Charity Events and Funds Raisers
One thing you have to be careful of here is the fact that you will get calls from charity events asking you to do their portable photobooths for free, in exchange for promotion. Evert charity under the sun will call you asking for free donated photobooth. If this is a charity you really believe in or if you have so much money you can afford to give your work away for free then by all means go ahead.
If you are willing to donate your time (or pay your employees to do it on your behalf) and are willing to donate the paper and other miscellaneous supplies, well then that is your decision. If you are in a jurisdiction where this applies, see if you can get some kind of tax receipt.
I have in the past done events for companies that paid me and then turned around and gave the booth out for free. If you are making to much money and need some way to get rid of it (wouldn’t that be nice) well maybe this is a good way to do just that.
I have been weary however of the extent of *promotional* value that you do get from doing these events. I remember one event, a large children’s festival with a significant admission cost where the owner of the company I was working for at the time was told he would get a free booth in exchange for making FREE photos of all the people that wanted to pictures taken.
It was a huge success for the festival. The portable photobooth concept was certainly helped. However it was a lot of work over the course of a long weekend, a lot of money was spent on labor and paper, and money was lost from not being able to use the booth at a paying event, and that did happen.
Though some indirect business that I am not aware of may have resulted from this participation at the event, I am not aware of a single direct booking that was obtained.
Worse yet, perhaps one of our competitors got business, because people were sold by us on the photobooth concept then went with another company with a lower cost which did not have the overhead of doing a “free” festival.
I would rather that someone else promote the general idea of the portable photobooth and then I come in a scoop up the business (LOL).
As well, by doing these “free” events you run the risk of devaluing yourself in the eyes of future prospects. Let me stress that this did not happen with my own company but a company I was working for, but I remember one time I was doing “free” event. Even though most of the people did not know we were doing the event for free, I did have one lady who may have been part of the organization (or something like that anyway) who came up to me asking for a price to do the photobooth for her school’s prom. After I told her the price, she almost got mad and acted like I was ripping her off, after all I was doing this event for FREE on a Saturday night.
Now, there are exceptions to what I am talking about here. If someone (let’s say the manager of an upscale golf club) has referred a lot of business to me in the last year and then has their own event, I may very likely do their own personal or company event for either cost or free (depending on the volume) purely as a Thank You!
As well, if you are just getting started, ou may not have much choice than to do a few “freebies” just to get your name out. Twenty-six years ago, my first few DJ gigs were free as well, for organizations I was heavily involved with at the time. However, I would not suggest making it a permanent part of your business.
As a general rule I do give a “charity” discount and depending upon the charity and the circumstances (and perhaps most importantly the date) I do discount deeper. And yes, I would probably donate the photobooth for my best friend’s weeding (LOL).
As well, I will consider verifiable advertising (on paper- not just a thank you) opportunities in exchange for a photobooth Every situation is different and must be considered individually. Just remember, don’t let yourself become a sucker and then wonder later why you aren’t making money.