Summer makes me think of…Christmas!

The last month of summer stretches before us, with the sun shining, and the bees still buzzing. However, here at Photo Cutouts, locked in our windowless offices, we are thinking about Christmas, and us worker bees are buzzing with excitement about some new photo cutout boards!

Coming Soon new christmas designs

My dear readers, I am well aware that there was a collective eye-roll when you read that the theme for this week is Christmas. After all, we are still in the hot, hazy, lazy days of summer, and one does not wish to think of the cold, the possible snow, and the chaos of Christmas shopping.

Whilst I agree, allow me to also explain our (or at least my) reasoning of broaching the Christmas topic. Shopping for the holidays can be stressful and frantic. We are bound to be grumpy when stressed and overwhelmed. But, some fun and giggles can certainly alleviate that stress. What is a good way to have a bit of a lark? A nifty face-in-the-hole board of course! Just think: in that frantic shopping, you pause because some genius business has an awesome Christmas-themed photo board prop – it draws you in, and you simply cannot resist that fun photo opportunity. Suddenly, holiday hecticness turns into some holiday merriment.

Christmas Photo Boards

Yes, I have simplified things a little bit, and have added my own special brand of logic – but, as usual, I am correct. I would also like to add that we at Photo Cutouts are like magical Christmas elves helping everyone out. We are actually doing more than providing some striking piece of eye candy for a storefront. We are helping businesses attract more customers, and we are helping customers have a good time…. And in our spare time, we are still working on world peace.

Anyhoot, back to our Christmas theme. Christmas is certainly a time for photo opportunities and Photo Cutouts has helped to create some memorable ones. Last year Klondyke & Strikes Garden Centres ordered Snow Globe boards for their stores in England, Scotland, and Wales. (Did I mention that they suddenly became our favourite garden centre?).

Garden Centre Christmas Snow Globe

Odin Events used our Nutcracker boards to organise Nutcracker Trails with the aim of promoting Christmas shopping in town centres around the country.

Christmas Nutcracker Trail photo board

The Natural Christmas Tree Company and Thetford Garden Centre have also been our Christmas fans.

Christmas face in the hole Thetford

So, why not jump on that Christmas bandwagon (or sleigh), and start thinking about how you would like us to help you with creating buzz-worthy Christmas peep board prop. (As always, contact details below.)

In the meantime, do keep reading our blog, since, very soon, our Fun Think Tank Team will be revealing those new and exciting Christmas-themed boards!

https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/
Tel: 08450 570 321
Email: office@connectedshopping.com
Online form: https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/contact.htm

Our boards brighten Winter events!

It’s Winter, and it’s cold out there. Are you suffering from exposure? We hope not. But our photo cutout boards give your business all the exposure it needs – in a good way.
Photo Cutouts face in the hole boards are brightening up Winter around the country.  Here are three examples of how they are adding festive cheer to venues at their Christmas events.

1. Lee Valley White Water Centre

The 2012 London Olympics water sports venue have 3 Photo Cutouts boards in action at their Ice Rink & Christmas Market:

snow globe, ice skating, lee valley
Our gorgeous Skating Snow Globe, perfect for Lee Valley White Water Centre’s ice skating rink!
Oktoberfest face in the hole board, bavarian, beer
A modified version of our Oktoberfest board, perfect for Lee Valley WWC’s Bavarian-themed market!
Santa's grotto face in the hole board
A custom version of this Santa & Child festive photo board to give kids something extra to do while they wait to meet Santa in his grotto!

2. The Elveden Estate Winter Experience

This well-known venue in Suffolk, on the edge of a large pine forest, is famous for providing Christmas trees to locals. The trees are delivered on carts by big fluffy Newfoundland dogs! How cool is that?

They went for our Snow Globe as well – it’s proving popular this year. It is currently gracing their outdoor Winter Experience, proving that our boards are weatherproof and can withstand event the recent weather with no problem.

3. Thetford Garden Centre

Our Christmas boards are popular with garden centres who hold Santa’s grotto and Christmas events.

Thetford Garden Centre is busy during the festive season selling stoves and firewood to keep homes warm. We made them a custom Christmas board which they are using in a promotional campaign with the hashtag #thetfordgcselfie.

Here are some customers’ photos from social media as they get their post up under the #thetfordgcselfie hashtag to try and win a Christmas hamper!

