This is a business decision every photobooth operator needs to make.
I offer 3 levels of service depending on the package booked: (call it an up-sell if you want.)
- standard assortment of re-used props (CHEAPEST)
- brand new props that we keep at the end of the night (MORE EXPENSIVE)
- brand new props that are distributed to the guests at the end (MOST EXPENSIVE)
Many of our props are hats and blow-up instruments. Many times guests like to take the props onto the dance floor and have fun with them as almost a DJ prop. If they have booked the highest end package I definitely let them do that – on occasion I have let them do that with other packages as well. After all it is my job to entertain the guests and despite the risk of prop loss or damage (keeping in mind that many of these props are fairly inexpensive to begin with) I let them have their fun with it. I do my best to collect the props at the end of the night – they are sometimes sitting on tables or on the floor.
When there are lots of kids at your party you might definitely suggest the brand new props that are distributed at the end of the party approach. First off, props are much more likely to grow legs at a kids' party than an adult party (unless there is heavy drinking), and kids are generally delighted to have something like a prop to take home at the end of the party. In one case, I had the DJ in the last 15 minutes of the party give them away. This just made the night.
I think I am one of very few operators in my area that offer all-new props and this is something that makes me stand out. Most clients do not go for the option yet it is all part of the marketing strategy.
I also offer glow sticks and bracelets in my higher-end packages. While it does not add that much to the pictures themselves people really like them and when I allow them to keep them they go around the room and it attracts more attention to the fun people are having in the photo booth. The glow sticks are available from most novelty wholesalers and as well at www.sureglow.com which at a recent DJ convention sold a $15 package of lots and lots of glow sticks and bracelets. I used this with great success at a number of my shows.
However, if you are looking for just some really good quality props sign for your portable photo booth business, then go to RBA Photobooths. They have everything you need from props to photo booth shell enclosures. It is the DIY (Do it Yourself) candy store.