• One-stop market for event entertainment
• Tips for booking talent
If your busy schedule puts you in the position to book speakers, musicians, and entertainers over your lunch, you may need a side of GigSalad to lighten your load. CEO Mark Steiner came from an acting and booking agent background and was able to create a lucrative platform in which to display the many talents of others with knowledge from his own experiences.
GigSalad began in 2007, as a “basic data directory,” according to Steiner that has evolved into a booking marketplace. With the help of his friend and co-founder, Steve Tetrault, a website was designed and they have been “popping up on people’s [computer] searches” ever since. The Springfield, MO official headquarters provides everything from technical support to talent booking for event planners as GigSalad is a liaison between artists and speakers and the meetings and events industry.
In speaking with CEO Mark Steiner we learned the GigSalad way of providing an easy and secure way for planners to create extraordinary events, “We are the event marketplace for you [event planners]…with over 600 categories for entertainment and event sources.” When Steiner said, “it is easy,” that is no foible. Searching acts by type is just the start, entertainer profiles are full of great information including photos, videos, and some even include sound bites. You may not have met the performer in person, but you are now wielding all the knowledge you need to decide if an act is right for your event. And with the free quoting tool, you will be connected directly to your vendor choice and will be responded to promptly on whether they are in budget and are available for your date. And to make it even easier, all deposits and payments are handled by GigSalad. Steiner explained that more automation is coming in the future to provide ‘Instant Booking’ for vetted customers that have booked with GigSalad often, this will become a more “concierge style ‘white glove’ service.”
When asked what helpful tips he could give to meeting and event planners when booking talent, Steiner quickly announced, “Reviews! Our company is a unique marketplace…treat us like Amazon, Ebay, Uber, or Airbnb…you rely on others opinions as do we.” In the age of rapid fire reviews and opinions, he is correct, many of our opinions are based on another’s experience. Steiner suggests that you read reviews and leave reviews, but also be aware that if a vendor doesn’t have a review it doesn’t automatically ‘red flag’ them, they may be new or just haven’t had a client leave a review yet. This is where the second tip comes in, seek out strong referrals and references. Even if a vendor has reviews, still ask for references and follow up on them, Steiner said a key question is “Do they communicate well?” as great communication is crucial to every event.
Coming right off of tip two, the third is a comment for both talent and planners, have a good photo or video. Steiner suggested “getting a clip of the performer…YouTube is a great free exposure resource” and it is beneficial for both talent and planners to utilize it. Most planners want to see who they are booking and a bit of the experience they have to offer before sealing the deal, as is their right.
The final tip is “quality over quantity” in Steiner’s opinion. A vendor need not have a ton of photos, videos, or sound bites available as long as what they provide to planners is quality. On the flip side of that examine your event and choose quality talent that fits your space, theme,and guests. There is never a concrete all encompassing answer to your event other than providing your attendees quality. Luckily, GigSalad is here to help.