Hi 48ers. Looking for some feedback on a business idea I have for people wanting a web presence for a wedding, reunion or other event. I did a quick search and have found some sites that will host your event and offer templates to choose from and some allow very basic customizing. I have contacted some developers and have a price range for getting this set up. I actually have the hardware and can host the site's myself. (I'm an IT guy by trade.)
I would like to offer a few templates a customer could choose from and offer a basic and an advanced service and offer features such as a guest book, RSVP or a way to upload photos. Also offer tips for saving $$$ on events and hopefully have an event planner on staff (later) to assist or even plan events for customers.
What are your thoughts?
How are you going to structure this? Are they going to pay one fee and the site gets taken down so long after the event? Are they going to pay a monthly or annual as ongoing fee? If they lose the site after so long what happens to the guest book posts and pictures they upload? I ask these not to be pushy but to see how you are going to structure the offer.
Based on just the information above I would answer as follows:
With event features on Facebook I think it would be hard to start a business like this by itself. However, have you thought about offering this to photographers, event planners, etc that they could bundle with their services so it is part of a package instead of a stand alone item?
You mentioned offering tips on how to save money on the events. I think if you are going to do this with some regularity such as through blog posts you could offer the product as a stand alone to your visitors but rely on most of your business to come through partners as mentioned above.
I think there is a need for what you are wanting to offer but I see it as a very hard sell on it's own.
To me it seems like FB, as Cayce said, and blogs already provide such a service so to do the same thing you'll really need to set yourself apart and be creative. Not saying it can't be done but what value are you offering people that they can't already get somewhere else for free? I wonder if this just isn't something that should be pitched to event planners and caterers as something to help their business with scheduling, head counts, event details, etc.
Just a thought.
One service to offer would be to include a printed photo book from all the event photos that are submitted to the site within X amount of days following the event. You'd definitely have to make it work with a Facebook plug-in though. Not many folks are willing to post their photos twice.