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Chris Griffith 11-01-07 09:43 AM
Has anyone used them before or heard of them? Looks to me like it's not worth it, but would like feedback. . .

Marcus Wilson 11-01-07 10:55 AM

It's worth it.

MabJustMab 04-13-08 12:11 PM

I was also wondering about gigmasters. I recently found them, and the fee would easily be recouped from one gig.

what kind of gigs do you get?

has anyone had a bad experience with them?

what are some things I should watch out for?

I have never gone through an agency, all my gigs have been from my own solicitations and people contacting me.

I would love more feed back!


Marcus Wilson 04-14-08 09:54 AM

Ok here it is
I have been with Gig Masters a little over a year now.

Last year my numbers are as follows.

I booked 4 gigs.

A festival for $2000
A Christmas Show for $1500
A Christmas show for $250
A New Years Eve gig for $1400

Total I brought in $5150

I paid $249 for the membership.
Booking Fees
$75 for the Festival
$50 For the First Christmas Show
$20 for the Second Christmas Show
$50 for the New Years Eve Show

Total for the year I paid $444 (about 8.6% of what I brought in)
After Paying Gig Masters I made $4706 for the year

(The booking fee is 5% with a $20 minimum and you can list some of the fee as travel expense which you don't have to pay a booking fee on.)

Since I have joined I have had 175 Gig Request I would say that about 90% of these are crap. By crap I mean a birthday party 2000 miles away, or we would love to have you come but we can only pay you a dollar and can you paint your head blue and wear a tutu while you do your show it fits our theme.

For me it is worth it. I would say I am really happy with the results. I know I'm not going to fill my whole schedule with this site and I don't think anyone would book a show that paid $10,000 for the night but for what I am after I have been happy with it.

TCsteinberg 02-14-09 11:39 AM

I've been with GigMasters for 3 years now, and totally worth it! every year I made a profit after my membership and booking fees. My only gripe is their rating system, which is based on 1/3 customer ratings, 1/3 how many shows booked, and 1/3 how much $$ you've earned.
So if you're like me, and like to give the client a reasonable deal, and only getting a small percentage of my work from GigMasters, you'll end up with a 3 (out of 5) star rating, even though my customer feedback has been 5 stars and with great praises. So a potential customer may see that and think twice about booking you, and go with the 5 star act, who books alot of cheap birthday party gigs, and because of volume has a higher rating.

Hope that helps

Marcus Wilson 02-15-09 09:17 AM

I agree the rating system is a load of crap.

MarcRocs 07-20-10 04:33 AM is working for me.

Mike Weakley 12-13-10 08:31 AM

I just joined Gigmasters 3 weeks ago. I decided to start off with the 3 month membership just to test it out. While I have received several "crap" offers (much like Marcus mentioned above), I have booked 2 gigs... which have more than paid for the cost of the membership. I will definitely be upgrading to the 12 month membership when my current one expires.

I have mixed feelings about paying those booking fees. I can see where it would be a good selling point to the potential client, but (so far at least) I'm not getting several hundred or more dollars per gig. I got $125 for one gig, and $200 for another. The client paid the booking fee on both of the gigs. Paying that $20 fee myself each time would have taken a nice little chunk out of my pay. Anyone else have any input on this?

And as for Gigsalad, I joined them the same time I joined Gigmasters, and have already booked one gig. I haven't been getting as many requests from Gigsalad, but that one booking more than paid for my membership. I do like the fact that there's no type of booking fee whatsoever with Gigsalad. I'll definitely be renewing my membership with them as well.


Michael Neal McGee 12-13-10 08:39 AM


Originally Posted by MarcRocs (Post 57533) is working for me.

Marc I agree. Gigsalad is working very well for me as well. And anything that works for a Piper must be pretty good! :laugh:

Marcus Wilson 12-13-10 10:56 AM

Mike is right on.

I got $125 for one gig, and $200 for another.
This site is now mainly for low paying gigs.

