SB EP 76 - Booking for the Holidays


Ismail: [00:00:00] Coming up on Super Boothers the holidays are coming. Ryan and I discuss what you should be doing to prepare for the holiday season and book holiday events if you haven't already. 

Ismail: [00:00:12] Stay tuned. 

Ismail: [00:00:17] Are you struggling to fill your calendar with events? Stop letting your photo booths collect dust on the weekends. Google Ads is one of the most effective ways to acquire customers. It's how I get the majority of my business. We've created a program especially for photo boothers that show you how you can use Google ads to fill up your calendar. Check it out at 

Ryan: [00:00:59] Hello and welcome to Super Boothers. My Name is Ryan. 

Ismail: [00:01:02] I am. Ismail. You got to mix it up and keep all people on their toes. 

Ryan: [00:01:12] So I don't listen to that many podcasts which is probably really bad for me. 

Ryan: [00:01:15] But there is this one in this one podcast that I would love to tell you the name. However it's really vulgar so I really can't. But she she introduces her podcast in a very not nice way. 

Ismail: [00:01:32] We wouldn't go that far. 

Ryan: [00:01:36] I wish I could though becuase there are some people that need to be yelled at. 

Ismail: [00:01:38] Think of the children, Ryan. 

Ryan: [00:01:38] The children. The children. So this is the thing is I,I get asked a lot of questions on a daily basis and I'm happy to help. However what I really can't don't understand and I can't comprehend is people come to me asking me for help and then they're like why would you do that. That's okay. Well don't ask me that. You came to me. You're the one listening to the show. I didn't go knock on your door, put headphones in your ears, and turn up the volume on Super Boothers. 

Ismail: [00:02:09] You'd be surprised how often that happens in general and life. Like people ask for advice. They come to you and then it just don't. They basically just wanna have you tell them what they want to hear and when you're down they don't they dont want to listen to you. 

Ryan: [00:02:21] You know I am happy to do that for money. So if you would like to make an appointment at You are more than welcomed. 

Ismail: [00:02:30] Have you seen that movie The Terminal. 

Ryan: [00:02:32] Yeah. With Tom Hanks. 

Ismail: [00:02:34] Yes you're remind me of that Indian guy...the Cleaning guy he's always just like, "Do you have an appointment?" 

Ismail: [00:02:42] You're always pitching these appointments. 

Ryan: [00:02:44] I'm not pitching it's just it's it's just a reality. 

Ismail: [00:02:48] Do you have an appointment? 

Ryan: [00:02:49] ::in accent:: Do you have an appointment? 

Ismail: [00:02:49] Great Movie. It's an awesome movie. I actually think it's on Netflix. :: Netflix theme:: I love my little button. I can't stop. I actually don't think it is on Netflix but I just love my little button. 

Ismail: [00:03:05] It's a great movie. Check it out. 

Ryan: [00:03:06] Speaking of. 

Ismail: [00:03:07] Based on a true story...true story. 

Ryan: [00:03:08] I got another little button so I talk about a lot on this show my Philips Hue lights and they are available in the in the show notes so you can see which ones I purchased. However I was talking with Ismail about how whenever I recorded out of the house whenever we don't record in the studio and actually have a studio session coming up so I'm a little excited for that one. 

Ismail: [00:03:32] Those are fun days for sure. 

Ryan: [00:03:33] Studio sessions are the absolute best because like Ismail and I we do this virtually so we don't get to see each other or bounce off one another. I mean we bounce off one another a little bit but we don't get to see body language. I don't get to like point to him like it's just a different dynamic whenever we're in the studio. 

Ismail: [00:03:51] So you're saying you want to see my body language and point? 

Ryan: [00:03:54] Yeah absolutely. Because I can be like hello. Say something. Go. come on? Hurry. You have things to do now. So anyways one thing that you talk about in the show is mu Phillips Hue lights. I have my Philips Hue lights connected to legitimately everything. For example whenever I get a lead... I'm all about visual cues and I think that more people are visual people than most. Would you agree with that? 

