Extend the life of your event through event photography
You’ve got an event and you’re thinking about professional event photography. Can you justify the expense? Well, there’s a whole lot more to event photography than just pretty pictures at the end. An experienced, confident event photographer can help you
- Get more out of the event itself
- Extend the life of your event through the images
- Leave you with a product you can leverage off for many months afterward
Get more out of the event itself
Think about the relationships that define your business. Having images of your CEO with your local member, an important supplier, or important clients can prove powerful. It shows these stakeholders you value their support. Particularly if you make an effort to set these images up during the event. You can also forward these images to people after the event – more on that below.
Maximise Networking Opportunities
At an event you want your team to connect with as many key people as possible. But it can be hard for them to circulate without seeming rude to individual guests. Solution: photographer! Your photographer can approach people and say ‘Hi! I’m Jen, the photographer. May I take a photograph of you together? [dodgy joke, laughing, click!]. Thanks! Now [CFO/GM/Chair/RM etc] may I borrow you for a moment for another photograph?’ [moving them on to another important client.]
This lets you circulate your senior team among plenty of guests. A confident and subtle event photographer can help your staff maximise networking opportunities.
Thank your sponsors
Your sponsors are an important part of your event. Presenting them with a suite of images is a great way to thank them for their involvement. They could be images of branding or images that show people interacting with their products.
Reward the effort people make
When I was a kid my parents got really dressed up once every few years to go out. Beforehand, they would stand, police line-up style, in front of the brown knit curtain in our lounge room and I would take their photo on our instant camera. Months, sometimes years, after the event the roll would be finished and we’d get the images printed. They looked beautiful.
These photos exist because they took time and effort to get ready for special events which made them worth photographing. The principle still applies and you can leverage off this at your event in two ways.
The photographer can create a simple portrait setup somewhere in a corner and encourage people to be photographed together. It could be teams, award winners, partners, families or other important relationships. This is really, really, effective for parties where partners and families are invited. I’ve had tons of feedback from couples and families that say this is the best photograph they have of themselves together. Being professionally photographed when you look fancy never ceases to delight. Below I chat abouthow printing these off creates even more value. Prints! What is this, 1990?
For more casual events your skilled event photographer will follow the action. They’ll stand back and capture individuals and groups laughing and chatting. This means you get more than just police line up ‘face the camera and smile’ shots. You could also try a photo booth, an oversized Instagram cardboard frame, or props like oversized lips on sticks. These are all fun ways to get your guests to interact in a lively way. They’re also great conversation starters after the event when you circulate images around. Again, more on that below.
Extend the life of your event
So you’ve got all your images but what to do with them now? Two things; social media and stakeholder thank-you’s.
You can have your event photographer turn images around immediately or within 8 hours so you can get them onto your social feeds straight away. The temptation is to chuck them all onto one big Facebook album and say ‘look at my lovely event!’ But this is counter-productive. Grouping them into categories can be more effective. This means you have more bite-sized content. It’s relevant to discreet audiences and therefore more likely to be shared. It also means you can drip feed the posts out over the next 24 – 72 hours.
Drip Feed Content
For example, you’ve just had an awards ceremony. Posting winners individually or in small groups by category can be effective because it lets you build a story around each winner. it gives you the opportunity to explain what your company values. And it gives each person/team their moment to shine. The content is infinitely more relevant and shareable than a huge album people have to dig through to find themselves.
Break it down and tag individuals
We’ve all seen those ‘I’ve just posted an album to Facebook!’ Tweets. Zzzzzzz… Loading single images to Twitter and Snapchat allows you to tag individuals, meaning they’re more likely to engage your content. Also, if the image is flattering it’s more likely to be shared.
For something like Instagram you might post your beautiful room setup, tagging and thanking the venue and suppliers. You might chose a lovely image of your CEO with an important customer, thanking them for their support. If you’re having trouble deciding what to post, selecting images you can tag with handles and hashtags is a great place to start.
Overall, you’ll have more success with your social postings if you make them interesting, relevant to key sections of your audience, and shareable.
Radical idea – print off a great image, throw it in a really elegant, simple cardboard frame like this one and send it to your client/supplier/supporter with a hand written thank you. This is a great way to show them you value their relationship and their attendance at your event. It also helps to keep your business front of mind.
For your staff, what about leaving prints on their desk so they get a surprise when they arrive at work one day? How about printing off the best images from the night and leaving them in the lunchroom? Or running a caption competition on the staff intranet page? So many ways you can get people involved. Just a caveat – ask permission before you publish someone’s image company wide.
It’s not often people receive a really high quality, printed image of themselves. Perhaps not since the missing front teeth/bowl cut school portrait days. Or perhaps at their wedding, which may have been yonks ago. Or never since they have been systemically discriminated against and are not afforded the same basic rights as other humans. Good times, Australia. Good. Times. Regardless, I’ve learned not to underestimate how important professional, printed images are to people when they look great and are with people they care deeply about.
Creating leverage after the event
There are three ways you can leverage event images for months, even years, after your event is over.
You can continue to use the images on social in #ThrowBackThursday posts after the event. Further, you might like to delay the printing of those images I mentioned above for a few months after the event to really surprise people.
Having beautiful images of your venue and event means anyone unable to attend will see what a fabulous time everyone had last time. This is particularly important for subscription/ticketed events like networking functions. Having really strong images makes it much easier to promote your event next time around.
You invited your local member to the event and snapped a pic of her and your CEO. Months later your business is awarded a major tender with the government. Now you have a great, specific, image to publish with your media release, showing the real and important partnership between you both. Having a strong, specific image will increase the chances your media release will get picked up. This applies across the board to clients, stakeholders, joint venture partners… anyone. You just never know when you’ll need those important VIP relationship images later on.
There are plenty of ways you can create additional value than just loading everything into one giant Facebook album. Follow my tips here on how to choose a good event photographer. And read up here on how to brief your event photographer.