Winter fun with face in the hole boards at Christmas Face in the hole board Christmas fun Winter face in the hole Thetford

It’s a good example of a social media campaign using a face in the hole board from Photo Cutouts. It generates exposure and awareness for the brand out there on the internet, as well as fun and engagement at the actual event itself!

Have a look at our Christmas range here, our custom photo cutout board page here or give us a call on 0845 0570321.

Email: office@connectedshopping.com

 

Christmas Nutcracker Trail photo boards!

The Christmas Nutcracker Trail – coming to a town near you?

Christas nutcracker photo boards

We have really enjoyed making this group of boards for Odin Events, who are organising a series of Nutcracker Trails to promote Christmas shopping in town centres around the country. Featuring 6.5-foot tall Nutcracker Kings placed strategically around the town, the campaign encourages shoppers and their children to follow the trail and find all the nutcrackers and their names.

We are proud to be supporting this fun programme of festive promotions with specially made photo cutout boards. They present an opportunity to interact with a picture of a nutcracker and take photos to celebrate finding them and completing the trail. Kids and grown-ups alike can’t resist putting their faces in the holes and having their photos taken – and that’s the magic of how photo cutouts promote engagement with locations, brands, campaigns and causes.

Christmas nutcracker doll

Nutcracker dolls are associated with Christmas thanks to German stories like The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann, in which a young girl’s favourite Christmas toy comes alive and defeats the evil Mouse King before he takes her away to a magical land populated by dolls. Tchaikovsky’s Ballet of the same name is based on Alexandre Dumas’s adaptation of Hoffmann’s story.

Nutcracker dolls originated in 17th-century Germany and are traditional Christmas children’s toys there. They became popular outside Germany when World War II soldiers took them back to the United States and the rest of Europe as souvenirs.

For more about the Nutcracker Trail, see below.

Nutcracker trail

Photo Cutouts create gorgeous, colourful face in the hole boards for promotions, branding, marketing, charity fundraising, and special events. There’s still time for us to make one for you for the Christmas shopping season!

See our range of Christmas boards

Find out more about creating custom branded face in the hole boards to promote your business, charity, cause or event.

Get your face in the ho-ho-hole!

This one is really popular …

Photo cutout boards are a proven way to increase public engagement at Christmas events. They create a focus for people to take photos and a branded board helps to promote your event and create a buzz.

Snowglobe christmas face in the ho-ho-hole board

This new snow globe design for 2017 is proving popular. Brands who have bought it include the Brecon Mountain Railway for their Santa Specials, the Elveden Estate for use in their Christmas-themed shops and courtyard, and Orchard Events for use at the Festive Gift Fair at the NEC. It’s a nice cosy design that makes people feel good, warm and Christmassy, and our customers are loving it.

Like all our Christmas boards, the Snow Globe can be personalised and branded with logos, messages, hashtags and other insignia on its large ‘brass plaque’ at the bottom. When the public put their faces in the ho-ho-hole, their shared photos carry the brand’s message far and wide on the web via photo sharing sites and social media. So as well as creating a fun atmosphere at the event itself, it publicises your brand on the interwebs!

Photo boards get people into your brand – literally!

National Trust Christmas photo cutout boards - get your face in the ho-ho-hole!
Any brand can use a photo cutout board to increase engagement – including the National Trust!

Any organisation can boost its PR with a custom-made photo cutout board. Above is a photo of a pair of Christmas boards we made for the National Trust last year. These were for their Hardwick Hall location, and they worked so well that since then they have come back to us and we have made boards for other Trust locations as well.

There are lots of new custom boards that we can’t tell you about because they have not yet been used in public – we don’t like to jump the gun on our customers, so we keep original custom designs under wraps until they are at large and people are engaging with the bran by putting their faces in the ho-ho-hole and sharing photos.

What design can we make for your brand? Ask us on 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com .

Visit our Christmas boards page here to find out more about festive options

Or check out our custom boards page to see how we can boost your PR!

We wish all our past, present and future customers a prosperous festive season!

Christmas face in the hole board

New 2017 Christmas designs for hire now!

Get your face in the ho-ho-hole!

Christmas face in the hole board

Christmas is one of the times of year when our photo cutout boards really shine. They add extra sparkle and fun to festive events and increase engagement. A colourful, vivid photo cutout board is ideal for interacting with the public at conferences and expos, corporate events, charity events, retail stores, marketing events, theatres, art galleries, awards ceremonies and the many other events that take place every November and December.

