Of course I’m referring to the popular sites, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Thumbtack, Gigmasters and Gig Salad. This is an introductory article that summarizes each of these sites. We’ll dive deep into each one individually in future articles and discuss which are worth your time and money for your photo booth business.
As you are no doubt aware, consumer facing event and wedding planning websites are growing in popularity. Brides to be and others planning an event can utilize these sites to find inspiration, read blogs, find vendors, keep track of decisions that need to be made, create and organize budgets, and to communicate with guests. Vendors can gain valuable access to these event planners as well as their guests with their advertising dollars but which is the best choice for your photo booth business?
Thumbtack.com offers users advice and contact information for professionals in a wide range of fields, separated by categories such as Moving to a New Home, Getting in Shape, and Planning a Wedding. The wedding planning section includes a specific Photo Booth Rental tab and offers a simple system to provide services to potential clients. Professionals registered on the site are sent requests for their services from clients; you can then choose which requests to respond to. You will pay Thumbtack a standard fee to send a personal email and quote along with a link to your Thumbtack profile. Thumbtack limits the number of quotes for each request, so speed is necessary.
Another popular option for wedding planning specifically is TheKnot.com. Vendors can advertise through a Local Storefront which gives you access to up to 80 local market areas, accessible on the Local Vendors tab on the site. Your storefront includes a main cover photo plus a gallery with unlimited photo storage, contact information, a link to your website, and a fill-able contact form for brides who would like more information about your business. There are several display tiers for vendors to choose from, ranging from Standard (Basic) to Featured.
Weddingwire.com also focuses on wedding planning and offers both local and national advertising options. Through your Wedding Wire storefront, you can display photos, track and manage your reviews, and connect with clients who have questions about your photo booth business. Basic storefronts are free to vendors but Premium Members can choose from 3 levels of additional advertising options from Professional at $58.33/month to Featured at $87.50/month up to Spotlight Ad for $179.17/month. Each upgrade allows for more photo storage and more visibility within the site.
Gig Salad is geared toward the performers, bands, speakers, and event services that people are searching to hire. Vendors can sign up for free and begin uploading audio files, photos, and trying to access clients albeit with low visibility on the site. Any events booked through the site will pay a 6% booking fee to Gig Salad. The Pro and Featured programs offer higher visibility, more photo and audio files and a 4% booking fee with an additional set rate of $29.99 or $39.99 per month.
Gig Masters is another booking site geared toward event performers such as bands as well as photographers and photo booths. Vendors and performers can choose from 3 membership levels: Basic generates leads within a 100 mile radius, photo gallery, and payment processing at $99 for 3 months; the Pro membership increases the travel distance to a regional 500 miles and adds a custom profile URL at a rate of $139/3 months; the Gold membership allows for advertising in up to 18 categories throughout the U.S. and Canada along with the Basic and Pro benefits at $169/3 months.
Each event planning and booking website offers some unique features and plans; you will need to do some critical analysis of cost, demographics, and the number of users in your area before choosing a site to spend your advertising dollars. We’ll break down each site in detail in coming articles.
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