Marketing, Autor w serwisie BWS

It can pay off for all sides to book Polish event technicians and stagehands via a crewing company. How do your company and your people benefit?
You already know from talking to us or from our website that crewing can make your work easier.
Still you’re wondering why you shouldn’t use a local crewing company and instead hire a crew from Poland that has to travel hundreds of kilometres to get to you.

The answer: Booking a Polish crew pays off for you and your employees in many ways – Read on to find out the three most important benefits!

 

1.Quality & reliability: Get a crew that has proven themselves all over

Many of our clients have had bad experiences with local stagehands or personnel service providers, especially after the pandemic. While they tell us about great loyal freelancers they work with for years, we also hear that additional hands often show up with too little experience to get the job done, need to be held by the hand, or lack motivation and ‘take more breaks for smoking than they actually work’. This can put your project at risk and strains your nerves. Add to this that your employees feel let down by the crew you hired to support them, and you have a reason to look for someone more reliable – look east!

If you hire a crewing company like BWS from Poland, you can be sure that you will get specialists who have proven themselves all over on Polish ground and that we guarantee you can be counted on. Our guys are the ones who started years ago in the event industry, putting fences together in the mud and carrying cases for more than 12 hours per day for very little money. They stayed with the job because they love the grind and the industry and became better and better at what they do. 

Many of these industry veterans are our most trusted technicians and crew chiefs now, and they have been to many jobs in the west, working at fair grounds and other events all over Germany, and Austria. While they stuck with the job because of their passion and getting-sh*t-done attitude, today, they stick with us because we value their persistence and the skills they have acquired – and because the conditions are much better for them now: They can develop their skills at BWS, get good working conditions, and feel well-rewarded through our wage system that we built to ensure our guys get paid fairly for the work they do and their skillset – especially working abroad (see part II). 

So if you get a crew from BWS, you won’t just get a random guy from the street. For each crew member, we go through an evaluation process to decide if we allow them to sign up in our system for jobs outside of Poland or not. Only our most trusted and skilled specialists can sign up for work abroad, so that we can guarantee our clients that the crew they ordered will not let them down. The feedback we receive from our partners in Germany or Austria proves that this approach works well for them, that our guys do an outstanding job, and that their own teams are relieved to finally get support that they can rely on.

 

2.Value for money: Get a smaller crew that gets more done

Our crews consist of trusted specialists that we have picked as per your requirements, who travel to you from Kraków. This means that we are not always the cheapest option, as our guys always earn good money (as specialists with a strong skillset much more), get paid half a wage for travel and rest days, have to travel several hundred kilometres and also have to be accommodated.

However, as you read in point 1 above, you can count on our crews and their skillsets – up until the point that our clients started to order less people, because they found out that a handful of BWS workers can get more done than a larger number of random guys. If, for example, our riggers in Stuttgart are ‘under the ceiling just two minutes after the shift starts’ (as one of our main partners told us), and get the job done in less time than planned, that leads to our partners ordering smaller crews – e.g. 4 instead of 6 riggers – and save costs while still getting the job done.

In this way, our clients have less daily wages to cover, which pays off for them in the long-run. And there are also other approaches we use to make the side costs melt away: When our crews travel together in a minibus from our fleet or in a BWS car, the travel costs are spread over 4-8 people. That is usually cheaper than having various freelancers travel within your country and you save time, because you only need to make one order and don’t have to talk to a number of people and settle the details with every single one of them – more on that in point 3!

3.Additional capacities: Save time and worries and expand your business through crewing

Are you worried about taking on additional projects because you fear that a freelancer might not show up or call in sick and you don’t have a replacement? Maybe you want to expand your business but you are not sure if you have the capacities for that in your current setup?

When you get a crew from us, you can be sure that our guys will be there and ready for the job. In 2023, only 35 times one of our guys didn’t show up for his shift – out of almost 10,000 shifts! That is less than 0.4% of guys not showing up at the meeting point, and the number drops even lower for jobs abroad. 

