PTM 019 – Event Marketing: How Applying for a Craigslist Job Led to Traveling the World and a Nice Paycheck

I’ve got a double feature for you today. First I’ve got an article from Phillip Hines, promotional model and event marketing freelancer. I follow that up with a podcast interview with Phillip where he tells me all about event marketing and how to get part-time jobs in the industry.

Enter Phillip Hines…

Event Marketing Promotional Model Phillip Hines
“Having fun in Hollywood while on break from my event marketing job.”

You never know where your next big job could come from.

It might come from talking to your neighbor, bumping into the CEO of a company at the gym, or who knows where.

In my case, I got a big job by applying for a job on Craigslist. Yes, Craigslist, the place where nearly every scam possible resides.

But if you dig deep enough and know the ropes, there are golden opportunities on Craigslist–you just have to find them.

My First Event Marketing Gig

In 2008, I applied for a job on Craigslist that involved giving out ice cream samples at a Norfolk Tides baseball game (AAA baseball team affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles). I saw an ad on Craigslist that said they were looking for people to hand ice cream samples (will not name product or marketing firm). I applied because A.) it was a job that I wanted to do, B.) it involved baseball, which I loved and figured it’d free way to watch a Tides game, and C.) it was ice cream…who doesn’t like ice cream? Seemed like a win-win to me.

Anyhow, I got the job. The job was on a Sunday at the ball park.

The pay was $14.50 per hour, and just a four hour shift. The way I saw it was that it was about double minimum wage but for half the time, plus it was building my resume and at a baseball game. Plus, I knew I was qualified for the job.

Here were the exact job requirements:

  • “You must speak English
  • Capable of maintaining a high level of enthusiasm
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must be friendly and have good communication skills
  • You must be able to stand for entire shift”

I’m not kidding, this is what they were. I was shocked that anyone could get paid so much to hand out ice cream!

The day of the event came, and I got a call from my manager. The event was cancelled due to rain. Although I never worked the event, my name was in the companies database. Later in the summer I had learned more about tours, and emailed a job recruiter explaining that I was interested in working on a tour if possible.

Note: An event marketing tour is when you travel the country, going from city to city, and working on the weekends to promote a company at major events. These marketing tours, which are almost always through independent marketing agencies, are highly sought after and pay really well.

Touring America with Event Marketing

One day, in mid-August, I got a call from a job recruiter. The recruiter said she noticed my only employment with the company had been at a baseball game, and asked me how it went. I replied saying the event got cancelled but that I was ready and prepared to work it and went on to explain the other companies I had worked for and how I could help them.

I got the job, which entailed leaving my town less than a week later and flying to the company headquarters. From there, our crew jumped in the company vehicle and started driving towards Vancouver, Canada, which was the next stop on the tour. You see, I was coming in partway through the tour because I was replacing someone.

My tour was a fantastic experience: I saw beautiful Vancouver, Canada, vacationed in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, parts of Arizona and Texas and a bunch of random stops in the Midwest. Of course, there was work involved, but that was always from Thursday to Sunday.

After traveling, we usually had a day or two to visit each city were working in. After taxes, I earned a little over $10,000 in two months. That’s pretty good money, especially since I had just turned 20 years old, and on top of that, the fact I traveled to all these places was worth a whole bunch of money.

A trip to San Francisco would easily cost you on the low-end $500. Multiply that times the four or five hot destinations I was at and that’s a few thousand dollars right there. The work experience I gained, the fun I had, and the things and places I saw made for a time in my life I’ll never forget.

And it was all started because of the simple ice cream job I applied that got my foot in the door at this company. The job I applied for on Craigslist.

Event Marketing Resources

Here is a list of a few promotional staffing companies that you can get started with right now. Just apply on their website, and you’ll be part of their talent pool from which they select people to work these marketing events.

You too can expect to earn anywhere from $15-25 per hour. They have staffing needs all over America–so don’t worry if you’re not in a big city. There’s usually always something available if you look hard enough.

