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Pixe Social: Event Social Photobooth on Steroids [Review]

By Julius Solaris

Pixe Social is a photo-based experiential and social marketing solution built to activate a brand’s online community and boost its social presence. Here is our Review.

Pixe social

We are all familiar with photo booths. Many events are using them to attract, entertain and engage attendees. Visual content and photo sharing has become an effective tool that can not only entertain your guests but also support your event brand and digital marketing.

Pixe Social brings the photo booth experience to iPad, iPhone or any other mobile or tablet device. It allows you to create branded pictures but with some unique and appealing features which differentiates it over photo booths and other apps and products in this market.

Pixe Social: What Is it?

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Pixe Social is a solution for taking pictures and automatically sharing the content via your event's social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). After a simple set up process the pictures taken are automatically branded with up to two logos and related hashtags. You can also suggest a set caption for users to complete ("I love this event because...") or leave blank for them to add their own message.

Pixe Social also helps to empower the guest or attendee in the picture to share with their social networks directly, increasing the reach and engagement. To do this they are not asked to log in to the device directly, which people may be wary about doing. Instead, if they choose to supply their email address after the picture is taken they are instantly sent a copy of the picture which can easily be shared via their own device and social networks.

The main categories of features are:

1. Branded Visual Content. After completing the simple set up process every picture taken via the app automatically has logos and hashtags added to the picture to ensure maximum brand exposure. All pictures are automatically shared to the social network you chose for your brand (n.b. Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram).

2. Social Sharing. The sharing process encourages lead generation but also facilitates social sharing by working within the attendees comfort zone to encourage posting via their own device.

The reach of the app on social media is recorded with a simple infographic style report. Detailed analytics reports are, of course, available to the client’s social media marketer via their Facebook or Twitter admin portal.

3. Multiple Devices and Events. The solution works on smart phones and tablets to ensure the app is always within easy reach and can be used by multiple users and at multiple events or locations during your contract period.

Review

In undertaking the demo and learning about this product it is clear to see what a powerful photo tool this can be for Event Planners and Event Marketers.

Busy Event Managers can be assured that Pixe Social takes just a few minutes to configure and get started with an easy to use interface. The user experience is nothing extraordinary or special but simplicity in this complex world is often valued!

The app also looks after any copyright issues or concerns as the person photographed must give consent and agree to terms and conditions before the photo is shared.

Pixe Social can help you to encourage 'photomonials' with guests/attendees able type a glowing testimonial as part of their photo and share it on the social media network of their choice, as well as automatically through the brands social media channels. It is a good way to reap the benefits of “word of mouth” publicity online and can significantly boost a brands' viral reach by 4-5 times in just a few weeks.

As well as taking the photo against a chosen or staged backdrop at your event, photos can also be taken against a green screen to enable a choice of backgrounds to be previewed and selected (note - you must provide the green screen set up). You can have a bespoke designed background if you don't want to use the templates provided or work with the natural surroundings. We liked the examples designed as a humorous comic-style cartoon strip which you can envisage spreading fast if well thought out. There are lots of examples of the different picture options and backgrounds on the PixeSocial Facebook page.

Brands are able to easily collect emails from those that are happy to share their email address which is a powerful way to quickly build or grow your email list. The data is combined with the emails collected from all staff users and can then be exported to Excel.

The photos can also be streamed seamlessly to a variety of high definition media screens to create a photo wall. All you need to do is provide compatible hardware, there is no additional charge for this stream to be available, which should be taken into account in terms of the overall pricing of this product.

If wifi connectivity is stable the app posts and shares in real-time. It is however peace of mind to know that the pictures will be stored safely if the wifi signal drops (which it invariably does at venues and busy events!). The pictures will be posted and the emails sent as soon as the connection is restored.

The presentation of the elementary analytics will be an appealing proposition for many, although for some it may be an overly simplistic snapshot of reach and engagement.

The app may be on the pricey side for a single use or small event but offers good value for money for larger events or periods when organizers have a series of events within a close time frame. The value of being able to stream the feed as a photo wall at no extra charge also needs to be taken into account.

The joy of Pixe Social is the potential to extend the life cycle and reach of the event for potentially 2 to 3 weeks afterwards. An easy way to do this is to run a competition for the photo with the most likes from a show/event to win a prize. Recently an organisation using Pixe Social has achieved 8.5K Likes on the winning photo in a competition they ran on Facebook.

Features

Here are the most significant features Pixe Social has to offer:

Engagement

- Enables organisations to facilitate on-site fan engagement
- Creates pictures branded with your organisation and/or sponsor logo and dedicated hashtag(s)
- Users can share their love for your brand via captions and comments on the photo
- Deep real-time integration with leading social media networks including your brands Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts
- Encourages likes and followers to your brands social media networks
- Extended viral reach on leading social media sites. Encourages the attendee to share the photo using their own device without worrying about sharing their password on a foreign device

Lead Generation and Analytics

- A quick and efficient way to grow your email list
- Simple, infographic reporting

Extend Event Life Cycle

- ​Extend the life cycle of the event by running Facebook competitions encouraging the most likes on pictures post event
- Possibility of extending reach to a much wider audience for up to 2 or 3 weeks after the event

Who Is It For?

Pixe Social is for any brand that wishes to convert current audiences into brand ambassadors and build a database list. Clients of Pixe Social include prominent events, exhibitors, event marketers, auto dealers and consumer brands.

It is easy to see how popular it must be for brands at tradeshows and festivals and it could also be used well by event venues.

Since its launch in 2013, Pixe Social has delivered high engagement and ROI for a large number of leading brands including IMEX, Consumer Electronics Show, National Restaurant Show, MCM Comic Con and EXHIBITOR Magazine. Analytics from many of these events are shown on the Pixe Social website.

Pros and Cons

Pros

- A mobile solution. You are not limited to a static photo booth. This means that if you had an exhibition during the day and a dinner at night the device could come along with you to capture the fun.

- Safe offline operation. In case of no wifi/wifi fail the app will store and queue the pictures and information and share and send out emails as soon as connectivity is back. This is a huge positive for Event Planners who often face flaky wifi connections at venues.

- Unlimited devices and events, which can make it very cost effective for large events, multiple users and a series of events.

Cons

- The chance of polluting your followers feed with multiple photos of the same event.

- Photobooths using top of the range DSLR cameras and professional photographers could arguably capture better quality photos than your phone or tablet working with the Pixe Social app.

- It is possible to opt out of supplying your email address which means the lead capture and further sharing opportunity is potentially lost. However, in Pixe Social’s experience, 80-90% guests are happy to provide their email address to event organizers.

Prices and Plans

Pixe Social offers a per month or annual agreement, which allows the app to be used on unlimited devices and events within that period.

The cost per month with an annual agreement is $495.

With a monthly agreement the cost is $895.

In Conclusion

Pixe Social is a simple but effective photo sharing tool to help event planners raise brand awareness, increase engagement on social media and generate email leads.

Pixe Social offers many benefits over a traditional photo booth and it makes sense that Pixe Social has also been recognized with numerous awards including 2014 EXHIBITOR Buyers Choice Award and 2015 Internet Advertising Competition Award for Best Technology Interactive Application.

For medium and large events Pixe Social is a powerful and cost effective marketing option and definitely worth considering.

Disclosure: Startup Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the startup. If you have any question please use the contact us section.

about the author

Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
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