Not showing up at a job is a rare thing at BWS, because it impacts the worker’s rating and there is a fine to be paid. In addition, we won’t clear anybody in the system who is not reliable for jobs abroad, and might not clear them at all for any jobs if there was no good reason not showing up – Hire slow, fire fast!

But what about someone getting sick? Thanks to our onSinch database, we get instantly notified if somebody signs out of a shift. Also, the spot will become available for other guys in the system. With around 1000 active BWS’ers, often the right guy signs up without us having to move a finger. 

What does that mean for you? That it’s not on you anymore to find replacements for your crew. You don’t have to worry about it, because we take pride in sorting these issues out for you before the job. There is a good chance you won’t even notice. 

Knowing that you are covered and you will get the crew you need no matter what, you can focus on your business and give your own team new challenges. Now your employees can concentrate on their core responsibilities and on getting better at their jobs, while they also have more time available for new projects. This should be a boost to their motivation, and for the growth of your business – From our own experience over the last years we can say that nothing makes it easier to expand your business than having happy employees who are excited to get to work.

So if you have a new project coming up but you are still wondering if you should accept it or not, then give us a call, get a crew you can trust, and take on new challenges for your business!

Now that you know what you can gain from working with a Polish crewing company like BWS, you might be curious what our side of the deal looks like. Why do we and our crews want to work with you? Find out in a few days’ time in part II of this article. If you don’t want to wait that long, just reach out and ask us yourself!

Imagine a company that’s constantly learning and adapting, much like a keen student always eager to improve. That’s us, always on the lookout for new knowledge and skills to enhance our work.
This approach has quietly led to some significant changes in preparation for the 2024 season. Our goal? To elevate the way we organize and manage our teams to new heights.

The final step is to exhibit at the Prolight&sound in Frankfurt, but more information about that is at the bottom of this newsletter.

MIGHTY CAR FLEET:
We have expanded our fleet of cars – we now have 3 vans and 4 passenger cars – all new or nearly new, so the risk of breakdowns is minimized.

Giga-office:
In Krakow, you can now visit us at 3 Stoczniowców Street in our new office. Thanks to the move, we have more storage for event gear, a solid training room, open-space and a kitchen with a modern microwave. We like the thrills, and we are not afraid of radiation (although some people leave the room as the thing heats up).

In Warsaw, we’ve also moved to a larger location, where we have much more room for training, so everyone knows what a case is and how to strap down. So little, and so much, right?

Expanded training program:
To increase the quality of our crew, we have invited experienced production engineers and technicians to join us for training.
While last year our trainings were general – about everything, now we have added specialized ones to the general ones. People from outside BWS can also take part in them. It’s a nice feeling – to know that we are raising the skill level of the entire industry, not just one company.

Steep number of hours worked in Q1:
By mid-March 2024 (2.5 months), our teams had already worked for 18 977 hours, or 1 581 – 12-hour days or 1 897 10-hour days.
Or it’s as if 31 people have worked for us every day since January 1, 8 hours a day, day in and day out.

We want more:
That’s why you’ll find us at Prolight&Sound in Frankfurt from March 19 to 23!
Come and visit us at booth number C87, hall number 12.

https://pls.messefrankfurt.com/frankfurt/en/exhibitor-search

You will be able to drink Bardzo Wielka Siła (Very Great Power) and talk about everything your soul desires.

See you there!

Do you want to free up some of your time to spend it on things you’re currently missing out on?
Don’t want to delegate tasks because you know you’ll end up having to correct the work anyway?

All signs point to the fact that effective task delegation could solve your problem in this situation.
But how do you do it?
Below are some principles I stick to and some mistakes I sometimes make.

