Category Archives: EPS Company News and Press

Comic-Con Event Staffing

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Comic-Con International 2017, the much anticipated pop-culture event of the year, is just around the corner and EventPro Strategies (EPS) is here to assist you with all of your Comic-Con event staffing needs! Over the years, EPS has provided promotional staff for a multitude of high-profile clients at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) including HBO, FOX, Cinemax, A&E, and the History Channel to name a few. Our experience with staffing and managing multiple events at SDCC each year has given us the knowledge and expertise to flawlessly execute any type of experiential marketing campaign.

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Happy Holidays from EventPro Strategies

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EPS would like to thank our valued clients and field employees for another amazing year.  2016 was an exciting year for the experiential and event marketing industry and we are so grateful for all of our staffing partnerships and opportunities!  Join us as we take a look back at our 2016 featured programs.

We hope that your holiday season is full of joy and we look forward to working with you in 2017!

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The Comic-Con Experience 2016

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Comic-Con Event StaffingIt’s that time of year when the creators and stars of our favorite comics, novels, television shows, and films, and their fans converge. They gather to celebrate generations of old and new imaginative entertainment with audiences from around the globe.

It’s the world renown San Diego Comic-Con, and EventPro Strategies (EPS) is proud to aid clients with Comic-Con event staffing by providing brand ambassadors, costume characters, street teams, and much more every year. This year EPS is proud to be working with Endless Entertainment (EE) to also provide much-needed services centered around audio and visual needs.

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Happy Holidays from EventPro Strategies Event Staffing

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Happy Holidays from you Event Staffing Partner!

EventPro Strategies, a leading experiential marketing event staffing agency, would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season!   Join us as we take a look back at the experiential marketing programs that we have executed over the past year and our 2015 featured programs.

EPS is focused on long-term client relationships, providing the best talent every time, and exceeding expectations; in short, we are a partner, not just a vendor. To speak with our client services team about your next promotion, street team, PR stunt or any other event, please click here!

EPS Partner PUR Offering Exclusive Temporary Retail Space in Downtown Chicago

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EPS partner PopUp Republic (PUR) has announced the availability of a prime temporary retail space in downtown Chicago!

The Shops at North Bridge has an event space open to a brand activation during the iconic Magnificent Mile Lights Festival in November. North Bridge regularly hosts high-profile, celebrity-driven events and pop-ups that draw media attention – this space is a fantastic opportunity!

This high-traffic location is ideal for any brand to create a temporary pop-up shop or marketing event that will increase sales and drive brand awareness!

Dates: Thursday, November 19 to Sunday, November 22

Location: Guest Lounge at The Shops at North Bridge

Features:

  • One million+ people attend Magnificent Mile Lights Festival each year
  • On-mall signage opportunities include mall LED screens, mobile standees & Michigan Ave banners
  • The shopping center attracts an affluent consumer base with an average household income of $142,041
  • Recent North Bridge pop-ups include the Cadillac Luxury Lounge & Nordstrom Beauty Blush
Contact
This space will only be available for a limited time. Contact us today!

Need help finding a different kind of space for your marketing event?

EPS and PopUp Republic can source the perfect location for your brand and help you execute your pop-up event! PopUp Republic is THE hub for thousands of temporary listings for any marketing event.

PUR helps clients find temporary:

  • Airport space
  • Mall or retail space
  • Storefronts
  • Non-traditional spaces
  • Outdoor spaces
  • Temporary restaurant spaces
  • And so much more!

Since partnering with PopUp Republic, EPS and PUR offer end-to-end pop-up services to help you source your temporary location then execute your holiday pop-up with the best staff and brand ambassadors in the country.

Please fill out a request for proposal to learn more about our exciting pop-up marketing services!

