How to Create an Amazing Photo Experience

Three friends posing for a photo op at the Hope Gala in front of a step and repeat background

In this article, we'll teach you how to create an irresistible photo moment at your next event.

Not everyone will realize this, but having a photo moment built into your event is hands down one of the smartest moves you can make.

Photo booths, step & repeat backdrops and selfie opportunities empower your guests to help spread the word about your initiative by sharing on social media. These photo moments also give them a memorable keepsake and lend you an opportunity to stay connected.

Getting your message out there is tough, getting people to actually show up is even tougher. When you learn how to leverage "shareable moments" in your events you use the former to accomplish the latter.

Unfortunately, there isn't a playbook that breaks it all down so it's simple to execute. Well, until now there wasn't...

Roadblocks that needn't block the road.

There will always be reasons why people decide to not do something and creating a killer photo opp certainly isn't an outlier in that scenario. When it comes to the task at hand, a few of the most frequent excuses we hear are:

  • "There's no budget"
  • "My clients are too conservative"
  • "I don't know how"
  • "I'm not creative"

Ready for the good news?

All of the above excuses, and many more, are 99% wrong assumptions. Keep reading and I'll walk you through our step-by-step process on how YOU can do create an amazing event photo experience that won't break the bank! 

Four powerful women fighting for women's rights

Step-by-step instructions to help you execute creating a memorable photo op

Step 1

Take the time to think through how this photo moment will reflect your event, brand, venue, etc

To some this may seem extremely obvious, to many however, not so much.

Remember, one of our goals here is to empower attendees to help us spread our message through photos, so integrating that message gives you a leg up.

What's more, if you make it irresistibly cool you'll also succeed in driving some serious FOMO; never a bad idea.

So the question is..."how?"

In decade-plus of becoming event photo experts, we've seen thousands of amazing ideas that range from classic & simple to difficult & complex -- and everything in between.

Here are a few examples to help paint the picture.

  • Carry over the branding your creative team has already established for the event. Any photo booth company worth it's salt -- like Pixilated ;) -- will have design templates for your team to run wild with.
  • Look to your event/brand/venue/brewery/location/theme/etc for a little creative inspiration.
  • Leverage a green screen and take your guests to another place entirely! What used to be a challenging feat (green screen tech vs. lighting) has become easier and easier to execute these days.
  • Again, what may seem like table stakes is often a critically overlooked aspect of integrating a photo activation in your event. Messaging and/or signage!
Coworkers enjoying a green screen photo booth that transports them to a tropical paradise

Step 2

Spread the word!

From the in-event signage to the copy accompanying the email and texts your guests receive their photos in should be well thought out for ease-of-use and optimizing ROI.

Simply put, if people don't know there's a photo opportunity, or more so can see it but are too timid to dip their toe since it isn't clearly spelled out, will result in underwhelming engagement.

It's not enough to just add an ingredient; you have to put the work in to integrate it.

Additionally, I'll refer back to Step 1 to re-emphasize our goal of having attendees help us amplify our message. Taking the time to sit with your social/communications team to decide what that copy should say and what your CTA is will be very much worth the effort.

One of my favorite aspects of "photo marketing" is that the open rates on the emails and text messages delivered from our photo booth kiosks are bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Literally like a 99% open rate.

Why? Because your guests just took a moment to take a picture and send it to their phones...so of course they're going to open it to see/save/share their pic!

What's that mean? Well, for starters it means your custom photo booth message is going to get read A LOT. That's why we ensure our clients understand good copy, like "Hey, You Look Great!", coupled with a well-aligned CTA, like "Share this photo on Instagram and use the hashtag #getpixilated" go a long way.

Photo booth pose with a woman in a tuxedo and the Natty Boh mascot

Step 3

For the Win - Look to incentivize engagement. It'll work!

Folks love taking photos. Folks love sharing photos. The one thing that makes folks love taking & sharing photos even more? A chance to win something cool!

Now I know what you're thinking, but we don't have a Tesla to give away. I feel you, me neither. The good news? Your people don't really care about that. They care about their "why." That's why they showed up in the first place.

Look to your audience and mission for ways to come up with clever incentives that are unique to your event and that your community will love. One of my favorite things is brainstorming creative ways to incentivize audiences.

Here are a few ideas from the top of my head:

  • Free consultation or prize from another participating sponsor AKA the "Win-Win-Win". I've used this one tons because it creates insane value for everyone involved and really facilitates honest connections.
  • Free tickets to next year's event. This is a no-brainer. If you're doing your event right, people will be chomping at the bit to have next year's ticket on the books.
  • VIP access to after-parties, private dinners, keynotes and more.

 

Three friends posing in a photo booth rental with a DIY pink boa streamer backdrop

Step 4

The post-event shuffle

They came, they saw, they swooned. Now it's time to put a button on it.

While I'm not going to go too deep into post-event follow-up strategy, I would be missing a huge opportunity to not at least mention how your massively successful photo opp will keep providing dividends.

At this point, you've probably amassed a ton of amazing photos and contact information to go with it. So now what?

Well, for starters, you can pick some of your favorite images and share them across your social. Encourage your followers to vote on their fave photos, tag people they know and generally make everyone who didn't come feel FOMO like no other.

This is also another great opportunity to drive engagement with some kind of contest or game. Still have a few of those free tickets for next year? This is the place to leverage them!

What's more, you've got their contact information and that is going to be pure gold. There are few things better than having someone's email address for the right reasons.

Planning a strategy for how you "warm up" this group to receive regular emails from you is a great idea. You should start with something that relates to how they ended up on your list, ie your event!, And go from there.

Here are a few ideas to get the juices flowing.

  • Event recap
  • Early-bird ticket discount
  • Evergreen content from the live event
  • Upcoming webinars
  • Invite to join a digital community

Once you start brainstorming the ideas are going to flow like crazy. The important thing is to get started.

Still feeling stuck? Get in touch and we can work through it together.

 

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