Instant photos are a guaranteed hit with guests. Here's how to make the most of this party classic

Square Meal V+E Guide 2016 - organiser's guide

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 they’re great fun and deliver a souvenir of fancy-dress tomfoolery. Organisers love them because they deliver big bang for a relatively small buck – a single booth will hold its own at events for 500 guests.

However, in this age of advancing technology, not all photo booths are created equal, and certain questions need to be asked. 

Fancy dress is a must, and a generous armoury 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 the pictures.

If you’ve already got a company noticeboard full of wacky stills from previous events, be prepared to go to the next level. The latest operators can turn out slo-mo video, GIFs and even bolt a wind machine onto their booth.

Booths might be a bit of fun, but the quality of their output – especially if you're branding it – reflects on your company. Ask suppliers to provide samples so you can check they’re up to scratch. For video, it’s reasonable to expect broadcast-quality HD.

Access can be a sticking point – some suppliers won’t take booths up stairs, for example. The latest generation are often much less bulky, but you still need to check accessibility with your venue. 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.

You could publish pictures of your event in real time by choosing booths that upload images straight to Facebook, Instagram or 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 Squaremeal Venues + Events 2017 Guide