March 28, 2013 // Franchising.com // The first group of TapSnap franchisees are ready to make their mark across North America, after three days of intensive "TapSnap University" training in Vancouver, Canada at the end of February.
Now they are ready to bring TapSnap -- the photo booth created for the social media era -- to corporate events, wedding and parties across the continent, effectively creating the first far-reaching North American photo booth franchise (without the booth). Unlike traditional party photo booths, TapSnap is high-tech, open-concept and instantly connected to social media, so companies can use it to create a social media profile during an event using on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa and YouTube.
"It's the Jetson version of the photo booth," said Alada Shinault-Small, a franchisee who hails from Charleston, S.C. and plans to take her machine to typical southern events like cotillions (for debutantes), sorority and fraternity events, Masons and Shriners' gatherings as well as the more typical reunions and graduations.
Shinault-Small joined the first group of over a dozen franchisees with diverse backgrounds who came together from: Wichita, Kan.; Minneapolis, Minn., Charlotte, N.C.; Cedar Knolls, N.J.; Fremont, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; Philadelphia, Penn.; Charleston, S.C.; Houston, Texas; Park City, Utah; Lethbridge, Alta.; and Peterborough, Ont.
The franchises were immersed in everything TapSnap, with help from renowned franchise consultant Norm Friend. Friend is a familiar personality who consulted on the Canadian hit CBC TV show Dragon's Den and is the franchise expert for the new show The Big Decision. With nearly 30 years of franchising experience, he has consulted on many franchises including Nurse Next Door, Frogbox, Macdonald Realty, Yogicara and more.
"Norm didn't just teach us sales and marketing, but relevant sales and marketing that applied directly to TapSnap. The examples he used from his experience really brought it all together for me. He's got so much experience, so much depth; he's worked with so many different companies," said Kirk Allison, a franchisee from Lethbridge, Alta.
Over the course of the weekend, franchisees role-played various sales scenarios, learned about social media, and gained technical expertise in operating the machine from TapSnap's Director of Product Development Mark Rudolph. They also learned about the legalities of running their TapSnap franchise.
"We were in the office and we could see what they are like," said Allison. " With TapSnap and their parent company DVDNow, they have right amount of formality and the right amount of fun. They even call one of their employees the 'Director of Fun.' I know they are here to support me. People here care."
For Shinault-Small, the weekend reinforced how much a franchise is like a family community. She said, "Whenever you have a group of people coming together for a common cause it's a bonding opportunity. Being part of the inaugural group made it even more special. A gathering of like minds and like persons raised this endeavor to a higher level."
The franchises attended a training event and dinner at the Rockford Wok Bar and Grill in North Vancouver, giving them experience with the machine in a public setting.
"It was great to the see the TapSnap kiosk in action with the bar customers," said franchisee Chris Diller, from Minneapolis, Minn. "After taking their pictures, the user interface made it seamless for them to edit and share their photos. They were very impressed, and so was I."
TapSnap is the next big innovation in event entertainment and franchising, bringing sophistication to the photo booth. Open-concept and instantly connected to social media, TapSnap blends a high-tech product with an innovative franchise model, and is based in Vancouver, Canada.