top of page

Hiring Independent Contractors vs. Employees for Event Gig Work

When deciding how to manage intermittent or project-based work, many event businesses face a choice between hiring independent contractors and bringing on part-time or full-time employees. This decision can significantly impact a company's flexibility, cost structure, and overall efficiency. Here’s a 'shallow dive' into why hiring a contractor - if done correctly and in accordance with your state employment and worker compensation insurance laws - can often be the more strategic choice for all parties involved.

Bolt Marketing Group has one of the largest inventories of event staff and event-specific independent contractors in North America. Hiring contractors for gig work provides a flexible, cost-effective solution that allows businesses to adapt to changing workloads, access specialized skills, reduce administrative burdens, and allows businesses to offer more competitive pricing to their clients as a result. This strategy is particularly advantageous for managing short-term projects, fluctuating demands, and tasks requiring specific expertise. Ultimately, leveraging contractors enables businesses to remain agile and focused on their core objectives, while optimizing both performance and cost efficiency.

One of the primary advantages of hiring contractors is cost efficiency, which the client will appreciate in their billing. Businesses can save on overhead and expenses associated with idle time, making it a more economical choice, especially for tasks that are not continuous or consistent.

Flexibility is another critical factor that favors the use of contractors. Businesses with fluctuating workloads benefit immensely from the ability to scale their workforce up or down as needed. Contractors can be engaged for specific projects or periods, providing the exact amount of labor required without the long-term commitment associated with part- and full-time hires. This is particularly useful for companies experiencing seasonal event demands or project-based work where the need for additional resources is temporary.

Contractors often bring specialized skills and expertise to the table, which might not be available within a company’s existing workforce. Hiring a contractor for their particular skill set can enhance the quality and efficiency of a project. This access to a diverse pool of specialized talent allows companies to tackle complex or niche projects with greater confidence and competence, which we do at Bolt Marketing Group. As new projects come in, we rely on our database of event staff - who outlines their experiences, availability, certifications, passions/hobbies, etc. - in our application process. This allows us to place staff effectively, which makes both the client and the staff happy! Win-Win!

While ensuring proper handling (which must include a lack of control of schedule, performance outcomes, etc.) and classification of contractors remains important to avoid legal issues, the overall administrative load is significantly lighter, allowing businesses to focus more on core activities rather than internal/HR processes. The ability to quickly onboard contractors can be crucial for meeting tight deadlines or addressing unexpected projects. Contractors can often start immediately, providing an agile response to urgent business needs.

Lastly, with today's post-COVID business landscape and economy, more people continue to choose the flexibility and work-life-balance rewards of gig work, thus, the supply is strong for finding quality talent. From our experience as an event marketing agency servicing Portland and the Pacific Northwest since 2009, staff arrive to events and projects feeling energized to work a NEW shift, a NEW project, and with NEW people. This is refreshing and highly motivating for many people, which we see day in and day out!

Hiring contractors for intermittent work, such as experiential events, enables businesses to allocate their full-time staff to essential, long-term projects that align with strategic goals. This focus ensures that core activities receive the necessary attention and resources, while supplementary or specialized tasks are handled by contractors. By efficiently distributing resources, companies can maintain high levels of productivity and quality in their primary operations. If you'd like to have the best event staff in Portland and the Pacific Northwest work your next event, please reach out!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page