5 Unique Photo Experiences for Under $5,000

Written by guest blogger: Danica Giermann - The SnapBar

By now you’ve been to a wedding, corporate event, holiday party or retail space that has a photo booth. They’re everywhere and really fun and the perfect thing for saving memories. But too many of these photo booth experiences look or do exactly the same thing. What do you do when the basics are hanging out at every booth activation and the really custom stuff just costs too much? How do you create an impressive experience with a standard budget? Let us help you out! We’ve put together 5 ideas on how to make your photo experience unique for under $5,000.

5) Multi-Booth Activation ($1,790 - $3,580)

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One way to make a photo experience stand out is to use different backdrops and scenery.

And one of the best ways to do that is multiple photo booths set up in different locations. Because, let’s be real, you forked out a good chunk of change for that venue. Why not show it off?

Also, you’ll get the chance to spread out the photo love and not bog down a single area of your event with lines, so it’s a win-win! (by the way, The SnapBar’s Selfie Stands are awesome for this!)

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4) Add Life-Size Props ($1,500+)

Everyone loves props. They give people ideas for how to pose and something to do with their hands, which helps them relax and have fun in a photo booth.

And while it can be a good thing (after all, everyone loves the mustaches and lips) a lot of props end up looking the same in every photo activation.

So why not supersize your props for a unique take?

We love the idea of a massive wine bottle, human-size popsicle, or huge logo that people can pose with/against/behind.


Our friends at Foam Fab are great at making giant foam props from wine bottles to abstract art and beyond, life-size props are a hit for photo booths.

3) Floral Background ($4,000+)

So, a huge photo trend right now is the flower wall. They make photos look fabulous and add a touch of beauty to your typical photos.

But if you’ve looked into them at all, you’ll know they’re CRAZY expensive.

So how do you get the same look for less?

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Well, one thing The SnapBar did recently was work with Sublime Stems to create a custom shelved backdrop, then add over 200 potted plants to the shelves. Was it tedious? Yes. Was it as intense as adding a few thousand roses to create a backdrop? No.

The backdrop itself was just under $4,000 and adding a quality photo booth camera with a skilled attendant ended up being just over $5,000. But making the backdrop a cell phone selfie stop where people use their own mobile phones is always a fun, and inexpensive, option!

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It ended up adding a beautiful aesthetic and was much less expensive than the solid wall of flowers! (Plus, a number of people used the plants as props, so that was fun!)

2) Set Design ($2,500+)

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Set design is one of the top photo experiences for 2019. People are going far beyond just a simple backdrop and we’re loving it.

One of the best parts about set design is that it can be as simple or extreme as you’d like.

This is one of the favorite designs The SnapBar has worked on. The pillows were great props and the bright colors worked really well in photos.

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You don’t have to go that over-the-top with set design, even though it’s really fun! If you have a more restricted budget, why not do a custom backdrop of an intricate setting and include some furniture, a couch, or something basic and themed to the mix?

That’s what this Harry Potter themed event did and the photos, while simple, were stunning

1) Gel Lighting ($1,500-$2,500)

One of the easiest ways to transform your photo booth experience from ordinary to remarkable and take the mood-level up a notch is to customize it with gel lighting.

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The creative team at The SnapBar can masterfully mix your choice of colors to make the photo booth output an edgy and beautiful concoction of your brand colors or event theme!

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Do you have another idea or dream you’d like to make happen in a photo experience? Are you not sure how to make it work with your budget? Let us know! The SnapBar has a lot of experience making photo dreams a reality. We’d love to work with you!

Event Wellness

“The wellness trend began by offering healthier meal options but has now blossomed into an entire culture for events. As people’s personal values are developing and they become more mindful in their personal lives, their expectations for meetings and conferences are changing as well. Incorporating them into the event atmosphere is necessary to maintain a competitive edge over others trying to ride the wellness trend.”

— Event Manager Blog

Wellness is more than a trend.  It’s a lifestyle choice for many because it fuels success in our fast-paced and demanding industry. 

With that in mind, this year NWES will provide a wellness pavilion dedicated to supporting attendees’ optimum experience. Wellness today goes beyond lunch salads to aim for balance in diet, rest and play. And, it’s a concept the smartest event planners are adding to their events.  

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The NWES schedule this year makes room for attendees to refresh between sessions, network with new and old contacts, play games, solve puzzles or simply hydrate in a comfortable chair to absorb all the new ideas they’ve gained from education sessions and exhibits. You’ll learn from experience the value wellness elements can add to any event.

