The Secret Weapon of the Freelance AV Tech: The Power of Networking

In the ever-changing world of freelance AV, your network is your net worth. Landing gigs isn’t just about having the latest gear and killer skills; it’s about building strong relationships and being the first name that pops into a labor lead’s head when a crew is needed. Here’s why networking is the ultimate superpower for freelance AV techs:

Breaking the Circle: Beyond the “Call Sheet”

Freelance AV often feels like a closed loop. Labor leads have their trusted crew, and gigs get passed around within that circle. But how do you break in? Networking is the key! Attend industry events, connect with other techs online, and strike up conversations with anyone involved in the AV world – sound mixers, lighting techs, even event coordinators. You never know who might have a lead or know someone who does.

Making the A-List: Mastering the First Impression

So you landed a call from a new lead? Consider it an audition. Show up early (15 minutes early is the golden standard), looking professional. Black attire is the industry norm – think clean, crisp, and ready to work. Ditch the cigarette smoke, the after-party hangover, and anything else that might create a negative impression. First impressions are crucial, and professionalism goes a long way in getting invited back.

Be a Team Player, Not a Lone Wolf

You’re not a one-man show. Onsite, introduce yourself to the lead and the rest of the crew. Be proactive – ask if there’s anything you can help with, even if it’s outside your specific role. This shows initiative and makes you a valuable asset. Don’t disappear for coffee breaks that turn into hour-long adventures. Stay visible, be helpful, and let everyone know you’re reliable.

The Art of Finishing Strong: Leaving a Lasting Impression

Don’t vanish the moment your assigned task is complete. Always circle back to the lead and let them know you’re finished and ready for your next assignment. This shows respect for their time and keeps you at the forefront of their mind.

Building Bridges, Not Walls: The Power of Connections

While onsite, take some time to chat with other techs. Share your experiences, swap stories, and exchange contact information. You never know when someone might need a hand, or when you’ll need theirs. Building genuine connections within the AV community creates a strong network that can lead to future opportunities.

Remember: Networking is a two-way street. Be helpful, be reliable, and be someone people enjoy working with. The more positive interactions you have, the wider your network grows, and the more calls you’ll receive. So put yourself out there, build connections, and watch your freelance AV career take flight!

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