Where to put your photobooth at your event

Over the weekend I covered a large event at a beautiful historic location in Montreal (the Théatre St. James) which used to be an opulent and ornate old bank.

Théatre St. James in Montreal
Théatre St. James in Montreal

It is a spectacular place for an event – commodious main event space and a secondary space in the basement with access to the old bank vault, which can be converted into a lounge as was done at this event.

Inside the vault
Inside the vault

The engagement included both continuous event coverage and a photobooth from my company, lePartybooth.com. Photobooths never seem to get old and they add an easy and fun activity for guests of all ages at an event. They also provide branding opportunities for sponsors and the event organizers through the use of branded imagery, green screened images and take away, instant prints.

However, to get the full value of your photobooth, consider where in the event you ask for it to be set up. While set-ups vary between open air mobile studios and premium standalone kiosks, most photobooths require about 15 x 15 feet, and ideally even a bit more space for the props table and prints.

Not every event space has optimal locations for photobooths, but your provider should be able to counsel you on where would be ideal. From the client point of view you want the booth somewhere in plain site to the main event and easily accessible by your guests. If they have to go up or down a flight of stairs, or leave the party to go to a secondary room, your participation will drop off a cliff and you will not be getting the best value for your money.

Encourage your guests to share their photos on social media with your event #hashtag

If you are planning to include a photobooth at your next event, keep these simple tips in mind:

  • Include the photobooth somewhere in the main event space
  • Remind your guests a few times throughout the evening that the photobooth is available for their use and they don’t have to pay to use it (*unless you are using the booth as a fundraising tool)
  • Ask your provider if they can furnish you with a few images from the booth to show on the main screen during the event
  • Encourage your guests to share their photobooth images online via the sharing functions built-in to the booth using your event hashtag

And a bonus idea:

If you really want to leverage the photobooth, consider running an in-event contest, offering a prize (voted on by applause or some other crowd-engagement measurement) for the wackiest or most outrageous photobooth pose of the evening.

Photobooths are always popular and including one in your event budget creates another sponsorship vehicle or place to extend the reach of your marketing. Having decided to spend the money, make sure you get the best use from it by making it a prominent and well-situated element in the layout of your floor plan for the event.

Five fun (and affordable) ideas for your Christmas Party

Are you hosting or planning a Christmas party this season for your family, friends or office? If so, here are a few ideas to consider that can help make your party the one everyone wants to be at:

  1. Spruce up your drinks! Atlantic Monthly writer, Wayne Curtis has written a fun little piece on literally adding spruce to your holiday cocktails. Nothing says Christmas like a bit of evergreen so why not add a sprig of spruce to your drink and see what happens? You can read the full article here.
  2. Secret Santa: coming from a huge and (happily) growing family, we made a decision years ago to dispense with the tradition of gift giving to and from each and every one of us, and replace it with Secret Santa. Essentially everyone agrees to a spending cap that is doable for all, and then we each draw a name from a hat. You tell no one whom you drew, unless you draw yourself or your spouse in which case you draw again, and then you buy just one, really good gift for the one person on your list. It helps keep you focused on the giving side of the gift business and is a good way not to break the bank.
  3. Stealing Santa: Now giving is fun, but stealing someone else’s silly gift is even more fun! How it works is simple and is usually the most fun part of our Christmas celebration. Everyone agrees to a low spending cap (under $20 or even $10) and purchases a gift that is either completely horrible and tacky, or desirable, or silly, or just plain weird. You wrap up the gift so no one can tell what it is, and the first person to start (in our tradition it is the youngest player) selects a present from the pile. He or she opens it up and the next person then is whoever put that present into the mix. That person then has the option to either “steal” the present from the previous player, or take another from the pile. A few other rules apply like not allowing any touching, shaking, or smelling of wrapped gifts so that each selection from the pile is completely blind. As well, you can’t steal from the person who just stole from you. Depending on the size of your group this game can take a while but it is invariably fun and we often reserve it for the evening when the forementioned spruced cocktails have taken full effect.
  4. Set up a photo booth! Photobooths are huge these days (check out lePartybooth, our sister site) and always a lot of fun. You can hire a pro (if you are hosting a larger event) or do it yourself with just a few fun Christmassy props and a red backdrop or themed backdrop. Use a tripod and frame the shot so that all the images are taken from the same angle and then get silly. If you want to make it even more fun, position your photobooth under the mistletoe (which brings me to me last suggestion).
  5. Hang lots of mistletoe! The ancient tradition of hanging mistletoe dates back to Viking times and like all traditions drawn from mythology, involves cruelty, death, resurrection and tears transforming something in nature to account for its current colour or shape (in this case red berries to white; google “why do we hang mistletoe” for more), but the best reason to hang mistletoe, and hang it in abundance, is the opportunity to kiss whomever is standing under it. Depending on who’s at your party, this can be cause for embarrassment or a reasonable excuse to finally make the move you’ve been planning. Just don’t be creepy with it please, as you know, Santa’s elves are always watching!