Mindfullness Lounge

Mental wellness moments give attendees a quiet space to slow down, reflect on what they’ve learned and plan their next moves.  This can be done with a dedicated area amid the bustle of an event, with special exercises aimed at mental well-being and with programming that shifts mental focus to create headspace for creativity to bloom. Attendees leave these sessions ready to be fully engaged in the event.

Interactive Activities

Team building games give attendees something to do while they grow trust with strangers and acquaintances. People connect in ways that foster productive collaboration, and that is the lasting value attendees seek from an event. The impact of a challenging puzzle solved as a group can transport attendees from contacts to colleagues. 

Enhance the Food Onsite

Never underestimate the power of food to enhance, even drive the success of an event. When the food is good the impression lasts.  The food at this year’s NWES Keynote breakfast will include the ‘traditional’ fare of pastries and sweets, and it will offer attractive options that truly nourish.  As fuel for success, healthy food is direct, and it starts attendees’ off with energy to enrich the rest of their day. It’s important to reinforce the well-being of attendees with dietary restrictions as well by offering a variety of foods that support their needs. This sends the message that you care about all those who attend your event. 

We all know wellness is a trend that has evolved into a multi-trillion dollar industry. In our community of corporate events this notion of healthy balance may seem difficult to achieve.  However, small and large changes can add up to create a space for the attendee to better absorb the volumes of information they’re accessing and to connect more effectively with those around them. 

These aspects of meetings are becoming more important as comprehensive wellness gains traction in the world of business success. Quiet space, nutritious food, community building, and unique programming can connect attendees more effectively and allow for wellness to be at the forefront of your events. 

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See the complete article at: https://www.eventmanagerblog.com/wellness-event-ideas

EventMB is the first resource online for event professionals around the world. Founded by Julius Solaris, international speaker, author and former social media consultant for global brands. EventMB has become the go-to online resource for Trends, Technology, Innovation and Education for the event industry. Thousands of event professionals from around the globe read EventMB daily.

10 Reasons to Exhibit at NWES

In November, NWES is providing two full days of new technologies, upcoming trends, powerful speakers and industry leading ideas all under one roof. Become an exhibitor today to be a part of the largest event industry trade show and gain access to thousands of trade professionals as they gear up for 2020. Here are 10 reasons why you cannot miss #NWES2019! 

1. Promote your product or service to an engaged audience.

Research suggests one face-to-face interaction has the impact of over 30 emails. Our expo floor this year will host event, marketing and business professionals eager to experience your brand.  

2. Meet 4,000+ corporate meeting and event planners.

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As an exhibitor or sponsor of NWES, you’ll  meet in person with countless event professionals throughout the week. Our attendees are your market, and they are all in one place at NWES. 

3. Advertise in our Butler Events 2020 Event Resource Guide.

We distribute more than 5,000 copies to event planners, businesses executive assistants, and their clients. Our event guides go to all registered NWES attendees. And, each exhibitor gets a comprehensive web listing on ButlerEvents.com. 

4. Showcase all your new services and event features.

NWES is the perfect opportunity to illustrate what your business is originating in 2020. It is a chance to highlight your business and generate direct ROI from new clients.

5. Meet face-to-face with event planners and develop new business opportunities.

In attendance at NWES this year are top planners from regional businesses including everything from boutique enterprises to medium sized corporations, Microsoft, Amazon and every group that uses events to reach their business goals. Leading professionals are more frequently returning to the power of personal relationships as a vital part of business success. We in the events community believe in the power of face to face interactions in concert with technology. 

6. Network with familiar faces and develop new leads for your business.

There is almost no opportunity as wide as a showroom floor to gather potential customers. They are ready and eager to learn innovative event techniques and develop new connections. You can be that exciting new connection when you come with your elevator pitch honed to engage attendees in the few seconds it takes them to walk past your exhibit. 

7. Engage with industry and other partners to illuminate your product or service.

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Personal interaction builds our professional tribes and grows our businesses. We at NWES work to create an environment where you not only meet event planners, but you also get to showcase your products and services to other exhibitors, your potential partners. 

8. Support the Northwest Event Community. 

The Northwest is a very special community of event and meeting planners. Come to NWES to get to know the creative forces, new and seasoned faces that make up this industry in our area. We think the group we attract will embrace all the resources available to them. If you miss the show they just might miss all you have to offer. 

