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Industry insider: Mash Staffing

09 Dec 2020

location:live caught up with Chris Wareham from Mash Staffing to understand the impacts of 2020 and predictions for the staffing industry for 2021.

With “75% of agencies already offering alternative services, and 50% expecting to continue to do so post Covid-19” the Crew at location:live are wrapping up the year by getting the lo:down on 2020 from our #EventsProfs community on how they have adapted and what they predict for 2021.

Offering alternative services

75% of agencies

New services in 2021

50% of agencies

Kicking off the series with the people literally at the heart of the live events, Chris Wareham, MD of multi-award-winning Mash Staffing shares how they have been affected and what Mash predicts for 2021.

I still believe in what we do, I still believe in the power of people, I still believe we will want to get back to normal as we are really social creatures.

Who are Mash Staffing?

Winning Staffing Agency of the Year at both the 2019 The Drum Awards, and the 2020 Campaign Experience Awards, Mash is leading the way in providing high quality brand experience staff.

Mash works directly with some of the UK’s biggest brands, including Samsung, Nike, Lavazza, BMW, Beats, Peloton, and GHD, and provide staff for an array of disciplines including retail experience, promotional marketing and experiential activity. 

Their USP is providing highly capable individuals – through targeted recruitment, innovative training methods and proactive management – who can create amazing experiences that drive brand affinity, as well as product sales.

How has Mash responded to the pandemic?

Mash has partnered with retail tech company Go Instore to launch Demo+, a hybrid retail experience that fuses digital and experiential.

Go Instore provide the digital platform that allows retail experiences to be delivered virtually, and Mash brings engaging and highly trained staff, as well as access to high quality retail environments. It’s an exceptional combination that is allowing brands to stay connected with their audiences, even during lockdown #2.

Mash Staffing’s Demo+ in action (image courtesy of Mash Staffing).

Demo+ is proving highly popular at Samsung KX. The staff member meets customers via a link from the Samsung website and demos the relevant products situated around the space (one-way video, two-way audio). The interaction is always specific to the customer’s needs, providing the best of both worlds – a personalised retail experience, but without having to leave home.

Mash has also updated its bespoke staff management software to include Covid19 checks. Before staff can be appointed on an activity, they must achieve Mash’s Covid19 accreditation – which involves completing an online learning module and passing the end-of-module test. Via Mash’s bespoke app M+, Mash staff must also confirm that they are symptom-free each day of any activity they’re booked onto.

What do you predict for the New Year?

At the moment, agencies and brands don’t seem to be planning very far ahead because of the uncertainty, so the first quarter of next year will be interesting. Typically it’s a quiet period, but now there’s a vaccine on the horizon, I think brands might have the confidence to start planning activity for the spring onwards.

Chris Wareham, Managing Director at Mash Staffing (image courtesy of Mash Staffing).

I still believe in what we do; I still believe in the power of people, and our collective desire to get back to normal. We are ultimately social creatures, and we like to enjoy each other’s company physically – whether that’s at an experience like a rugby match, or just chilling out in a pub with your mates. I don’t have any intention of converting the business to such a degree that we lose our commitment to face to face brand experience.

For now, my focus is protecting as many jobs as I can and getting to the spring in good shape. From then, I am optimistic that things will come back really quickly. During the first phase of lockdown, we were all in panic mode, but a few months on, everything feels different – retailers are set up for social distancing and we’re all learning to live with Covid19. We’re a resilient bunch, and I’m confident that we’ll bounce back with enthusiasm.

Thank you Chris from the location:live Crew for your time – looking forward to that beer in the New Year!


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