Meet the Boother
Chris Wong, owner of Open Booths, Sydney, Australia is a passionate entrepreneur, with nearly a decade of photo booth experience. He has grown Open Booths one of the most sought-after photo booth companies in Sydney and across Australia.
Through hard work, exceptional service, strategic marketing, smart business development and incredible photo quality, Open Booths continues to be a powerhouse in the Australian photo booth industry.
We caught up with Chris before his Keynote speech at Boothcon 2023 1st & 2nd August 2023 to find out a little more about him and his top tips for photo booth owners.
Business Name: Open Booths
How long have you been in business? Since 2013
What is your favourite booth? The Red Robot Retro is my favourite piece of photo booth hardware (DSLR, PC), although my favourite booth is the Studio Booth (Photographer, DSLR, PC).
What is your favourite software? Breeze DSLR Remote Pro
Tell us about the best event you ever did?
Have you ever had one of those events where you think to yourself afterwards, “What just happened?”… for me, that was the ARIA Awards Afterparty for Universal Music Australia and EMI.
We had the Mirror Booth set up for this event. Held in the InterContinental Sydney, it was high up in Club InterContinental, which boasts a stunning view of Sydney city. It STARTED at 10pm and powered through until 4am.
It was early in the evening when there was a big fuss amongst the staff. The artists had arrived. I turn to look to my right, and I see none other than Lorde sprint toward the booth, closely followed by Dean Lewis and Julia Michaels, and proceed to pose as I tap the mirror to start the photo booth session. They were all so polite and were grateful for the photos. Lorde eventually posted the photo booth images to her social media.
It was a great night surrounded by artists, and we were also situated next to the food station, so that was a bonus!
Your 3 Tips for success in the photo booth industry:
#1 High Volume = High Speed
I believe the reason I have achieved this level of success in my businesses is that I spent a great amount of time doing the work. It wasn’t that I did the actual work at high speed (I was pretty slow, actually), or that I was particularly talented, but the volume of work I would get through was greater, simply due to the amount of time I spent in the game. It wasn’t that my competitors didn’t work hard, but many of them had children, and I didn’t. They had to spend more resources (time and energy) on their families when I didn’t.
I often work all day and stay up working until 3 or 4am (right now, as I write this, it’s 2:30am). Every spare second, I can wrangle, I work. I eat one meal a day (not recommended), which gives me more time to work. I am NOT suggesting you work to the detriment of your health and relationships. I am not promoting hustle culture. It is indeed unhealthy. However, if you’re wondering how to get ahead fast, the answer is to spend more time in the game and do a higher volume of work.
#2 Generosity is Profitable
I still work for free, all the time, to this day. I do events at no charge to build and strengthen relationships. I offer services that cost me money to see what data I can extract from the experience. When you have a mindset of giving, you ignite a creative spark that can lead to profitable ideas, established relationships, and exposure to key people who can help you on your journey.
Generosity sometimes goes unnoticed, but that’s ok. That’s the risk you take. You must be willing to take the losses with no regret and resentment. Most of the time, though, generosity leads to good places and new avenues that would have been difficult to conceptualize unless you take a chance on giving the gifts, you’re capable of offering to others.
#3 Be malleable
Through my journey of entrepreneurship, I have learnt that at each stage of my journey, I have had to adapt and evolve as a person. The person required in a 9 to 5 job is different from the person required to achieve entrepreneurial success. The person earning $100k is different from the person earning $500k. If you want to reach a particular goal, studying those who have already achieved what resembles your goal would be wise. You’ll then be able to adapt your behaviour and develop the traits required to become the person that is capable of reaching your goals rather than hunting for new tactics without understanding the core drivers of success.