Not a good idea. My guests will have fun and all photo booths are the same right? NO THEY ARE NOT. Huge misconception. It’s really not that simple…
HotShots knows this industry better than most as we’ve been in business for over half a decade. We have over 250 online reviews, complete over 300 events a year and have over 11,000 Facebook likes (more than any company in New England). We see new “budget” companies pop up almost every few months and then they mysteriously disappear. Don’t get lured in by a low price!
Lets go into some of the fundamental expense basics of owning a photo booth company to show you why low price = low quality.
1) Attendants. Most “budget” companies hire low wage inexperienced workers off craigslist to cut back on costs. Do you think someone who’s working a Saturday night making under $100 (most likely on a Saturday while their friends are out having fun) is going to do an exceptional job at your special event? Definitely not. Attendants at a professional company making $175 to $225 per event are going to be much happier and do much better job tending to your guests. Good reliable help comes with a price.
2) Cheap Print Systems. Most low budget companies use inkjet printers because the printer, maintenance and media is cheap. They might spend $35 in materials at an average 4 hour event… but did you know these prints fade after one year? We use a professional film print system and our prints last up to 35 years before any noticeable discoloration. We go through over $125 of media at a large event.
3) Camera and Lighting. Most low budget companies use webcams and budget led lighting as it’s the cheapest solution when building a booth. Inconsistencies in color, wash-out, red eye and over saturation are just a few of the issues that will occur. Professional companies use studio professional lighting (yes, with the dithering umbrella) to obtain continuous beauty spectrum lighting to make you look your best. We also use Canon DSLR grade cameras to capture the detail of each and every pic and we even have special filters designed by a local MIT student to help remove wrinkles and imperfections.
4) Backup Equipment. Low budget companies NEVER have backup equipment because they can’t afford it and you aren’t paying them enough to even care about having it.
5) Insurance. A low budget company will NOT have full insurance. What happens if something catastrophic happens at your event and someone gets badly injured or property is damaged? Accidents are highly unlikely, but they do happen in any type of business. Professional companies carry a 1 million dollar liability policy and with 5 booths, it costs about $7,000 a year. Better safe than sorry!
6) Marketing. Low budget companies don’t advertise much because they don’t do that many events. They most likely have a booth or two and do it as a hobby on the side. They don’t have 5-10 booths like a professional company would own. Professional companies need to advertise to ensure that dates are filled so their attendants can work to make money to help support their families. Average marketing cost per event = $100-$125. Weddingwire = $1600 Yearly TheKnot = $1800 Yearly & Google = OVER $1000 a MONTH.
7) Groupon Deals and Thumbtack. These sites are home to fly-by-night companies who do not have any marketing experience whatsoever and advertise any price to get found. They hope that if they do your event, they will perhaps book another one to make up for the loss but it never works that way. Groupon is great for so many businesses… but any seasoned photo booth company knows it’s just a waste of time. Do a comparison of professional companies in your area to ones found on these so called “DEAL” sites. None of them will be listed. Why? Because the pros know they are worth more than that. Would you want to hire a company that is prepared to sell themselves short? We still get at least 4 phone calls a month from customers who had their groupon deal cancel on them last minute and now they are frantically looking for another company to match the cheap price they got. It’s very sad when this happens… such a disappointment. Read the fine text on Groupon. It states that they reserve the right to cancel on you with a 24 hour notice. Budget booths WILL cancel on you if they can book with another customer at their retail price. Not worth the gamble! Many of these sites go out of business and groupon will not refund you as they are just an intermediary. They took their cut and the transaction is over. Do some research about groupon online and you will see that there are many complaints.
8) Hobby vs Full Time. When shopping for a photo booth company, you will see that most photo booth companies will not pick up the phone and you will have to leave a message for them to call you back at a time that is RARELY convenient for you. This is because their “hobby” photo booth company is secondary to their full time day job. With a professional company, you ALWAYS come FIRST.
9-10) Did we catch your interest? Call today and I’ll give you the other 2 pointers which are even more important than the ones listed.
You were hoping that this would be easy? Well it’s really not. There are many factors which separate a pro from a imposter. Anyone in their parents basement can whip together a few components, make a decent looking website and call themselves a photo booth company. Call us today and we’ll give you a 4 minute crash course on what to look for when shopping around. Identifying the impostors will be easy after you listen to our insider information.
So remember… Not all photo booths are the same. HUGE misconception. A difference between a good photo booth and a not so good booth is about a $250 difference. Don’t make the mistake of getting stuck with a sub-par booth for your highly anticipated special event. We hope you found this read helpful!