 9. Two Days to Exhibit 

With two full days there is more time for our attendees to slow down and explore the entire showroom floor. This works for you as an  exhibitor to cultivate stronger leads from potential customers who may have rushed through a one-day show. 

10. Educational Experience

This year we have advanced our educational programming to include Julius Solaris, Founder and Editor of  EventMB.com. Julius is the keynote speaker at NWES who’ll headline the many other industry leaders at the show. With our advancement in education we enhance our exhibitors’ opportunities as well by ensuring the audience includes business leaders as well as event professionals. 

Sustainable Event Planning

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As the momentum around sustainability grows, NWES is taking the time to think about the impact our show has on the environment. There are so many incredible ideas and new things happening in the area of event sustainability that we are striving to be better and hope we can inspire you to do so as well.

The average person produces 1.89KG of waste at a conference according to meetgreen.com.  That means our 4,000 attendees on the NWES showroom floor would generate roughly 7,560KGs of waste in a single day. That’s a lot of waste! If every person that walks through the showroom door -- producer, exhibitor or attendee -- made even small changes, those small changes could make a huge difference in reducing our impact on the planet.

In honor of Earth Day, we have compiled some easy changes you can use in your events to make the world a little greener. A strategy is key: You won’t be able to track or make tangible progress on a more sustainable event without knowing some places that can become environmentally friendlier. It is important to note that it only takes one person within your team or company to make a small yet overwhelmingly positive change. If one person takes charge of sustainability as you plan an event, they can easily create swaps you can add to every event and avoid slipping back into old habits. 

The environmental impact can be significant when everyone makes small, or better yet, big changes!

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Here are some proven strategies:

  • Setting up recycling (maybe even composting in cities where this is an option) can cut down on what ends up being sent to a landfill.

  • Decide when planning for an event if you will only hand out extra goodies to your VIPs, strong leads or other pre-selected groups to ensure the items have value for both you and your clients to prevent unnecessary discards. As an attendee, take only what you will use.

  • Embrace digital content distribution for your event. Extra handouts and reminders not only create more trash, they become burdens for your attendees to carry around.

  • Handing out business cards can be an excellent tool, however,  gathering information via QR codes can also be effective in gathering potential client information. It produces no waste and it’s harder to lose those contacts.

  • Think outside the box. Use recycled or up-cycled materials to create a display or booth that can incorporate reusable key elements for the next booth or another project altogether.

  • Focus your booth on the attendee experience rather than what you can hand them.

  • Choose to host your events in a LEED certified building.

  • When you and your team are going to events, coordinate a carpool, take the bus or the train if possible. This year Butler Seattle will provide eco-friendly transportation by offering a shuttle service from key Seattle locations and surrounding areas to and from the NWES.

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Thinking green doesn’t have to be overwhelming or a stumbling block to creating fabulous booths and incredible events. Inspiration is essential in our industry, and we would love to hear about the changes you have made to be more sustainable. Add your comments below about the changes you’ve made for an event, or tell us about a new eco-friendly product you love. Every ‘green’ event inspires more green events and less waste. We are in the perfect position to gently shift our clients and our community toward a greener, cleaner, future.

Habits of a Successful Event Manager

Written by guest blogger: Victoria Blasich of Freemind Seattle

Event planning is not about hosting parties, well sometimes it is. In fact, there are so many different types of events that not all event planners and managers are the right fit for each one. Take our team at Freemind Seattle, we are a well-oiled machine when it comes to planning and executing events both large and small, at a corporate level. Whether our clients are smaller companies of 100 employees, or huge multinational tech companies tipping over the 100,000 employees mark, we’ve seen and experienced it all. And more importantly, we know what can make or break an event planner. That is why it is so important to understand not only the basics of event planning, but the types of events that need planning. This ensures we have the right skills to own our lane. In other words, don’t promise what you can’t deliver. While we excel at tradeshows and conferences, we know a cowboy themed wedding is better suited for the real wedding professionals.

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Here are a few traits that we see in our favorite industry professionals. Do you have what it takes to be a successful event manager? Or maybe we should ask; Do you know what kind of event planner you want to be? Either way, there are basic skills that anyone in the event industry needs to have.

