As the host/hostess who booked the photo booth for the event it is your responsiblity to ensure that your guests follow a few simple rules.  Some of these rules may be common courtesy and some may be listed in the contract.  The rules are there because the booth owner learned from prior experience most likely and told themselves, they will not allow that to happen again.  They are there because photo booth owners are small businesses trying to protect their investment and they have seen alot of things go wrong in the past.  Overall photo booths are fun - but keep some of these things in mind.

1.  Make sure you give the photo booth operator enough space to operate effectively and efficiently.  Photo booths typically include a table for their props, the booth itself, and possibly another table for memory book assembly.  Perhaps, asking the photo booth operator where they suggest being set up since they may know the venue better than you do from prior events. Away from the action, perhaps, but not near the fire exit or bathrooms, or worse.

2.  Rain, Rain go away  - Make sure if your event is outdoors that you either give the photo booth a tent of their own or position them out from under the elements.  Water and cameras don't mix and props can be damaged in the rain.  Most likely the contract will stipulate this in the contract if not, they could charge you for the damaged props or equipment.  We have heard of booths shutting down if they are outside and it begins to rain.  Something to think about.

3.  Keep your pants on Spartacus - it's not Vegas, so what happens in the photo booth does not stay in the booth.  In fact, its recorded (video features) or photographed for the host and hostess and others to see.  So, if you are too intoxicated to keep your pants on or blouse in place - remember who might be seeing these pictures.  Most booth owners, will remove them from the final album as a Full moon in the booth is not romantic in the least but you never know.  

4.  Line up - the line is there for a reason and we should know how to form a single line from elementary school.  This means no cutting or jumping ahead or forming multiple lines.  If you have been through the line with a variety of props and different people, common courtesy would say give it a rest for awhile and let the others use the booth and props. 

5.  Times Up - when the DJ or MC makes the announcement for final call on the photo booth - they will be closing in 15,30 minutes take the time to visit if you haven't but don't expect them to be taking you at 5 min after.  They are paid for a specific time period and as they say time is money.  They too need to close up and move out without disturbing the guests and they will try and do so.

5.  Props and Equipment should be handled with care.  May not look like much but if you take the entire booth, the investment can be $10k or more with the photographic equipment, computers, printers, and props, signs and more.  These props cost money and to have someone use them in a fashion where they can break is not cool.  Kicking the booth, or using your shoe to activate the booth photography is not allowed.  We are civilized race and this equipment is not cheap.  It's an investment that the photo booth operators made to provide a service to you and your guests.  So if a guest is banned from using the booth,  take this to heart, they must have deserved it. If someone damages the booth, the contract may ask for compensation to have it fixed.  From the booth owner's perspective, they may have to get that same booth to another event the following day and if a guest does damage the equipment they may lose out on performing for another event.

6.  Cancelling in a timely manner.  If you found another booth, be sure to inform the photo booth company you booked prior - as they will show up unnessarily and waste their time.  Most booths will follow up with you months/weeks before an event to ensure nothing has changed, but you are the client, you need to make sure you cancel so they can book their time appropriately.  If you have them show up, you will most likely lose the security deposit and possibly more.

7.  Follow up Review - very important.  Some booth owners may use Wedding Wire, The Knot, or some other social network and would greatly appreciate your feedback.  It helps them know what you liked and didn't like about their photo booth rental so they can make changes if needed.  Feedback also helps other brides and event planners narrow down their selection based on what you have to say about the booth attendants personalities, the quality of the pictures, and the professionalism of the booth owner, timeliness, etc. It's probably the reason you signed with them as well. Feedback and referrals are key in this industry and is the life blood for booth owners.

Overall Photo Booths are all about the F.U.N. !!!  But sometimes common sense and a few rules will make sure everybody can enjoy themselves, the event host is not hit with any unnecessary expenses, and the photo booth owner will be able to retain their equipment for another event.

Something to think about.

Photo Booths - typically associated with happy times, weddings, parties, mitzvahs, etc.

But is there something else we can do with our photo booths - maybe something scary, something haunted ?  After all a simple venue can convert its space to be a scene out of the latest zombie crazed genre where they scare up some zombies, monsters, and more to scare the bejeezes out of awaiting guests.

What can we do to convert our jovial booths to be a scare chamber? 

Props and Decor

We can offer up different scary props, hang some creatures and such in the booth for added affects or how about pose with a scary character in the booth? Imaging posing with a scary clown (I know clowns are funny and cute, but believe it or not there is a high percentage of people out there who are afraid of clowns in their simple clown outfits - must have seen POLTERGEIST or IT too many times as a kid). 

Add in some blinking and loud sirens or warning beeps to heighten the senses or a fog machine and haunting music.  Also must have your attendant dress for the occasion in costume of course.

Where to scare up some gigs

There are always organized haunted houses or venues and some are company run and come around every year.  Contact them and inquire if they would be interested in having a themed photo booth at their haunted venue where you can brand the photo strips and have one of their scary characters rotate and pose with the guests in the booth.  Maybe an open booth may play well with this type of environment.  Good news with these companies, they can see the added benefit of having a photo booth with a branded good handed out and perhaps they bump up the price a few dollars per person to cover the cost of the photo booth.

This is just an idea - there are those that are hosting private parties and perhaps you can get in on that action but just a few ideas to share for adding gigs in the Fall.  Hope this helps. Now, go out and scare up some rentals.

For those that run haunted houses, or hosting a party, something to think about.  If you are interesting in hiring a SCARE CHAMBER for your Halloween party, contact us and we will be sure to put you in contact with one of our professionals from our network.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!!

pumpkin3-720064

 

 

You have seen the ads from the Groupon, Living Social or any other online coupon source out there advertising photo booths for dirt cheap.  I have seen how it makes the veterans and pretty much anybody who owns a photo booth seeth with anger and detest.  But what about the other side of this coin?   

