You don’t get a 2nd chance at photo booth hire!
We all know that there’s no 2nd chance to get it right at your party. Whether it’s your wedding day, birthday party, retirement do or Bar or Bat Mitzvah – it ain’t happening again! All the more reason to check out the suppliers that you use for your day.
What can you do?
Research ….. research! It’s easy nowadays to look through the social media record of any company and see what they’ve been up to. For a photo booth company, as with a photographer, you’ll be most interested in their photographic record over the years. This might be on Facebook or other sites. Ask about the equipment they use – you need to hear “DSLR camera” and “sub dye printer”. Ask to see their insurance certificates and PAT certificate.
Staff Decent staff cost money. It costs to train them, and it costs to get them to the venue. A cash in operator doesn’t have the money to pay decent wages. Poor wages leads to poor staff.
Communication A “cash in operator” probably has a full-time job and this is just a side line, so getting responses from them and sorting things out takes time.
Equipment On top of the “our equipment has been damaged” issue, is the whole issue of equipment itself, particularly back up equipment, spares etc. A cash in operator doesn’t have the money to re-invest in equipment or bring backups with them.
Insurance & PAT Any photo booth operator must have Public Liability insurance – all venues should be asking for it. They also ought to have Professional Indemnity Insurance as well, to give the client peace of mind. A cash in operator won’t necessarily see the need (or have the money). And a PAT certificate for their electrical equipment is a good test. And what sort of company are they? A registered company (with a company number) gives you, the customer, more protection than a sole trader type of company.
Reputation Along with trust it’s the hardest to gain, easiest to lose. Look through their old post on Facebook, do some searches on Google. Perhaps they always advertise on Google - but otherwise don't appear in your searches? Google ranks web sites based on relevance to your query - unless you pay them. So perhaps they're not the most relevant result for you.
Longevity It costs money to set up a decent photo booth hire business (!!) and money to run it. And it takes time to get a reputation. But a “cash in operator” is only interested in the short term. So booking a year or more before your event is likely to lead to tears. A cash in operator is only concerned with immediate cash flow – so they’ll offer cheap deals with cheap booking fees.
A common approach is to offer a cheap deal and then drop the booking because someone is prepared to pay more. Gazumping doesn’t only happen in the housing market!
And finally .....
How long have these owners been providing photo booths? There's nothing wrong with a franchise type of company - but how long have the current operators been doing this?
That’s not to say that you can’t get a good deal or, hopefully, that all cash in operators are rogue.
Sometimes you just “know” when you find the right supplier – hopefully this blog post will help if there is any doubt. You don't get a 2nd chance!