Ismail: [00:04:15] Yes. Are. It's also why reading is actually quite visual you see the words and it's so for some people they like to write things down or read them to have it more engrained in their mind. 

Ryan: [00:04:28] I'm a little I do everything on a computer digitally except for my calendar my calendar is handwritten. There is just something very cathartic about writing something down in a calendar on a specific date. Like that's just me. I'll try. 

Ismail: [00:04:45] I don't like to manually. 

Ryan: [00:04:47] I could never do it electronically. The alerts? I have to be where? I have 15 minutes to get there? Now It tells me driving directions. No. That is far too much. I'm going to get in a wreck looking at like some sort of random alert coming through. 

Ismail: [00:04:59] By the way people are really upset about you doing a live videos while driving. 

Ryan: [00:05:02] First of all, I am not holding the stupid phone in my hand. 

Ryan: [00:05:06] It is attached to my car. It is no different than if you were sitting in the car in the car next to me. Calm it down you know it was just the other day I was on the phone and this person starts like honking at me and they're like get out of my... 

Ryan: [00:05:20] I'm like I'm on the phone here. Hello how rude? 

Ismail: [00:05:23] That's not going to win you any more fans, Ryan. 

Ryan: [00:05:25] So Mother whenever whenever. I just got my my license she asked me she's like, Ryan do you drink and drive? And I'm like No I drink at stop signs and red lights. 

Ismail: [00:05:42] I hope the kids are already in school 

Ryan: [00:05:42] Stay in school. 

Ryan: [00:05:47] No. So what was I talking about. I completely forgot where was I. 

Ismail: [00:05:51] Philips Hue Lights? 

Ryan: [00:05:53] Oh yes. Sorry continue. So my Philips HUe Lights I talk how for example whenever I get a lead. So they're connected to one of my forms whenever lead comes in it sends a trigger to the Philips lights and they blink. I'm a very visual person so I like that if I'm working you know yeah. If you're working you can kind of see like a little notification pop up or you kind of see something your phone. But for me if when I'm in my office I like to have the lights blink that way I had that visual cue "Hey I need to get on this right now". Another thing is and I have a blog on this that I'll post as well on the show notes. Whenever I get a payment the light turns green. I've actually changed it and it turns purple. But just because I got sick of seeing green so much. First world problem. Yes. So I'm really excited that I got this new little toy. So what it is it's called. I think it's called a Philips tap. It's like a three little button thing that doesn't require any batteries. It's wireless. It connects to your your Hue bridge. So for example what I have now is whenever I was going to get one of those lights outside we talked about my Uncle Jesse light. 

Ismail: [00:07:04] Yes. 

Ryan: [00:07:05] That will turn red when I record now what I do is I pushed one button and every single light, one light every room will turn red. 

Ryan: [00:07:15] To let everyone know in the house that I'm recording. 

Ismail: [00:07:18] Yeah, I need one of those. 

Ryan: [00:07:20] Do you like. Do you think you respond well to visual cues like that? 

Ismail: [00:07:25] I don't think it makes no difference to me personally. 

Ryan: [00:07:28] I just think it's really motivating. Like just to like be working on something and to see the light turn green light that's just really motivating to me. 

Ismail: [00:07:37] I guess I'm more old school where, I don't really care. 

Ismail: [00:07:42] I have to wait for the check on them and the lights three yellow green just put the light on and let me get to work. I'm working over here. 

Ryan: [00:07:49] Whatever you're just not so technical. That's it anyways. Today. So today we're talking about holiday parties. 

Ismail: [00:07:58] Yes. The holidays around the corner and I know Ryan you've said. For weeks now like, that's actually months that you said in June that you should be booking your holiday parties now. 

Ryan: [00:08:10] Yeah well you should've been in back in the summer. 

Ismail: [00:08:13] So yes. Is it too late now. 

Ryan: [00:08:15] No it is not too late now. Now now is the time to where you really can focus on you know really filling out the holiday calendar because now is what is today October 3rd? It is such an important time right now to finish out your November and December calendars. and I'm talking weekday stuff not necessarily just weekend. 