  1. Assign a specific person to complete the task
    -> if you write to a group that “this needs to be done,” guess who will end up doing it. You.
  2. Describe in detail, preferably in bullet points, what needs to be done or what state needs to be achieved.
    Example – if you want someone to take care of the logistics of a trip for you: 
  3. a) book a 9-seater bus for the XYZ project team
  • first check offers from our regular partner, tel. 123456789, then use external companies,
  • budget for one day’s rental is X PLN, 
  1. b) book accommodation for the technical team
  • maximum 20 minutes drive from the workplace,
  • separate rooms for each person,
  • budget per person per day is Y PLN,
  • the hotel must have at least a 7.5 rating on booking.com (do not book anything worse),
  • breakfast must be available no later than 7 am, 
  1. c) send the information to the technical team
  • Marcin, tel. 999222333 is the manager – pass on the accommodation location, car pickup point, fuel card. Make sure he knows that the car must be returned clean and with a full tank. In case of a breakdown, he should call Marysia 777222333
  • Make sure Marcin has briefed the team on the departure time and place – have him send you a text once it’s done and everyone has confirmed they know when and where to be. If he doesn’t confirm, call him and ask him to sort it out until it’s done.
  1. Set a deadline
    At the end, add by when the task needs to be completed and how you want to receive confirmation that it has been done, example: 
  • Logistics need to be ready by Friday at 12:00. By this deadline, please send to my email:
  • invoices for the hotel and car,
  • confirmation that Marcin is aware of the details and has briefed the team.
  1. Make sure the person you’re delegating the task to understands it and has taken note of it.
    Example: After reading the email, please write to me what you have to do and by when.

You can also ask about a detail that was in the tasks, e.g., what was the budget for one person’s accommodation. This way, you ensure that the person has thoroughly read the entire instruction, not just glanced over it.

Having processes, procedures, and instructions in place within the company aids in effective delegation. You can find a post on this topic here. CLICK

Final tip – if you want to be absolutely sure that the event task will be done well – it’s best to entrust it to us, i.e., BWS Event Support. For years, we’ve been sending technical teams to set up, support, and dismantle events of all kinds. We make sure that the team is well-prepared, insured, has all the necessary agreements signed, has a place to sleep, knows how to get there. And most importantly – we issue just one invoice for it all. Check us out!


he situation is well-known to any event organizer: you are looking for a light technician who can do X, Y and Z. A good-looking gentleman comes forward on Facebook and declares: “Yes, I can do it.”

But can you trust him?

How to avoid unpleasant surprises during the job?

3 steps to make sure you hire the best technician:

1. Ask to send a resume – sounds corporate? Maybe so, but if a technician sends you a resume, it means that – he probably has something to put in there and is not worried about you calling one of his former employers.This proves his reliability.

2. Call the companies mentioned in the resume and find out how he did– here you don’t need to explain too much, call and ask what are his strengths and weaknesses, how did they work with him.

3. If possible, ask him to come to you for an interview. During the interview, of course, you can ask him specialized questions with which to test his knowledge, but such a meeting is more a test of reliability – whether he will come, how he will come (on time, sober?), what kind of person he will turn out to be (do you get along?).

If you want to recruit a qualified technician without the above steps (and save a lot of time and nerves, plus pay only one invoice instead of many), contact us!

We offer a team of proven professionals ready to go.

At BWS Event Support, we understand that technical expertise is critical to the success of any event. That’s why we’ve developed a training system that ensures our technicians are the best in the business.

As the crewing business is growing in Europe, companies who do not obey local law are occurring and putting their clients in financial and legal danger.

Control by local authorities is not just checking the paperwork – clerks are showing up on site to interrogate workers, who are often not sure of who they are speaking with.

If a worker will state that they are working under a close supervision of the main contractor (your company) OR the clerks will assume that he does (wears your company’s clothes, uses your company’s tools), you might be in trouble!

Here are a few important things to know, if you don’t want to get a fine from Zoll (Germany) or Finanz Polizei (Austria).

1. Independent work – if you hire a crewing company that is actually not working independently, you might be classified as arbeitnehmerüberlassung.

In this case you are the one responsible for all the personnel on site.

It means – their contracts and safety. If it turns out you do not have a contract with them and also did not take care of their occupational health and safety training – you are in trouble.

Average fine – €5,000

Maximum fine – €50,000

How to make work independent?

a) Hire crewing companies with skilled specialists.

If there are stagehands in the crew – it is not a problem, but they should be supervised by a Crew Chief from the same crewing company.

b) Make sure the crewing company wears their own brand and uses their own tools.