In the last 2 years I have booked 1 gig off of gigmasters

The big problem with this site now is that they have a place that is marked by default on the quote request form that will automatically send 10 other performers the info for the gig. So when a potential client wants a quote from me for my show and I send them a quote for $750-$1000 they are getting 9 other quotes from other performers some for $100-$300.

This doesn't mean you won't get a descent gig from this site it just means there is a lot more competition on this site now and it is harder to book one now.

So if you are after the $100 jobs definitely sign up.

That all being said I will probably join again for another year because it does get your face in front of potential clients.

caricatureguy 01-17-11 11:14 PM

yeah, same here
I've gotten 1 gig in 2 years from gigmasters. Clowns, balloon guys, magicians and face painters get tons of work though I hear. There are caricature artists that charge very little. People don't care about quality they just want cheap... :(

jugglery 01-22-11 01:41 AM

A lot of work
By a lot of work, I don't mean they get me a lot of work. I mean, it takes a lot of work to get the gigs.

The site is set up to help the client, not the performer. There is an loan brokerage site called Lending Tree. Their motto is "When Banks Compete, You Win". Same is true for Gigmasters. An email goes out to 10 performers at a time (or more) that have the same profile - magician, juggler, comedian. Gigmasters sets them up to compete with each other, and the competition usually comes down to money.

What tends to happen is that the end client chooses purely by quoted rate. I'm never going to win in that situation. My prices are usually higher than my "competition".

So, to get the client to even look at my website, I do several things.

First, I don't give them a monetary quote. I leave that blank. Why try to enter a negotiation on someone else's terms? You have to get them to see you as more than a number, so don't give them the number.

Next, after they have received my answer, I send them an email with a couple of letters of recommendation. In the meantime, I have done whatever kind of research I can do about their company (their email isn't given to you until you make a bid. Using the email, I can usually find a website for the corporate gigs). I use that knowledge of their company to put in a few specifics that show that I have done some research.

Next, I make a dedicated web-page for that particular client/gig. On that page (which is private and just for them), I put in why my show is just the right show for them.

Then I enter into a conversation (if I can) about what they want, specifically, and what I can offer them. Eventually, we get to the price, but only after I have had a chance to show them my website and enter into a conversation.

Yes, this is a lot of work, but I have found that it is the only way to get them to even look at my stuff. Is it worth it? Probably not. I've gotten a few gigs from the service in the last couple of months that I have been using this process (one tomorrow, in fact). Yes, it has paid for itself, many times over.

I use the process to refine my marketing and negotiation skills. I don't bother with the shows that aren't going to pay or aren't matched to my talents.

It is sometimes maddening. Will I renew in March? Probably not. I'll probably come back to GM for the Fall, when the Holiday gigs start posting.


Irina 04-19-12 10:50 PM

I have a question to folks who are signed with gigmasters. What is a % of corporate events you book through them versus private parties? I do not want to pay membership fees to get bookings for birthday parties...these are usually low budget and require driving out of downtown...I want well-paid corporate gigs within 5 miles radius from French Quarter - not 100 miles radius they offer! Also - when you sign with them - can you bring your own references to start with, or all testimonials and ratings have to be from their clients? Can you sign with them for 6 months out of the year and keep you ratings - or you need to start over every time you membership expires? I do believe that they offer a lot of work to face-painters, I checked some local clowns and face-painters and they do have a lot of references, so they obviously booked tonns of gigs...

Mike Weakley 04-20-12 12:13 AM

About half of the gigs I get through GigMasters are corporate events, and about half are private parties. Very few, however, (less than 10%) are within a 5 mile radius from where I live. Most of the bookings I get are 20-50 miles away, but I have had some that were more than 100 miles away. I simply charge more for those to make it worth my while. Most people I've dealt with aren't willing to pay that extra money. But for the few who do, the money can be really sweet.

