Last month, 115 Thumbtack professionals got together in gorgeous Seattle to talk shop. And we’re still buzzing from it.
We knew you guys were great. We knew you had a lot to share – with us and each other – but we could never have imagined the magic that happened on May 27th.
(For those of you who couldn’t make it or don’t live in the area, don’t worry, we’re definitely doing more of these events this year.)
The night started out with a presentation from Sander Daniels, our Co-founder. He talked a little about the history of Thumbtack, pro stories that warm our hearts and our product plans for the future.
We had a quick dinner followed by a listening session we affectionately call #couldbebetters. We posed four questions to the audience and you shared your feedback, big and small, on how to make the Thumbtack site, marketing and customer experience the best it can be. We also heard a lot of your own strategies for success.
After the official presentations and Q&A session, we hosted a few activities to get pros mingling:
- Photographer Chuck Sires was available to take professional headshots (these are great for your Thumbtack profile).
And if you didn’t feel camera ready….
- Makeup artist Ivonne Teran ran a station where pros could get pampered.
- Vincent Yee Designs was busy doing caricatures.
- Tristen Kwan, CPA, of Mt Si Accounting & Tax, was available to help answer tax questions.
- We held a raffle where we awarded 100 free credits to a randomly selected pro (congratulations Susan Baker!).
- Our Pro Success team was also available, armed with computers, to answer any and all technical questions.
What You Love
We set up a fun wall where pros could write what they love most about Thumbtack. Here are the answers that brought smiles to our faces:
- “Marketing cost is a minimum vs. other sites.”
- “Doing what my passion is.”
- “The $$ I have made.”
- “The App! Much more efficient than the email.”
- “As a pro, I can hire another pro for my projects!”
- “Reasonable prices for credits.”
- “Thumbtack’s constant improvements to the site.”
Pros at the event had the opportunity to meet and share notes on doing business in Seattle. We know how hard it is to do business solo, and the value in meeting others in the same boat. It’s one of the reasons we’re excited about Thumbtack Connect, because our pros not only get to connect with us, but with each other.
We love hearing product feedback, though we recognize changes don’t happen as fast as we all would like.
The most frequent suggestion we received was to have more requirements of customers when they fill out a request form. For example, event pros need to know the venue zip code before they quote, not just the home address of the customer. Animal behaviorists want a category for cat behavior modification, not just one for dogs. Product photographers need to know what they’re photographing (a necklace is a very different quote from a Volkswagen).
Thankfully, our Category Management team – the team improving our forms – is growing like crazy and we’re excited that changes will be quicker and more frequent than they’ve been in the past. Your suggestions have been instrumental in changing these forms so far, so keep emailing to let us know how these forms can work harder for you. We’ll also bring members of the Category Management team to future events to help collect feedback.
We were also asked whether we’ll expand internationally, if we can build better inbox management and add more specialized categories. All we can say to these requests is “one day at a time”.
Our biggest priorities right now are better matching customers to pros. This means that the changes you’ll see this year will be centered on pricing and quoting. Pricing changes will give customers a sense of range and pros a sense of budget. Quoting changes will allow you to better decide what’s right for you before you quote. Right now we’re prioritizing based on what benefits the customer most while also increasing your chances of getting hired.
Long story short, this event was beyond valuable for us (and we hope for you too!).
Next up, San Diego!
**Other pros who helped us run this event include Michelle from Elle’s Floral Design, Stephen Morton the DJ, Edward from TSP Video and event planner Sabrina Sieger. Thanks guys! We couldn’t have done it without you.