Wearing your company’s t-shirts by subcontractors and using tools with your company’s logo on them might be seen as hidden freelance hiring.

A crewing company should make sure that the crew wears company t-shirts, vests, and uses company tools like hammers or power tools.

c) Give the crewing company a specific area they are responsible for.

Make sure that the specialists are working with a plot and do not need to be closely supervised by your on site manager. Your manager can consult things to do with them, but should not explain to them how to do basic things, like assembling a truss or opening the case.

It is good to also sign a contract with a crewing company, in which a specific area of work is established and agreed on.

2. Make sure that the crewing company hires their workers legally.

Some companies are actually sending not hired workers, since the controls are not very frequent. Thanks to not hiring their staff, they save a lot of money (difference between net and super-gross wage is up to 60%, so paying somebody 200 euros means a cost of 320 euros) and are able to give you a “better” price.

a) contracts between the staff and a crewing company should be signed

b) minimum wages valid in your country should be respected.

c) A1’s should be issued (in case of Poland, many times it takes time to issue A1 – US-4 formular combined with confirmation it’s submission is valid too).

Here is an article on the official ZUS website (Social Insurances Agency of Poland) that will tell you how much time they have for issuing A1 – from 1 day up to 2 months.

d) reporting in Zoll (Germany, fairgrounds only) or BMF (Austria, any job) should be made at least 1 day before the work starts.

e) It is a good practice for a crewing company to require their staff to have EKUZ cards.EKUZ is a European Card of Health Insurance, thanks to which any kind of hospital services will be free of charge. If a worker does not have one, they will have to pay for the services and ask for a refund back in the country of their origin (in our case – Poland).

EKUZ is a nice thing to have, though it is not obligatory.

A1 tells us that the social insurance is paid, EKUZ tells us that the health insurance is possible to use free of charge anytime.

f) make sure that the staff members have a citizenship of a European Union country or a consent to work in Germany or Austria.

Having for example a Ukrainian citizen without such consent can be treated by the authorities as human trafficking (no joke!).

If the company you are cooperating with has nothing to hide, it should not be a problem for them to show you all the documents from points a, b, c, d and f.

If the crewing company does not want to show you any documents, it should be a red flag for your cooperation with them.

TEST US – ask for any documents of our crew before the job starts and see how legitimate we are!

 

In September 2023, we received the ISO 9001 certification.

In a nutshell, having ISO 9001 means that a company has a well-structured interior. By interior, we mean what happens within – like sales, order fulfillment, recruitment. Every area has a repeatable path it follows. Professionally, these paths are called processes, which are further broken down into smaller segments – procedures and instructions.

With well-structured processes, we can achieve the following outcomes:

a) clients are served in a consistent manner,

b) repeatable problems are solved in a consistent way,

c) every employed individual knows their scope of duties and where to check how to perform them. And they perform them independently. (and if not, we have a clear signal that either the process or the employee needs improvement).

If you spend most of your day answering phones with repeatable, simple questions, and every emergency situation lands on your desk – it’s a clear sign that it’s worth looking at the processes in your company.

This situation may also apply to your managers – often they may think that engaging in micro-management all day is normal – it’s not – and so they don’t even let you know that a problem exists.

No need to cite any scientific studies here – just ask yourself or your managers:

– How many times a day do you answer the same questions?

– How often are you pulled away from your tasks due to urgent calls, which don’t really address highly complicated issues?

Working on processes, procedures, and instructions in your company will allow:

-> minimizing the number of critical situations, or in industry jargon, reducing the number of ‘fuck-ups’,

-> freeing up your time and your managers’ time for handling significant matters that bring real profits to the company,

-> increasing the quality of service to your clients.

These 3 points will significantly impact the efficiency of your company (more serviced orders with the same resources).

I am satisfied that in the case of BWS, passing the ISO audit was a formality.

At the beginning of 2022, we underwent a significant restructuring, which included creating procedures and implementing them. We also set the direction we are heading, and what followed – we replaced the entire managerial staff.

