We’re all familiar with those washed out, red-eyed faces that belong more in a stag-night album than a professional business site. With the advent of high-quality smartphone cameras, there is no longer any reason for having shoddy business pics in 2021.
Given the right preparation, each event you and your team attend represents a marketing opportunity. Be it an exhibition, pop-up shop, trade show, live marketing event, team building day or product launch — you’re gathered together, looking presentable and in a professional environment. You may only be discussing the logistics of carpet stain removal with a colleague, but a decent photo can transform that moment into a meaningful exchange between esteemed professionals. The value of these photos should not be overlooked — they are a low-cost, non-superficial way of increasing your brand’s visibility and demonstrating your team at work.
Oh, the humanity
Often when confronted with a new company, people ask themselves, ‘why should I care?’ Yet another faceless company wants my money and time. Taking photos is one of the easiest ways to dismantle this barrier. The viewer sees that there is a story behind the company, that there are people pulling the strings and actively working to expand their business.
It’s some of the most honest marketing you can do, as you’re simply displaying your business in its natural habitat without posturing. You’re advertising that your business is up and running, as busy as ever, and involved in the event circuit. You could even argue it’s better than a dedicated photoshoot, in which everyone is organised before the camera in a choreographed fashion, as event photography lets the viewer witness the business in action, giving them real insight into life behind the scenes.
What’s more, as far as events go, exhibitions are some of the most photo-worthy. An exhibition stand is like your B2C frontier. Your branding, your team, your products will all be on display for customers — your business distilled into a single spectacle. Let not the fact that you have designed this dynamic portal to your business be wasted on just that one event; get some high-resolution photos and immortalise the moment.
At exhibitions, professional photos are usually taken while the hall is empty to get a shot of the full stand. You can also hire a professional to take shots while the event is in full swing, but these are typically taken amateur-style by an employee. Of course, the quality will depend on the skill of the photographer, but with a bit of patience and the right equipment, most should be able to capture some engaging shots.
Ultimately the reason why event photography is so useful lies in the value of images. Text is far less exciting to individuals than images, which enable a large amount of data to be taken in quickly. We are visual creatures, and love to see patterns or images we haven’t seen before. They draw our attention without us even knowing. That is not to say that all images are stimulating – sure enough, the modern age has all but desensitised us to the novelty of photos – but well-taken, high-quality photos are excellent marketing material. A photo can tell a story far more quickly and efficiently than a block of text. Exhibition stand designer Quadrant2Design, for example, displays its past successes on a gallery page to showcase their work. In this way visitors have the ability to take in multiple images and build a wide impression of the scope of the company’s work.
Making good use of your material
With your sensational photos taken, you now have various options of platforms in which to post them. Utilising your marketing material properly is an essential, if challenging exercise. The usual channels should of course be used — if the event saw the release of a new product or service, you can use the photos in a press release. You can incorporate them into a newsletter, publicise them on your website news page, and share them on social media. But equally, don’t assume these are the only places to share your photos. Image-centric platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr are full of photo-fanatics who are intrigued by good photography and interesting images. Assuming you have some content worth sharing, there is no shortage of online locations in which to post them. Think outside the box for ways of connecting with any people that might be interested in the material you have to offer.
CEO Alan Jenkins of Black Robin Exhibits writes, ‘Photography at events is a must. Even if you don’t use them all, having a bank of photos provides your business with marketing material for a variety of different purposes.’ Better yet, the more photography you attempt, the more you will learn what works and what doesn’t. You will streamline the process such that you end up with better photos and a clearer idea of how best to put them to use. In this very noisy digital age, it’s no longer possible to be competitive with minimal visibility when another company might come along doing exactly what you do with an online presence. Think of event photography as marketing that can be done without a marketing department.