A New Brunswick business is helping companies and brands make their corporate events powerful marketing tools with a modern spin on the photo booth.
Moncton-based Memories2Go is a tech company that brings engaging and unique photo experiences to corporate and private events. Its technology allows photos to be printed in real-time for attendees, who can also share their photo on their social media accounts immediately through Memories 2Go’s “Sharing Stations.” Through these stations, companies are able to collect data on their guests for marketing purposes.
The company got its start in 2012 when Pascal DeGrace and Daniel Saulnier entered a business plan competition for an entrepreneurship class at the Université de Moncton.
“We just sat down and started searching ideas and Dan told me, ‘Well I went to a wedding a couple months ago and I noticed that they had a photo booth like the same one they had at the mall.’ And that’s where we kind of started brainstorming about the project of having a photo booth,” said DeGrace.
“We were wondering how it would be possible to bring back that old photo booth you see at the mall but nobody is really using, and make it portable. And instead of printing 2×6 photos, make a kiosk that prints custom 4×6 printouts. That’s how we started the project.”
They won second place in the class for the best idea, but they had no plans for just leaving the idea in the classroom. That summer, they launched the business.
Since then, Memories2Go has since evolved and now offers various services besides their popular Modern Photo Kiosk. They also offer a Gif Booth, a Selfie Mirror Photo Booth, and Green Screen and Red Carpet photo experiences.
“It’s more than just a photo booth. We’re more like a photo marketing agency,” says DeGrace. “We basically provide companies, brands and individuals with a fun and memorable way to connect with their guests.”
Though they still do private events such as weddings, DeGrace says much of Memories2Go’s business is with companies and brands. Their clients have included Harley Davidson, RBC, Atlantic Lottery, Exxon Mobil, Wyndam Worldwide, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Irving Oil, among others. Recently, they brought their photo booth to the Moosehead 150th Birthday Bash in Saint John.
When event attendees use the company’s social media Sharing Station to post their photos on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, they are shown a disclaimer that says by logging in and posting from the station, they’re accepting that the company may use their data.
“When we’re working with marketing clients, everything we do includes social media. That’s a way for us to collect clients’ data and we basically built a database with all that information,” says DeGrace. “So when you post it on Facebook, we’ve built a profile out of you and we basically give that to the company after the event. So they now know some stuff about you and it’s easier for them to market to you.”
Right now DeGrace is the company’s only full-time employee. Saulnier is still involved with the company, but more on a part-time basis. DeGrace also has six to eight part-time staff, mostly students, who help during busy times of the year.
Right now all of Memories2Go’s clients have been in Atlantic Canada, but the company has received inquiries and leads from outside the region. The problem is, Memories2Go’s current equipment isn’t easy to transport long distances.
“We got a few leads from Vancouver and in the United States, but unfortunately for us, it’s a lot of equipment to travel with and it’s not made to be put on the plane. So we’re pretty limited on where we can go,” says DeGrace
“Right now we’re working on a new model that will fit in a pelican case so we can actually travel with it and go anywhere our client wants to send us.”
Though doing events outside the region is in the cards, DeGrace says there’s still room for the company to grow at home.
“We’re the only ones that I know of in the region that uses a photo booth as a marketing tool. We’re mostly focused on marketing activation and social media exposure and visibility online,” he says. “That’s our niche market … we help clients collect data, we improve their online visibility.
“In the near future, we definitely want to expand our operations. We’d like to do more events in Halifax and bigger centres, that’s what we’re looking for right now.”