Running a Virtual Photo Booth event is nothing like having a photo booth sitting in the middle of a packed live event. Or better yet, by the bar of the wedding reception with parentless 8 years olds running around, stealing props and using up all your printer paper…
In a live event scenario, especially when you are by the bar… people naturally gravitate towards the photo booth and ask you or your attendant… “Oh, what’s this?” You’re a pro, so you probably have a canned line like… “It’s a photo booth (silly). You can take a photo and share via e-mail or text at our sharing station.”
This guest has been living under a rock, so they excitedly respond with, “Oh wow, this is a great idea! I’ve never seen a photo booth at an event… This is genius!” You nod your head agreeingly, because, duh, you are a genius.
The truth is, Virtual Photo Booths don’t get engagement all by themselves. The fact that they are virtual makes them invisible. Out of mind, out of sight. So, it’s your job… yes, your job, as the photo booth pro, to get as much engagement for your clients as possible. We’ll show you the way.
Engagement for Live Events
Most people operating web based virtual photo booths are using QR Code to share the link to access the booth. This is even more important if the virtual photo booth is being promoted at a physical location.
A QR code is a barcode that can contain information. In our scenario, the QR code will contain the link to access the photo booth. This makes it so anyone who wants to use the virtual photo booth doesn’t have to type a long URL and pray they don’t make typos. Instead, they point their camera to the QR code and the phone opens the link.
Pre-pandemic QR Codes were not widely used in the United States. However, the pandemic has caused bars and restaurants to abandon physical menus for online menus, which are accessed when patrons scan the code. This has caused a huge shift in behavior where a large part of the population now recognizes QR codes and how to use them.
If you are doing a live event, you can increase virtual photo booth engagement with the following ideas:
Floor Decals & Posters with QR Codes
Strategically place floor decals & wall posters with QR codes at the entrance to the venue or wherever appropriate. You want it to be one of the first things people see as they enter the venue.
Floor decals & wall posters should also be placed at point of interest locations. If you’re promoting a virtual photo booth for a venue with a mascot, placing floor decals or a wall poster nearby to take a selfie with the mascot can lead to higher engagement.
Table Tents & Flyers with QR Codes
Table tents, flyers, business cards with QR Code etc are prime for temporary events like weddings or birthday parties. Place a table tent and flyers on each table. Also place these items at high traffic locations such as the bar or buffet table.
Roll Up Banners with QR Codes
For larger outdoor events, roll up banners and other variations are a great way to draw eyes and promote the virtual photo booth.
Engagement for Virtual Only Events
The biggest challenge in virtual only events is getting the virtual booth link to all those that are invited. In an ideal scenario, your client has an organized and systemized method to communicate with everyone invited to the virtual event. Your client can use these systems to distribute the booth link.
If your client is savvy, they have these systems in place already. If they are not, it falls on you to be familiar with these options so you can help prepare your client for success. At a wedding, does the bride repeatedly go to the DJ and ask him (or her) to announce the photo booth? Or do you take it upon yourself to ask the DJ to make announcements? The same principles apply.
Use email distribution if your client has a list of emails for all of those invited to the event. If your virtual photo booth gives you a few days of use, send virtual booth invitations early and often (don’t be annoying) to remind invitees to join in on the action.
If your host is sending regular email correspondences about the virtual event, make sure they include a QR Code and CTA (call to action) button that links directly to the virtual booth.
You should schedule emails to go out automatically so you don’t have to.
Suggested software: Mailchimp or Constant Contact
You can use a service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact to setup automatically scheduled emails to remind invitees to use the virtual photo booth.
Social Media Distribution
Social media, unlike email distribution, will be more reliant on your client than you for distribution. That is, unless your client is willing to give you their login. You’ll want to help your clients coordinate what to post and how often to post to remind people to use the virtual booth.
Just like with email distribution, you’ll want to make sure you include QR codes in your visuals. Don’t just post boring text saying “Use the virtual photo booth!” You’ll also want to use software that can automatically post at scheduled times to your clients social media account. These posts should be informative… i.e., reminding people about the virtual event. The posts should also have a clear call to action… “Scan this QR Code to launch the Virtual Booth” or “Click this link to launch the Virtual Booth”).
If you’re heavy on Instagram, you already know links are not allowed in posts and stories (unless you’re paying). You can work around this by taking advantage of the “Link in bio.”
The only place Instagram lets you put a clickable link is within the bio. So, on your Instagram posts, follow up with “Link in bio.” You can then use a third party platform to create a landing page to multiple pages pertinent to the virtual event. I.e., the clients home page, a page describing the virtual event, and most importantly… a link to the booth!
Suggested software: Hootsuite or Later
You can use a service like Hootsuite or Later to setup automatically scheduled social media posts that remind users to engage with the virtual photo booth.
Other ways people might communicate with their event invitees is through texting. However, this process may or may not be centralized.
Loosely organized events might use small and multiple group chats to communicate with invited guests. More organized events will use a centralized text message platform to send messages to invited guests.
Suggested software: ClubTexting or SlickText