In my last blog, Adventures of an Event Photographer Part 2, I talked about the importance of getting those detail shots. It takes a village to put on a successful event. There are multiple working parts that must all work together in order for a successful outcome to happen. This is big business. As an event photographer, I am in a unique position because I have the opportunity to interact with each of the separate pieces of the convention, conference or trade show puzzle.
The efforts that outside vendors put forth often happen in the background and their work often blends seamlessly into the environment. This helps the attendees have the best possible experience during their time on the convention floor. This is how it should be. As an event photographer, I am aware that many of the details shot opportunities are related to what these vendors are doing. Think about it for a minute. There are ice sculptures, table settings, room décor, food /catering to name a few. The clients are paying for these services and want to see these represented in the final image upload.
The best piece of advice that I can give to event photographer is to make sure that you make a connection with those event professionals. A convention is a good way to network with other people in the event industry. Making an effort to introduce yourself and strike up a conversation can lead to an exchange of business cards and potential future event photography referrals. I always offer to email them images of their work. These are the freebies that I give and know that by doing so I have increased my chances of being called by the vendor in the future for other events. Photographing their work is a great way to build new contacts. After all, one of the rules of thumb for building any business is to network with people that have the same client base.
One of the most important things an event photographer can do is to follow up after the event. When a convention ends, take the time to seek out your new contacts on social media or on the internet. It is always a good idea to offer to post an image of their work or design and to then share it with them. Many times businesses have used the image that I shared as their Facebook cover photo. This is free marketing for me and goes a long way to help bring in new clients. I also peruse their websites and a few times have offered my services to help add better quality images to their site.
It is crucial that event photographers remember to take advantage of the opportunity to network when photographing a large conference. Thinking of these things can be difficult when you are in the middle of a busy shoot schedule and making sure that you are providing your clients with amazing images. Event photographers are versatile and creative people, well, I think we are. Be creative about networking and remember that a referral from an established and well respected vendor can go a long way in keeping your event photography calendar fully booked.