of the assignment. But some brand ambassadors are equally perfect, and disastrous.
For example, an extreme sports legend who is covered in tattoos, known to a core audience and has an enormous following on social media, is ideal for an organisation that promotes energy drinks, a skateboard company or other similar organisations. Equally, if an appliance company was releasing a new brand of stereos that had, “the extreme sound,” as the catchphrase, this brand ambassador would fit nicely into the overarching brand promise and expectations from the audience. However, you wouldn’t send a tattooed covered extreme sports legend to a formal dinner party for a conservative political party.
Our database is now designed so that we can screen on so many different event staffing factors it’s almost ridiculous. From skillset to style, there are factors that eliminate and identify the right, and wrong person for an event. We don’t just assume either – if an ultraconservative brand is hosting an event for a product that is anything but conservative, we find out about that through asking heaps of questions, and then finding the right people for that event – not just anyone.

3. Know the Outcomes

Every event is happening for a reason. Event management doesn’t exist because some people consider events a nice thing to do for their clients and customers; it’s because businesses want to achieve something and have goals in mind.
We discover that event success has very little to do with the events themselves, let alone event staffing. for example, if a business is hosting a function for its top clients, and the event itself goes off perfectly, but the overall goal – increasing engagement with key clients – isn’t reached, it is unlikely that the organisation will run another similar event. If we had made ourselves aware of the overall goal before the event started, perhaps we could offer some additional advice present some case studies on similar events were done in the past, and the outcomes they produce. Perhaps our event management team could speak to the client and demonstrate some follow-up tools that we used previously to create exceptional results. Regardless, understanding the outcomes and being aware of what the client is trying to achieve is crucial for any event management business.
Before we begin recruiting talent for any event, our event strategy team has a discussion about what outcomes the client is trying to achieve, and how we can best contribute to them. We want to make sure that events become part of the overall marketing strategy for every organisation we work with, through not only having a great experience with PUSH Agency and our brand ambassadors but also as a result of the outcomes that the successful event was directly responsible for. We know that an unsuccessful campaign will be thrown out by senior management, or pointed out by the board – we want questions being asked as to why more events are happening, and why PUSH isn’t being paid more money.
Although, we understand that the money thing is a bit unlikely.
Open communication, honesty and transparency go without saying, but communication needs to go further where event management is concerned. Through increasing the levels of quality communication and maintaining a fluid dialogue from brand ambassadors, to the agency and through to the client, there are less surprises, better outcomes and an overall better experience.

The Handmaid’s Tale Premiere

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 The Handmaid’s Tale was a book written by the great Margaret Atwood. It told the story of a future where puritan values ruled, and women were robbed of their ability to work, learn and live freely.
Summary – not very nice.
The book is now a television show on Hulu. Created by the geniuses at MGM, it stars Elisabeth Moss, who used to be Don Draper’s secretary, Joseph Fiennes , who used to be Shakespeare, and Alexis Bledel, who was one of our two favourite Gilmore Girls.
 When MGM reached out to PUSH and asked us to help them out of the premiere party, they had some unique requests. I mean, we have provided acting talent before, but all of our promotional models are full of outgoing confidence and epic…epicness. Where could we find people to play the downtrodden women in the Handmaid’s Tale?
Then we watched the trailer and saw Elizabeth Moss be self-empowered and fearless in the face of staggering odds. We needed strong women who smirked in the face of danger, so when we opened the database we only had literally everyone to choose from.
May week 5
The four brand ambassadors were charged with memorising lines from the series and moving around the party in character. It was a clever way to bring the reality of this alternate world to light, and it allowed the people who attended premiere to identify even more with the characters.
 The client however, refused to stay in character for their review of the brand ambassadors performance –
“The BA’s were wonderful!!! They were honestly the hit of the party and did a fantastic job!!! They did everything we asked them to.”
 Not at all like the leaders in the show, but another job well done and a great series on Hulu.

PUSH Models Process

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PUSH Models is more than just the largest database of promotional talent in North America. We aim to partner businesses with the ideal talent for the event they are hosting, the product they are promoting or the…well, whatever they are doing.

When you work with PUSH Models, the end result is experienced, talented promotional models that understand not only their role in the event, but also the overarching business goals. Through this, less effort can be put in by the business, with expertise coming from PUSH =Models, and on the day directly from the talent provided. In this way, we have adjusted the traditional route of sending along suitable talent at the expense of understanding the intricacies of the event, and as a result, PUSH Models events are more effective, enjoyable and less stressful for our clients.
In the digital age, the personal touch becomes even more important as incredible amounts of capital are piled into intangible advertising such as website ads. PUSH Models aims to make sure that your business still has the option of shaking hands with your prospects and customers, and giving them a genuine human experience when it is required. Through working with major brands across the United States, we have seen first-hand the importance customers put on touching and holding a product and interacting directly with somebody who understands how works, what it does and who can articulate that properly. Whether it’s a physical product, high-technology or even alcohol, the impact on individuals when they directly experience a brand or product, is profound. The flow-on effect to other social groups, the shareability of an experience and – due to how interconnected we now are – how many people that an individual can impact, is one of our most powerful tools. In essence, we take a very straightforward way of communicating and make sure no mistakes are made, and the greatest chance of success is given. PUSH Models are the best because we aim higher than simply having people on our database, we have the right people who can achieve more than you could possibly expect.