11 10, 2016

5 Tips to Begin Attracting Corporate Photo Booth Clients

“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
  • Flipbooks
  • 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.

17 02, 2016

Here’s my card – oops, I don’t have any…

The prospect has just gone through your booth and she’s really excited. Getting married in 6 weeks and she’d like some more information.

You dig through all your pockets and come up empty. Not a business card in sight.

BizCardWhatHappensAnd yet you’re standing right next to a high quality printer that can spit out full color prints on thick paper in just seconds. Here’s a simple way to be prepared:

Create a 2″ x 6″ design that you can save on the desktop of each and every computer in your vast empire. I did this one in Photoshop but you can use your favorite graphics program or even hire it done.

At any moment between sessions you can minimize your photo booth software, right-click on the card file and select “print.” Be sure that the 2″ cut is still enabled in your printer.

Since so many of our prospects are using phones I added a QR code that takes them right to the website.

Cost: about 8 cents a card, depending on your media cost. Results: priceless

For most printers, you’ll want the overall image size 1240 x 1844 pixels at 300 dpi.

Like any other procedure, you should try this out before you really need it. You do not want to do this for the first time at a wedding and find out you’ve inadvertently reset the printing preferences of your printer!

Blog contributor Chris Lydle is the author of The Photo Booth Book.

Some good feedback on this topic:

Mark Reed We also have a digital copy of our card on our phones where we can say – “certainly, how about I text or email you our card?” that also gets you their contact info on the spot without really pushing for it.

Neb Milbourn I also have it set as profile 9 in My booth software. I set it to take only one picture that doesn’t actually print on the strip. That way I don’t have to exit the software. (Neb uses Breeze software)

Ninos Evripidou What I do is that I have printed pockets to put the photos in, so anyone who has his pic taken in my booth automatically has my card as well.

Mike Griffin That’s cool. Something I do is take their phone number and text them my website and include the date they inquired about. This allows me to follow up. Gotten many bookings this way as opposed to giving them a card.
9 02, 2016

Make Events More Social with an Instagram Printer

Today we have a guest blogger – Chris Johnson from HootBooth Photo Booth – to explain more about that ever elusive question everyone has about hashtag & Instagram printing.

HootBooth-Instagram-Printer-Photo-Prints

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a mobile photo sharing social media site that enables people to take pictures and share them on the Instagram mobile app. Most Instagram posts are ‘tagged’ with a hashtag which allows an image to be searched for, and easily found, by other Instagram users.

To put into context just how popular Instagram is here are some eye-popping stats:
– There are 75 million active users per day on Instagram!*
– Daily Instagram image posts now outpace Facebook image posts!
– 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35; 51% are males and 49% are females.*

What Is A Hashtag?

Hashtags are keywords attached to a post on Instagram that are used to organizes and locate images on Instagram. A hashtag keyword is always preceded by the pound sign (#). For example, a hashtag could be a bride and groom’s wedding hashtag (#sueandtedgotwed) or a company’s brand name (#nikon).

It is now very popular at weddings and corporate events for a unique hashtag to be printed on cocktail napkins and custom signage to encourage guests to take photos at the event with their iPhones and other mobile devices, tag the photo with the event hashtag, then post these images to Instagram. By doing this, all the event guests can quickly view the images via the Instagram social media app.

A Photo Booth For The Instagram Generation!

Hoot-Hashtag-Instagram-PrinterWhile traditional photo booths are here to stay, there is a new type of the photo booth experience that taps into the growing popularity of Instagram. Meet the Hoot #Hashtag Instagram Printer kiosk, a self-contained kiosk with an integrated dye-sublimation printer and a beautiful tablet-based touchscreen display with smart software that continuously scans the Instagram social media site for the unique event hashtag and creates a photo gallery of all the images on the kiosk’s touchscreen display. The kiosk has two printing modes and can be set to auto-print each image or can print each image on-demand; for the latter mode, the user simply locates the image on the kiosk’s photo gallery and selects the image to print. The images are printed on 4×6 print media and the print template can be customized to include the event hashtag, the Instagram post comments and custom artwork, such as corporate branding, on the print template.