Request For Proposal

EPS Director of Marketing Discusses the 5 Questions Brands and Agencies Must Ask Before Hiring an Event Staffing Partner

By | EPS Company News and Press, Event Staffing Tips and Ideas | No Comments

kelly cropped Choosing the right event staffing partner is a decision that many brands and agencies wrestle with on a yearly, or even program-to-program, basis. The fact is that ultimately finding one event staffing agency that is able to align its resources, capabilities and values with your marketing vision can help ensure that every single one of your events has a significant advantage.

Last week, the experiential and event marketing resource EventSpeak featured an article by Kelly Springs-Kelley, EventPro Strategies’ Director of Marketing. In the article, Springs-Kelly outlines the five things brands and agencies must ask before hiring an event staffing agency; an important read for any brand or agency that is in the process of vetting a staffing partner. From employment practices (read here to learn why event talent almost always must be hired as W-2 employees to eliminate misclassification liability) to technology and reporting capabilities, Springs-Kelley provides EventSpeak readers with a comprehensive list of must haves that any great event staffing partner should be able to offer.

Since 1999, EventPro Strategies has been committed to delivering the right people for any marketing event while offering high-impact execution services and technology solutions. From street teams to trade shows, EPS has partnered with agencies and Fortune 500 brands throughout the US and Canada to staff and execute experiential marketing campaigns. EPS provides unique and client-tailored execution and project management services to enhance program logistics, as well as proprietary staffing and measurement technology. EPS has also uniquely developed mobile consumer engagement technology tools that help our clients continue to drive program results and ROI.

If you would like to learn more about EventPro Strategies event staffing, execution and technology services, please contact our client services team or visit our website to request a full capabilities presentation.

Uber/Lyft Legal Fight on 1099 Employee Misclassification May Directly Impact Event Staffing Industry

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Over the past week, the legal battle between Uber, Lyft and a group of the ride-sharing firms’ drivers took an important turn when two San Francisco judges, in separate rulings, found that lawsuits filed by the drivers should go before juries, as was reported in the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ went on to say that “at issue in both cases is whether drivers, who are employed as (1099) independent contractors, should be considered employees of those firms, and thus entitled to the protections afforded most full-time workers.”

While misclassifying 1099 workers is not new, over the past few years the Department of Labor and the IRS have been executing a nationwide crackdown to end such practices. Other than employee rights, a significant loss of state and federal revenue, the Affordable Care Act and other critical considerations, part of the focus on 1099 misclassification is the fact that it spans dozens of industries, including experiential marketing and event staffing.

In event staffing, where a large portion of brand ambassadors are regularly misclassified as 1099 workers, this case is enormously significant. The WSJ article continues by stating that, “should the cases proceed to trial, the resulting verdicts could also set a legal precedent about how many workers should be classified in the so-called on-demand economy“; an arena in which event marketing surely applies. In addition, with the introduction of www.bookedout.com and the fact that many event staffing agencies are using hiring apps, the case is directly relevant.

In addition to establishing precedent, this type of continuing employment law litigation also keeps the issue in the spotlight, where any worker who is hired as 1099 yet is “treated as an employee” can bring a lawsuit against an employer. As the WSJ indicates, “the plaintiffs suing Uber say they should be treated as employees because the company allegedly exerts significant control over their work, sets compensation and vehicle standards, and can terminate drivers at will.” In the event staffing industry, the vast majority of event staff are told exactly what to do and say (significant control over work), their compensation standards are set, and they can be dismissed at will. As a result, by the measure of the law, these are employees, not contractors.

This case is not only important to agencies that hire 1099 event staff, but also to those who work with a staffing agency that does. The risk of co-employment is high in event marketing, where it is regular practice for a marketing agency representative or brand agency client to be on-site directing the activities of the staff.

Since 2008, EventPro Strategies has exclusively hired all of our event staff as W-2 variable hour employees. Not only do we avoid issues related to litigation and non-compliance, we are protecting our clients from regulatory and financial liability. To learn more about W-2 hiring and the dangers of misclassifying employees as 1099 independent contractors, please contact Kelly Springs-Kelly, Director of Marketing, at kkelley@eventprostrategies.com.





