6 signs of success: What to look for when choosing a photo booth hire company
Type ‘photo booth hire’ into Google and you’ll get over 26 million results in 0.6 seconds. I seriously doubt there are 26 million photo experience providers out there, but my point is that there are certainly plenty to choose from.
Just Pose isn’t strictly a ‘photo booth hire’ company. We now offer much more to a wide range of clients, but photo booth hire is where we started back in 2012. We still get asked for to provide simple photo booths for hire (and sometimes we say ‘yes’, if the project is the right fit), and we know heaps about the industry.
We’re often challenged by new potential clients on why our photo booth hire experiences cost more than the others on their search results page. I’m prepared to be completely up front on this: we’re more expensive because we offer a better product and service than many of them.
If cost is a defining factor for you if you’re looking for photo booth hire for a party or a wedding, check out our little brothers at Go Pose for a booth that won’t break the bank.
However, if you’re looking for a better quality experience or need to deliver results, there are a few key things to look for when choosing your photo booth hire provider from the 26 million options available:
1. Do they have plenty of experience in hiring photo booths and organising photo marketing events?
Look for a provider that has been around for a while (although they won’t always say so on their website, it’s something you can ask over the phone) and check which clients they have worked with recently.
Sometimes it’s worth digging a little deeper on this. If there are some big brand logos on their client list, ask what kind of projects they have been involved with. Was it just a photo booth for a department Christmas party, or have they worked on some noteable activations or promotions?
Companies that have worked on important projects or fun events will be keen to shout about it, so read through any case studies, galleries or portfolios to get a feel for the kind of work they do. Is it a good fit for your own needs?
(In case you were wondering, you can find Just Pose case studies on clients like Hunter, Jeep and Virgin Money here.)
2. What kind of photo booth equipment do they offer?
Things have moved on over the last few years, and whilst a standard cabin-style photo booth is still a good option for many projects there are plenty of new photo booth innovations to consider too – like the Twist.
Even the most novice photo booth companies will offer the ‘latest tech’ – but check that they actually know how to use it. Owning a DSLR camera doesn’t make you a professional photographer overnight.
A professional photo experience company should offer plenty of new ideas, a range of high quality equipment and a guarantee that it will be in pristine condition and perfect working order when it’s installed at your event.
And their photographers should know what they’re doing, otherwise you may as well take the photos yourself.
3. Does their service level meet your needs?
There’s a huge number of one-man-bands in the photo booth hire market, or people offering photo booth hire as a side hustle to their DJ services. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you’re looking for (again, try Go Pose!) but if you need a team that knows its photo experience stuff, look for a more specialist outfit.
At Just Pose, we are a full-time crew of event professionals and (more importantly) photography specialists. We know our equipment inside-out and we know how to use it to help our clients get the absolute best from their photo booth hire.
A tell tell sign of a provider’s service level is how quickly they respond to your initial enquiry. If it takes them a few days to get back to you, it’s probably going to get even more frustrating further along the line.
From the moment a client calls us to enquire, we work closely with them to deliver an experience to be proud of and we NEVER let them down. We’re responsive, flexible and accommodating… and we won’t cancel if a better offer comes along from another client!
4. What are the options for customising your photo booth hire?
Whether it’s for an important celebration, a corporate event or brand activation, you want your booth and its outputs (the photos, GIFs or videos) to be your own.
Outputs that have the photo booth hire company’s own branding splashed all over them will detract from your occasion and look cheap. Your provider should offer fully bespoke customisation of all outputs, plus the option to customise the photo booth or equipment, the backdrop and even the user interface (particularly for brand activations).
We can even design customised emails to send guests their outputs, so their experience is branded with your creative concepts and messaging at every touchpoint.
5. Are they VAT registered?
At the time this article was written, small businesses with a turnover of less than £85,000 per year don’t have to register for VAT.
This is great news for very small business owners who can stay below this threshold, as they’re able to keep a competitive advantage. However, a non-vat registered business is indeed by definition a very small one, possibly a part-timer or one-man-band. While its perfectly legitimate to be a very small business, it’s worth asking some more questions around how much experience the supplier has, whether they’re just starting and whether they’re perhaps avoiding registration deliberately. Any business is allowed to register for VAT, regardless of their turnover.
It’s really easy to buy a single photo booth and advertise it for hire at a low price – anyone can do it – but that doesn’t mean you get all the other stuff you need (see above!) to make your photo experience a roaring success.
Which leads me on to my final point….
6. How/why are they so cheap?
It’s time to employ some good old fashioned common sense. As with any reputable business, cheap does not equal better.
Cheap does not give you a reliable level of service that meets your needs. It doesn’t give you the best, most up-to-date photo booth technology. It certainly won’t include a team of specialists dedicated to making your photo experience a success.
If all this stuff is important to you, you’d be wise to spend a bit more.
Armed with these six questions, you’re ready to start making your shortlist. Obviously, we’d love to make the cut (and Just Pose meets all these criteria, by the way).