Phillip Hines Book on Event Marketing Jobs
Purchase Phillip’s Book for only $2.99

Fusion Event Staffing
The 11 Agency

About the Author: Phillip Hines is the author of How I Make $20/Hour Going to the Beach, Concerts, Festivals, and Professional Sporting Events and How You Can Too.

I really liked Phillip’s story, so I invited him to do the Part-Time Money podcast. Here’s more…

Listen to the Part-Time Money Podcast

Part Time Money PodcastIn this podcast I talk with Phillip Hines about his experience with the world of event marketing. He’s been doing various promotional modeling and event marketing jobs while in college. He’s been motivated by a desire to improve his financial position: so that he could open up a Roth IRA and pay off some private student loan debt.

As you’ll hear in the interview, Phillip really breaks it all down from where to look for the jobs, what you’ll be doing as a promotional model, and how to land the high paying gigs.

Phillip also shares his expertise in his book, How I Make $20/Hour Going to the Beach, Concerts, Festivals, and Professional Sporting Events and How You Can Too, which can be found on for $2.99. I’d encourage you to check it out if you’re serious about working in this industry.

Phillip’s Story: Marketing Tours

In 2008, Phillip Hines applied for a job on Craigslist. It was simple: distribute ice cream samples at a Norfolk Tides (AAA) baseball game. He applied because it seemed easy and it involved a free way to watch baseball, a sport he loved. The job requirements were simple: speak English, be enthusiastic, 18 years of age, good communication skills, and the ability to stand for the entire shift.

Phillip got the job. The assignment was on a Sunday and the pay was $14.50 per hour for a 4-hour shift. He thought that was a good offer since it was double minimum wage and it was building his resume.

The event was cancelled, though, due to rain. However, his name was in the company’s database. Later in the summer, he learned more about event marketing tours. An event marketing tour is when a person travels the country to promote a company at major events. Marketing tours, which are almost always through independent marketing agencies, are highly sought after and pay well. Phillip emailed a job recruiter to let him know of his interest in event marketing tours.

Landing a Good Gig

In August, he received call offering him a tour job. He left town less than a week later and ended up traveling from Vancouver, down the West Coast, and into parts of Arizona, Texas, and the Midwest. Work days were Thursday to Sunday, and he usually had a day or 2 to sight see in each city.

After taxes, Phillip earned a little over $10,000 in 2 months—good money for a 20 year old who was in college and started out answering a Craigslist ad to sell ice cream at a ballgame.

According to Phillip, many marketing companies use Craigslist to find event marketers or promotional models, and they’re looking for them all over the United States. The typical pay ranges from $15-25 per hour, depending on what area of the country you live in. Most of these jobs can be found in the “Gigs” section on Craigslist and then under “Events.”

Event marketing is a good fit for college students, like Phillip, who want to get a head start on paying back their college loans. Many of the gigs are on the weekends, and many are looking for people who will promote big brands at festivals. It’s not uncommon for Phillip to work at a festival from 10am-9pm on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Phillip’s Recommendations

Event marketing or promotional modeling has led Phillip to gigs such as the Dell Intel Extreme Gaming Tour and the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon, but also smaller ones such as conducting a taste test promo for Coca-Cola or an in-store demonstration for Soda Stream.

While Craigslist has been successful for Phillip, there are other websites he also recommends to search for event marketing jobs: Eventspeak, Fusion Event Staffing, Attack!, and The 11 Agency.

Some of the links that Phillip mentions in the podcast interview are:

Search Nationwide

To see the full transcript click show

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  1. Good for you. I agree on the insurance thing.

  2. Mostly Manufacturing. But Soon as I finish school. I’ll go into sales. specifically insurance. To help as many people as possible. Alot of people out there getting sold products they don’t really need.

  3. What kind of work, Jared?

  4. Im using craigslist right now to find work for the first time in my working life.

  5. I’ve used it to find freelance writers with great success.

  6. Avatar Personal Finance Resources from ACE says:

    Great information as many people do not think or use Craigslist as a job resource but I do hear it is a growing tool in that space as well.

  7. FYI – Podcast #19 also included.

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