We’ve created some unique new designs for 2017 that you won’t find anywhere else. Boost the buzz at your Christmas event! The new designs are on our website and are proving popular, with hires going out as we write this. If you want to grow your presence and engagement with the public this Christmas, you need a photo cutout board. We’re ready to talk to you on 08450 570321! Or drop us an email at office@connectedshopping.com.

Christmas snow globe, marketing, experiential, events
Guests are going to LOVE our new snow globe board! Be the first to get it! There’s a nice big space on the plaque at the bottom for corporate messages, logos, hashtags and web addresses. Or anything you like!

We’ve given the Christmas range a makeover with a fresh and up-to-date design style.

2017 polar bear, penguin, santa claus, Christmas scene
We’ve designed a fun new Christmas board with some new friends for Santa. What do you think?

The choice of how many face holes is yours. In this new design below, you can have Rudolf or Elf cut out or both. Just ask us and we’ll make it the way you like. For children at a Santa’s grotto, for example, you might prefer to have just the elf cut out, because it’s at a better height for kids.

Santa reindeer face in hole board 2017


As for custom Christmas boards with your own design or one created by us, check out our custom boards page for more info. As an example, here’s a festive board we made for InternetMatters.org for use at TalkTalk’s offices over the Christmas period.

Christmas photo cutout board campaign

Our elves are hard at work

As our production ramps up to capacity for the Christmas run of photo cutout boards, we have recruited some extra Christmas elves to keep the boards going out on time. They’re best at doing jobs like cleaning the boards and cutting out the face holes.

Here’s Buddy the Elf in an elfie selfie with the jigsaw as he carefully cuts the face holes to the right size. He’s trying hard not to use his magical powers to speed things up because we pay him by the hour. And don’t worry, he’s had full Elf & Safety training before we let him loose with the jigsaw.

Elves make Christmas photo cutout board
Buddy the Elf is doing overtime

We’ve managed to secretly get photos of some of the boards Buddy and his colleagues have been making.

Here’s one for the National Trust in use at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. It’s got their hashtag on it for use on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If people use the hashtag when they post their photos of the board, it will make them easier to find and help the National Trust’s cause.

Face in hole board Christmas elves

This next one was used at the recent zip line event across the Thames to raise funds for Evelina Children’s Hospital. The event was a great success and saw celebrities and London firefighters flying across the Thames from the roof of St Thomas’s Hospital to the gardens of the Palace of Westminster. It was the first time this has ever been done.

eveline zipwire, zip wire, King's College Hospital

Here’s a board for Rotosound Strings featuring Jimi Hendrix. Not especially festive, but we get orders for custom boards all year round so sometimes the elves have to swallow their yuletide pride and get on with it. This one was used at a marketing event in Germany.

Jimi Hendrix photo cutout board

When the elves have packed up their tools and gone back to Lapland, it’ll be time to start thinking about the next big event in the calendar: Valentine’s Day. Why not ask us to create a board for the one you love? Have a look at our wedding boards for inspiration. We’ll be happy to make you a photo board with two face holes for your special one, and we’ll include any special message you want to say.

Wishing you an elfy and happy Christmas, and see you in the New Year!

Face in hole boards featured on Ellen!

Anna meets Dory via the medium of face in hole boards

Face in hole boards hit prime time TV in the USA this week, when Ellen DeGeneres used them in a hilarious segment on her talk show. Ellen and Frozen actress Kristen Bell played the parts of Princess Anna and Dory the amnesiac fish respectively by using small face in hole boards. Both stars knew their parts well as they voiced the characters in the respective films. DeGeneres voiced Dory in both Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.

The pair improvised a sketch in which Anna and Dory meet for the first time. But true to character, Ellen/Dory forgot what they were talking about. ‘I’d love to build a snowman,’ says Ellen/Dory. ‘Great, let’s do it,’ says Bell/Anna. ‘Let’s build the snowman.’ ‘What snowman?’ asks Ellen/Dory. ‘I’m Dory, who are you?’

Watch the video here.

An irreverent reverend!

Some interesting ‘face in hole ideas for a church picnic’ have emerged from the fevered mind of David Hayward, aka The Naked Pastor. The ideas are rather close to the bone for an actual pastor to have produced, but he drew them, not us. We can’t reproduce his cartoon here due to image permissions, but you can see what the irreverent reverend came up with here (warning: it’s a bit naughty):

http://www.nakedpastor.com/2016/07/face-in-hole-ideas-for-a-church-picnic/

Halloween is stalking us again!