Do you remember the time when you just bought your photo booth from xyz company, purchased your templates, backdrops, frames and albums from 1 Stop Photo Booth (shamless plug - sorry), and you were ready to hit the ground running.  Only one problem - your phone wasn't ringing, no emails, your website was there but nobody visiting, no hits.  Then you start second-guessing yourself, what did I do wrong? 

Nothing really, patience is a virtue as they say.  Websites take time even with all the SEO in place to get the top rankings in your markets.  So what else can you do to generate some business?  Here are a few tips to getting the ball rolling, then its up to you as you do a smashing job for your client's word of mouth will spread and other rentals will come up.  But this too takes time.  

What else can you do to get things rolling for your booth rental biz? 

If you did your homework, then you know your area demographics, level of area competition, economic conditions of the area, etc. So, your first option, is to check with friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances - somebody is either gettting married, graduating, or having some event that would be great for your photo booth rental.  Need something to get the word out that you exist right?  Sure, but don't give away the rental just because they are friends and family (unless YOU want to). 

Online Coupons

Another option, the online coupons like Groupon, Living Social, Google Deals, etc.  These are great for first timers to get the word out and generate some "practice gigs".  You need to get the kinks out sort of speak so these coupon deals are bare minimums - few hours, no additions unless they want to pay extra, all this for $3-400?  Will this make you any money?  Doubt it, maybe cover your costs is what to shoot for in the beginning. 

So, it's obvious these coupon deals are not a long term solution, right?  So overall, stay away from them - they are loss leaders for most of the industry and you get a bad reputation if you run these for too long and the rest of the boothing community may ostracize you and speak badly.  From the forums and communities I have witnessed the anger and detest boothers have for these routine ad runners is not pretty.  Not to mention, in some markets there are spillover jobs that are shared by others in the group - but not for the cheapie coupon runners - they are not invited to this party.

Introduce yourself to other Wedding Professionals in Area

Another option, check with your area wedding professionals.  Call and schedule appointments to visit the events coordinator at local wedding venues and leave them some information, same with wedding planners, or other photographers and DJ's that do not already provide this service.  Let them know you are in the business, and perhaps throw them a bone, like a referral fee, for finding you gigs.  Even some of the photographers and DJ's that do offer photo booth rentals, contact them as you may be able to share spillover work.  Spillover are those jobs that one is too busy to handle so you throw it over to another photo booth or perhaps something urgent comes up - need a backup sometimes.  It's good to know qualified photo booth companies to share rentals with from to time.

Contact non-profits, companies, schools, just get the word out.  Post an inexpensive ad in the local community paper or newspaper.  If there is a wedding expo in your area, consider attending as it could be a great source of potential contacts in a target rich environment. 

I hope some of these tips will help you get the ball rolling on your photo booth rental business.

 

 

 

Everywhere you look you are seeing the Photo Booth.  John's wedding, your best friend's son's birthday party, your niece's mitzvah and the one thought that comes across your mind - that looks easy, I can do that.

Not so fast.  Before you drop $6-10k on the necessary equipment and supplies (yep that much) read a little further and see what fellow booth owners have to say about starting up a booth rental business.

I asked photo booth owners on a forum recently, if they were approached by a family member or friend who wanted to invest in a photo booth rental business, and they asked what traits, skills, etc does it take to be successful in this industry, what would you tell them.  Here are some of the stand outs from this discussion.

"This is the entertainment business, so you have to be a people person.  If you don't like people, it won't matter how much you charge, business will not follow."

"It's still a legitimate business, professionalism is key - don't negate the basics of business ownership - be polite to your customers, peers, employees, and pretty much everybody you meet.  Never know when someone is going to refer someone else to you for business."

"Have to know something about basic accounting skills, determining costs, profit and loss is very important if you want to know where your business is going."

"Problem solving and trouble shooting - you are the one in front of the client and if something goes wrong - you have to have backup equipment or know your way around to solve the problem.  Another great back up is the Photo Booth Owner's Forum - great group to troubleshoot on the spot problems."

"They have to be tech savvy - not just knowing how to use a computer but much more involved especially today with social media integration, online advertising, and let's not forget the client is more techie than we are most of the time."

"Should have some idea of camera basics, lighting, F-stops, apperture settings, etc. This is not a point and click business."  If I lost you on this last point, then you got some homework to do. 

Lastly, this is not a get rich quick scheme or business.  It is clear, you have to treat this like a real business because it is.  Even if you are thinking of doing this part-time, which most of the boothers do, if you treat this business as a hobby, it will pay you as a hobby, but if you treat it like a business, then it will pay you as a business.

I would be remiss if I didn't direct a reader who is taking this seriously and wants to invest into a business that is a lot of fun and can help supplement your income to a point where maybe it becomes a full time career, to some very useful forums or websites for additional resources, tips, advice, etc.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Photoboothnetwork/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/photoboothtalk/ 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1511701685710434/ 

So, think you are still ready to get involved in this industry?  Don't get us wrong, great industry, still growing and in some parts still an unknown source of event entertainment.  Being the first in a decent sized market can be key to your success as most of the jobs come word of mouth.  Do a great job, treat your clients' and their guests like gold, and someone will take notice and ask for your services too. 

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Stay tuned to future articles, a series called the Photo Booth Tool Box, where we will delve into some topics, like how to start up, forming your business entity, chasing down the proper licensing, insurance, etc. as well as marketing tips, management and hiring of staff, and some outside the box concepts, tips and advice will be shared. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phone: (954) 278-8740
Fax: (954) 510-2051

Sales@1stopphotoboothshop.com

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