The COVID-19 pandemic and gradual reopening of the state has allowed many service providers time to plan for their companies’ renewal of service to clients. For those who work in the event industry.
Jon Luckey shared some of his experiences during the pandemic and the plans he is implementing for his company in the reopening Midwest. His business, Lucktech Photobooths, provides photo booths for weddings, proms, corporate parties, and other special events. Luckey said the recent shutdown has “decimated” the celebration industry.
“As far as our business goes, we are very sound, not in debt,” he said. “I’ve talked to lots of brides, mothers of brides, and some grooms — (their) big concern is are we going out of business.”
No, they are not. “(Going out of business) is just not a concern for us,” he explained.
In this post-pandemic environment, Luckey finds that “A lot of my job is to talk through the process (with customers)…. Do we have props or not, what types of policies and procedures will we have in place?”
Luckey has a plan. He noted that his company, which opened in 2012, has always been careful about germs; for example, Lucktech Photobooths never brought feather boas or hats as props for guests — they bring things like signs and items on sticks.
Handwashing stations will be present at his photo booths. But using face masks could create some issues.
While he plans to make face masks available, he is concerned about how they might work in the celebration setting. “I think it would be very difficult (to use) with the DJ going (in the background),” he said. In that loud environment, opaque face coverings could make it hard to communicate. Instead, Luckey believes face shields would be a workable alternative.
“We facilitate all the equipment in the photo booths,” Luckey continued. The guests touch nothing but the props. With this in mind, he is thinking about rotating props, so that they can be cleaned during the event.
But what about scheduling? About 90% of the wedding events he was going to do have been rescheduled. Luckey said some have moved to summer, others to the fall or even next year.
Some schools have also rescheduled their proms for July. In one case, parents decided to host the summer prom themselves, after the school canceled it. His company will be there.
“July is usually a slow month for us, we do family vacations then,” he said. But this year — that will probably change.
To this end, Luckey’s company has ordered more photo booths. Special events can be planned 12-15 months in advance, and rescheduling multiple weeks of events may create some timing challenges in the future. “We will need more capacity,” he said.
“Events will probably be smaller,” he said. “We will take a hit — maybe 25-40% loss.” But he believes that “Good business people will remain flexible.”