We get many requests each year from potential clients asking us to sponsor a photo booth at their fundraiser or event. It's completely understandable, as many of these events are for non-profit organizations. We understand that budgets for events like these are incredibly tight and rely almost wholly on donations.
Many of the clients that contact us don't even know what to ask, so they see our price, hang their heads, and walk away without even trying to get something to work. As an Events Director at The SnapBar, I decided to stop and ask myself why this is. A simple internet search answered my question. Turns out...
THERE IS NO INFORMATION ONLINE ON HOW TO GET A SPONSORED PHOTO BOOTH.
Now, to us in the photo booth world, this seems absolutely absurd! But honestly, I'm not sure how many people have actually asked to be educated on this. So maybe it's not actually all that absurd. With this in mind, I have taken it upon myself to educate you all on the best tips when seeking vendor sponsorship!
Don't be Rachel McAdams. Sometimes it really is that simple! Your first step to getting a sponsored booth is by simply asking. The company may offer a non-profit discount or a sponsorship opportunity! If you ask, they will likely give you an option or two of what they can do for you. If they don't bother, or don't reply at all, they're probably not worth your time anyway!
Don't forget to tell the vendor about the event and what it supports, and make sure you sell it! Showing your passion for the cause will heighten your chances of getting the best deal. And a note-- PLEASE don't copy and paste the event description. We can tell you didn't write it. Make us believe in what you are supporting with your own words!
Another tip is to utilize the event particulars you know, such as your event audience. If your audience is full of event planners, engaged couples, or wealthy elite, for example, let the vendor know. If they know that there is a possibility to gain future business through the guests at your event, they are more likely to take on the cost themselves and sponsor your event.
2. Find A Sponsor
Consider having someone else pay for your photo experience! Photo booths are a gold mine for brand exposure, making for a perfect opportunity for you to find a sponsor and sell them on sponsoring the booth. With nearly all photo booth companies, you can put branding on the prints, the digital images (perfect for social media exposure), and sometimes even the photo booth itself can be branded (check out our Selfie Stand)! Sponsors will eat this up. Not to mention it's a win/win/win situation -- the photo booth company gets paid, you get a free photo booth, and the sponsor gets valuable brand exposure!
Another plus side to this is that you can sell these booths to sponsors for any price you want. Want to pay for half of it on your own and have the other half sponsored? Sell it for a low price. Want a sponsor to cover the whole thing? Sell it at cost. Want your organization to benefit from some of the donations? Sell it for higher than the cost and put the extra money towards your fundraising (think your old Junior High Soccer team raising money by selling Krispy Kremes). The possibilities are endless!
Check out this article for tips on how to sell sponsorships!
3. Ask What You Can Do For Them
In her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg tells a story about a young woman who was applying to work for her. Sheryl had been receiving e-mails and resumes from many applicants telling her of their qualifications and why they should get the job. But this one particular young woman stuck out. You know why? Sheryl continues the story by saying she received an e-mail from the young woman asking, "What is your biggest problem and how can I solve it?" None of the applicants had asked that, and Sheryl was stunned. Instead of listing her qualifications, she wanted to know how she could help. Guess what? She got the job.
Now, I'm not saying that you should ask what the company's biggest problem is and propose a way to fix it. I am simply suggesting that you take a cue from JFK--ask not what your vendor can do for you, ask your vendor what you can do for them. If they are sponsoring your event, the least you can do is ask what you can do for them or offer something in return.
For example, I was recently dealing with a non-profit client who could not afford the whole cost of the photo booth. The client reasoned that our pricing was fair, but they just could not meet the cost. Instead of haggling us down in price, they simply asked, "What can we do for The SnapBar?" They proceeded to list ways to promote our company at the event and on their social media pages.
Something as simple as that can completely convince a company to cut you a deal. Like I said in section 2, companies eat up brand exposure. It goes along with the whole "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" concept.
What do all 3 of these tips have in common?
Effort. Each of these tips will show the company you are asking that you are putting forth the effort.
Respect. These will show the company that you respect their work and time.
Sincerity. These will help show that you are sincere in your efforts and work and not just trying to mooch off of them.
Now that somebody has finally educated you on how to get the best deal on a photo booth for your non-profit, go out there and plan awesome events! If you would like more information on how to ask vendors for sponsorship, check out this article.