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Co-Employment Liability: What Every Brand and Agency Needs to Know

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When hiring a staffing agency, most companies put cost, customer service and talent quality at the forefront. What most companies do not consider is the potential to be named as a co-employer in the case of a staff member claim or lawsuit. According to employment law, brands and agencies who partner with event staffing agencies are often times just as responsible for the staff as the company that hired them, from tax liability to worker’s compensation claims. This exposes companies to tremendous risk- risk that is often overlooked and could potentially cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In 2008, EventPro Strategies began classifying all of our event staff as W-2 variable hour employees rather than 1099 independent contractors (which has been the industry norm). Since then, many clients have asked about co-employer liability and the potential consequences, large and small, to both their agency as well as their brand clients as it relates to a staffing agency’s hiring practices.

What is Co-Employment?

When determining whether a brand or agency is a “co-employer”, the IRS uses the “common-law employee” test. This test states that “under common-law rules, anyone who performs services for you is your employee if you can control what will be done and how it will be done. This is so even when you give the employee freedom of action. What matters is that you have the right to control the details of how the services are performed.” In event marketing, the co-employment risk is considerably high, especially because many times there is a representative on-site from the agency, brand or both, who is explicitly directing the work that is being done by each and every staff member.

“When staffing agencies hire people as independent contractors to work marketing events, the IRS, the Department of Labor, the EEOC, state unemployment agencies, state workers’ compensation enforcement agencies and others may determine that these people should have been hired as employees,” said Joshua Woodard, partner at Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P. “If so, the governmental agency will analyze who should be deemed to be the employer by determining whether there was control, or the right to control, the talent. Unfortunately, “control” is not difficult to establish. In certain circumstances, just giving direction to the talent while at an event may be enough.”

Another significant factor lies in the fact that, in most cases, the marketing agency or brand represents a more lucrative target when suits or claims are filed. In addition, if the talent agency does not have the resources to satisfy the fines and penalties, the marketing agency or brand can be left with responsibility.

Worker Misclassification Risks

If a staffing agency hires event staff as independent contractors, there can be significant risks and adverse consequences that are associated with worker misclassification. As the client, if just one of the contractors hired to work your event fails to pay taxes, the IRS could initiate an audit. “If the staff member claims that he/she should have been hired as a W-2 employee all along and that you exercised “control” over him/her, the IRS may come knocking at your door asking you why you, as the employer, did not withhold taxes,” said Woodard. The IRS could determine that your company, along with the staffing agency, is responsible for paying all back taxes (many times both the employer’s and the employee’s portions), penalties, interest and failure-to-file fees. There could also be personal liability assessed for certain agency or brand managers, as well as additional employee audits.

In the case of an audit, it is also important to understand that, in terms of employee misclassification, many times liability is not limited to the specific state in which it occurred. The year the state of California entered into a ‘memorandum of understanding‘ with the US Labor Department regarding the improper classification of employees as independent contractors, it joined 11 other states who signed a similar pledge. These 11 states are Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Utah and Washington. California reports to 28 other states, and many others are expected to join in preventing employee misclassification.

“Independent contractor versus employee classification issues have been increasingly focused upon by many governmental agencies in the last several years,” said Woodard. He advised that “companies who engage talent would be wise to carefully evaluate their risks when selecting a staffing agency.  If a company has controlled, or would like to control, staff at an event, the best manner in which to reduce employment-related risks and possible governmental audits would be to take proactive steps to ensure that all applicable taxes, worker’s compensation insurance, payroll requirements, and other employer requirements are being met.  Failure to do so can result in serious consequences.”