Are you planning a Halloween event or party. We have a special Dracula and Witch board for hire or purchase. Grab one for your Halloween bash!

Halloween party ideas, Halloween costumes, Halloween props, Ellen
You’d be bats not to hire this one at Halloween.

http://www.photocutouts.co.uk/buy-seasonal-themed-photo-cut-out-boards.htm

Christmas Range!

And we hate to say it, but it’s time to start thinking about entertaining the concept of mulling over the possibility of toying with the idea of envisioning the vague notion of planning your Christmas entertainment. Yes, that was a long sentence, and yes, it’s a long time to Christmas – except it isn’t. By the time you’ve blinked it will be November, and from then on things seem to speed up in the run-up to the festive holidays. Check out our Christmas Range of photo cutout boards to brighten up your festive event or party!

Santa and Elf Helper | Photocutouts.co.uk Ellen
Help Santa deliver presents in this cute photo memory.

https://photocutouts.co.uk/buy-christmas-themed-photo-prop-boards.htm

(We also make custom boards, so just ask and we’ll design a perfect board for you).

Guaranteed fun at any event!

For some reason people find it really funny when someone else sticks their face through a picture. For the origins of the phenomenon, find out more about the history of the photo cutout board. But it doesn’t really matter why it works – it just does. Photo boards add guaranteed fun to all types of events. But which sorts of events are most popular? Here are the main types of event where our photo cutout boards are used:

  • Marketing events / product promotions. A face-in-hole board truly gives a product or service a face, and the interactive nature of the boards mean people play around with them and literally ‘get into’ the brand (which is splashed all over the board). Companies who have used our boards to great effect at marketing and promotional events include Tilda Rice and Autoglass. Here are those two examples:
Custom photo boards, event marketing, branding
Autoglass commissioned a custom design for their promotional event in London.
  • Weddings. Maybe it’s the traditional, saucy nature of photo cutout boards that fits in so well at weddings. Of course the happy couple will pose with their faces in through the holes, but everybody else, young and old, can have a go too. As the wedding party snaps away with their cameras and phones, the board provides a focus and is sure to create wonderful photo memories. See our wedding range here.
wedding party ideas
On this wedding board guests can write chalked messages to the bride and groom, or put up hashtags for photo sharing.
  • Seasonal events. Christmas, Easter and Halloween are prime time for parties and events, and we have boards for all three. Customers can hire from our seasonal ranges or have us make a custom board specially for them. Add some interactive Santa, bunny or vampire fun to your seasonal event!

Christmas Range

Easter & Halloween

 

Snowman and Gingerbread Themed Photo Cutout | Photocutouts.co.uk
Have some WInter wonderland fun in this snowy Christmas themed photo board.
Easter party ideas, hot cross bun, easter bunny, easter eggs
Easter Bunny, Easter Egg and Hot Cross Bun – join in the Easter fun!
Halloween party ideas, Halloween costumes, Halloween props
You’d be bats not to hire this one at Halloween!
  • Charity fundraising events. We have made custom boards for many charities, who find that they create a healthy buzz at their fundraising events. The board represents the charity and carries the name, web address and social media hashtags if desired, so that when people share their photos of each other grinning or grimacing through the face holes, the charity name, website and social sharing info are plain to see. And people donate more when they are laughing! Here’s a recent one:
dogs, charity fundraising ideas, dogood
The Dogs Trust custom board
  • Any other type of event! Birthday parties, book launches, store openings, sports matches – a photo cutout board will brighten any event and help to make it memorable.

Call Shelley today to talk about a photo cutout board to make your event special!

0845 057 0321

Or email office@connectedshopping.com

Festive Party Planning

10 steps to Planning the Perfect Festive Party

Festive Party Planning

If you are the one with the job of planning your Christmas party, then we emphathise with you and the stress it can often cause.

Festive Party Planning

Here are our top ten steps for planning a festive get together.

1 – Venue and Date

This can be a difficult one if you have remote workers or those who travel to your business address.  Choosing a venue that is accessible to all, has adequate parking or a venue that can offer a packaged festive party plan with a cost per head, is usually the safest bet.

As for the date, get in early.  Offer a couple of dates and then go with the majority – there will always be someone that can’t make that date, so don’t feel embarrassed that a team member will be missing.

And of course, be prepared for some sore heads the next morning, which in turn can affect office productivity.

2 – Budget

Get this one clear from the off.  If you are solely in charge, have a quiet chat with the boss about the reality of how much things would cost for the size of the team you plan to be entertain.

