Photo booths have become a staple at events of all kinds, from conferences and trade shows to product launches and brand activations. The content created via photo booth activations is used across social media and beyond. Incorporating photo experiences and photo ops into your activations not only provides a fun and interactive experience for attendees, but also offers a unique opportunity for businesses to market their brand and engage with their audience.
In this blog post, we'll dive into 5 of the top trends that are shaping the photo booth and photo op industry in 2023. Whether you're planning an upcoming event or looking for creative marketing ideas, this post is for you!
Trend 1: Virtual Photo Booths At In-Person Events
Virtual photo booths have become a popular alternative to traditional photo booths, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. But what exactly is a virtual photo booth, and how can it work in person? Simply put, a virtual photo booth allows users to take photos and create digital memories without the need for a physical booth or physical props. Instead, users can access the photo booth from their own devices, such as smartphones or tablets, and take photos from anywhere.
The benefits of virtual photo booths are numerous and are rising in popularity for in-person events. First, they are incredibly convenient and accessible. Because users can access the photo booth from their own devices, they don't have to wait in line or worry about sharing props with other attendees. Additionally, virtual photo booths can be customized to fit the specific needs and branding of the event or campaign. They can also be shared easily on social media, allowing for maximum exposure and engagement.
In the following video, our CEO Sam Eitzen lays out 5 ways virtual photo booths can be used in-person and ways clients have used them to engage their in-person and hybrid audiences:
Trend 2: 360 Photo Booths
They seem to be popping up everywhere. You’ve undoubtedly seen examples on social media of 360 photo booths offering their unique and immersive angles. To take a 360 photo, users stand on a rotating platform while the camera captures footage as it spins.
The benefits of 360 photo booths are interesting. On one hand the logistics and space required can be problematic, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing down their growth. What they do offer better than most photo experiences is a unique and engaging experience for attendees, creating ultra memorable and shareable videos that stand out from traditional photo booth images.
Additionally, 360 photo booths offer a range of customization options, allowing businesses to create a branded experience that fits their specific needs and marketing goals.
Trend 3: Augmented Reality Photo Booth Experiences
Augmented Reality (AR) photo booths are a cutting-edge photo experience that combines real-world environments with digital overlays and effects. AR photo booths use advanced technology to superimpose digital elements onto the real world, creating a seamless and interactive experience for users. With the rise of interest in the metaverse across the event landscape, AR photo booths have captured new interest among event producers.
The benefits of AR photo booths are less proven because of how new this trend is. That being said, they offer an unparalleled level of interactivity and engagement for users, creating a very unique experience that stands out from traditional photo booth outputs. But more than that, it’s the experience of an AR photo booth that differs so much from a traditional solution.
Trend 4: Influencer Led Photo Booths, Rooms & Filters
Have you ever taken a photo in front of a colorful mural or quirky installation, only to realize later that it was a clever marketing ploy by an influencer? Welcome to the world of influencer-led photo experiences. These experiences are often created by brands or businesses and sponsored by influencers, who use their social media following to promote the photo opportunity to a wider audience.
One popular example of an influencer-led photo experience is the Museum of Ice Cream, which offers a whimsical and interactive space for visitors to take photos and create memories. The Museum of Ice Cream has been sponsored by a range of influencers, from fashion bloggers to foodies, who use their social media platforms to promote the experience to their followers. The Museum of Ice Cream has been so successful that it has expanded to several locations around the world.
Influencer-led photo experiences can help create buzz and generate excitement around a new product or service, leading to increased sales and brand awareness. They can be a cost-effective marketing strategy too, as they rely on the reach and influence of the sponsoring influencer rather than expensive advertising campaigns.
In a recent example, LA-based photographer Bryant Eslava created a trending photo booth unit (and subsequent filter on Snapchat) which has been used at some of the swankiest events of the past 6 months.
Trend 5: Glam Bot ‘Photo Booths’
What's better than a ‘photo booth’ that makes you look like a million bucks? A glam bot photo booth, that's what! These high-tech photo experiences (they really shouldn’t be called photo booths) use a slow-motion camera to capture every glamorous moment, from hair flips to smoldering gazes.
These videos offer a much more dynamic and engaging form of content than traditional photo booth prints. Glam bot videos capture movement, expression, and personality in a way that traditional photos cannot. Plus, the slow-motion effect adds a touch of glamour and drama that is perfect for events and activations. The resulting videos are a highly engaging way to create memorable content at events and activations.
Another advantage of glam bot videos is their shareability. While traditional photo booth prints might end up in a scrapbook or on a fridge, glam bot videos are the perfect format for social media. Attendees can easily post their videos to Instagram, TikTok, or other social platforms, increasing the exposure and reach of the event or brand behind the photo booth.
Ok, so a quick TLDR on the 5 trends we surfaced:
- Virtual photo booths are becoming really popular for in-person events, allowing users to take photos and create digital memories using their own devices, which is convenient and accessible.
- 360 photo booths are offering unique and immersive angles, creating ultra-memorable and shareable videos that stand out from traditional photo booth content.
- Augmented reality (AR) photo booths are the latest trend, offering an unparalleled level of interactivity and engagement.
- Influencer-led photo experiences, created by businesses and sponsored by influencers, are generating excitement around new products or services, leading to increased sales and brand awareness.
- Glam bot photo booths use a slow-motion camera to create engaging and dynamic videos that capture movement, expression, and personality, which are shareable and perfect for events and activations. They’re becoming more affordable and thus gaining traction in the market at large.
These trends offer businesses a unique opportunity to market their brand, engage with their audience, and create memorable content at events and activations. We’d encourage readers to incorporate these trends into future photo booth experiences and measure the impact they have on the success of event or marketing campaign.