“How do I get corporate clients?” This is one of the most asked questions in the photo booth industry, and the answers are some of the most guarded secrets amongst those who have moved up the food chain and made a name for themselves in the corporate world. There is no blue print to success, but there are points on a map that will get you closer to where you want to be.
By no means am I the foremost expert on this topic. But, I’ve been around the block enough times to know what it takes to begin attracting clients that are willing to pay for expert level service. So, really what does it take to break out of the wedding mold and jump into corporate photo booth work? Here are a few things that helped me.
Network, Network, Network. Yeah, we hear people say that all the time, but with whom should you be networking? Million dollar question? No. The answer is simple if you really think about it. Who plans corporate events? Corporate Event Planners, that’s who. Now ask yourself what groups corporate planners join to network. Hmm…Bizzabo Blog sites the following in their article: Ten Event Planning Associations Organizers Should Know
- ILEA: International Live Events Association
- NACE: National Association For Catering And Events
- ESPA: Event Services Professional Association
- MPI: Meetings Professionals International
- ICCA: International Congress And Convention Association
- GMIC: Green Meetings Industry Council
- CEMA: Corporate Event Marketing Association
- IAVM: International Association Of Venue Managers
- NCBMP: National Coalition For Black Meeting Planners
- Eventovation: A Community For Anyone In The Events Industry
Work for Free. What?!? Yes, work for free, and this might be the only time that I ever suggest this. Once you decide which organizations that you want to start seeking out, offer to showcase your services at one of their membership events. Essentially you will be offering an in-kind sponsorship. Be sure to ask for inclusion in the event program, vendor mentions and sponsor listings. Also do not neglect to put your logo and website details on the final prints. Utilize social media sharing stations to further increase the reach of your brand message. Do this by making sure that photos are sent in e-mail form and that you have a custom designed HTML email that is mobile friendly and highlights your company and services. When you set up sharing via text message, make sure the event guests are led to your custom microsite to download their images. (Click here to see an example of my own custom microsite that matches my website.) This will give you the opportunity to share your message with guests that choose to text their photos instead of email. Do whatever you can to make sure people that are at the event know who you are and what you do.
Offer services that corporate clients are seeking. Run of the mill photo strips won’t cut it these days (at least not most of the time). Just like you, corporate event planners want to stand out from their competitors with a unique and memorable experience for event-goers. They are looking for outside the box solutions while keeping much of the on-screen experience inside the box. So much of the guest experience is lost without seeing on-screen visual cues. This is precisely why the face of event photography has forever changed and photo booths have wedged their way in. ‘Experiential Photography” and “Photo Marketing” are terms really sum up what brands are after. So what services are corporate clients looking for?
- GIFs, GIFs and more GIFs. Regular 3 or 4 frame looping GIFs, Green Screen GIFs, Immersive GIFs (GIFs that appear to be placing people into a scene) and Boomerang style Burst GIFs. These are all options offered with software that is currently available. Photo Booth Upload was the first to offer most of these features, but all three of the other major software developers offer GIF support including Darkroom Booth, Breeze DSLR Remote Pro and Social Booth.
- Green Screen. Realistic and immersive green screen capture has been an event staple for decades, and it isn’t going away any time soon.
- Slow Motion Video. Whether it is slow motion against a blank backdrop or slam dunking a basketball in a real hoop or a green screen one, slow motion video is sought after for corporate activations if it is executed well.
- Camera Array (also called Bullet Time). Straight up Matrix style camera arrays are a big deal. Smaller arrays with 5-8 cameras are portable enough to take to most events.
- Light Painting
- Dubsmash/Karoke Booth
- Mirror Booths with custom Branding
- Hashtag Printing
- ID Card Printing
- Virtual Reality
- Air Graffiti Walls
- 360 Platforms with Video Capture
- Roaming Photography or Shoot & Share (this one is an outside the booth offering that goes hand in hand with booth offerings)
- Branded Booths
- Custom Props
- Custom Backdrops
Become a Social Sharing Expert. Learn the ins and outs of using Social Sharing Software like Photo Party Upload or PicPic Social EC. Offer completely custom sharing packages for your corporate clients. Above, I mentioned custom email and microsites. This is an area where you can really make your clients shine. Customize the email that event-goers receive when they send their photos to themselves. Make it match the client’s brand. Do the same with the microsite. With a little bit of HTML & CSS coding, you can do wonders that wow corporate clients and their guests.
If you are going to do photo sharing for corporate clients, I highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with Internet & Computer networking best practices because this is the number one worst headache that you will come up against when you are on-site at a highly attended event. Signal jams, weak wifi and firewalls are real issues, and they will bring a real pro to his knees if he can’t work through jammed up signals problems. Seye Omisore of PicPic Social wrote this article that can be of assistance with this particular topic.
Show off your work and get found. So you know how to do all the cool stuff. That’s great. Now post it on your website and social media pages. Give these things searchable names on your website. Tag them on social media with terms that corporate planners are looking for. Beyond showing off the finished work, show examples of your branded booths & custom backdrops. Give people a glimpse of what your custom prop packages look like. Blog your events. Take photos of your set-ups. Capture video of people using your booth. Grab a snap of the mile long line waiting for a chance to get a photo at your booth. Use these to make a promo video. If there is anything that I can do better, this is at the top of my list. We are often so busy prepping and working our events that we forget to take photos of the action. Yet, it is probably the most power visual representation of the experience that comes with your photos, so don’t neglect it.
Bonus Tip: Professional presentation is the real key to making this happen. Without a professionally designed finished product, it’s quite likely that all of your other efforts could be overlooked. You can have all of the technical elements dialed in perfectly, but companies won’t pay top dollar for amateur looking stuff. If you aren’t skilled in design, hire people that can make you look good. Having a good designer in your back pocket can do more for your business than you could ever imagine. (FYI – I am not available for hire, so this is not a sales pitch. I, too, hire out the design for some of my more complex jobs, like immersive GIF because I’m not highly skilled in this genre.)
My best piece of advice is that if you are new to this industry or if you are not skilled with social sharing software, start there. Learn to walk before you run. Start introducing these features with your social clients. Get really good at setting up various sorts of Internet configurations and troubleshooting. Once you have that down, learn the advanced features of your software. Then start marketing for small corporate jobs when you know your software inside out and know how to handle the myriad of issues that can come up at an event. Master those events, and keep working your way up the ladder.