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There’s nothing novel about novelty photo booths. They’re pretty much a staple at any half-decent party these days. Guests love them because a) it’s great fun cramming yourself in and pulling faces and b) they deliver a souvenir of the fancy-dress tomfoolery for the post-party wash-up. Organisers love them because they deliver big bang for relatively small buck – a single booth will hold its own at events for 500 guests (though you’ll need an extra member of staff for crowd management over 250).
However, in this age of advancing technology, all photo booths – and suppliers of them – are not created equal, so there are certain questions you’ll want to be armed with when you’re making initial enquiries.
A photo booth without fancy dress is handy if you need to renew your passport, but not much fun. A generous armory of wigs, sunglasses and hats should be included in your package, along with unlimited prints and a choice of background. Post-event, you should be given a USB stick with (high-res) pics from the booth.
Photo booths might be a bit of fun, but the quality of their output – especially if you’re branding it – reflects on your company. Ask your supplier to post you a set of sample prints so you can check that they’re up to scratch.
Access is one of the most common sticking points with photo booth hire. Many suppliers won’t take them up stairs, for example. Check accessibility with your venue and, if space is tight, consider companies with flexible pack-down booths that can reach the parts that single units can’t. Set-up should be included in the hire fee and take no longer than an hour or two. Most booths operate on standard 13-amp mains power, so a nearby socket is handy.
To our knowledge, electrocution by photo booth has never been a problem, but you are in charge of the safety of your guests while they’re at your event, so you need to check your supplier’s paperwork. Ask to see public liability insurance and PAT test certificates.
If you want to make the most of social media – and do think carefully about whether you want pictures from your corporate event being beamed out into the public domain in real time – choose a supplier with booths that can upload images straight to Facebook and Twitter. However, if you decide you want to keep the output within the four walls of the event, live projections are a good way of making the booth more interactive.
This article was first published in Square Meal Venues & Events Guide 2013.