Managers at BWS don’t waste time on small management and inventing new solutions to old problems.

The result of having, applying, and improving processes, procedures, and instructions in our company includes:

only 0.77% absence of personnel on jobs – for a crewing company, it means that for every 100 people on implementation, we need less than 1 person in reserve. So, the attendance is almost flawless, absences are traceable.

specialisation -> by the end of October 2023 alone, our technical department conducted 64 technical trainings, thanks to which we now have 160 individuals with confirmed qualifications in our team.

more than half of our clients from 2022 increased their demand for our crew in 2023 (and the year isn’t over yet!).

-> check our article about the trainings here 👉 bws.net.pl/en/how-do-we-train-our-crew/

Without procedures, we would still be answering phones from the crew asking “when’s the job?” and from clients asking “what are your rates?”. Crew doesn’t call because they know that new jobs appear in our system. Clients place orders through our app or via email, knowing all the terms upfront for the entire year.

Say “check mate”! Book our crew and see how fast, organised and structured we are!

And if you’d like to discuss processes noncommittally – I’d be happy to talk about it and share more of my experiences.

In the event industry, the success of every event, whether it’s a concert or a trade show, relies on a well-coordinated team working behind the scenes. These professionals, who effortlessly navigate through the maze of cables, lights, and sound, are often the result of extensive training and experience. At BWS Event Support, we take pride in our highly skilled and trained crew, who have undergone various training programs to enhance their expertise in event management and production.

Since January of this year, BWS Event Support has organized 64 training sessions, totaling an impressive 183.5 hours of training. These were not just any training sessions! They covered everything from the basics of event management to advanced rigging and LED screen programming. In 2023 alone, BWS Event Support has provided a solid foundation of knowledge, and there are still two months left for more training.

BWS Event Support have four types of technical training:

  • LVL 1: This is an entry-level training that covers occupational health and safety principles, basic elements and terminology, as well as assembly and disassembly of various structures.
  • LVL 2: This training is a higher level of initiation, where participants learn about the installation, addressing, and dismantling of lights and LED walls, as well as the operation of hoists and reading technical drawings. After completing this training, participants can take on more advanced tasks in the industry.
  • Grounder: This specialized training is designed for those who want to make their mark on German events. Participants gain knowledge about equipment, truss hanging, and hoist operation.
  • Rigging: This training is for those who want to acquire skills related to hanging points, working with ropes, and operating hoists.

BWS Event Support’s training is not just theory. It provides practical experience that has already yielded results. For example, their team set a record during the load out of the stage at the “Girl in Red” event in Warsaw, where the entire operation took only 1.5 hours. This is proof that a well-trained crew is an absolute game-changer.Some of the training sessions include a proprietary exam to test participants’ knowledge.

So far, 186 people have taken the test, with a pass rate of 89.58%. This means that over 160 people are using their acquired knowledge in practice. Most of the participants are still hungry for knowledge and want to continue their development. In addition to the opportunity to take on more advanced jobs, they can participate in specialized training sessions that require previously acquired knowledge.

The entire training system implemented by BWS Event Support is based on gradual development, ensuring that everyone has the chance to gain experience and new skills, regardless of their level of expertise. So, if you’re looking for a team of real event stage masters, test BWS Event Support.

Join the ranks of satisfied customers who have chosen professionalism and expertise in the event industry.

Let’s connect!

Steering through employment in the event world can be tricky, especially making sure everything is legal and clear. At BWS Event Support, we know how key it is to stick to employment laws and keep both employers and workers safe from risks that come with informal employment in our lively industry.

Understanding the Risks

Engaging in informal employment practices, such as paying workers “under the table”, can expose your business to significant financial and legal risks. From potential audits, back payments, fines, to legal consequences, the repercussions can be detrimental to your business’s reputation and financial health.

The Importance of Legal Employment

  1. Protecting Your Business: Ensuring all employment practices are legal and documented protects your business from potential legal actions and fines.
  1. Employee Well-being: Legal employment ensures that your employees are covered by social security, health insurance, and are working under regulated conditions, safeguarding their well-being and rights.
  1. Quality Assurance: Legal employment practices often correlate with higher quality work, as employees feel secure, valued, and are likely to be more invested in delivering quality workmanship.

