Meet the professional
Name: Mike Bender
How long have you been in business?: 15 years
It started with a kiss….well to be more accurate…it started with a trip to Vegas and was sealed with a kiss at a wedding.
That’s how Mike Bender, one of the booth industry’s most dynamic and innovative characters got started.
And what’s more….like a lot of you out there…he turned a side hustle into a successful career. A career that saw him at the vanguard of boothing, right from the get go, to today where he is constantly adapting and evolving Mobibooth to meet the needs of photo booth owners across the globe.
Of course Mobibooth are known for their highly brandable photo kiosk solutions for iPad and DSLR, but Mike’s booth journey started out in Ohio with him creating the market for himself.
Having seen the power of a booth in Vegas, he looked around Ohio to hire one for his upcoming wedding.
“This was the very early days of the booth industry, and there wasn’t anyone offering what I needed. So I decided to make my own…I wrote the software for a webcam photo booth, built the housing and then had the most incredible wedding day ever.”
The reception entertainment caught the eye of friends and family, and before long Mike was in the rental business. A savvy entrepreneur, Mike captured the zeitgeist and before long the side hustle became three incredible businesses all serving the needs of booth owners across the States.
“ It’s A Photo Booth our rental business took off, and then I started helping out other boothers who were new to the industry through an online support forum as well as launching Photo Booth Templates, which still today offers boothers a one-stop shop for professionally designed templates that are easy to use and help boothers charge and earn more money.
“ I was still doing the day job as well as all of this and it soon became clear that something needed to give. We weren’t going to be able to scale the business if I didn’t focus solely on photo booths. So I took the leap and left my full time job as a software engineer.”
BORN IN THE USA
Mike may have left his job, but his experience and knowledge as a software engineer has been vital to the success of Mobibooth.
Mike and his business partner Mike, turned the industry on its head with the development and manufacture of their portable photo booths.
Mobibooths are market leading, not just in the US where they are manufactured, but internationally. And talking to Mike it is clear that an incredible amount of thought, research and innovation went into developing their product range.
“We created one of the first truly portable booths. And we focussed on developing a product that was easy to use, easy to transport and also easy on the wallet. The concept was always to be simple and affordable and we are still committed to that promise.”
Mobibooths are all designed and manufactured in the USA using the best fabrication processes and with quality control managed by the other Mike at their manufacturing base down in South Florida.
Leaning into his prior experience as a software engineer, Mike has worked with the team to create products that will stand the test of time.
The Mobibooth Aura set the standard for iPad booths and has become a market leader thanks to its ease of use and portability. But that hasn’t stopped the team enhancing and developing their range.
“We understand how much work it takes to be successful as a boother, and we are always looking for ways to make it a little bit easier for our customers. I’ve been there, setting up for a gig myself and struggling with the kit, so that’s why we redesigned the Aura to take 8lbs off the weight and make it even more manageable.
“The industry is evolving and we’ve also adapted to meet the needs of our clients who are going all out for the corporate market. The Aura VIEW takes branding to the next level with the built-in HD monitor that offers boothers the chance to display stunning visuals on the kiosk.”
This kind of forward thinking and adaptability is what sets the Mobibooth team apart…but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to innovation.
“In my previous life, we designed and manufactured all our products to be backward compatible and I’ve brought that method to Mobibooth. That means that none of our products will ever be obsolete because we have designed our newer systems to be compatible with previous models. So that means all existing Aura photo kiosk heads and base plates are compatible with the new Aura VIEW.
“We design to give maximum longevity and flexibility to our clients. That’s why we’ve developed our modular system, so if you bought the original Aura you can still flex and upgrade to give your clients something totally different with the large digital display, flex which heads you use and swap and attach across the 2 towers, 3 unique heads which adds up to 6 different configurations.”
“We support every customer, from our very first legacy one, right through to whoever is going to come through today and order from us. That means if you bought from us when we were first starting out, you can still continue your journey with the Mobibooth family, upgrading as and when you can afford, rather than being forced into it.”
Mike and the Mobibooth team are rightly considered innovators in the industry. They are relentless in their passion and determination to meet the needs of boothers and we for one can’t wait to see what they do next!