How was BoothCon 2018?
Was it worth attending as an established photo booth owner?
Keep reading to find out how it all went down for us!
Mid last year, Dan came across PhotoBooth Finder, and sent through an enquiry to site owner Justin. Once they began chatting about PBF, they found they had a bit in common. Both are strategists, SEO savvy, hustling businessman who run multiple businesses whilst being hands on dads!
After learning of our story, Justin asked Dan if he would be interested at speaking at BoothCon 2018 in Sydney. Dan said he’d be keen to have a quick getaway away from the kids and he was pretty excited that someone thought our story was worthy of telling. When he found out it was a 30 min slot to fill he thought “jeez I better get my wife in on this too, she loves to talk!!!”
We booked our flights at $25 each way (such a bargain) direct from Avalon Airport (just outside of Melbourne) and locked in both sets of parents to babysit the children. It was then that we realised, BoothCon conveniently fell in the 5th week of the school holidays, we knew we’d be hanging for a little break by then!! We had also recently discovered Escape Rooms as an awesome form of interactive entertainment, and we were keen to try one in Sydney whilst we were there!
We flew out ridiculously early Tuesday morning, and upon arrival in Sydney, fuelled ourselves with some eggs benedict from a local cafe.
PIC: Is this the top of a cloud or the inside of a Doona?
We headed to Sydney’s highest rated Escape Room - The Cipher Room, set in Newtown just 20 minutes down the road from the Ibis, where we were staying (as were many other boothers). The Cipher Room, has three seperate Escape Room challenges, Espionage, The Marlowe Hotel and The Cabin. They were all so highly rated that it was hard to pick which one.
We ending up choosing the Cabin as it sounded creepy and fun!
We were playing the role of detectives that were investigating a murder and chasing a killer.
Locked in a dark room with nothing but a torch, we had 60 minutes to get ourselves out, whilst working our way through a maze of mind bending cryptic puzzles and locks (it's sooooo cool).
We cannot recommend this place or the entire Escape Room concept highly enough.
Such a well thought out, challenging room. Absolutely crafted to perfection.
We escaped in 70 minutes (which was apparently ok for a group of just two) and left the room on a real high!! In fact we loved it so much, we wanted to go back the next day to do 1 of the other 3 rooms, but they were sadly all booked out (we will meet again someday Cipher Room).
We raved about this to everyone who would listen, so much so that Maria and Sonny from The Booth Box, Shutterbooth and Photo Booth Design Co have booked in to do a room today (I'm hearing they took 80mins to escape, although this was their first escape room experience and this room was bloody hard!).
We are definitely hooked on Escape Rooms now, after completing three in the last month.
There's heaps of them all over the place. Go check them out people!
PIC: Relief after escaping so we could actually get to BoothCon on time....Phew!
Next stop BoothCon! BoothCon this year was held at the impressive Sydney Masonic Centre.
The Ibis hotel was located just around the corner with easy walking distance to BoothCon itself.
PIC: Sydney Masonic Centre - Seminar Room where we spoke.
Day 1 of BoothCon was made up of seminars and talks from all aspects of the industry, from example success stories, finance experts, video marketing experts and the likes.
The day was led by the charismatic and popular Marriage Celebrant Josh Withers, who pulled off the role of MC effortlessly.
We were both feeling the nerves a little bit. even though we spend our weekends on stage, performing in a band and officiating weddings.
We came on at 3.30 and had an absolute ball telling our story for 30 minutes and publicly hanging shit on each other - which is what we do best. We had a little bit more to say, but sadly we ran out of time.
I was particularly impressed by the Auslan Interpreters. (props to Justin for organising this) Not only could they interpret our cursing, but they also kept up with the pace at which I talk.
After us came on the prolific Superboothers to close the show. They had travelled all the way from America to be there. They led an Intimate Q and A session, and it was great to see them live, as we listen to their podcast regularly. Ryan was super entertaining and funny, and Ishmail talked with such a super smooth, deep voice, with a very calming effect. Dan admits he is slightly jealous of his cool chilled voice!
Walking out of BoothCon, Dan told me to take my lanyard off as i looked like a nerd! I then noticed Dan had his brand new sizing sticker still stuck to the back of his right leg. He had been strutting around like this all day long! Now who’s the nerd Dan? Please let us know if you noticed this, so i can hang it on him.
We then headed down the road to Diethnes Greek Restaurant for dinner. I think we gained about 7 kgs combined from just the one sitting. The service was nothing short of outstanding. we opted for a banquet and courses just kept appearing. Top buttons may or may not have been undone before even leaving the restaurant.
PIC: Just one of the eight courses we ate at Diethnes Greek Restaurant
With atrociously full bellies we walked across town to Gingers Bar where the afterparty was being held.
We were exhausted by this point, as we had been up since 4.30am. However we are so glad we went.
It was great to have the chance to network with other people in the industry and chat openly, asking and answering questions about anything that popped into our heads. It can be a lonely job running your own business, so its nice to create relationships with people who can relate to the trials and triumphs in the life of a booth owner. It was also a chance to let our hair down and have a few drinks without the kids!
It was so central it meant that we could walk back to our hotel, and crawl into bed around 3am.
Up at 9am and time to hit the buffet breakfast and quell that queasy feeling with some greasy food. Having kids, we don't get this chance too often, so when there's a buffet, we are out to destroy it!
We finished up and made our way down to Day 2 of BoothCon, which comprises of the Masterclasses and the trade show expo.
This was a good chance to view other booths for sale, props, backdrops, booth insurance, finance etc. Once again, also a good chance to network, and chat to suppliers and get some inspiration for potential future ventures (which we wouldn't have thought of if we didn't attend).
We bought ourselves some new props off good our friends at Photo Booth Design Co and organised a bulk supply deal for our print media through talking to the director of J.A Davey. This alone shows why it's good to get out there and talk to people. It will improve our bottom line straight away and simply wouldn't have happened if we were back at home.
Danny from Snap Snap Photobooths in Adelaide did an awesome job helping with the expo, running the interviews etc.
We finished off the trip with an OG Chicken Burger from Chur Burger which was insanely deliciously and perked us out of that hungover, afternoon slump.
We have already been back in touch with some of the people we met at BoothCon and look forward to bouncing ideas of each other regularly to help improve each others business'.
We came home refreshed and super inspired to smash our goals for 2018.
An even bigger moral boost, was walking in our house to find our friend Jamie (Janelle’s other husband) had cleaned the house and done all the washing!
Right now, we are back to reality with our kids driving us up the walls already.
All in all, it was absolutely a valuable experience professionally, socially and personally.
We look forward to BoothCon 2019!
We're hearing it may be heading to Melbourne.........yay for us, if this is the case.