Ideally settle this in September to allow adequate planning for the scope of event you and the business can afford.

3 – Guest List

Be clear about this too as it is important to establish whether partners and / or families can attend.  If you have a good year financially why not throw an all inclusive event so that your team feel valued for their achievements?

Communicate this early to ensure there are no assumptions from the employee or employer.

4 – Theming

Themes are always popular and getting the team to dress up add more fun to a corporate party.  This can be anything from a Winter Wonderland, a traditional Christmas theme or a Santa’s Grotto or workshop.

Props are easy to source and can be anything from a Rodeo Reindeer, Christmas Bingo, festive back drops, Santa and Elf hats for the party goers or even a fun fair if you can afford it.

You may even decide to run a competition for the best Christmas jumper worn on the night or run a festive pub quiz to keep your the party-goers engaged.

5 – Entertainment

Add something to keep everyone entertained.  Add some variety and novelty like a jukebox, magicians, casino table or festive photo board cutouts or a photo booth for fun memories.

Choose reputable suppliers in advance to ensure you get what you are expecting.  There is nothing worse than your main act not appearing, which leaves an uncomfortable gap in the evening’s festive party and unhappy party revellers.

6 – Table Plan

Choose wisely if not you might have something more explosive than your table crackers!  With larger tables, it would be a good idea to get all parties to move along a seat after each course to ensure the conversation continues to flow with the mulled wine.

7 – Event Management

Hire an event planner to do this for you.

If the budget won’t allow a planner, delegate this task to a couple of trusted team members to control the evening’s events who can still enjoy the fun.  After all someone has to control the tone of the event and ensure that everything goes with the flow, if not all that effort soon loses its sparkle.

8 – Eat, Drink and be merry!

Be sure to make sure everyone is replenished.  We have all been to those parties and get togethers where the hosts have fallen short on supplies – both food and drink.

Things to consider are those who may be driving, those with food allergies or intolerances and those that might have to leave early for babysitters.

Ensure the menu offers simplified foods and is in plentiful supply.  Christmas is the season for indulgence so make sure that this the case.  And don’t feel turkey has to be on the menu!

9 – Speeches and Awards

A perfect time to award staff members something for their achievements and for the Director to stand up and deliver a short ‘thank you’ speech.  This is a great post dinner activity and an opportunity to thank those that have excelled this year.

10 – Transport home

An important way to end the festive party (or start it!)  Organising transport to ensure everyone gets home safely is a must.  Why not hire a bus or coach to pick the team up from the venue and drop them back at the office?

This adds a nice touch to what will hopefully be a fantastic evening!

Happy Festive Party Planning!

Decorate your store with a themed festive photo board

 

Festive Themed Santa's Grotto Festive Photo Board
Why not bring Santa to your store this festive season.

Did you know the world’s first Santa’s Grotto was in Lewis’s Bon Marche Department store in Liverpool, England in 1879?

With the festive season fast approaching and the emphasis very much on the big man himself, why not welcome Santa to your store this Christmas?

What better way to celebrate the season than encouraging your customers to share in the fun of Christmas with a fun, festive photo board.

Our festive themed photo boards can be bought straight from our online store or branded with your logos, #hashtags or corporate message and used in your marketing campaigns – giving you significant exposure.

Have you been a good boy / girl this year?

If you have been good this year, this is a great opportunity to have your photo captured on Santa’s knee!!  Why not hire a board for use in your venue this festive season?

The Christmas Collection

Combine Santa’s Grotto with other festive themes available in our Christmas Collection.

The festive photo boards also make a great addition to any staff Christmas party for a jolly good old knees up! Hire one or hire all four festive photo boards!

Christmas Tree Festive Photo Board for Hire and Purchase
Become the Christmas Tree or the Present in this fun photo board.
Santa and Elf Helper Festive Photo Board for Hire and Purchase
Help Santa deliver the presents down the chimney in this cute photo board.
Snowman and Gingerbread Festive Photo Board for Hire and Purchase
Have some Winter wonderland fun in this snowy Christmas themed photo board.
Santa's Sleigh Ride Festive Photo Boards for Hire and Purchase
Ride the sky in Santa’s Sleigh in this fun festive photo board.

Start your own social media campaign, interacting with your audience with giveaways and competitions of images of the boards in use.

We can also create a bespoke photo board for your needs too, just give us a call and one of our team will be happy to chat through your requirements.