Innovative PHOTO kiosks help visitors to preserve their memories with minimal contact risk
By Judith Rubin
ABOVE: The DNP Photo Kiosk can easily take guests to a variety of settings. All photos by DNP
Attractions do their best to reopen – and then stay open – to safely receive, serve, and entertain visitors in today’s changing environment. Due to the changes brought about by the pandemic, some aspects of the guest experience have suddenly lost their application or relevance. Operators have experimented with new products and technologies, site configurations and other solutions. But some things kept their currency and didn’t have to change – like the proven, guest-operated photo booth.
The humble photo booth (or not so humble, depending on the technology investment made by the operator) remains a classic element of a day at the park, museum, or zoo. In today’s changed world, it has preserved and probably increased its benefits and value for guests and operators alike.
Taking and posing for souvenir photos, whether alone or with friends or family, is an integral part of the guest experience at an attraction. In addition to the fun of the experience itself, visitors will get a divisible snack and the opportunity to order additional, high-quality prints. Preserving the memory of the day or the visit in photos is still important, if not more important, as outings with family and friends have become more and more new and important.
However, photo opportunities are more limited due to social distancing requirements and protections for guests and employees. You can’t get near characters; You can’t reach photographers. But you and your group can use the photo booth or the kiosk to capture the moment, the feeling and the sense of place.
Innovative FOTO, a leader in the field, reports that its custom photo booths and kiosks at zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, theme parks, retail stores and various small attractions across the US that have resumed operations in recent months are in be used on a large scale [see sidebar for a partial list].
Let’s call it coincidence. Innovative FOTO reports that their photo booths, supported by a business model for whole products, are ideally suited to the needs of attractions and their guests – whether the traditional-style booth, the chic PGS green screen kiosk or the new free-standing PGS Company’s Kiosk Background segmentation technology kiosk installed at Texas State Aquarium in August 2020. The free-standing and compact kiosk can be installed in high-traffic areas. The technology allows guests to choose a custom background and apply a custom filter without the need for an actual green screen or entering a limited space.
Ed Stewart, DNP
According to Ed Stewart, Director of Sales at Innovative FOTO, all models are fully guest operated, with no staff contact required, and branded with the venue. “Our in-house graphics department works closely with each customer to customize the look and feel of any booth or kiosk and the choice of photo backgrounds,” said Stewart. The units are also fully monitored and serviced by the company’s 300-strong maintenance fleet in the United States. “They are all wirelessly connected so software upgrades can be done from the home office and real-time information is transmitted to the service technicians,” said Stewart. Maintenance also includes a regular 19-step deep cleaning process. The design of the kiosks makes it easy for operators to clean regularly throughout the day, Stewart explained. Some venues fully own their units, but most choose to lease them.
Guests can print photos instantly as the booths are integrated with DNP printers. It uses dye sublimation technology, a non-smudging, dry technique that spreads dyes onto paper and creates a long-lasting matte or glossy print. Anyone can access and download the photos to save them, share them online and order additional, high-quality prints where they can enter a code http://blababooth.com/ (Recently updated to streamline and improve the user experience). This part of the process is also completely taken over by Innovative FOTO.
In terms of the lasting value of souvenir photo prints in the digital age, these professional, custom prints of vacations, stays, and special occasions may be the only physical photos on display in many homes these days. (If you’re over a certain age, you may have noticed that your photo album collection suddenly ended in the 90s.)
Even in these tough economic times, Stewart reports that some innovative FOTO customers find it worthwhile to expand their range of photo booths. Photo booth technology is a relatively inexpensive way for operators to invest in their property and attract the attention of visitors. “We worked with partners to get booths in new locations for them or to improve existing booths to understand their current needs and situation,” he said. “Some attractions do exceptionally well in these times. Cabins located outdoors are more worn. And a new or improved photo booth can connect to a new attraction or function at the venue and draw attention to it. It can also be updated with the seasons and holidays. “
About innovative FOTO
Innovative FOTO was founded in 1995 and, with over 2,000 stands in North America, is the largest full-service designer, manufacturer, operator and distributor of photo kiosks for digital image processing in the USA. The company supports thousands of booths in various locations around the world and generates nearly 30 million interactions annually. Innovative FOTO merged with DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation (DNP IAM) in 2020. For more information, see https://www.innovativefoto.com/.
A partial list of the venues currently open for operation with existing innovative FOTO photo booths or kiosks
Six Flags Big Adventure – Jackson, NJ
Kennywood Park – West Mifflin, PA
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – Tampa, FL
Pacific Park – Santa Monica, CA.
Downtown Aquarium – Denver, CO
Texas State Aquarium – Corpus Christi, TX
Blue Zoo Aquarium – Spokane, WA
Oklahoma Aquarium – Jenks, OK
Denver Zoo – Denver, CO
Franklin Park Zoo – Boston, MA
Jacksonville Zoo – Jacksonville, FL
Stone Zoo – Stoneham, MA
Houston Space Center – Houston, TX
Science Museum – Oklahoma City, OK
International Museum of Spy – Washington, DC
St. Louis Science Center – St. Louis, MO
Harbor Walking Tour – Destin, FL
The Orange Beach Golf – Orange Beach, AL
Rainforest Cafe – Grapevine, TX