Wow. Great ideas and responses.
What I really have in mind for "Agency360" is a company that focuses on larger companies such as vacation resorts and corporate annual reports and hotel chains.
The problem with hotel chains is the sheer volume they need and the logistics of traveling to "over a thousand locations". I am not sure hotel chains would be the first kind of client that should be targeted. However some chains have "anchor" hotels located in resort locations and are in themselves resorts. Chains like Hampton INN and Daysn Inn etc would not be the first place to target.
Agency360 - The basic idea:
It would function as a single company providing the highest quality pano at a higher price. There are other organizations who are doing this concept. But I am talking about taking it to the highest level of quality and price and seeking out the biggest most elite companies. Very much like any "Agency" such as a modeling agency. The clients contact the company with specifications of what they need done. The company then puts together a quote and handles all the contractual issues. Once the client agrees to the job and makes a down payment we "assign" a team based on their expertise and location in the world. Prices are set by the company and do not change based on the "market" they are in. This is irrelevant because its the same product no matter where the location is. It is also irrelevent because the level of quality is something they can't get just anywhere. The bottom line on "quality" is to make panos that BLOW AWAY the client. Great exposures in larger format, crisp, clear and proper lighting. The kind that always make people ask "how did they do that"
The Agency would market to the big companies and big resorts. We would have a sales team that is used to working with corporate clients. Even if it was just a few people. In fact we don't really need a large sales force. Just a small team who can target the biggest clients.
So how do the photographers make money being a member of Agency360? The concept is to have an "elite" company with "elite" photographers. The Agency keeps a certain amount of each job for operating and marketing. The rest goes to the team of photographers who do the shoot. The members are like contractors but have a vested interest in the company. You don't have to take an assignment if you don't want to. You basically have a profile which the company will use to match you up with the job. It's the same as actors or models paying a fee to the agency who gets them the job. Thats why its called "Agency360". A company who has the talent and can get them to the job. It is a way of bringing together in one company the most elite and talented photographer in one place. A place where these talented photographers can gain access to big clients. The company gets the jobs and you get the assignmets. But more importantly it is a way to capture really BIG contracts form really BIG CLIENTS who want the best technology can offer and who are willing to pay for the best.
The problem that the big clients have is they don't know they can have this kind of quality. And chances are even if they did, they don't know where to find the people who can do it. In fact most advertising/marketing agency's don't know either. I have actually called some big advertising companies but they are so ignorant of virtual technology they just couldnt understand the product. So marketing would play a big role.
There are a lot of panoramic photographes in the world. But 90% of them still use point and shoot cameras and they don't really know how to be a "photographer". A lot of the larger virtual tour companies rely on one shot lens technology because it is easy to train people to use and easy to output. This way they can have an army of photographers and use a "production house" based at one location to outp