Step one: Decide if your party needs will be best filled by a magician, a DJ, a balloon artist or pulled pork sandwiches.
Step two: Hit up Thumbtack, where local event professionals are itching to jump into the fray.
The infamous SXSW funnels thousands of visitors and hundreds of millions of dollars into Austin’s economy. Last year, SXSW drove $218.2 million into Texas. A generous percentage of that number slides through small businesses – and straight to the parties.
Hey, we all know how much the internet loves a good party.
If all that soiree hurling sounds intimidating – especially at this late hour – fret not. There are still plenty of people on Thumbtack who are ready to pull some pork or a rabbit out of a hat. Shayda Torabi at WP Engine hired Culinary Misfits through Thumbtack to bring food straight to their offices. “We love pairing good food with good conversations, so every time we attend an event we typically will look for a great restaurant in the city to host.” Culinary Misfits delivered the goods and feasting was done.
On Thumbtack, customers looking to hire those types of services boom the week of SXSW. Overall requests jump by 76 percent. Requests for catering double. Requests for DJs go up 80%. Bartending requests go up by two-thirds. Requests for event photography expand by a factor of five. Requests for photo booths rise by 150%. Requests for magicians goes up by 50%. Some requests generated by SXSW didn’t even exist earlier in the year – like party bus rental, limousine drivers, costumed character entertainment, bodyguards, and balloon artists.
Now you know what’s popular and what’s available. So the real question is, how do you make that photo booth the thing that everyone remembers?
Hipster makeovers. Naturally.
In what may be one of the best Thumbtack hires ever, Nick Shiffert, Director at RetailMeNot Labs, found a stylist who will be handing out fedoras and skinny jeans in creative colors for those who show up for the launch party for their new Dealspotting iOS app feeling under (or over) dressed. Newly minted hipsters can hop in the awaiting photo booth and tweet home about their new look and fresh devotion to music no one has ever heard of.
Because he’s obviously amazing at this party thing, we asked Nick’s advice for first-time SXSW event planners. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” He added, “And whatever you do, don’t run out of beer.”