1. Tell us about your business/for purpose organization (how long have you been in business, what is your specialty, products or services, how many employees you have, etc.):
GigMasters is the premier online marketplace for event professionals. Since 1997, we’ve been connecting event planners with the perfect vendors who fit their needs and budgets. In that same hand, we assist our entertainers to make a living doing what they love by providing them with a platform to expose their business and receive bookings. We harbor all types of events services at GigMasters; from bands, photographers and florists all the way to bounce houses, corporate speakers and costumed characters. To date, our site has brought over 270,000 events to life, helping our vendors earn over $152 million in revenue.
While we service the entire United States and Canada regions, we’re headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut. Our bustling office is home to 32 hard-working employees, an overabundance of coffee, and weekly ping-pong tournaments.
2. What makes your company/organization leaders in your industry?
GigMasters was the first of its kind, before “marketplace” became a term used to describe a website. We’re leaders because we’ve truly revolutionized the complete booking process for independent events service vendors. GigMasters was the first platform to allow vendors to advertise their businesses, attract new leads, and finalize bookings in one central place. We continue to not just grow our vendor database, but also continuously develop strategies for attracting clientele to book our vendors. In 2014, we earned a spot on Inc.’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in the U.S.
3. Who or what has influenced you (book, movie, person, other company/for purpose organization)?
In learning how to manage a team, perhaps no other book has influenced me more than ‘Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work’ by Paul Marciano. Reading it really opened my eyes to the importance of establishing a well-defined company culture, and helped dispel some of my long held (and wrong!) views on employee engagement. Quite literally, it was a game changer for me, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who manages even just one person.
4. What key qualities do you look for in your employees/team?
We look for employees who have ‘hustle.’ By this, I mean we want big thinkers who, with limited direction, can run with ideas. We want folks who laugh in the face of obstacles and tap into their creative minds to overcome them. We seek those who can thrive in an unstructured, fast-moving environment, and who most of all believe in what we’re doing and love what they do.
5. Words of advice for others growing their business/for purpose organization?
Be in it for the long haul. Prepare not for a sprint, but for a marathon. Don’t be swayed by those around you who discourage you, or cast doubt on your dreams. Prove them all wrong. You can do this. Dig your heels in, and refuse to quit.
6. Your website