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Promotional modeling can involve a broad range of activities. You may be asked to demonstrate cosmetics, hand out samples of candy or ice cream, convey key selling points to prospective consumers in a store or on the street, or simply attract shoppers to a product display. You may also be asked to act as hostess or greeter at a trade show, event or hospitality suite. In all these areas, the salary range is broad.
In-store promotions are typically staffed via promotional agencies. These agencies usually set model rates with their clients—either the product manufacturer, or another intermediate marketing agency. Rates vary widely within and across regional locales. The same agency might offer $10 per hour to hand out samples for one client and $20 per hour to do the same kind of work for another. The average hourly rate in larger cities is $14 to $15. In smaller towns, it may be as low as $12.
An in-store demonstrator may prepare and offer samples of food. He may also demonstrate a technological or electronic device or gadget. The range of product types is broad and, again, the hourly or daily rates can be small or large. Often, large manufacturers, such as Proctor & Gamble or Sony will stage demonstrations on a national scale, placing models in stores from California to Maine. In such a case, typically, all models who work the demonstration event will be paid at the same rate. Rates may range from $8 per hour to $30 per hour (averaging $14) or more. Companies who pay by the day may offer $90 to $180 per six- to eight-hour day (which averages to $135). The pay rate may have nothing to do with the type or intensity of labor required.
Trade Show Models
Trade show models often act as greeters or booth staffers for large corporations at high-tech, medical or other conventions. They might also be required to perform crowd control duties. These events may be held in hotel ballrooms or in mammoth conference or exhibition halls. Typically, the pay will be higher for trade show work than for work at the consumer retail level. Models are also often paid by the day rather than by the hour at rates from $150 to $500 for a six- to eight-hour day, making the average $325. Trade shows in Las Vegas have been known to pay even more. It all depends on the event and the client.
Legitimate staffing of corporate hospitality suites may be even be accomplished by temporary staffing agencies, in addition to promotional and event staffing services. The work may require simply greeting guests at the suite rented by a cosmetic or tech company, for example. The rate range is $20 to $50 per hour or more, an average of about $35. Clients who request a certain look or language proficiency may offer even more money.
Alcohol or Wine Demonstrator
Even "dry samplings," which involve no serving of alcohol, pay at the higher end of the demo modeling scale. Though you may be paid as little as $15 to sample alcohol, rates generally start at $20 and rise to $45 or more. The average would be $23.50. High-end wine and champagne makers have been known to pay in excess of $50 per hour to samplers.
- Matt, Co-Owner; RPM Event Staffing; Reno, NV
D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.