All You Need to Know About Using Free Events to Grow Your Photo Booth Business

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Grow Your Photo Booth Business with Free Events

Whether you’re new to the photo booth business or have been doing this for a few years, don’t discount the power of free when it comes to marketing. After all, when you can demonstrate your services and the benefits, people will take notice. Exposure pays off. We are sharing ideas for events that will help you build a buzz and your client base!

Events Where You Can Build Your Photo Booth Business

The world is truly your oyster when it comes to event marketing. The goal of free and almost-free events is to get in front of potential clients!

Networking Events

Your area probably has plenty of local networking events for businesses. Consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council, a coworking space, or other opportunities for networking. MeetUp is another excellent resource. Remember, many networking groups require a membership fee, but often offer a special rate for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Why are these events beneficial?

In addition to keeping a pulse on the local scene, you can meet lots of decision-makers who are interested in your photo booth business. Plus, you may be able to donate your services at one of their events (or become a sponsor with an in-kind service donation).

Local business owners will get a feel for what you can do for them. Just as importantly, you can use your photo booth to generate more leads.

Community Events, Silent Auctions, and Fundraisers

Although these events are slightly different, we’re categorizing them together because they attract similar audiences. There’s a huge range of people that will come through. You are equally likely to book any type of business, whether for corporate or private events.

Whether you donate your services to commemorate the event or donate a session to be auctioned off, you can showcase your value. Maybe you let the event organizers use your lead generation capabilities or demonstrate the value of video testimonials. (iPad software like Onebooth can do both.) Either way, you’re building a great rapport and buzz within the community and connecting with more potential clients.

Why are these events beneficial?

Ultimately, they help you get in front of even more people, while also showcasing your capabilities to the event organizers. These events may be pay to play, and although this may be up for negotiation when you demonstrate the value you’re offering, just keep in mind that there may be a fee.

Examples of these events

If you’re already mentally cataloging a list of events you want to connect with, then start writing this down somewhere! If you need some inspiration, here are a few examples of events you want to approach:

Community Events

Here are a few types of community events that may be a great fit for your photo booth business:

  • County and State Fairs
  • Local 5k Races
  • Community Open Houses 
  • Town Picnics
  • Beer Gardens
  • Yoga/Zumba in the Park
  • Community Concerts
  • Art Walks & First Fridays
  • Farmers Markets
  • Seasonal Community Celebrations

Fundraisers & Silent Auctions

  • Pay-to-Attend Benefits Raising Money for a Cause (medical bills, scholarships, pet adoption)
  • Pancake Breakfasts
  • School or Sports Team Fundraisers
  • Wine Tastings
  • Polar Plunges

By no means are these exclusive lists, but they give you an idea for the types of events and organizers you can approach. 

Create Your Own Events!

Earlier this year, we curated this list of 26 promotional event ideas! All can be creative opportunities to build and grow your photo booth business. Check to see if anything strikes your fancy.

Why are these events beneficial?

You can, quite literally, create your own adventure and build a buzz in a way that fits your brand, schedule, and personality.

Best Practices for Building Your Photo Booth Business with Free Events

Every time you take on a free event, you need to make the most of the opportunity for your photo booth business! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your promotional events:

  • Get testimonials from event organizers. 
  • Write off the freebies (ask your tax professional how). 
  • Offer show specials to incentive immediate bookings. 
  • Use your printouts to self-promote. 
  • Hand out business cards and flyers!

Additional Resources

In addition to the best practices above, we’ve written a lot over the last year on event marketing, and you’ll find these posts incredibly beneficial.

A Note on Free Events

Free is an extraordinary marketing tool. It doesn’t mean that you need to give away or discount your services to everyone who asks. On the contrary, by employing a bit of strategy, you’ll be able to carefully select the free events that will give you the most exposure. 

There are a few notes here regarding the use of the word “free.” Although these may be great opportunities, ultimately you’ll need to trust your gut and make a business decision on how you want to utilize your resources and budget when it comes to self-promotion:

  1. Sometimes free really does mean free. 
  2. A “free” event may not be 100% free to you, but is often worth your time. 
  3. Sometimes offering your services for free isn’t worth it. Listen to your gut and decide if the exposure is worth your time and services. 

The bottom line when it comes to free events is to keep in mind that although the most significant cost is your time, your time is valuable. Before you start reaching out to pitch your free event ideas, think about how many you want to offer, any boundaries you want to maintain, and your budget for any pay to play events. You’ll be prepared to answer questions with a firm yes or no right away and start seeing your photo booth business take off!

Any additional questions you’d like to see us answer or ideas you think we should include? Let us know in the comments.

All You Need to Know About Using Free Events to Grow Your Photo Booth Business

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