Just the same way we keep email records and paper trails, it is just as important to document your event work photographically. Keeping a photographic record of your achievements can prove extremely fruitful in generating new business and in providing both yourself and your team a base with which to inspire further creativity.
Recording the result of long hard months of planning, organising and adhering to challenging client requirements, is extremely satisfactory. It also creates a visual reference for other upcoming events that clients can preview prior to the final product. Being able to show your creative side to potential clients in this way is a major plus when they are deciding whether or not to book your event services.
Viewing a venue is not always enough for a client to be able to visualise how his or her event will turn out. A photograph, however, will provide something a lot much tangible as to how a room can look and is key to demonstrating your professional capability.
Being able to actually see, rather than imagine how an event space can be used, gives your client something solid on which to base his or her own event ideas and can certainly inspire creativity. Being able to see what is possible to achieve, is definitely exciting for a client and will create new situations and expectations that will both challenge your team and succeed in furthering your reputation.
Creating ambience is everything and photos give clients some good ideas on how they would like their own events to look and feel. Remember that ambience is perhaps the most important factor of an event. While a theme may be the focus, the ambience that this creates is even more important. This “feeling” lies in the little details such as the lighting, decor and the small thoughtful touches that put your event business above your competitors.
Not everyone has that interior decorative streak and it can sometimes be hard to imagine how an empty room, bare terrace or garden lawn marquee could potentially transform into a Moroccan Bedouin Tent, a Las Vegas Casino or a Winter Wonderland. Well-taken photos can therefore really assist clients in their own decision making process, especially for those who are new to the whole event organising experience. Not everyone knows what they want until they see it, so providing an “oh I would never have thought of that on my own” kind of service is an additional courtesy that many clients will certainly appreciate.
Working with clients that have pre-conceived or no pre-conceived idea of what they would like for their event can be just as hard as it can be easy. Looking at the pros and cons; clients that don’t know what to expect can either be frustratingly indecisive and keep changing their plans or they are so impressed by your ideas, that they are extremely easy to please and follow your suggestions. On the other hand, having a pre-determined theme to work with does make life a little easier, although clients with big ideas can be overly controlling, demanding and expect more than you could possibly provide for the size of their wallet.
Having photographs of a range of different events will either help a client form an idea of what they would like to achieve with their event space, challenge their own imagination and/or help them realize the enormity of what they are asking for their allocated budget. Whichever way, the photographs will prove very useful for you to secure a new booking.
While a series of testimonials can contribute to building your business credo, photographic evidence of your event is even more important and more people will gravitate towards a photo than a written testimony. A photograph speaks volumes and helps build lasting first impressions that are crucial in securing future business. It is always important to focus on your creativity and having photos of previous events will consolidate your verbal promise that you offer a great service. This in turn provides a much stronger conviction for the client that their special occasion is in the best of hands. Remember that you need to always be aiming to be one step ahead of your competitors and it is most definitely ok to showcase your successes and be proud of them.
What and How to Photograph
Unfortunately it is all too often that we find that the photograph doesn’t always match the reality. Avoid the temptation to overly correct the photographs, as easy as Photoshop may seem. There is nothing worse than setting an expectation that you can’t meet. Be true to yourself, your client and your event team by cataloguing your event in a way that although impressive to new eyes, is still realistic. We all know that promotional photographs are always taken from the best angle but avoid creating too much of an illusion that will only lead to potential disappointment.
Take photos that will really demonstrate your creative, out-of-the box like thinking but be careful to ensure that the photos will be of value to the viewer. By all means focus on smaller elements such as decoration but don’t forget to show something of the venue. Too often is the case that people are far too focused on taking arty photos that while are pretty, don’t provide a real picture of the actual room or event set-up. Why not even venture as far as taking some “before” and “after” shots to enhance the impact of the finished result.
A Personal Record
Use your event photos to record both your best practices and any aspects that didn’t work so well. Having a visual aid to fall back on when debriefing a team or working towards your next event will most certainly be instrumental in instigating changes and improvements.
Presentation Paints A Picture
When faced with a client, either new or pre-existing, it is not advisable to merely pull out a random selection of well thumbed through photos as you would when showing a friend what you did over the weekend. Presentation is always key and if you worry about the details during the event, then you should also focus on the details prior. An overflowing photo album is also not the way to go. A printed brochure, however, with well-selected photos, paints a much more professional picture and is well worth the expenditure in order to bring in the business. Choose photos that you can categorize in a way that will showcase your venues, entertainment, buffet set-ups, decorative details and creative elements, to name just a few. Ensure that your website also includes a clearly labelled photo gallery that will attract the attention of your clients. Having somewhere to send them that displays good quality pictures not only demonstrates that client convenience is important to you but could prove to be that all-important deciding factor they were looking for. Remember that the events world is highly competitive and photo speaks a thousand words!