Conferences have been and will continue to be one of the most powerful ways to bring a community of people together, to share ideas and bring experts and innovations to the forefront of any industry or movement.
The production, styling, lighting, speakers and everything involved to bring a conference together is worthy of being celebrated and documented, typically for the purpose of social media amplification, public relations and marketing the next conference.
Recently at the Lewis Howes Summit of Greatness I witnessed a plethora of photographers and videographers madly running around to capture every finite detail, emotion and energetic atmosphere, entertainment, and world-class speakers on stage and at signings and meet and greets.
It reminded me just how much goes into producing, documenting and marketing such an event.
Reflecting on this, I would like to highlight what it takes to document a large-scale conference and the type of content it can generate.
How Many Photographers Does it Take to Capture a Conference?
How long is a piece of string?
Every conference and event is different, and it all depends on whether there are breakout sessions and how many, what social events and how many there will be, number of delegates attending, whether it includes an exhibition area and brand activations that need to be photographed.
To give you an example, this three day, 1,200 delegate conference required the services of three professional event photographers and one photographic co-ordinator.
10 breakout rooms with X 30-minute rotating sessions per day
5 evening social events
2 breakfasts, and
1 large exhibition floor with 3x stand activations per day.
Hiring an event photographer vs event ehotography company with conference photography experience
To capture an entire conference you generally need more than one photographer. This is why we recommend partnering with an event photography company that has a network of photographers.
If your conference is in more than one location, hiring an event photography company will make your job that much easier. You can hand your brief to one person with the confidence your brief will be directly communicated with each photographer.
When you partner with an event photography company, you get access to the best event photographers who have been individually tried and tested.
What type of content can be generated from a conference?
Would you agree that the size of a conference can tell you just how amazing it was? Have photos of a buzzing crowd or sea of people clapping and laughing at a conference help you decide whether to attend a conference in the past? Social influence has to be one of the biggest selling points when it comes to events.
In addition to cheering crowds and photos of your amazing speaker lineup on stage presenting the very best of what they know, here are some ideas on how you can use conference photography during the event and into the future.
Social Media Marketing Photographs
Having a conference photographed would have to be the best way to generate social media marketing material for the next 12 months, or until your next conference. Imagine having a database of photography, ready to use on your social channels.
With the power of technology, photographs can be transferred from a camera to a tablet, phone or computer and uploaded to social media within minutes.
Do you engage the marketing team who takes care of your marketing when you’re running a conference? I bet they would absolutely love this.
Conference Showreels and Highlights
During last day of The Summit of Greatness a team of videographers put a highlights video together, which was viewed on the last day. The video highlighted the speakers, personal transformations and new friendships made. It was a moving and inspirational video that reminded me of how I felt when I arrived and how I felt on the last day of the summit. In addition to moving the audience, Lewis sold 1,000 tickets to next years Summit of Greatness.
Do you have a conference coming up that would benefit from having a highlights video?
Video testimonials and interviews
Written reviews are great for social proof on your website, Google and Facebook, and help increase keyword rankings on your website, but have you given thought to how powerful video testimonials and interviews might be? Given video content generates a higher ROI, video testimonials can be a great source of social proof on your conference showreel, website, YouTube channel, social media channels and other promotional material.
Do you already interview speakers and delegates at your conferences? How has it benefited your marketing?
Video of speaker sessions
If your event is only held in one location, a great way to reach a larger market is through virtual tickets. Social Media Examiner do a great job of this with Social Media Marketing World in the USA.
Speakers also love receiving a copy of their session to use in the own marketing materials. Have you gifted speakers a video of them speaking in the past?
The cost of conference photography
Pricing for a conference photography varies. It will depend on how many photographers required and how many days and hours your conference will run. One effective way of reducing the cost of photography is offering it as a sponsorship package.
Do you want to partner with a photography company that you can rely on? One that has over 40 years experience in the events industry?
EventPix was founded twenty years ago by Trevor Connell, who has over forty years of Australian event industry experience. These days Trevor concentrates his time working with our clients and team of photographers to deliver a high level and consistent service and the most efficient coverage events.
You can get in touch with Trevor on 1300 850 021 to discuss your next conference coverage.
Often when we think about personal branding we think about famous people or Instagram “Influencers”. However, these people usually have teams of professionals managing their personal brand that can seem so far from reality.
In the corporate world personal branding is something we need to understand and build on, and having a polished LinkedIn profile and nice portrait is only the start.