Ismail: [00:08:34] Now, Do you have? I'm Curious for your experience do you really have to hunt , not huny but do you have to book a lot of events, new events for the holidays because what I've found it's not really a stressful time of year because it's all the same people booking events again. 

Ryan: [00:08:49] If you didn't screw up the year prior. 

Ismail: [00:08:51] Yeah but like I have that I have a family that has a big Halloween party. And for example they book us every year for many many years now and all the corporate holiday parties for the for the holiday season. It's the same people that have been using us for many years in a row and they just come in like clockwork like in the summer. I don't even reach out to them. Can we lock in our date can we can we book and I just pay in full? In the summer... And it's it's amazing. I love it. 

Ryan: [00:09:22] So this is something that I need everyone to do right now is reach out to go to everything that you did last year. Every single party November December if you if you want to print it out, print everything out. Go through what happened last year. Do we do a good job? Is the contact still there and start reaching out to those people this year. I want you to keep a running tab of all these events that you're doing on a sheet of paper. Or do it on an e-mail or whatever. But my point is you should have your ongoing list on a sheet of paper. Save it for next June whenever June hits start reaching out to that list that you're creating this year. And in what you're doing is you're just kind of like solidifying it rather than having to like oh I don't remember which ones we did you know did we do this person did we. What did we do for the output. Write all those notes down on a sheet of paper say that sheet of paper for next June. That way when June rolls around you have your call sheet ready to go for the holidays. 

Ismail: [00:10:24] Yeah. That to me says that people should be taking this time of year seriously and that I shouldn't have to say that because at least for me this is the moneymaking season. Like it's it's it's not even any comparison to the rest of the year for me personally the holiday season is crazy. So you should be taking it seriously and doing something like what Ryan said in order to get ahead of it as much as you can. 

Ryan: [00:10:49] What sort of like outputs will you do for the holidays? Well you like repeat the same one or will you kind change it up. 

Ismail: [00:10:55] You know that's something that we've touched on a few times. I would love to do something new. But what I found with my corporate clients that they just want the same thing that they want the same strips. Give me the four by six. Same thing as last year. So for the older corporate clients it's very hard for me to transition them over. And I've actually roped Ryan into some of these conversations. I show them the e-mails and he kind of coaches me on what to say. And they still don't change so I've kind of given up on that. But for the new clients I do try to do some new fun things. That's one thing also I'm actually ask you because you've probably booked a lot of your holiday parties already. Do you see any trends this year? 

Ryan: [00:11:40] For holiday every single holiday party that I'm doing this year is doing something completely different than they did last year. But there is one event that. Gosh I love this event and I'll post it whenever it actually happens. I think it's at the end of this month. However they do. It's large charity dinner. Last year they did. The theme was rebirth and there was a 15 foot Phoenix entirely made out of flowers. It was just the most gorgeous thing. So what I mean by like Phoenix is like the bird with fire.If you've seen Harry Potter, you know. However just they did a lot of fireworks. We did the drone, I did the drone through the fireworks. Last year we were hit and I said to the client last year I said next year we need to do two. She said Okay so what I did was I set myself up last year for this year. So this year everything was legitimately doubled. They gave me a primo spot. I was in their very first meeting they said what do you want to do. And I got to have first dibs of literally everything like where I was at. You know the type of output that we did all of it. So again that one is coming in later on this month. 

Ismail: [00:13:03] And an example like that makes me think to the client directly or are you working with an agency? 

Ryan: [00:13:08] So this one I actually got through the caterer. And I did it last. Last year was the first year. This event has been going on for 40 years or so. This year they've brought on a DMC to kind of handle like all of the details. 

Ryan: [00:13:27] So that's the kind of new dynamic for this year which is a nightmare because you know too many cooks not enough chefs. Every e-mail has seven people on it and it's difficult because actually I've sent three e-mails to three different people saying hey listen who's gonna pay this bill. Like please let me know who this needs to be directed to. And that's the only difficult part. There someone that asked me you know oh Ryan when are we going to get the questionnaire. I was like when you give me money. And they're like oh we'll work on that for you. So that's the kind of stuff that's a little bit difficult whenever there's that many people involved in planning. Granted that's not usually normal. And then another party that I'm doing were doing some fun stuff. I won't say what we're doing just yet but they are doing they are spending money. They I was actually in that meeting. They were having live sushi station that they cut for me to have more money in the photo budget which was nice. 

