Avoya HBTA Top LB Jan 2018

Crowdsourcing for the Travel Industry

By Tom Ogg

Imagine that you want to get a new, more professional logo for your agency. Or, maybe you are bidding on a special group and presenting a professional logo and flyers to the group organizer would help secure it. Now, imagine that you have a creative team of hundreds of graphic artists that you could call on to submit concepts until you found just the right image to fit your business or group. Each graphic artist could see exactly what the others have submitted and use those examples to spark new ideas for your project. When all of the graphic artists were done submitting concepts, you could then pick the concept that you found the most appropriate. Welcome to crowdsourcing.

Crowdsoucing has become the preferred way for businesses and entrepreneurs to develop websites, logos, videos and virtually anything that requires a creative talent. Crowdsourcing differs from Project bid sites in a very unique way. Project bidding sites allow you to define your project and then bid it out globally. Once you have awarded your project, you access the winning developer’s creative capabilities, which may be extensive or minimal. Crowdsourcing allows you to set a price for a job and then developers and creative entities compete to be awarded the job by submitting concepts for you to choose from. Let’s say you are having a logo, or stationery designed, you may be presented with hundreds of separate designs from dozens of companies and individuals. When you select a design, you award the job and the winning designer completes the task and delivers print or camera ready results. This process allows you the maximum amount of choice with a minimum investment.

Many crowdsourcing sites use “competitions”as the term to put a project out for award. A user publishes a call for submission and designers compete for a cash prize (to be awarded the project). While the terminology is a little confusing, the results are not. Here are some of the more dominant sites to be aware of.

Crowdspring.com: Crowdspring.com was the site that introduced Joanie and I to crowdsourcing. We wanted to get a logo designed and a brochure layout for Joanie’s consulting business. The process was easy and overwhelmingly satisfying. I would have no hesitation recommending Crowdspring.com to anyone. Crowdspring’s talented pool of thousands of graphic artists and other creative’s guarantees you numerous concepts for logos, stationery, website design, print design, banner ads and much more.

99Designs.com: With over 10,000 designers on the site, 99Designs.com is probably the most established crowdsourcing site for graphics. While we have not used their service, they come with the highest ratings on the Internet. Use 99Designs.com for logos, stationery, Web designs, business cards, brochure and print design, tee shirt designs and WordPress Themes.

GFXContests.com: Used primarily for logos, this site is easy to use and offers very reasonable contest rates.

DesignCrowd.com: Great site for logos, web design, print designs, banner ads, business cards and stationery, tee shirts and more.

DesignContest.com: Good for logos, business cards, icon design, websites, banners, tee shirt designs and print designs.

Crowdontap.com: Relatively new, Crowdontap.com offers a complete crowdsourcing service including logos, websites, print design, copywriting, video and just about everything else you can think of.

Poptent.net: Do you want to develop a professional quality TV advertisement, but don’t have millions to spend? Poptent.net will bid out your video project to make commercials, viral videos, infomercials, how-to videos and personal website videos.

There are literally hundreds of crowdsourcing sites in operation and are likely to be many more in the near future. Crowdsourcing sites have sprung up for every imaginable genre. As an example, CreatMyTatoo.com is a crowdsourcing site where tattoo artist compete for tattoo designs. HolidayCrowd.com is even crowdsourcing travel in the U.K.

While crowdsourcing travel seems to be riddled with problems if it follows the current model it seems that the technology has something to offer agents and clients alike. We will see where it goes.

Tom Ogg
Tom Ogg & Associates

Editor and Publisher

Tom is a 35 year travel industry veteran who’s experience includes over 10 years in sales management for an airline, owning a wholesale Hawaii tour company, starting one of the very first credible “host travel agency models”, has written numerous books about the travel industry including “How to Start a Home Based Travel Agency”, “Selling Cruises, Don’t Miss the Boat” and “Home Based Travel Affiliate, Turn Your Computer into a Virtual Money Machine”. Tom’s newest book “Selling Niche Cruises, How to Turn Small Ships into Big Bucks” was just released. Tom is also the founder of the “CruiseReviews.com” complex of consumer cruise sites including Cruise-Chat.com, which enjoys over 20,000 avid cruises discussing everything under the sun about cruising. Tom also founded the travel industry’s “CruiseAgentDigest” and the unbelievably popular “HomeBasedTravelAgentCommunity.com” social networking site for travel professionals. Tom has trained over 10,000 cruise professionals on land based and cruise seminars on ways to grow their businesses using best industry practices.