I really love this quote from Entrepreneur’s article on personal branding, “Personal brands are like wardrobe choices. You need to be honest about whose attention you’re trying to get, what your natural style is, and the story you’re trying to tell. Without all that, you won’t make comfortable clothing choices, and you definitely won’t have a personal brand you can relate to. It’ll be more likely to hang in your closet, along with the rest of your unloved vests and sweaters. R.I.P.”
Reasons to Invest in YOUR Personal Branding
Perhaps you’ve just landed your dream job or you’re searching for a new one. Your new team, clients and prospective employers will be researching you to find out as much as they can before trusting and investing time and money in you.
Maybe your boss or new business requires you to attend networking events or build relationships with prospective clients or existing contacts and customers. What will they want to know about you? What are you telling them?
…and the obvious reason is that you want (and deserve) a pay rise.
The Deeper Dimensions of Personal Branding
Have you given any consideration to the deeper dimension of personal branding. Like what makes you tick? What do you truly value? And how does that feed into everything you do in your day and the output of your work? How you speak to and treat other colleagues, above and below you?
One thing I learnt during a mindfulness retreat, that I have applied to my professional world, is that when you elicit your core values and write them down on paper they start becoming your reality. Similarly, when you think about buying a new car you start seeing that model everywhere you walk and drive. When you start to focus on your values they become your reality.
So what are your values when it comes to your professional life? Here’s a few to get you thinking:
Experts suggest that handwriting your notes improves your memory, so I recommend writing down a list of your professional core values and assess how close you are to living those values. If you’re not, it’s ok. Simply start to focus on them each and every day and after a few weeks or a month revisit your values to see how you’re going.
What is Your Why?
Why do you do what you do? What do you believe in?
Since entering the workforce 15 years ago I’ve had about 10 jobs, no joke. I’ve been a legal secretary, tech support operator, sign-writer, training manager… the list goes on.
When I started studying photography in 2006 I knew that creating beautiful images was what made me tick, and it’s been the driving force of my life ever since. I went back into the corporate world, working in the financial sector for a media company a few years ago, it killed my creativity and soul after a while. I knew that photography was what made me happy, and I was going to do everything in my power to make it my career.
So, I guess my why is helping people build their business, amplify their message and capture life lasting moments through beautiful imagery.
Now. What’s your why?
What Are Your Goals?
This is such a cliche question, but really, what are your goals?
Setting professional goals would have to be one of the most effective ways to actually achieving them. When I started my marketing degree my goal was to be a digital marketing manager in five years. I did that in two. So my next goal was to be head of the department and I did that in six months. It made me realise just how much value there is in goal setting, so I now set goals for everything.
When thinking about your goals remember to fit the rest of your life in. How do your professional goals support the rest of your life i.e. does working from 9am to 10pm every night because you’re so deadline focused affect your intention to spend more time with family and friends? Probably not.
Once you know what your values are, start writing down your goals based on your values, dates you plan on achieving those goals and what action you need to take to achieve your goals. Revisit them on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis to see how you’re going. You’ll be surprised at how well this works.
Crafting Your Personal Branding Story
People connect with stories and will connect and understand you on a deeper level when they know your story.
Most organisations will have a story and brand statement, and on the flip side create user personas to profile prospect clients and customers. It’s what organisations use to drive every business decisions, products tey create and content they produce. I’m sure you’ve already done this yourself too.
From a personal branding perspective this isn’t something you need to publish publicly, though it’s something that might help guide your personal branding – the way you speak about yourself to people at networking events, your online profile, the content you share on social media, brands you use and wear, style of your hair and wardrobe, and your professional headshot etc.
Give it a go. Make it interesting, and something you’re proud of saying to yourself each and every day.
Here’s an example of how I’ve utilised a couple of my values into a personal brand statement.
“I create meaningful connections between brands, people, and the world by transforming moments in time into unforgettable memories.”
How to Start Empowering Yourself
It can be a pretty difficult task to think about yourself as a brand. You know who you are, and so do your current colleagues, friends, and family. But what about prospective clients or employers?
Most of us who haven’t studied sales, marketing or business probably don’t realise this, but we are selling ourselves every day. Whether it’s communicating a new idea to our team, negotiating a pay rise with our boss or communicating our skills and experience in an interview, we are selling ourselves through our body language, the way we dress and the way speak.
Here are a few ways you can shift your mindset to your personal branding in a way that feels comfortable and empowering:
Shift your mindset to your values and goals. When we focus on our values and goals we tend to think about the outcome and steps it takes to get there, as opposed to what fears we have or perceived judgements people might make.