You can not bring in your own references to start with. They only allow people who have hired you through GigMasters, and paid the commission fee, to post any testimonials & ratings. This dramatically cuts down on the number of bogus references that would surely be posted otherwise. I'm not sure about being able to keep your ratings if you rejoin after your membership expires. But they have a really good customer service department, and I'm sure they'd promptly answer that question if you emailed them.

While I couldn't make a living solely off the gigs I currently book on GigMasters, I am able to nicely supplement my income because of them. The great thing about them is that you get to pick & choose which events you want to bid on. You are not forced to bid on every gig that comes your way. If you get a request for a birthday party & they only have a $50 budget, then don't bid on it. It's that simple. But if a really cool corporate gig comes up that you'd love to do & it's 100 miles away... then put in a really high bid. If you happen to be exactly what the client is looking for, there's a good chance you'll get the job; and the money! I do know some entertainers who hate the site & say it's not worth it to them. But for me, it's definitely worth it.

Mike Weakley

Irina 04-20-12 09:43 AM

Thanks, Mike. Which fall month do you start having offers for Christmas bookings? I will sign with them in fall for 6 months, and see what happens...

Mike Weakley 04-20-12 12:07 PM

I usually start getting requests for Christmas bookings in October, but the majority of them come in November & December. Alot of people like to wait until the last minute to start looking. I'll frequently get offers where the event is a week or less away. I always charge more for those gigs. My reasoning is that most of the other entertainers will probably be booked already, so there's less competition. And if the client doesn't have much time to look for entertainment, they are more willing to pay whatever the available entertainer wants.

Mike Weakley

Irina 04-22-12 10:43 AM

I read their policy and found a very unusual rule:
"GigMasters has the explicit right to temporarily suspend or permanently de-activate the Membership of any GigMasters Member who fails to reply to five or more consecutive gig-alert emails."
Does anybody know if they actually suspend anybody, or it's just a motivation to reply to clients e-mails? You obviously can just offer super-high price...but what if you loose internet connection for a while and do not respond to anybody..will you get suspended?
I also do not understand - if they give you, performer, phone #/e-mail of the client to deal directly with the client - how do they expect to collect booking fees from clients? The client can just tell them that they did not book anybody and avoid paying the booking fee...

Mike Weakley 04-26-12 10:36 AM

I do not know if they have ever suspended anybody for failing to reply to 5 or more gig offers. But as I mentioned earlier, they do have an excellent customer service & support department. I'm sure that if you had a legitimate reason for not responding (like losing internet connection) or you were dealing with an unusual set of circumstances, they would take that into consideration before suspending you. It is in their best interests to have as many entertainers listed as possible. I believe they just want to be sure the entertainers they do have are actively looking for work. Those are the ones who bring in the booking fees.

As far as GigMasters giving you the contact info of the clients... you only get that information AFTER you put in a bid for the gig. The initial alert you receive for any gig does not have the client's contact information on it (not even a last name). If you reply with a "Yes" & put in a bid, then you get that information right away. If you reply with a "No", you never get that information at all. I have had clients who found me on GigMasters, and after I put in a bid, asked if they can book me directly to avoid paying the booking fee. While I am sure this does happen, I have always said no... even if it meant losing that particular gig. I explain that the booking fee is used to maintain & improve the site, which keeps lots of entertainers (like myself) employed. If people stopped paying the booking fee, the site would eventually go out of business. I do let the client know, however, that they can contact me directly for any future events they may have. Also, in order for a client to leave you any testimonials & ratings, that booking fee has to be paid... either by the client or you (you can opt to pay the fee yourself to increase your chances of getting the gig). Those ratings really do play a big part in people choosing you over your competitors. So if you want lots of positive reviews, you got to make sure that booking fee is paid.

Mike Weakley

caricatureguy 04-27-12 11:44 PM

My experience is that many of the inquiries on gigmasters (and party pop, and my party planner, etc...) are FUNDRAISERS where they are looking for free entertainment. I don't reply to them sometimes, especially if they are in Nebraska or something... can't imagine sleeping on the proverbial couch for that...

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