 

Steps Towards Legal and Safe Employment

  1. Robust Contracts: Ensure all employment contracts are clear, abiding by the legal standards, and protect both parties’ interests.
  1. Safety First: Equip your team with the necessary safety gear and ensure adherence to all safety protocols to prevent workplace accidents and ensure a safe working environment.
  1. Fair Working Hours: Ensure your team is not overworked, adhering to legal working hours, and has adequate rest to maintain high-quality work and well-being.

 

Your SolutionBWS Event Support

Navigating through employment laws and ensuring all practices are legal can be a complex and time-consuming task. That’s where we come in! At BWS Event Support, we provide a solution that allows you to focus on your event and delegate all employment aspects to us.

Let’s ensure your events go smoothly! 

Click below and schedule a quick video chat with us to explore how we can safeguard your business together.


Stagehand or Technician: Who Do You Really Need for Your Event?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a stagehand and a technician, and who you really need for your event? The answer largely depends on your specific needs—whether you require basic manual labor for moving equipment, or a complete technical setup and coordination. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the nuances that set stagehands and technicians apart, and why understanding these differences is crucial for the success of your event.

  1. Basic Physical Tasks: The Realm of the Stagehand

If you need a team for unloading/loading, pushing cases, or carrying equipment, a stagehand is your go-to. They are skilled in basic physical tasks that don’t require specialized knowledge. Stagehands are the backbone of any event, ensuring that everything is in its right place for the show to go on.

  1. Experienced Stagehands: More Than Just Muscle

Don’t underestimate the value of an experienced stagehand. Those with substantial experience are familiar with industry-specific terminology, know how to properly coil a cable, fasten a transport belt, or assemble a truss. An experienced team can significantly speed up the setup and teardown process, making them an invaluable asset to any event.

  1. Technical Tasks and Team Coordination: The Technician’s Domain

If you’re looking to delegate tasks to a team, minimize your involvement in manual labor, and hear the words “Done, what’s next?”—then you definitely need technicians. They are capable of working independently, interpreting technical plans, and coordinating a team. Technicians are the strategists of event production, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and according to plan.

  1. The Technician: A Jack-of-All-Trades

A technician is someone with extensive experience in the industry. They can independently read and execute a technical plan, possess their own set of tools, and often work at heights, operating machinery like lifts and forklifts. Whether it’s lighting, multimedia, sound, construction, or rigging, a technician is the expert you need for specialized tasks.

So, have you figured out the difference? Both stagehands and technicians play vital roles in the success of an event, but their responsibilities and skill sets differ significantly. Whether you need a team for basic manual labor or specialized technical tasks, BWS Event Support has got you covered. With our skilled stagehands and highly trained technicians, we ensure that your event in Poland and across Europe is nothing short of spectacular.

Ready to experience the difference? Contact us to book your team today!

 

P.S.By understanding these roles better, you can make more informed decisions for your events. At BWS Event Support, we pride ourselves on our deep industry knowledge and expertise, offering top-notch stagehands and technicians to make your event a resounding success.

 

1. Quality Boost:

Training isn’t just about learning; it’s about elevating. When we invest in our crew’s skills, the result is top-notch work. It’s like giving them a superpower – they’re not just doing the job; they’re acing it.

2. Equal Opportunities:

At BWS, we believe in fairness. Everyone gets a shot at leveling up. It’s not just about the job; it’s about growth, passion, and potential.

3. Fresh Faces, Fresh Perspectives:

New to the crew? See the bigger picture. With training, pushing cases becomes a stepping stone to more technical, exciting assignments.

4. Safety First, Always:

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to safety. A trained crew knows the ropes, understands the risks, and ensures everyone goes home safe.

In a nutshell, training is our secret sauce. It’s what sets us apart, ensuring every event is a masterpiece.

P.S. Every month, we run multiple technical trainings. Want to see the difference? Test our trained team on your next event.

Let’s connect!