Remind yourself of your values on a daily basis. When we write down our values and start thinking about them on a daily basis, they start to become our reality – just like the story of the car. When you stay true to your values it makes you feel confident and motivated.
Keep your goals in mind. When you’re on track to achieving your goals there’s a sense of empowerment. You feel good about the work you’re doing, and not so lost in the detail of each and every day.
Be kind to yourself. You might find that you aren’t living up to all of your values at first and that is ok. There is always room for improvement. We are only human, so be kind to yourself.
“Where attention goes, energy flows and results show.” -T. Harv Eker
How to Begin Building YOUR Personal Brand
Here’s a list of tasks you can do to help build a stellar personal brand that people can connect with, and that feels honest from the inside out:
Write down a list of your professional values (and personal ones if that helps too)
Write down at least 3-5 professional goals including what steps you need to take to achieve those goals, and the date you plan on taking the first step to achieve your goal
Create your personal branding statement
Update your resume to reflect your values
Update your Linkedin profile
Review your personal and professional style. Does it reflect your professional values?
Get a professional headshot taken.
Update your website About and Team pages
Start an engaging blog about the topics you’re passionate about and that support your goals
Write or share content on Linkedin that reflects your values and goals
Update your personal Facebook profile photo (this doesn’t have to be professional, but something that talks to your interests or personal values)
Share images on Instagram that speak to your values
If you own a business, run a workshop on personal branding that helps your team achieve their goals
Review your values and goals on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis (they’re likely going to change)
Hosting a private or corporate Spring Carnival event this year and want to create unforgettable brand engagement experiences?
For some, Spring Racing Carnival isn’t just about the races. It’s about coming out of hibernation to soak in the spring vibes and warmer weather. It’s getting out of your PJs and into that dress you’ve been eyeing off. It’s getting glammed up and becoming a social butterfly again, after months of Netflix and chill on the couch.
When we ladies spend time (like weeks finding the best dress, shoes to match, a fascinator and getting hair and makeup done on the day) making ourselves look and feel glamorous, which might be often or only from time-to-time, we want that moment to be captured – and not at the end of the night when we’re waiting for an Uber with heels in hand. I know I’m not alone on this one.
Here’s a few fun ideas that can help brands maximise this opportunity to engage and connect with punters, and be remembered for more than just the free Moet.
Roll out Your Red Carpet for Punters to Experience as they Arrive
Put your guests in the spotlight and make them feel like celebrities as they arrive at your Spring Racing Carnival event.
A Red Carpet Experience will make your guests feel as though they’re arriving at the Golden Globes, stunningly like Emma Stone and in style like Ryan Gosling.
Who are you wearing today!
Branded Decorative Media Selfie Wall
Selfies have taken the world by storm, so why not support the movement with a beautiful decorative wall for punters to use as a backdrop. People often want to be associated with the brands they’re interacting with, so attach your logo to it as a way of further promoting your brand and let user-generated content take the stage. To increase brand engagement and track the success of your beautiful wall, incentivise punters to use a hashtag by giving away prizes at the event.
Here’s an example of how Quantcast used their logo on this decorative wall that we photographed guests in front of.
If you’re inside, make sure you light it properly too i.e. if you only light the wall itself all punters will end up with is silhouette photos.
Get Social – Get an Open Photo Booth and Instantly Post the Photos on Facebook
Give punters the funnest photo booth solution to enjoy at this year’s Spring Carnival event… who doesn’t love a selfie!
Its compact design and beautiful presentation will fit anywhere within your event, to create lifelong memories and brand engagement. You can even send them home with a print (overlaid with your branding message of course), or upload them directly to social media as your event unfolds.
Roaming Entertainment and “Camera Crew” Interviewing Punters
Think Instagram TV, Facebook Live or YouTube Channel etc.
Technology and decent wifi have made content marketing so easy for marketers. People consuming content also (sadly) don’t really care about quality. However, with professional help (lighting, proper microphone) you can post really good smartphone video to social media in a matter of minutes.
One really fun way to capture the excitement is through roaming interviews asking people races related questions. Like “Who are you wearing today”, “Which horse are you backing in the next race”. Are you the drink sponsor? How about, “What are you drinking today?”. You could even throw in some cheeky questions to get video testimonials. Why not?
If you wanted to have some really professional footage taken you could hire a DSLR photographer who has the skills to record these professionally for you or take it to the next level with a professional video crew.