An Instagram Printer is a great service to add to an existing photo booth rental business. However, we are also seeing event rental businesses that are focusing exclusively on Instagram Printing, especially those that cater to corporate clients who use Instagram Printing at brand activations and trade shows to promote their brand.

Adding Instagram Printing service to your rental business is as simple as purchasing an Instagram Printer and adding this new service to your website. It is optimal to have a dedicated webpage for this new service. We find that corporate and event clients aged 35 and younger immediately understand the Instagram Printer service and the benefits (and fun!) it provides. Most rental companies will price the Instagram Printing service at the same price or about 20% more per hour as a traditional photo booth.

As noted above, when the Instagram Printing kiosk is set to ‘print-on-demand’ mode, the kiosk can be left unattended and guests can locate their image in the kiosk’s photo gallery and then select the image to print it. If a company or rental business utilizes an attendant for the Instagram Printer, we recommend the use of a ‘Hashtag Wall’ where prints are auto-printed and an attendant pins them to a wall for guests to pick up during the event. Also, a roving ‘Instagram Photographer’ is a great add-on service. This person can take photos with their mobile device, post them on Instagram for the party goer and add these prints to the ‘Hashtag Wall’.

HootBooth-with-Hashtag-Wall

If you are considering adding an Instagram Printer to your rental lineup, contact us at HootBooth Photo Booth. Our Hoot #Hashtag Instagram Printer is so innovative that it was named one of the ‘Best New Photo Industry Products in 2015’ by Rangefinder Magazine. We offer both a fully assembled Instagram Printer and an Instagram Printer ‘enclosure only‘ option.

We are happy to answer your questions about Instagram Printing and our full lineup of photo booth kiosks!

*Source: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/important-instagram-stats/

This post has been sponsored by HootBooth Photo Booth.

14 09, 2015

Upselling Print Sizes During the Holidays

6x8_4x6_printWhile it seems most photo boother’s use 4×6 (either as a single print or double 2×6), you may be leaving money on the table. The value of the printed photograph has never been higher and the cost of materials has never been lower for onsite print delivery. 4×6 prints cost around 15 cents on average, while the cost of 5×7 and 6×8 prints are now down to just over 30 cents a print. The fall holiday season is a prime time for upselling your customers on photo print size. 5×7 and 6×8 photos are the most popular sizes for Holiday related events. And it is easy to create 5×7 or 6×8 print templates in Darkroom BoothDarkroom Core  and other software programs. We asked a few industry experts to share some advice on upselling larger print sizes.  Here’s what they had to say:

“At A Custom Look Photography in Denver we have been offering 4×6, 5×7 and 6×8 photo prints for our various options. While our standard sit down and open style photo booths print 4×6, our photographer driven photo stations are almost always 5×7 prints and our Giant Selfie Station offers what else but a giant 6×8 print. We stress the upsell sizes as a premium giveaway and charge accordingly, which of course increase our bottom line. Our Giant Selfie doesn’t even get compared to a standard photo booth and also brings in a much higher rental. The increased profits definitely make up for the inconvenience of having to stock several sizes of media.”

Murray Englander
A Custom Look Photography
Denver, Colorado
www.acustomlook.com

“In our photo booth rental business we have found our corporate events provide the biggest opportunity to up sale to a larger print size. Whether the company is marketing a new product or just branding their logo and message, a 5×7 print provides more real estate to accomplish their goal.”

Tiffaney Arbogast-Burke
Extreme Photography Studios
Fort Worth, Texas
www.epstudios.net

4 09, 2015

Why You Should Avoid Discounting

 

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop presented by TheKnot.com discussing how to avoid discounting. Interestingly enough, the workshop wasn’t about “how to charge more”. Their message was meant to appeal to both the vendors who make up the upper echelon, as well as those who appeal to couples in the budget category. There was a lot of valuable information presented, and I thought I would share some of the details with all of you. No matter what we charge, negotiating has become commonplace these days. The content in the presentation was prepared by Wedding Industry Rescue, though I found bits and pieces of information that were discussed that were also part of an article published on Hubspot here.