Ismail: [00:14:31] The interesting thing that I'd want to get your input on. We've had some parties and I wonder if other people have the same experience where it's crazy. It's like circus performers coming down from the ceiling was all these huge things more like it's it's crazy what they're doing for these holiday parties. But they still see the photo booth as just a photo booth. And even when you try to position it as something different or make it something better they don't want to engage in that conversation. Have you ever been in a position like that. 

Ryan: [00:15:01] No, I'm a little bit more forceful when it comes to that. 

Ismail: [00:15:05] Again. I've just had experience with some of these clients that they just don't. They just what what it was last year. So again I guess. 

Ryan: [00:15:14] But how do you pitch it. Even say like hey listen we got this new anything this year blah blah blah blah blah blah 

Ismail: [00:15:20] Yes. And you helped me do this. 

Ryan: [00:15:22] I don't think you're as dynamic as I am. 

Ismail: [00:15:25] Maybe I think you know what I think that you have a way of building these relationships with these people that not everyone can imitate. 

Ryan: [00:15:34] Yaaaaaasssss. 

Ismail: [00:15:34] I can't do that. See. I would lose the gig right there. 

Ryan: [00:15:39] You really would. You Know that's a really thing that really funny thing because I've always had some clients that have said like the only reason they do stuff is just because of like my attitude or what have you. I just think it's so flippin funny. 

Ismail: [00:15:55] So what you're telling people now is to reach out to people who booked you last year. Now I would I would maybe throw in a different idea to take this a step further or I don't know if you would agree with this Ryan but not only do you go to people who booked you last year. But also to people who inquired for a holiday party last year that didn't book you for whatever reason. 

Ryan: [00:16:14] Yeah. I'm not sure we keep track of that. I mean I do keep track of it. I'm not sure I would be. That's difficult for me to do. 

Ismail: [00:16:22] Why is that? 

Ryan: [00:16:23] I don't think my CRM lets me. 

Ismail: [00:16:26] Oh no, Ryan. That is something that is something that you should do because there's no real downside or cost to doing it. So it's I got a very low risk high reward type of thing. So not now. In my experience it doesn't really result in that many bookings right. Because odds are that in book you last year they booked somebody else or they just decided not to do it. But it's no real risk to doing so. It's not real cost of doing it. And even if it results in one or two events it's just it's a huge ROI on your effort. So it doesn't hurt to do it if there's an easy way for you to go about doing it. 

Ryan: [00:17:03] Sure, One thing that I would suggest doing is put a little like header, or a pop up or something on your website that says Hey listen are you planning your holiday party? I think that that is kind of engaging the visitor to your website to where if that does pertain to them they're going to be so curious as to click it. And I would come up with a package that includes you know let's do let's just say we're doing green screen let's just say green screen is your thing. Come up with three different you know vignettes or what have you of you know a snowball or a snow globe or you know snow falling or a Santa in a fireplace or ...I don't know whatever you want to come up with and have them choose from one of those options say listen this is included your logo gets put on all this stuff. You know it's it's already done for you. Corporate people love packaging stuff. They just like it all done for them. See if you can like curate four different looks you're sure to be able to have a client that will be able to respond to one of them. 

Ismail: [00:18:10] What about people that are starting out newer boothers that are getting worried that they don't have a lot of books events and they don't have a lot from last year to rely on. Is there any advice you'd give to them on how to book how you would.... 

Ryan: [00:18:26] I would love for you to use Google Ads. It is available at 

Ismail: [00:18:33] But seriously if you ask me and that's how that's how I've gotten so all of my corporate holiday events are corporate events in general I've gotten either through Google ads or I just happened to do an event for somebody who was an event planner. I Did a wedding for someone she loved us so much and she was a huge event planner in the city that we do very large events for. But that was kind of luck....just by doing a lot of events. You get to have those opportunities. But you for me it's through Google Ads. 

