To sell a photo op you of course need a great concept drawing. This was the first one we came up with more than twenty years ago. It is an antique logging truck, and you can see the finished version at right.
Over the last two decades, countless people have sat behind the wheel, taken their picture, then shared it with family and friends on social media. That is GREAT value!
The next photo opportunity we created was for a customer that saw the first one. It was a bit of a hard sell but when we made it do double duty as an 18th hole feature for the mini golf he bought it.
A couple years later our customer added some bumper cars. He asked us to create a third photo op vehicle with a set of antique gas pumps. He built a small building behind them to act as the ticket booth for the attraction.
The horse-drawn wagon photo op is extremely popular. It can easily accommodate a large family with two or three on the seat, one on the horse and more in the back. We’ve positioned some wooden crates strategically to make it easier for people to climb aboard.
Every mini golf we design these days features a photo opportunity vehicle of some type. Whistlepunk Adventure Golf featured a logging truck on hole seven. Everyone who played the course took their picture here! The owners of the golf asked customers to post their pictures to social media with a link to their business. Doing so put the customers in a draw for a free game each week. The vehicles were great value for the guests and our customer!
Not every photo opportunity has to be a motorized vehicle. This balloon feature has room for an entire family inside. The web address is written across the basket to further advertise the business. The structural supports for the balloon are carefully positioned to become invisible.
We do one major trade show each year that caters to the theme park industry. We are currently building a photo opportunity vehicle that will be displayed in our booth. We call it the Jetcabob. It is a jet powered, hover vehicle. Guests will be encouraged to stand behind it to have their picture taken. Our company name will be prominently located behind them. It will be like giving out a business card that is unforgettable!
Our parking lot looks like a parking lot for photo opportunities these days. Every time we have a new customer drop in they of course ask if they can sit in them and take a selfie. We say no problem—as long as they share it with family and friends on social media—with a link to us. That’s great advertising!

Photo opportunities deliver powerful advertising

Social media can help spread the message

By Dan Sawatzky

Posted on Thursday, February 27th, 2020

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As I began this article I wondered if I had enough material, but when I went through my archived photos I realized there were two or three times what I needed. We have designed and built scores of photo opportunities through the years!

Photo opportunities are a wonderful way for our customers to advertise their businesses. These days I would suggest they are more relevant than ever! Most folks carry a cell phone (camera) in their pocket. When they come across something fun they pose for a picture in front of it, then share it with family and friends. In the process they are advertising the business. That makes these kinds of signs so valuable!

The first photo opportunity we created was for a mini golf attraction that we owned. It was a little antique cartoon logging truck. It proved to be extremely popular, and it wasn’t long until I was able to sell a similar vehicle to one of our customers. This vehicle doubled as the 18th hole feature in a mini golf. The owner was a little skeptical of the idea until he witnessed how popular and effective it was. He ordered a second one the next season!

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Dan Sawatzky's shop, Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation, is in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. Dan shares his experience in his Sign Magic Workshops on 3-D sign making, and his Sculpting Workshop.

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