Why Consumers Might Ask for a Discount

  • With mini portable computers at our fingertips, consumers have immediate access to more information than ever before. They are educated about negotiating tactics.
  • Your competitors offer products and services at lower prices, and your potential customers are aware of your competitors rates.
  • You’ve made a lackluster first impression with your outdated website, market materials and other online presence causing your potential customers to have a lower perceived value of your product or service.
    • Experts say that it takes 2/10 of a second to make a first impression.
    • Experts also say that it takes 8 additional good impressions to overcome the first impression.

Why Do We Discount?

  • Fear!
    • Believe in yourself, believe in your price.
    • Know your target market and go after them. Are you casting a wide net to catch every fish in the ocean? Or, are you throwing in two or three lines to catch only one type of fish?
  • To Stay Competitive
    • Know who your competitors are and what they charge. Your competitors aren’t necessarily the vendors that offer a similar service, they are vendors that offer a similar service to the similar degree that you offer. Four Seasons and VFW both provide reception venues. They are not competitors. They don’t charge the same rates.

Why You Should Not Discount

  • Sets a bad precedent.
    • As soon as you offer a discount, you can’t go back. Once a potential customer or client knows that you’ll offer a lower price, they’ll expect it the next time. And, they will tell all of their friends and family that you are willing to negotiate or offer your service for less. If you set up the expectation that you offer the same discount during a particular time of year, your referring vendors will wait until you run your annual sale to book your services. Example: A linen vendor in the Southern US offers 50% off from September through January every year. But her business begins to die as soon as February rolls around. Why?  Because every event planner in town knows that she runs the same sale every year. They wait to refer clients or book her services until her sale begins.
  • Lack of confidence
    • When you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t believe in your product, your service or your price. If you don’t believe you are worth your price, your clients won’t either. As soon as you offer a discount, your client immediately loses confidence in you and sees that you don’t stand wholeheartedly behind your product or service. Don’t give your clients a reason to doubt you or the product or service that you offer.
  • Untrustworthiness
    • What is going on in the back of the customer’s mind when you offer a discount to save a sale after you’ve laid out your standard pricing on the table and told them this is best that you can do? Will they think “He just told me that this was the best that he could do, and then he lowered his price when I was about to walk away. What else is he hiding? What else can I get?” Don’t set yourself up for mistrust with your clients.
  • It Damages your Brand
    • Don’t be known as the discount queen. Build your brand in such a way that people value you what you offer and are willing to pay the price for it. They will tell all of their friends and family not to pay your regular rate because they were able to negotiate XX percent discount.
  • Lower Perceived Value
    • People value things based on the price, yet as a salesperson, it is your job to show the value of your service in other ways. Of course you won’t say that your product is the best because it is the most expensive. Your job is to demonstrate how your service can bring something special to your client’s event, to make it not just good but the best.   If you go to the customer with a discount in hand, you’re discarding the value of your service. While the customer may still work with you, they aren’t going to place as much value on your service as they might have before. Thus, when budgets get cut, you may also get the ax. This is especially the case when you don’t ask for a large enough retainer to book your services.
  • The Profit Loss
    • When you continually discount your service, you are cutting in to your bottom line. To make enough money to be profitable and grow, you’ll either have to do more events for less money or learn how to start standing behind your product and service to get the price that you desire. When you have to take on more to stay in the black, you’re going to be rushed, stressed and feel the need to continue booking more jobs to make it all work. That’s when you find yourself casting a very wide net to catch every fish in the ocean. You’ll be pressured to continue to discount, thus starting an endless cycle leading to burn out.

I’ve seen a lot of businesses in our little industry come and go because of the discounting that goes on. They work themselves silly for far too little and realize that it isn’t worth the time, effort and frustration to maintain their businesses. Their light flickers out. If you don’t value yourself, your time and your energy, no one else will. Charge what you’re worth and don’t allow others to dictate your value.

We’ll be back next week with more details on how you can avoid discounting.