 

 

The Basics: Core Skills that Anyone in Event Planning Should Have

 

Take charge: Events won't run themselves. Which is why your client hired you. Everything from building your team, to managing volunteers, to leading your hired vendors and greeting your guests. You and your team are on point to make this event a success from the moment you begin brainstorming to the moment your client walks out of the venue for the final time. Every decision should be made with authority. No matter a planned decision or one that is made on the fly, go with your gut. If you know your client will be pleased with the decision, it’s probably the right move.

Time & budget management skills: Events currently are all about doing more with less. Less money, less time, less space. Event managers often face short lead times and have very little room for error (both figuratively and literally). This is especially true onsite at events when planners must strategically use the little time and money they have to fix issues before attendees notice or the issue affects the entire event.

 

Excellent communication & personal skills: The success or failure of events often depends on the ability of the people involved to communicate effectively. A great event planner will be able to talk to people on the phone, in person, and in writing to gather and disseminate all the necessary information they may need. You may also need to adjust how you communicate to best fit with your client and their needs. Ensure that you always provide a pleasant, approachable and confident tone when communicating via email. It is the one method of communication that we take for granted. And often times fall habit to quick responses rather than a thoughtful reply. Knowing how to anticipate what others will need, even if it’s just bringing your client a glass of water or reminding them to sit, will make a big impact.

 

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Don’t sweat the small stuff:  You do not need to be “Type A” or “OCD” to be an event planner. Being “particular” instead of a “perfectionist” allows event planners to roll with the punches and changes that are bound to happen at any event. Attention to detail is necessary, that is true, but sometimes you must let the small stuff go! Remember the overall focus and objective is the most important part of any event. Plus, you are the only one who will notice if a last-minute change was made.

 

A calm sense of urgency:  Things will go wrong, that is a given. Don’t be surprised when something doesn’t arrive or gets delivered to the wrong location, a sign is spelled wrong, something breaks, someone is late…etc. Keep your cool and use your mental toolbox to address and remedy the situation. An event planner can solve huge issues with a smile and keep everyone else calm so as not to cause more stress. When in doubt, just channel some Vanilla Ice... “If there’s a problem, yo’ I’ll solve it”

 

 

Additional Traits: Not required, but strongly desired...

 

Find your balance: Take your job seriously, take your client seriously, take the attendees seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously…Have fun, make friends!  Stay professional; but remember to enjoy yourself. Your stress free attitude will rub off on your clients. Allow yourself some time to laugh and vent and relax after the event.

 

Build your team:  A strong support system will do so much for your mental state and effectiveness in event planning and management. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to your team. It will give your team sense of ownership and help you stay on track and sane. Find people that have different skill sets than you, so that your weakness is their strength and vice versa.

 

Always be learning: The only constant in this world is change. There is new tech, new products, new anything and everything coming out every day! Are you excited? You should be! Don’t get too comfortable or rely on what you’ve done before. A great event planner is always aware and ready to learn a new tool, work with a new team and try something new.

Freemind Seattle is a boutique marketing agency focused on creating distinctive marketing campaigns and impactful event strategy to help you connect with your customers in cool and unusual ways. We’ve managed events from small corporate seminars from 100 people to vast industry tradeshows with over 30,000 attendees. We craft our approach in-house and can work with any team of vendors to build a cohesive and effective event.

Melissa Bathum & Kori Monson – Partners at Freemind Seattle

Victoria Blasich- Event Marketing Manager

Not Your Average Trade Show

Written by Emily Pollock of Butler Seattle

The power of personal contact is unparalleled in the world of business. Trade shows are a routine practice for many industries to showcase products and services to fellow professionals, and in some cases the general public. The Northwest Event Show (NWES) is an industry favorite attracting event & meeting professionals to the largest trade show of its kind in the region for more than 25 years. The show also draws a huge crowd of non-industry professionals seeking inspiration for the elements in their own world that so naturally crossover into ours.

 

Photo- Alabastro Photography

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I recall the first year I ran into familiar faces from my father’s office at the NWES, maybe 10 or 12 years ago. His career was in the nonprofit healthcare sector, so our meeting was totally unexpected and, as it turned out, a fortuitous connection for both sides! Their team happened to be searching for a location for their annual board meeting and my venue was the perfect fit. The relationship formed on the show floor resulted in a new regular client for the venue, and a new corporate donor for the organization. Every year since I’ve looked forward to seeing some of those same faces returning to the show, looking for their next inspiration.

