Thursday, September 13, 2012

Of Banquets and Boredom

Some people really, really, really get into banquets. Those are usually the people planning the banquets. The people attending are there for the free food and a chance to win one of the used centerpieces. Ok, maybe that's overstating it; some people don't even care about the centerpieces... But honestly, you probably won't go to many banquets that make you think, "That was the most fun I've had in a long time!"

Unless... the entertainment/activities are very well chosen. For example, we had the privilege to boost the fun factor at an international student banquet, earlier this year. The Grinnin' Booth was open during the time folks were waiting for the food to be served, and then when they were waiting for the awards and speeches, and then for a little while when it was time for folks to say good bye to each other (some for the last time--so sad). So, who needs a little cheering up? Well, just stick out your chin and grin and, oh look!

I think some folks were testing us to see if there was a limit to how many times they could come back, but we let 'em come until it was time to pack up. And, as usual, we try to give everybody in the room a chance, including the folks there to serve. After all, wouldn't you want a chance in the booth, if you were serving? Sure you would. Just like these folks.

Clearly, they needed the break...

So, maybe next time you have to go to a banquet, you can look forward to it. I know you will, if the Grinnin' Booth is going to be there. And when it's over, you'll probably be thinking, "That was the most fun I've had in a long time!"

Where else can you have food, and, if you're lucky, a fun time in the Grinnin' Booth, and there's brides and grooms, but it's not a wedding? How about a bridal fair? Yeah, maybe that's what we'll talk about next time, since we'll be at the Central Virginia Bridal Guide's Bridal Showcase at the Kirkley Hotel in Lynchburg, this weekend. So, we'll share some highlights from that. Until then...

Keep Grinnin'

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reunions: Make New Memories

Reunions can be a miserable time to remember why you've avoided your old classmates/relatives for all these years, or to have a sick satisfaction in seeing the cheerleaders get old and the athletes lose their touch. But at their best, they give us a chance to forget the disagreements and tensions, and only remember good times and share only the funny stories. And, of course, to make new memories. Ah. And that's where the Grinnin' Booth comes in.

Cameras as cameras, as well as cell phone features, are ubiquitous, these days. Today's reunion would probably have more cameras than people. It's good to be able to get pictures with the folks you have missed. In fact, even the ones you didn't miss might look a bit better in the softer light (and softer vision) of time and age. It's good to have those pictures. But we find something else: it's good to make the pictures. By that, I mean that the experience of the photo is special. It's actually a memory, as well. Of course, if it's a photobooth picture, with props, the experience is loaded with fun. And I do mean loaded.

We had the privilege of taking part in a multi-year reunion in which the oldest class had graduated 70 years earlier. Three members of the class actually made it to the reunion. The three of them had not been together in all those years, and what a joy they had, seeing each other again. But there were lots of other classes there, getting together after so long. There were roommates who were seeing each other for the first time in 10, 20, 30, 40 years!

Some of the folks wanted to fit their entire class in the booth. Fortunately, we can fit quite a few, and also, the largest class that wanted to do that was only about 14 people. So, we did it! We had some rowdy groups, and some that were just quietly happy to be together. We even had an incident where yours truly photobombed...

Family reunions are special, too, with all of the potential drama and joy as a school reunion, plus shared DNA and multiple generations... While we were setting up the booth, folks got started before the backdrop even went up... Well, not a great background in the pictures, but a blast, nonetheless.

That's just the way people act on a hot and muggy night... when the Grinnin' Booth is there. Otherwise, they would've been sitting back, complaining about the weather, and how bored they are... You know the drill. Good thing we were there to save the party.

So, are there other parties needing a hand? How about banquets. They can be fun. Or completely not. We'll have to explore, next time. Until then,

Keep Grinnin'

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wedding Bell Blues. Blue Backgrounds, that is.

Weddings. What fun. Start with the official, serious stuff that turns a couple of single folks into a married couple of folks. Follow that with the celebration that makes it worth the travel expenses. And the gifts. And seeing all those relatives. And the new in-laws. Wild times, I tell you.

Of course, you've got to have this in a place. We call that a "venue". Yeah, you pay more for a venue than a place. But you want the service and celebration to be memorable for all the right reasons. Of course, when Grinnin' Booth is there, folks will remember. In fact, they'll even have a photostrip to remind them.

We had the good fortune to celebrate with a couple, recently, whose wedding and reception were held at King Family Vineyards, in Crozet, VA. The grounds are beautiful, and it was a perfect day for an outdoor wedding. Then, the guests came inside for wonderful food, along with dancing to music provided by a great local DJ, and as many trips to the photo booth as they felt like.

When we met the bride and groom at a bridal expo in February, they knew Grinnin' Booth should be part of their celebration. Crozet was a bit of a drive from the Lynchburg area, with all our gear, but we're so happy we made the trip. How'd the bride and groom feel about it? You be the judge:

photo booth strip Lynchburg VA Grinnin' Booth

Oh, yeah, they got into it. And so did the guests! We set up in the lobby, just outside the banquet hall, and at one point, so many people were out in the lobby to try on props and get their photo strips, that the photographer was taking pictures of the folks in line, just having a grand time together. The bride's father was taking video, as well. It was an experience, for sure. What did the photographer think? Well, he and his assistant took a turn, as did the DJ and the caterer. In fact, here is one of the frames with the caterer, Innovative Catering (insert unsolicited recommendation here), and some of his staff.

individual photo booth Lynchburg VA grinnin' booth

Now, that's a crew that has been working hard all hot day long, and they were just taking a break before the cleanup started. Well, we don't call it "Grinnin' Booth" for nothing. It makes people smile. And laugh. Sometimes, it even gets downright rowdy. What a blast we have, delivering grins!

A wedding is a great place to have Grinnin' Booth. But how about reunions? Hmmm. We'll see. Until then,

Keep Grinnin'

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Happy belated July 4th! How'd you spend it? Well, Grinnin' Booth spent it at Hill City Pool in Lynchburg, VA. We set up our photo booth under the roof, and the folks had a blast. A cool feature of this event was that they had a quilt made from squares of t-shirts through the years, and we were able to use that for our backdrop. How neat is that? Pretty neat. Here's the Grinnin' Booth staff taking a turn in the booth.

photo booth sample lynchburg va

So, right; that's just one picture. What happened to the strip? Funny you should ask. I have that, too. But I wanted you to see the kind of great pictures that make up the strip. They're actually 16MP digital pictures from a DSLR. No point-n-shoot action, here. But here's the whole strip.

photo booth strip Lynchburg VA

As you can see, we had some cool props, but the pool management provided some great ones, as well, including the flag on Lindsey's head. I'm not gonna lie; we're pretty proud of our prop collection.

So, next time, maybe we can talk weddings. Until then,

Keep on Grinnin'