Asking this question among photo booth owners could be the equivalent of asking an American if they voted for Trump or Clinton; Should you include your website or contact information on a photo booth strip design? There may not be a right or wrong answer but there are certainly opinions that vary dramatically based on the event the design is intended for and the strategy of the photo booth owner.
Let’s start with the obvious events where photo booth owners must advertise on their photo strips: Wedding/Bridal shows or other trade expos are no-brainer events that you must advertise your website and contact info on a photo strip. Clients are expecting to be advertised to, they want to be able to easily follow-up with you. The photo strip is your business card during these events, there is zero shame in advertising here.
In addition, most photo booth owners don’t hesitate to place their website or contact info on a photo strip for a donated/discounted event or fundraiser. When you are donating your services, clients usually have an expectation that you will market yourself to make the event worth your time and paper and ink.
What about all other events?
Some photo booth owners consider this type of branding standard industry practice, while others believe that it is as tacky as a chrome suit.
The pro-advertising argument.
The subtle inclusion of a website on the photo strip is an easy and effective way to reach potential, future, clients. The reality is, people will not and do not throw away these photo strips. These photo strips hang on fridges, office cubicles and bulletin boards for years, and are always glanced at fond memories of the good times and laugh provided and captured by your photo booth. People who can afford a quality photo booth, usually have circles of friends and family who can also afford a photo booth, thus getting a photo strip in the hands of every guest, with your site on it, can be a powerful tool.
The tacky argument.
On the opposite side of the argument, many photo booth owners find the inclusion of a website or contact info on a photo strip to be a tacky addition that should not even be considered other than for a trade show or donated event. These owners believe that the work speaks for itself and that curious potential clients will take a business card at the event or contact the event planner for contact information.
1. Sticker on the back. There are some photo booth owners who place a sticker on the back of each photo strip that includes their web address and phone number. This seems like a good compromise, however could be difficult to keep up with at a busy event. I have yet to hear of a photo printer that is able to print text accordingly on the back of the strip. Perhaps this will be an option in the future.
2. Change the wording. Most photo booth owners upload an event’s photos to an online gallery of sorts. You can make the guests aware of this on the photo strip. Wording such as: “Find your photos at www.yourphotoboothsite.com” or “See More Photos at www.yourphotoboothsite.com” are great choices to drive clients to your website. Potential clients will love the opportunity to view and print more copies of the photos they love or photos of friends they may have missed. This is a great way to build rapport with potential clients and the community at-large as well.
3. Remove advertising for a fee. Some photo booth owners will charge a fee for the removal of branding.
What do I do?
In general, I do subtly, and tastefully include my website on the very bottom of the photo strip. Here is a the key to doing this with confidence and no shame. Do not surprise your client with it on the day of the event. When you send your client proofs of their photo strip design, include your website if that is what you intend to do. Get your client to approve or disapprove the design. Do not add your advertising after your client has approved the design without it.
I trust my gut and you should trust yours. Sometimes I do not even place my website on the proof because I know that it will be an issue. After some experience, you will learn to spot these clients.
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