HOW TO BOOK YOUR FIRST EVENT
Congrats on joining the wonderful world of photoboothing! You probably have your website all done up with pretty pictures, contact information, packages, and tons of info. Your Facebook page is live and you're posting to Instagram regularly. but you're still not getting bookings. WHY? You didn't do anything wrong, in fact, you did everything right!
So why hasn't anyone called you or emailed you? It's likely because they don't even know you exist...
Having a website is great but when you are first starting out you need much more than that. You need human interaction. So what should you do? I'm going to tell you but before I do you need to understand one simple difference. The difference between working for free and investing in advertising your company. Working for free is when someone comes to you and says "Hey do my event for free because you will get so much exposure and it will bring you tons of money" but the reality is that 95% of those jobs do not actually provide exposure that is worthwhile. I'll do another post on how to work exposure jobs properly at a later time.
The best way to advertise your company is to show people what you can do. Reach out to someone who is a potential client or someone hosting an event that has people who would have your target market attending and offer to introduce them to your photobooth company. When approaching this you want to make sure that you don't devalue your company so we never say the word free in our communication.
Here is what the email would look like that I would send to someone I wanted to advertise my booth to (in this case it's an event planner):
WIN WIN SITUATION
The reason this works so well is that you are providing the planner (in this case) with a value add to provide to their client. This can be a big plus to them. They will likely offer this to one of their bigger clients that they want to impress. I mean, what event wouldn't love a $1,500 photobooth at no cost to them? The planner is going to look like a rock star!
The planner will also get to experience exactly how you operate and since you are offering the biggest and best package you have, this is what they will want each time. You have also outlined the cost so value has been established.
The benefit to you is that your relationship with this planner is off to a great start and you now have the ability to show off what you can really do. You will also have a great gallery of images to show off on your site.
This is a true win-win situation.
LET'S REMEmBER THE IMPORTANT STUFF
I see a lot of people offer up their booth for free and do the minimum. Digital prints, basic packages, no customization... Should you do this? NO! This is a terrible tactic. If you are offering the minimum then people will see that you are only capable of that. Go all out! Show what you want to book! INVEST IN YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY!
Once you are at the event make sure you do the following in order to maximize your networking potential with each client.
- Collect emails - If you get emails, you can follow up the next day to let them know the album is available and they will have your contact info. You are also providing a secondary touch point to the photobooth guest.
- Have a link to your website or Facebook on the print - This makes it easy for them to know who you are and find you after. It's also great if they share the picture on social media because your info will be front and center.
- Have your logo on the print and the screens - You want to have your logo be visible without over powering the event. Subtle repetition is much better than loud branding everywhere. If clients see your branding all over the place they will be less likely to book you for more elegant events
- Dress to Impress - Show up to mirror the clients and events you want to book. If your goal is to book casual events then a polo and jeans works but if you want to book bigger events a nice white collared shirt and dress pants would do the trick. For weddings and galas, a black suit or dress is a must. Heck, I have even done events in a full ball gown. You never want to look out of place.
TRY IT OUT
Alright, you have all the info you need to go out into the world and network with targeted clients. Get your booth out there and make some great connections. If you do 2 or 3 of these when you are first starting out you will make great connections and you will be able to book a few clients. Don't feel trapped if people expect a second demo. Just let them know that demos are meant to show off what you can do, and now that they know, you'd love to work with them. THeir clients loved you last time and will love you again. There is no better advertising than word of mouth.