When a company wants to get the word out about a new product it is launching it often organizes an event. Influencers are invited (bloggers, specialists in the field, client evangelists), wined and dined and given opportunities to sample, try, and hopefully be wowed by the new product. An event photographer is often included in the marketing budget for the event, to help capture images of client interactions with the product and create a sense of excitement around the product launch, and therefore, the new product.

A bottleneck exists however, between the intended purpose of the photos produced and the way event photos are typically processed. The normal method is for the event photographer to deliver a set of images (usually via a passkey protected website) directly to the client, who then takes a few days to review them and sends them off. If they are really on the ball they will solicit a small set of key, high res images to have on hand immediately to send to media or through other channels (perhaps their brand’s Facebook page or Twitter feed). While this is a step in the right direction, there is a better way to really leverage your investment in event photos: incorporate a photobooth experience and make it easy for your guests to access and share their own photos.

A photobooth experience is an innovation on the standard meet-and-greet photo whereby guests enter a space, pose in front of a branded backdrop, and move on.  While this method is good for capturing countless very similar images of separate individuals and couples, it doesn’t actually create a lot of value for the organizer. The event photographer may spend an hour or more setting up the lighting and (depending on the size of the invitation list) shooting the arrivals, usually at additional cost to the event organizer. Is  the yield worth it? The end client (the event planner, PR firm or coordinator) will receive a large volume of nearly identical shots that they can only use a few of, guests will have a rather boring experience posing for a photographer, and the images will at best feature on the company/brand webpage somewhere where they are unlikely to be copied or shared by the subjects at a very high share rate. 

A better approach, and one with proven social virality, is to incorporate an element of whimsy and fun into these posed shots in front of a creative backdrop. At lePartybooth, for example (a sister company of Julian Haber Photography) a vast range of props are provided along with a huge selection of varied and playful backdrops. These props and accessories become playthings for the invitees who invariably love the experience of playing dress up. No matter what your product, a photobooth experience can greatly enhance your guests’ enjoyment of the launch, and, because every photo produced is unique and engages the creativity and playfulness of the subject, it is highly likely to be shared and re-shared by the person in the photo themselves. In effect, every image is contagious and will be taken from a main site and reposted to a subject’s own Facebook page or other social media channel. Instant virality.

Of course it is important to tie in the photobooth experience to the product and brand being launched, so some consideration can be given to the kinds of props and backdrop provided. For example, if you are launching a new phone handset, throw in a few giant oversized versions of your phone that guests can pose with. Or if your product is a new vehicle, provide a few stylized plush toy versions that guests can use in their photos. Getting creative with the props showcases not only your brand or product, but shows that you “get” that people no matter who they are, don’t want to be mere platforms for your company advertising. Treating people with respect and giving them something interesting and fun to do at your product launch translates into higher ROI on your event dollars. It means there is a far greater likelihood your guests will leave your event feeling happy and they are much more likely to want to share their photos online within their networks – which ultimately extends your reach far beyond the original invitation list.

It is imperative to leverage all event spending and get the best bang for your buck. Incorporate a photobooth experience into your next product launch, restaurant or store opening, fundraiser or other event aimed at gaining widespread public reach and you will reap benefits many times over your budgeted marketing spend.

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Julian Haber Photographer
Julian Haber is an events, corporate portraits and conference photographer based in Montreal. He is the author of a book on freelancing and runs a busy boutique agency of creative professionals in the fields of photography, videography and design. |