This post was created in collaboration with a partner contributor.
As social media continues to define the marketing world and visual storytelling becomes the de facto way to engage with audiences, it’s never been more crucial to carve your path and nail the visual identity of your brand. Events are a key part of that journey.
Unfortunately, it’s not a simple task. A high-quality event in 2023 takes planning, creativity, and resources to work smoothly, meaning you’ll need all hands on deck to get the best results from the investment. When you do launch the perfect get-together, however, you’ll want to reap the rewards to the maximum – that’s where event photography comes in.
What Is Event Photography?
Event photography is one of the best ways to capture an important occasion and ensure that you relay as much of the feel, experience, and excitement of actually being on-site as possible. The content available from putting the event on is worth a great deal, as it represents precious ammo in your social media quiver and gives you the privilege of reaching your wider audience beyond those who were able to make it in person.
As modern marketing strategies rely on a breadth of unique and engaging content to showcase your brand, its message, and its products, having a treasure trove of resources to draw from cannot be understated. It’s genuine gold and your marketing team will be glad to have it.
Who Should Handle The Photography?
If you’re planning a business event, you must make a provision for a professional event photographer. Although it might seem cost-effective to allow a team member to take the reins and snap away during the day, the keen eye and experience of a pro more than makes up for the price tag.
Many times at events like these, you’ll only get one chance to take the perfect picture before the itinerary has lurched onward. The pace a photographer needs to work at to be in the right place at the right time, with the right equipment to capture the right shot – all while being as invisible as possible… Well, it’s harrowing to think about.
Leave it to the professional and keep your team focused on making the day itself and the following marketing campaign a roaring success. Here are a number of ways you can make it all click.
Choose A Great Event Photographer
A professional photographer will showcase their talents at every step of your journey. You’re seeking someone who is punctual, detail-oriented, and has a breadth of prior work. If they can show you a portfolio of similar event photography then you’re probably in the right place.
Be sure to check they have the infrastructure to store or share large quantities of pictures, as email and consumer cloud solutions will not be sufficient. Options such as eFax and commercial cloud storage will be more suitable and add protection should files be lost. Consider learning how to eFax and why it’s a secure file transfer medium suitable for large volumes of files.
An often overlooked way to spot a good photographer is through the visual story told by their website and social platforms. If they can show flair and creativity through their online brand, you can be assured it will translate to their work on the day.
Align Your Event, The Must-Have Shots, And Your Content Strategy
It takes all three of the above elements to work side-by-side in order to succeed. If you don’t take the time to understand why you’re putting the event on, what you plan to achieve from it, and how it will be used to drive your marketing strategy forward, you run the risk of missing key value.
The order of approach can vary depending on your goals, but we recommend thinking about the demand first (what content you need) and then meeting that demand. Identify gaps in your current marketing strategy, such as real-world shots of a new product or big changes to your business, and then build an occasion that puts it front and center.
Once you have the specifics of the event itself squared away, you can then map the critical points where a photographer has to be present and snapping away. Of course, they’ll no doubt get a wealth of candid shots throughout the day, but you can’t afford to miss those key moments.
Make A Pop-Up Site To Build Buzz And Record The Journey
Much in the way that pop-up events can be powerful tools in creating anticipation and excitement, using temporary sites to coincide with an upcoming event can have several benefits.
Showing off the journey leading up to the event itself will help to build buzz around the date and keep it in the forefront of your audience’s minds. A pop-up site is a fantastic way to achieve this, as it can contain all the necessary and relevant information on the event in a concise manner.
Given that, according to Dr. Gloria Mark, the average attention span during screen use has reduced by 103 seconds between 2004 and 2023, it's vital that your content stands out. To understand what to look for, read this guide to B2B website design and use it in your assessments.
Remember to consider the event itself. If you expect your attendees to have a lot of questions that can’t be answered with a traditional website FAQ, you may want to consider a unique phone line just for the event. One potential solution with positive feedback is the small business phone services from Vonage for just this purpose.
While typical marketing strategy mandates that everything must relate back to the core domain of your brand, strategic use of pop-up sites can have a big impact. Most importantly, as the domain will be unique to your main domain, it allows you to be more creative with the content you populate the site with.
Your main site will be curated to be an SEO-first environment, which often comes with concessions in content creation. This doesn’t have to be the case with a pop-up site. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your brand under one umbrella.
For example, if you are based in the UK, you should design any new pop-up sites using appropriate UK domain names relating back to your main property, ensuring visitors understand the relationship between your owned domains.
Don’t feel like your photography begins and ends with the event itself either, turn the hard work before the event into usable content and show off your brand. It’s unlikely you’ll keep an event photographer on retainer for the months ahead of the big day itself, but don’t be afraid to get everyone involved in providing content for your marketing strategy.
Capture Different Shots To Use Across Different Content Mediums
In planning your event and the types of content you want to target for your audience, the demands on the media taken at the event will vary. The process of framing shots for Instagram and TikTok is not the same as for LinkedIn, for example, and you’ll want to relay as much information to your photography team as possible to get the best results.
Content silos you should be thinking about gathering media for include:
- On-site content goals – static brand imagery and blog content
- Social media platforms – unique shots to suit specific platforms
- Email marketing – wide banner shots to headline newsletters and comms
- Paid advertising – mobile-focused framing to feature in social media feeds
- Print media – full-page ads allow for shots of larger spaces
Ensuring you capture the right style of event photography for the platform you’re targeting will have a huge impact on the success of your marketing efforts, so take the time to discuss your goals with your photography team attending the event.
Edit Photos to Suit Your Needs
Don’t forget that photos need to be edited to suit the platforms you’re targeting. Even pictures you may not feel have come out their best can be improved with a little bit of creative editing, so don’t dismiss anything until you’ve given it attention.
Encourage and Share Event UGC
Consider using a (virtual) photo booth that can be customized to align with your branding and messaging, while making it easy for every attendee to become an event photographer. By incorporating a virtual photo experience, people can easily access and participate from their phones, and you can even show photos in a live display to highlight the best content and encourage more people to contribute.
A virtual photo booth can be the perfect way to achieve multiple marketing goals from branding to social media sharing.
High-quality photography ensures you capture the spirit of your event and can build on that success with tactile marketing efforts long-term. With the state of modern marketing revolving around social media, you simply cannot ignore the demand for brands to engage with their audience and tell a visual story worth reading.