W-2 Hiring Helps to Prevent Co-Employment Liability

“Many staffing companies in the event marketing and promotional industry may be living on the brink if the personnel they send to their clients are paid on a 1099 basis,” says Richard J. Reibstein, partner at law firm PepperHamilton, which has handled many misclassification cases. Reibstein was quoted on the misclassification issue as it pertains to the experiential marketing industry in the article “A Brewing Storm” in the February/March 2013 issue of Event Marketer Magazine. In the article, Reibstein goes on to say “There’s nothing wrong with sending 1099ers who are genuine independent contractors—but many of the folks sent to corporate clients may not qualify for IC status under federal or state laws.” Hiring staff as W-2 employees, and partnering with staffing agencies that do, helps to mitigate this risk.

When considering the potential impact of co-employment, choosing a staffing partner is more than simply evaluating the quality of their talent, the costs and the level of service that they provide. Hiring practices and how staff members are taxed, workers compensation insurance, other insurance policies and key issues as related to human resources are also critical to ensure that your program is successful and your company is protected.

When working with EventPro Strategies, the aforementioned risks, liabilities and audits are greatly reduced. As a W-2 variable hour employer, EPS handles all employment-related taxes, workers’ compensation, minimum wage, overtime issues and unemployment insurance.

EPS transitioned to a W-2 model in 2008. Now we are lessening risk for our clients by providing W-2-hired event staff and other services that are unparalleled in the industry. We are 100% liable for our employees and that gives us, and our clients, tremendous peace-of-mind. From mobile tours and PR stunts to lead generation and sales campaigns, EPS looks forward to partnering with you on your next event campaign!

Please contact our client services team to learn more!  Click here to download this article along with additional information about the importance of hiring a W-2 event staffing partner.

Thank You and Happy Holidays from EPS!

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As we reflect upon the passing year, we at EventPro Strategies continue to be enormously thankful for all of our valued client and talent relationships. EPS has been fortunate to have many long-term partnerships throughout the years, and we know that without our outstanding clients and hardworking Talent community we would not be the event staffing industry leader that we are today.

In 2014, EPS will celebrate our 15th birthday, and with that milestone we will also celebrate the many exciting years that have ensued since the company’s founding in 1999. Our story is unique, and we are proud that it embodies what small business is all about- seizing the moment and taking initiative.  

Jessica Stackpoole founded EPS while working as a freelance tour manager in experiential marketing. During that time she was traveling the country for a Fortune 500 Brand and managing the brand’s local teams. When the modeling agency hired to supply local staff began hiring poor-performing Talent who either didn’t show up or couldn’t successfully execute live events, Jessica knew she could provide better Talent for her client. In order to legally hire staff from her large personal network, Jessica discovered that she needed to be an agency. The next day, then 25-year old Jessica went to the local courthouse, paid $42 for a license and, at that moment, EventPro Strategies was born. That Fortune 500 Brand became her very first client, and soon many of the brands that Jessica had worked with previously were also on board as EPS clients. 

During her first year in business, Jessica cut 1,800 Talent checks – by hand! Ever since, Jessica has guided the company from a one-woman shop in Asheville, North Carolina to a $15+ million dollar enterprise with offices across the country. We continue to be immensely grateful for our client and talent relationships throughout the years, as each and every one of these brands, agencies and individuals have played a part in the company’s remarkable evolution.

As we approach 2014, we look forward to another year of building long-lasting and meaningful relationships and executing outstanding live events. Our entire team at EPS wishes everyone a joyous and warm holiday season and a successful and happy 2014!





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EPS Holds It’s First Annual Summit!

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AUGUST 2, 2010 – Next Week (August 10-12), EventPro Strategies (EPS) will be holding it’s first annual summit themed, DEFINING MOMENTS! As it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday tasks, it’s our belief that through defining each moment that passes we will be able to define each experience and ultimately build stronger connections.

Scheduled to be held at a local hotel in Scottsdale, AZ, The EPS Annual Summit is not only an opportunity for each team member to develop personally & professionally but, most importantly, a time for the company to celebrate each others talents and achievements!