Growing with Confidence: Booth Nineteen
Established in 2014, Booth Nineteen started out as the brainchild of serial entrepreneur, Sam Bird, who initially grew the business in and around the Bristol area. Recruiting friends and family members to manage both day-to-day- office duties and manning the booths during bookings, Sam realised the potential that stood in the market and registered the company as a limited business towards the end of 2017.
Since then, the company has set out big plans for growth under the watchful eye of Managing Director, Craig Cheber, who has spent the last 6 months putting the business through a considerable restructure to ensure better workflow and customer experience. Now, Booth Nineteen has significant expansion in their sights.
When asked what separates Booth Nineteen from other photobooth companies operating in the (significant) events market, Craig said: "There are a number of aspects to the Booth Nineteen business that separates us from the rest. Primarily, our efforts in delivering a show are quite unusual in terms of photobooth operators. Our attendants will dress up and actively engage with the crowd, becoming an integral part of the event. Also, our booths are beautiful. In what is a fairly saturated space with so many mass-market solutions in the market, we have gone the extra mile with our designs. It's an important consideration for us to think about how to build a product that perfectly suits a £10K+ venue. It's our experience that many people would rather not have a booth than to book an ugly booth."
“One of the most significant areas for development we made has been the satellite operator programme."
We asked Craig to give us an insight into the company's growth and business model. He told us: "One of the most significant areas for development we made has been the satellite operator programme. We contract enthusiastic partners with an agreement that they will store, operate and maintain Booth Nineteen photobooths.
Generally speaking, our partners will see approx 50% of any hire fee, so there's a real incentive for the satellite hub operators to fully engage with the opportunity. There is a good amount of training provided; we will take new partners along to a handful of events until they, (and we) are confident to run the booth, make the most of the event, and to handle any technical or personal issues that may arise. From there, we run marketing campaigns from our central office, comprising mainly from Google AdWords, spending lots of time and resource on making sure our sales conversations are robust so that we are able to sift out the stronger leads. We generally close around one in two to three enquiries from Google AdWords and also run a smaller amount of social advertising, but generally when we find dips in regular trade."
“Since using Citizen printers exclusively in our booths, we've never had a technical issue. Never. The machines are faultless.”
As a Citizen customer, we were keen to find out more about what part Citizen’s printers play in Booth Nineteen's ongoing development. In terms of print and build quality, product reliability and customer service, Citizen printers are considered among the very best in the world, and as a Citizen customer, we asked Craig to outline his thoughts and experiences using the products.
He said: "Until quite recently, we had been using non-Citizen printers and as a result, found ourselves experiencing many of the issues that can be synonymous with the photobooth trade. We have experienced up to seven ribbons breaking within a single event and with a single machine. This is of course, hugely prohibitive in terms of having the confidence to expand volumes with any manufacturer as reliability is key in this industry. Fortunately, since we've been exclusively using Citizen printers in our booths, we've never had a technical issue. Never. The machines are faultless.
Even beyond this incredible point, we have found that the customer service that we enjoy from Citizen stands head and shoulders above what we had been used to. We don’t feel like ‘just another customer’. With Citizen, we feel much more of a part of the niche community that we love to work within. Ultimately, our business has a strong emphasis on the quality and reliability of our photobooth solutions and the customer experience of our own clients. Both the reliability and quality of output from the printers we use is essential in delivering that.”
“We know we can trust Citizen printers and that gives great encouragement for our overall confidence as a business."
Craig explained that in the next 12 months, the plan is to double the Booth Nineteen business, “We’re aiming for 200%+ growth by the end of the next quarter; laughable to an outsider. This will see us placing greater investment in advertising and in both people and equipment.” He concluded: "We feel ready to push for growth now as, in no small part, the reassurance that we now have from using Citizen printers allows us peace of mind for our a potential situation that could see 20 operators running events on any single day. As a fundamental cog in the Booth Nineteen wheel, we know we can trust Citizen printers and that gives great encouragement for our overall confidence as a business."
For more information on Booth 19 products and services, visit their Vintage Photo Booths Website.