• Guest of a Guest Works to Create largest directory of event photos

    FROM THE Winter 2016 ISSUE

The definition of famous is changing thanks to Guest of a Guest (GofG). The boutique digital media company, with a recently launched presence in Chicago, is working on creating the largest online directory of event photos, meaning everyone has their chance in the spotlight. We talked to founder Rachelle Hruska MacPherson to get the full picture.

ILM+E: How did you start Guest of a Guest?
RHM: I started Guest of a Guest with Cameron Winklevoss as a fun, anonymous blog documenting the major players and parties happening in New York City and the Hamptons. When we started breaking stories and getting noticed, it really took off.

ILM+E: What was the original desire behind creating the largest online photo directory?
RHM: We started to notice the same people over and over again in the scene being photographed. With so many cool and interesting people out and about in cities all over the world, why focus on just a few? We had our photographers hit up events and take photos of the really cool people in New York—not just socialites—and then started expanding to other cities.

ILM+E: How do you encourage client and attendee engagement?
RHM: We encourage guests to tag themselves and their friends in our photos for the simple fact that it boosts their web image. In this digital day and age, you’re defined by your Google search, and when you’re tagged on GofG, your photo is coming up alongside A-List celebrities.

ILM+E: How can the photos be used or accessed after the event?
RHM: You can view and download watermarked images straight from our albums on the site for sharing on your social media accounts, or you can purchase high-res images.

ILM+E: How do you envision this project changing the events industry? 
RHM: We want to make it easy and seamless for event planners and PR firms to get exposure for their events, especially the cool, interesting ones that may not have giant budgets. Getting press (pre and post) by being highlighted on our site or in our calendar and then securing interesting roundups afterwards are always hot tickets for event planners. Making it easy to book and direct a trusted photographer is another goal of ours. 

ILM+E: Who is your target audience?
RHM: Our target audience is the young professionals and influencers navigating their cities and starting to carve their own niche. They know the ins and outs and like to have fun, but also want to experience the best of what their city has to offer.

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Dawn Young first joined Choose Chicago in June 2005 as director of association sales, and in May this year, was promoted to vice president of hotel sales. It’s a perfect example of rising up the ranks for someone who’s so passionate about moving tourism forward. Though her experience in the industry runs deep, she’s got her work cut out for her to keep the numbers growing: Chicago set a tourism record in 2017 with more than 55 million visitors. A major reason for that? “Chicago just rocks accessibility,” says Young.