Under the gun...

carlrez
carlrez
I've been planning on doing a graduation party for a friend's daughter. I thought it was next weekend. Turns out it's in 2 days and my booth ain't done yet!<div style="font-style: normal; ">
</div><div>I have so many loose ends to tie up in such a short amount of time. I'm confident I can do it but man, I could have used the extra week I <i>thought </i>I had.</div><div>
</div><div>It's my fault for being so casual about it with my buddy. I don't think I ever got an exact date/time from him. I just knew it was in mid-July some time.</div><div>
</div><div>On a positive note, I did get the background for the photos done for him. He and his wife and daughter really liked it!</div><div>
</div><div>I'll attach it...any input/feedback is welcome.</div><div>
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Comments

  • Mike
    Mike
    <font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">No service agreement? Shame shame. As a rule of thumb you should always have a service agreement to set expectations and to protect your business. You must operate as a business 100% of the time keep a clean line of demarcation.</font><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">
    </font></div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Also it is helpful to have dates and times locked...lol</font></div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">
    </font></div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">The template looks good, nice work!</font></div>
  • carlrez
    carlrez
    Yeah, you're absolutely right @Mike. I've been so focused on building the booth and working on the website that I haven't spent much time on the business side of things. Tisk, tisk.<div>
    </div><div>
    </div><div><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_eSNZv4bVspo/SwFtOeQh8LI/AAAAAAAAADE/q2cF5YBS9s0/s1600/doh.jpg" style="font-size: 10pt"></div><div>Many lessons are being learned with this experience...

    </div>
  • buzzkcphoto
    buzzkcphoto
    Well, I won't rake you since Mike already did on the service contract. Working under the gun seems to get you motivated in keeping things moving along...it's a good thing.

    The overlay does look nice, congrats on the booking, and hope all goes well. There's always a changed the not everything will, but learn and grow from it.
  • carlrez
    carlrez
    Thanks for the congrats but it's an "at cost" job...but it's all good. Better than nothing. Plus I'm sure I'll gain some experience as well as get some actual photos for a gallery on my site.<div>
    </div><div>This makes me wish I would have taken today and tomorrow off like most people did where I work. LOL</div>
  • buzzkcphoto
    buzzkcphoto
    <blockquote><div>This makes me wish I would have taken today and tomorrow off like most people did where I work. LOL</div></blockquote>



    Yes, I've had to do that several times to save some sanity.

    Some other thoughts...(Mike, feel free to start a blog topic :-) )

    It helps to make a checklist to make sure you pack everything. Also create one during/for setup, documenting it now will help when you have attendants helping out, they will have it to reference. If you're going to franchise at some point, helps to start documenting now too. I need to re-categorize mine a bit, we've each learned things that one can be doing while another is doing something else to make things go smoother/faster.

    We always put the curtains away folding them bottom to top and stacking them in groups. They always go back in the case the same way and come out in the order we use them. Ties that are used to bundle items are put in zip lock bags and then in the tool bag. We've lost several before getting those things down and was a frantic mess getting things packed up again.

    Knowing the place you'll be setting up always helps. Been several times we were packed too heavy and had to re-group to move things up or down some stairs due to no elevators. This is a good item to get in the service agreement as a quick note. Even visit the venue if possible to see what places are available for setup to position yourself the best possible flow.

    Oh, be sure to take an extra camera and get some outside the booth photos as well.

    Darren
    http://buzzkcphoto.com
  • Mike
    Mike
    Good tips there. Might be a great topic for a blog post.
  • carlrez
    carlrez
    Really helpful insight. Thanks @buzzkcphoto.<div>
    </div><div>I'm trying to figure out a good way to create a nice looking gallery that has smugmug like functionality. If anyone knows how to with Wordpress please let me know.</div><div>
    </div><div>Also, I'm thinking of using funnymugzphotobooths.com for marketing and use funnymugz.com to distribute the photos after events. Right now funnymugz.com is everything and funnymugzphotobooths is 301'd to funnymugz.com. I was thinking thought that I maybe sacrificing some easy SEO by not using the URL with "photobooths" in it.</div><div>
    </div><div>And on another note, I was thinking of capturing guests' names and email addresses when they come to see/download photos after the event...that way I could continually grow an email marketing list. This is what I was thinking...</div><div>
    </div><div>1. Guests go to the URL on the photo strip</div><div>2. They are presented with a form to fill out with name/email to gain access</div><div>3. They immediately gain access but are also sent a welcome email with a link directly to the gallery</div><div>
    </div><div>Something I learned from my days of affiliate/online marketing is that an email marketing list can be a huge contributor to success. I'm sure most people know that already but for those who dont -- get people's email addresses! Even if you don't use them right away, get them.</div>
  • buzzkcphoto
    buzzkcphoto
    What functions of smugmug are you looking for? I hadn't really found a good image gallery that worked as well, and the cost wasn't prohibitive, so ended up using smugmug.