 

What made this interaction remarkable is these were not event planners; they were the administrators, the executive assistants, and the human resource managers who collectively influenced every aspect of their business. They are not event industry professionals, but they are expected to plan and execute meetings, team building events and holiday parties. They are creating incentive programs for sales teams. They are booking travel and accommodations for executives. They are seeking the best professionals and services in our field to support their own business objectives to be successful in theirs.

 

Photo- Alabastro Photography

Photo- Alabastro Photography

The NWES provides our local talent the opportunity to rise to the occasion and put Seattle’s innovative and contemporary reputation center stage with the event industry. Already the industry’s most prominent trade show in this part of the country, the NWES has expanded to a two-day event offering educational seminars & workshops and face-to-face networking with far more individuals than a year of hopeful happy hour mingling.

 

This is one event we as Seattle professionals cannot afford to miss, and as this year’s program highlights are unveiled it’s becoming clear – this is not your average trade show.

Building Your Network:  It’s Just Good Business.

Written by guest blogger: Janet McNaughton - President, Lasting Impressions

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Last Spring, Janet presented at a workshop for exhibitors of the Northwest Event Show. In her introductory story was an idea that can radically expand your business prospects in a matter of months.

“What do Paul Revere and William Dawes have in common, and what is the business lesson?” she asked.

Paul Revere and William Dawes both rode the night of April 18, 1775 to sound the alarm that the “red coats” were coming. However, Paul Revere is the only one who raised a militia and is famous for his effort. What could possibly account for the difference?

The answer:  Paul Revere was an “information broker.” (Read the article in The Harvard Business Review.)

One of the more interesting details of the legendary midnight ride is Revere knew whom to alert. He had helped organize the intelligence and alarm system. When the British launched their boats in the Charles River, two lanterns were lit in the Old North Church, and over thirty additional riders covered the territory along the route.

An information broker is a “connector,” one of the three types of influencers mentioned by Malcolm Gladwell in his first book, Tipping Point.  

Connectors influence by their associations. They are “natural hubs.” They are, in other words, great networkers.  

Fortunately, networking is a powerful business advantage anyone can learn. It’s just good business for all professionals regardless of professional expertise. The three key advantages are:

  • Private Information:  Networkers trust each other and share key market information that is not accessible publicly.

  • Access to Diverse Skillsets:  The smartest thing you can do to achieve the next level of success, is to get help from somebody who has a skill you lack.

  • Power. Our natural “tribes” are clustered. A networker can link these clusters, creating exponential connection growth for everyone in the system. This concept is core to the Lasting Impressions Face2FaceX for driving business. 

Are you an Information Broker? To diagnose your network, fill in the attached grid.

Networking Styles

If over 65% of your brokers are “me,” you are falling prey to a couple of common tendencies:

Self Similarity

We all tend to start there. We are drawn to people like ourselves, who make everything easier. We already understand each other and the environment we share. It’s efficient to rely on this group. Unfortunately, we’re likely to keep getting the same results by limiting ourselves to the same comfortable resources.

Proximity Principle

Similarly, most of us associate with the people we bump into in the course of our day.  They are our coworkers, neighbors, family, old school friends, and a few others we know because of our kids. They are on our normal route through life.

To ramp up your ability to become an information broker, cultivate powerful brokers and reciprocate by becoming an influencer yourself. The secret:

Shared Activity Principle

Stated simply, get involved. A networking activity should be something that matters to the participants. They will already be committed to the activity and eager to join you as you work toward a common goal. You will build trust by being sincere, reliable, and effective. You will meet people outside your cluster of associates and find ways to link people with others in increasingly widening circles, who share their goals. By associating closely with people outside your “self similarity” circle, you will absorb diverse perspectives that will inform great business decisions and accelerate your networking capacity.  

To bring the proximity principle home to your next team meeting, consider giving everyone a useful double-sided business card holder or a notepad.

Double Sided Business Card Case, 1-Color & 4-Color TucNotes, 2-Sleeve Business Card Case

Even better, how about hosting an event to draw a wide range of guests from a shared activity you become involved with? Sporting events and tailgating are a great way to mix business with fun!

BBQ Cooler Kit and Portable Charcoal Kit

At Lasting Impressions, we believe in the business partnership philosophy “better together.“ Networking is at the heart and soul of “Face2FaceX”, the concept of expanding your personal, or “face to face” impact exponentially.  

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Thank you Lasting Impressions for our blog content! Interested in connecting with Janet? Janet@lastingimpressionsgifts.net

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