Venting: Industry Politics


(Image via Quazie)

You have probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but who you know.”

I’ll go a step further and say that in the event industry, “It’s not what you do but who you pay.”

It used to be that if you were talented, that was enough. That is rapidly changing.

Today, in many cases, if a friend or someone recommends you for a job, they expect to be paid something.

I have had calls from folks who actually come right out and ask, “Preston, If I recommend you for so and so job, how much do you think you can pay me?”

To tell you the truth, I catch myself doing the numbers, and this is my thought process:

  • Well, this does not really count as paying a commission, it’s more like a present. (Yes folks I can also lie to myself.)
  • Well, if this is a $200,000 dollar job, why not? (I am also capable of being greedy.)
  • I wonder what they might be expecting, a percentage or just any amount? (In most cases, it’s a percentage.)

As tempting as these situations are, anytime I have done them, they turned out to be a disaster.

This practice is done a lot in our industry. In a lot of cases, they call it “a finder’s fee.” My question is, if you have a friend or client why would you want to make money just by giving your recommendation?

Whatever happened to doing a good deed for friends and sending them to the person you think is right for them?

Or, whatever happened to the good old days of, if we are both in the industry, you can recommend me and in turn I’ll recommend you, without money changing hands?

What is your opinion?