Choosing the right photo booth company
By Gavin Lawrence
Whether you’re a seasoned event manager for a large organisation, a recently engaged 20-something who’s never planned an event in your life, or an office assistant whose boss just decided you should be in charge of sorting the company Christmas party – finding the right supplier for your special event can be overwhelming for anyone! Regardless of your background, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you find a professional, high-quality photo booth company.
The secret’s out! Run and tell all your friends! Here is your easy guide to choosing the right photo booth company:
First: go on-line…
The quality of their Web site is a strong indicator of the quality of the company. Be on the lookout for examples of their work (instead of using stock images), and elements of a human touch (ahem, a blog! Or recent activity such as case studies, up-to-date testimonials, or current pictures).
Can you view their gallery of photos from previous events? Companies who produce good work are proud of it – and they like to show it off. If photos from their booth are not easily found, proceed with caution. If you can find their gallery – are the images pixilated? Do they edit the images after the event? Simply put – do the pictures make the subject look like a supermodel – or are you going to end up with a prints that your guests are going to try and hide?
If they have an on-line submission form – how quickly do they respond to your enquiry? And how personalised is the response?
Second: give them a call…
You can get a good indication of how friendly and helpful a company is by speaking with them directly. Remember, they are going to be interacting with your guests, so pick a company who sounds like they can deliver a good time. If you’re not impressed with their customer service before you book, imagine what a nightmare they’re going to be on the night!
Ask – how many (insert your type of event) do they do a year? Do they have experience working with your venue – or a similar setting? Will they liaise with your venue directly? The more experience the company has had will contribute to the success of your night – and if they take the load off your back and sort logistics directly, then less work for you!
Ask – What camera do you use in your booth? If they give a generic reply “high-tech,
professional camera” be weary. Web cams are NOT high-tech – but cheap companies will try and cut corners, and this will effect image quality. For example, a Canon DSLR camera is an excellent standard to go by.
Ask – Can they personalise the service? Are there any bespoke elements or customisable features to set your event apart from the rest? Every event is different – and every photo booth experience should be too!
Lastly: do your due diligence….
Every company has special items available to sweeten the deal. Figure out which elements are the most important to you, and make sure your supplier offers them without a massive upgrade fee. Want a fancy dress prop box? Unlimited prints? HD video recording? Guest book? Instant social media uploads? Extended hire time? Custom prints? Green screen capability?
Another indicator of a reputable company is whether they have any awards or accreditation. We’re a very social industry – so be wary of lone wolves!
If you have a personal recommendation, then great! If not, check to see if they have any testimonials. And definitely check them out on social media – Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. As with most companies in the 21st Century, social media serves as a strong measure for reputation.
Remember – contracts are a good thing! Make sure to get your hire agreement down in writing – simply paying a deposit is not enough. There are companies out there who will happily take your money, and not show up (gasp!). So don’t be played a fool, make sure your supplier is bound to their word with proper documentation.
And as with all things, exercising a bit of common sense will go a long way. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.