    I have used picasa as a gallery and a plugin called kpicasa to tie it to a specific album or albums.

    I support a friends site that uses wordpress and gallery2. There is a plugin that integrates it with wordpress called WPG2. You can view his gallery here: http://www.grantbond.com/?page_id=320

    There may be some better options for doing light show type of viewing too, we just haven't updated the plugins in a while.

    As for email collection, I've stayed away from it. I did run mailchimp newsletter sign-up for a while, but never got any subscribers, so I've removed it from my website to get some real estate back. We're planning to start some FB campaining soon which I think would be less intrusive, but open to suggestions.

    <strong></strong>
  • carlrez
    carlrez
    <font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Well we did it! The event turned out great...everyone had a blast! This experience was definitely one for the books.</font><div style="font-family: Arial, Verdana;font-size: 10pt;font-style: normal;font-variant: normal;font-weight: normal;line-height: normal">
    </div><div style="font-family: Arial, Verdana;font-size: 10pt;font-style: normal;font-variant: normal;font-weight: normal;line-height: normal">From the time I woke up Friday morning I didn't get any sleep until Saturday afternoon. I literally stayed up 30 hrs straight to get all the loose ends tied up with the booth construction and equipment setup as well as the screens and background for breeze.</div><div style="font-family: Arial, Verdana;font-size: 10pt;font-style: normal;font-variant: normal;font-weight: normal;line-height: normal">
    </div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Around 6:30 am on Saturday I was mentally and physically hitting a brick wall and was *this* close to calling up my buddy and telling him wasn't going to be able to do it...but then I remembered how much his wife and graduating daughter liked the background I had made for her and how much he said she was looking forward to having the booth at her graduation party...I couldn't let them down. So I continued on and managed to figure out the problems I was having.</font></div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">
    </font></div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">I got the booth to the place where the event was going to be held around 9:30. It took about 2 hours to set up. I definitely have some opportunity to streamline the setup process, but I also chock it up to being extremely tired.</font></div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">
    </font></div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">The event started at 12:30 and my wife was there "manning" the booth while I got a couple hours of sleep. I showed up around 3:30 and saw everyone having a great time with the props. I made some pretty good connections there too. There was a wedding planner there that wanted to get some pricing info for me so she could include it in some of her package wedding deals and there was a realtor there who was interested in renting the booth for some corporate events. After talking with them I was so glad I persevered to get it done.</font></div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">
    </font></div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Now that the booth is up and running now I need to focus on the business side, website and photo hosting. I really wanted to avoid using smug mug but for now I may have to just bite the bullet and use it until I can either find what I'm looking for or afford to have it coded and designed.</font><span style="font-family: Arial, Verdana;font-size: small"> </span></div><div><span style="font-family: Arial, Verdana;font-size: small">
    </span></div><div><span style="font-family: Arial, Verdana;font-size: small">We only charged $200 but I still feel like this...</span></div><div><img src="http://min.us/icJBkm.gif"></div><div><span style="font-family: Arial, Verdana;font-size: small">
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  • buzzkcphoto
    buzzkcphoto
    Congrats! Getting out of the gate is half the battle, but when things go smooth like that it's all worth it. Did you get any pics of the booth?
  • carlrez
    carlrez
    I wanted to. I borrowed an extra camera to do so but the guy who I borrowed the camera from needed it back before I was able to take any at the event. I didn't even think to take any with my iPhone...they could have sufficed for now.<div>
    </div><div>We're going to be having a launch party with some friends and family at the house. I'll definitely take some then.</div>
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