Guest Blogger Susan Hesson
Please welcome Susan Hesson today’s guest Blogger
Two years ago, Cathy asked me if I would work with her on a unique photo booth job at a weekend-long trade show in Nashville. Always up for a road-trip with the best boss ever, I didn’t hesitate to say “YES!” I drove to Cathy’s home in Memphis from New Orleans, and quickly learned this was no ordinary photo booth gig.
Phancy Photo Booth had been contacted by Freemanxp, who were acting as the coordinators of a LinkedIn conference aimed at educating corporate recruiters in using the website to maximize their efforts at identifying top candidates for job positions. Our role was to provide video photo booths that captured booth guests as they moved and used LED light pens to draw and write images. These captures were then turned into printed flipbooks booth guests could take away as a keepsake of the event.
This job required not only specialized photo booth equipment, but also additional personnel and upfront training to ensure a smooth production. As usual, Cathy had hit the ground running, and was coordinating our trip much like the planning of the D-Day invasion at Normandy Beach. In the space of three weeks (did I mention she had three weeks to organize everything?), she had identified and procured additional computers and display screens, acquired the necessary Neon Video Booth software and taught herself to use it, recruited experienced photo booth assistants from her rotating roster of help, and created detailed packing lists and a timeline for every step of each of the five days we were to be at the conference.
She had also located a short-term rental house near the Opryland Hotel (the venue for the conference) for us all to stay in. It turned out to be a fantastic idea, as we all shared cooking and cleaning chores, and basically had a huge slumber party with six women!
Cathy and I loaded all the equipment into her two company vans, and we struck out for Nashville with our trusted staff member Sarah. After a quick stop in Franklin to drop off my little red Dachshund to stay with my sister, we met the rest of the crew at the venue to begin load-in. Our crew included five experienced photo booth assistants, one of whom was Cathy’s sister-in-law, and another was my own daughter! Despite the size of the venue (Opryland covers 120 sprawling acres), we were able to load in the gear quickly and efficiently, thanks to Cathy’s detailed planning and all the hands we had on deck. Our set-up involved five different booths at four separate locations, in order to maximize exposure to conference attendees.
As with every large event, there were logistical hurdles to overcome, but Cathy’s planning and well-honed negotiation skills saw us through every obstacle. With five years’ experience under her belt dealing with customers, Cathy easily identified key contacts who could make the toughest challenges melt away. She gave us our assignments and training, and made sure we had the right equipment and supplies to successfully capture video and convert it to flipbooks.
As with any large event, it wasn’t without hiccups: last minute changes in the event schedule, power drops that suddenly didn’t work, barefoot attendees…but we made it through the week with flying colors. Event attendees were thrilled with the opportunity to play with making light pen videos, and the flipbooks were a real hit. The event planners were blown away by Cathy’s detailed planning. And to be honest, we had the A-team of customer service personnel working.
In the seven years since Cathy started Phancy Photo Booth, this was the largest and most complicated event she’s booked to date. Her vast knowledge of booths and software helped her get the gig; and her detailed planning and training gave us the support we needed to pull it off without a hitch. But this is the top-tier level of service Phancy Photo Booth brings to EVERY event, regardless of the size. Your event is every bit as important to Cathy as a major corporate conference, and the care and detail she will bring to your photo booth experience will show.