How to avoid the photo booth hire sharks!
10 ways to make sure that you hire a successful photo booth at your function.
Due to the amount of photo booth cancellations by other companies we keep hearing about, we have decided to write this blog to help you when booking your photo booth.
Photo booths have become very popular over the last few years since we started Northwest Photo booth in 2012, with lots of businesses springing up providing a photo booth hire service. Unfortunately, as more booth providers appear, the phone calls and emails we receive asking for last minute photo booth hire due to being let down or cancelled on, are also increasing month by month. In this post, we aim to inform you about how to avoid the photo booth hire sharks who could potentially ruin your big day by not turning up!
1. Check whether they are a full time company or a part time business.
Lots of people have bought photo booths to supplement their income at the weekends and have another occupation in the week. This is not to say that all part time photo booth businesses are likely to let you down, but they are obviously going to have less time to deal with enquiries and issues than a company who has admin staff and are also less likely to have people to cover the photo booth hire in the event of sickness or emergency.
2. Have a look at their social media accounts.
Do they have a Facebook and Twitter page? Most good booth providers do, as it’s a great way to get their photos seen by all your guests. Check how many functions they have attended recently and whether they are active on social media. This gives you a clue to how popular they are and also how much time they have to spend on promoting their business. Very little activity or events over months should ring some alarm bells on how many other commitments they may have, rather than their photo booth business. Likewise, if the reviews are turned off, this could indicate trying to hide negative feedback.
Northwest Photobooth Facebook gives an example of our company page which shows all our events, offers etc. for comparison with others.
3. Ask about staffing and sickness cover.
Discuss with any company you enquire with how many staff they have and what is their procedure for covering your booking in the event of sickness. All booth businesses should have emergency cover to make sure that they can honour bookings taken. If they struggle to answer this question in a satisfactory way, this could mean that they have limited cover in an emergency and could potentially let you down.
4. Ask whether they have ever cancelled a photo booth on any of their clients.
The answer should come back with a resounding no!
5. Check out their reviews or testimonials
Previous clients giving glowing reviews are a great way of checking whether they provide a punctual and efficient service. Facebook reviews are particularly good, as they are posted by the public, as opposed to website testimonials which can be controlled by the website owner.
6. Are they much cheaper than other photo booth businesses?
Beware of offers which seem too good to be true – they usually are! To sustain a photo booth company (so that they will still be in business by the time of your function!) entails printing, staffing, vehicle and fuel costs. Avoid anyone charging less than £275 for a 3 hour photo booth hire, as it’s very unlikely that they will be around to provide the service at that price for very long.
7. Be wary of great package deals from event companies.
Recently in the news, a large event company went into liquidation, taking all the deposits from all their clients with no hope of providing the services booked. This company didn’t own any photo booths but contracted them from local companies and tied this in to unbelievable deals on chocolate fountains, catering and venue dressing. While it’s very tempting to ask one company to provide everything for your wedding or party, especially at what seems like a fabulous price, it’s also a recipe for disaster with all the services for your wedding at risk. Booking your through an established photo booth company or business who actually specialise in photo booths and own their own booths, is always preferable!
8. Ask some technical questions
Minimise your chances of being let down by technical issues by asking a few questions to see if they are able to solve their own IT issues. Examples of this could be what software do they use and what training their staff have had on dealing with printer problems on the night of the function.
9. Choose the personalisation for your prints
Most of the more recent booth software allows configuration of the prints so that you can ask for your prints to have a particular colour, theme or message. Companies with less technical IT knowledge may or older photo booth software not be able to offer this much choice and may only change the text on each print, meaning that your photographs will look exactly like everyone else’s apart from the name of the event. Ask to see some of their designs or check out their facebook page.
10. Check how much experience the company has in providing photo booth hire
Find out how long the company has been in business and how many successful photo booths they have completed. The longer a company has been around and been regularly providing photo booth hire services, the more likely they are to make your photo booth hire a success. Experience generally means they have met any problems which are likely to arise and know how to solve them. Companies with more than one booth are also preferable, as they will be used to multiple bookings and have readily available staff to cover in the event of sickness.
Obviously, we couldn’t finish the post without giving answers to all the points above about our own company, Northwest Photobooth!
We have been a full time photo booth company since 2012 with over 10 staff who are happy to be called upon at short notice. Our Facebook & Twitter pages are very active and we have events every week with great customer reviews. We have never cancelled a booking on a client for any reason. We do put offers on from time to time, but our prices are appropriate for the service we provide and sustainable for our company. Photo booths are our business and we have a skilled IT department to solve any problems. We have an member of staff who designs all our print templates who takes the time each week to make sure that the clients requests are met.
Please note that this post is our opinion only and not intended to offend anyone!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a ring on 01925 950400 or Contact Us.