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I work in Dublin as a freelance AV technician. I have been working here for several years and I have a good reputation. I'm considering moving to London in the new year and I was hoping to get some information on how the industry is over there at the moment.

Is there much work available?

What daily rates could I charge (I would be considered an experienced technician in Dublin)?

Do companies pay invoices after 30 days?

Can you recommend any companies to contact for freelance work?


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Well, were to start.


The industry as a whole is going pretty well and as ever there is work around for good techs. As for the daily rate, you will tend to find most companies have an amount they will pay for all round techs (maybe a little more for specialists)


I would have thought average daily rate is around £180.00 per day with many companies paying more and quite a few trying to pay less. Not sure how it works in Dublin but I would say different companies view 'a day' very differently, some will see it from a 0600 start to a midnight finish others will see it as 10 hours +/- a couple of hours. As companies have lists of preferred techs, you will develop a list of companies you'll only work for when there is nothing else on.


We are the latter and wouldn't expect a tech to 'kick off' at having to do a couple of hours extra as we would still pay them a whole day for doing a breakfast meeting when they are on site for 4 hours but if I was booking someone for more than 12 hours it would most likely be a day and half.


As for companies to contact, I would have thought the high churn companies would be a good place to start, as they don't always have the luxury of using freelancers they know, as they are too busy so maybe look at the conference AV companies as opposed to the big event companies.


As for the 30 days, well there are companies that are well known for taking a while to pay while others (such as us of course) can pay within 7 days. Once you start working you will need to speak with other freelancers to get a good idea of were to approach.


If you wanted to speed things up, you can always offer to do the first day for 50% or even free so a company can try you out, I know that sounds a little harsh but a company might just add you to a job or get you in for a day to check you out and you could start working with them a lot quicker. However if you felt they then used you as a tech on a job, I would be a little concerned about that company. Perhaps you can suggest you spend a day in there warehouse understanding what kit they have and how they use it. I'd happily put you as a 'Spare guy' on an event and if you checked out ok, you go on the list, you wouldn't have to wait until I had no other option than to use someone I didn't know.


I would say you might find it a little difficult if this is something you are looking to do now, as December/January are not the busiest time especially this year.


I won't recommend companies here as most companies have quirks you should be aware of and I don't want to be the one that stitched you up, almost all london AV companies use freelancers so time to hit google and start sending those emails. However you need to be available when you contact them, saying you will be in london in 2 months time is not what an operations manager/crew booker wants to hear.


Also cut all the rubbish out of your CV, people want to know what kit you can use and what types of events you can work on. They want to know that you scrub up well, can deal with clients and can be left alone to get on with it, that you are happy to load a van in the rain and your not going to get to precious. On the other side there is enough work out there not to have to put up with companies treating you badly or expecting you to work your nuts off on your own with no direction or management and then take 60 days to pay you.


When you have located to London, drop us a mail.

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Please be aware of the cost of living in London, and the time needed to commute to venues. I live 6 miles from central London, but I have to allow almost two hours by public transport with all the walking. Vehicle parking is silly money, and even a permit for a vehicle parling space in your intended home area may not be cheap.
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I am a freelance technician in London and things are very good at the moment. As Jazz said its all about getting "in" with a few companies and building your reputation, once these companies know you are capable and competent you will become a regular fixture on their freelance books.

When I first moved to London, February, it took maybe 6 weeks of odd days here and there, it was also a quiet time, but now im booked out pretty much solid.

There are plenty of busy companies in London who will be willing to give you a go.

It is important to be able to get anywhere across London so being close to a tube station is something to look for when moving, I live just outside but can be in the city in 30 min.

As for rates, I earn between £185 - £230 depending what company im out for.


If there is anything else you need to know about working / living in London give me a shout.

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