Ryan: [00:19:01] Yeah I would absolutely consider that. I think that's kind of like the best way to literally push a money button and just have kind of money pop out. 

Ismail: [00:19:09] But otherwise you're out of luck. Sorry guys. 

Ryan: [00:19:13] I think that you know what if you. I remember when I got started. You have to go knock on doors and granted the earlier you do that the better. So right now you might not OoOOOoO.... Here's a actually another good one. So depending on the venue there are some venues out there that will. You can create a package so that package that you just created for corporate people put something together for a venue say hey listen if you include this with your Christmas package just include a photo booth you can do this with venues then using do it with hotels, you can do with with whomever. 

Ismail: [00:19:49] And if I'm thinking back to the very beginning a lot of a lot of people who are listening you know we're in the corporate world or know people in the corporate world friends that have jobs. I actually got a few jobs from people who were working at a company and they had a holiday party going on like Hey my friend does a photo booth and I pitched internally and that's how I got some gigs so that could be one thing to try if you're really new and starting out it is. Look look at your immediate network. 

Ryan: [00:20:15] For sure. Last year I did. I do. I do two rather large Christmas parties every year. And by large I mean I'm doing everything so I'm still doing flowers and still doing linens, i'm still doing photo booth with them still doing entertainment. Like it's a large large large undertaking. And actually I don't even think I spoke to you at all last December. 

Ismail: [00:20:40] It was an amazing month. 

Ryan: [00:20:42] It was a fabulous month. I've made so much money and didn't have to talk to you. 

Ismail: [00:20:50] So that's what you call a win win. Ladies and gentlemen a win win win. 

Ryan: [00:20:56] Back to the larger point here. I would always remember to this year for the event that you have set yourself up for next year say you know you know if there's an idea that you come up with it you don't even have to follow through with it because things are going to change much between now and then. 

Ryan: [00:21:12] So what I would suggest doing is set yourself up for next year and say like, oh for next year you know we can do this or just include something or give give whatever idea that you have. You know just put a little bug in their ear. I guess that's all I'm saying. 

Ismail: [00:21:31] Yeah. And if there's people that are starting out and worried hey I feel behind I feel like I'm not getting a lot out of these holiday parties. What I would say is that it takes time. Right so don't panic if you're if you're not willing to spend money on paid advertising like with Google then it really just takes time. And that's where I found people always ask us at these events how do you get corporate clients how do you get corporate clients and the honest truth. For me at least is that they come from the other events that I do. So the more years that you do this you build a catalog of clients that have friends that work at companies and then it just leads. It's like a snowball effect that kind of gets bigger and bigger each year. And when I think Ryan and I got to a point where we'd only have to worry about filling out the calendar for holiday season it's kind of already. 

Ryan: [00:22:20] I would like to fill the weekday calendar a little bit more. 

Ismail: [00:22:23] My holiday parties are mostly weekdays like people. 

Ryan: [00:22:27] Seriously? 

Ismail: [00:22:28] Yes because the companies do it right after work. So it's a Wednesday or Thursday everyone goes from work to the venue and they have their holiday party. So like a huge chunk of mine. Are most of them are weekdays for sure. 

Ryan: [00:22:44] So that's another thing. Don't forget that also holiday parties happen in January. It doesn't stop in December it kind of spills over into January a little bit. And that's also something really really really important to not forget about. Don't forget those people. 

Ismail: [00:22:59] That's a great point. A lot of people say that January is their slowest month in the photo history. I actually do also have a lot of holiday parties that for whatever reason they do in January. So I still have a busy January at least the first half at about the halfway point start slowdown. 

Ryan: [00:23:16] Awesome. What I would like everyone to do is if you come up with some sort of package or incentive or whatever the case may be. Go ahead and post it in our Super Boothers Group at super boothers. No sorry. That's a lie. 

Ryan: [00:23:41] Next week on Super Boothers: 

Ryan: [00:23:43] Lose the future ones. This is another thing. I've also lost a couple of other ones just this just being one of them and it's getting to the point where I'm like Listen you tell me what you want to pay me and I will book it just because times is hard.