We hope you have an amazing Spring Racing Carnival!
If you’re interested in any of these brand engagement solutions or you’d like a bespoke solution, please get in touch. We look forward to helping you bring the magic to your next event!
Exhibitions present the biggest opportunity for brands to get in front of a highly engaged and specific audience, however attracting people to your stand still presents challenges – especially if your brand is new to the market or you recently launched a new product or service.
With so many ways to attract people to your booth it can be hard to know what will draw people in, and competitions, chocolates, free samples and demonstrations have all been done before.
But have you considered a corporate headshot mini studio?
Personal branding is one of the hottest topics in organisations and for professionals, yet most people are still using their favourite Facebook selfie or a photo from 10 years ago on their professional Linkedin profile.
We often hear people saying that “it’s too expensive to organise your own professional headshot” or “the photo such and such took at work on their phone looks terrible” and they “want a photo they can feel proud of”.
The value of helping someone strengthen their personal branding presents the opportunity to have in-depth conversations and much warmer connections in the future.
Can you remember the days when meet ups were only arranged via a landline (and you actually had to be on time)? or when you only consumed advertising on the TV or via billboards, magazines, catalogues or at events and shows?
Now, with the power of technology we can attend events online, and receive direct marketing from our favourite brands straight into the palm of our hands.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a live Adobe conference from the comfort of my home office. Like many busy people, I didn’t have time to physically attend so this was perfect. This prompted me to investigate how other event managers can do this.
For most organisations, the cost vs benefit of setting up the infrastructure to host live video is usually outweighed, so today I’m going to share with you a very cost effective way of getting your conference in front of your audience on a much larger scale using Facebook live.
“WHY” Go Live On Facebook
Let me guess, you’re thinking, “but I actually want people to attend my event”.
Most likely, broadcasting your conference live on Facebook is only going to attract a larger audience – think about people thousands of kilometres away, or across the globe.
Generally, if people get to experience a product or service and they’re happy with the experience, they will make a purchase i.e. boosting attendance at your conference for years to come.
What Adobe did for the live conference that my marketing brain was impressed by, is; only broadcasting the plenary sessions – so none of the workshops; and sending invites to watch the live sessions the day before broadcast – so it didn’t harm ticket sales and attendance rates.
How to Go Live On Facebook
Here’s a checklist to help ensure your “Go Live On Facebook” experience is successful, using a smart phone system:
Facebook page or group
Smart phone or tablet with a decent camera
Tripod for phone, unless you’re roaming around
Aux cable connected to sound desk, or an external microphone – remember, your audience won’t stick around if your audio is lousy.
Decent internet connection
Headphones – to ensure the quality of your sound
The cheap and cheerful way to go live on Facebook using your smart phone is to open the Facebook Pages app on your phone, click on the Live icon, “Describe your live video…” and click [Go Live].
You can hire a professional who will use a DSLR or video camera with video recording capabilities. With the software and hardware now available, this is a very cost effective solution for delivering high-quality video content.
The benefits of using a DSLR or video camera over a smart phone
Going live at your event using a DSLR or video camera is fivefold:
You’re providing high quality and engaging video to your audience on a larger scale
Your marketing team get high-resolution video content to use for future promotion and a highlights video
You can add branded overlays – which is something that you cannot do on a smart phone
The video is colour and light balanced, and
With telephoto zoom lenses, you can get in nice and close.
What and how much to broadcast live on Facebook?
What and how much video you decide to broadcast live to Facebook is up to you and your client.
Before the conference, start to excite your audience by getting behind the scenes – give them a sneak peak of the room, introduce the people who will be working there, go live at the tasting and interview some of the speakers.
During the event, interview speakers and guests between sessions, and give sponsors more exposure by interviewing them at their stand, and broadcast a few sessions to keep your audience who aren’t attending engaged with your brand, and interested in future conferences and events.
Food for thought
If your conference applies to a national or even global audience, you might want to consider selling virtual tickets to your event.
Social Media Examiner started selling virtual tickets to its Social Media Marketing World conference held in the US this year. Sessions were available to watch a few days after the conference, via an online portal.
To ensure your audience gets instant access to sessions, virtual ticket holders could watch the sessions live via a closed Facebook Group.
One last thing to remember
Just going live at your event isn’t enough – make sure you notify your audience before and during your event.
Good luck, and please feel free to share your Facebook Live experiences with us in the comments section below, or via #epxfacebooklive