Being a producer in Washington, DC means there are a lot of a certain kind of event: charity fundraisers.
Getting people to "donate" their time and efforts to make a successful event to achieve the goal of raising money for a specific cause or organization.
Here is my thought for today: Why are there people who expect to be paid when asked to participate in these kinds of events?
Sure, you will MOST LIKELY get a comped dinner and drinks and - if the organization is fancy like this - a swag bag with some pretty sweet stuff in it.
What you will certainly NOT get, which is something you should always assume with these events, is a paycheck.
My point here is that I'd like to remind any and all asked to participate or donate their time to a charity event that IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.
From what I've seen, charity events in DC - and definitely in NYC - are a wonderful way to gain exposure no matter how far along in your career you are. Honestly, what is one night where all you have to do is show up, promote your product, and probably do one task related to the event, compared to months or even years of new business falling right into your lap?
Personally, many, many connections and new projects for me have come out of attending or participating in charity events and I don't plan on saying no to many of the opportunities that will come my way. So, why not you?
Of course, we would ALL like to - and should be - paid for our time, but sometimes you've got to bite the bullet and look at the bigger picture. If you are doubtful of an event, then ASK who will be there. Nothing wrong with that. IF you've attended the event before, then you know darn well what to expect and just simply say "Yes, I'd love to!" or "No, I'm already booked, but thanks for thinking of me!"
Producers are usually on a time crunch to pull all the moving parts together, so the simpler your answer can be, the better.
Bottomline: Charity work is meant to be for the charity of the cause and not your own. Just some food for thought...
Can you share any instances where you may missed an awesome opportunity because of being asked to donate your time?
DISCLAIMER: This is part of a series of weekly posts where I give my opinion on hot-button issues in the production world. They will always be my opinion and are always meant to spark conversation!