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A photographer

Why you need a professional photographer at your next event (and how to choose one)

Good event photography is something that lives on well past the event. The photos give attendees an opportunity to reflect on the event once it’s done and show others what they missed out on. They can be used to advertise the next event, or to liven up your social media channels.

While many people take photos these days on their smartphones, chances are these aren’t of the highest quality. When you want to ensure you have captured your event well, you need to hire a professional photographer.

A professional photographer will expertly document important event moments such as capturing the guests as they arrive, speeches, ceremonies, or other important interactions.

Here are some reasons why hiring a professional photographer is the best choice for your event:

They are committed to the event

A professional photographer isn’t there to enjoy themselves like everyone else is, and they likely don’t know any other guests, so their focus is solely on your event and capturing it from every angle.

They are experienced

Professional photographers have years of experience under their belt, along with an assortment of high quality equipment. This means they know exactly how to shoot in various lighting conditions, weather or locations, and it also means they won’t waste time on the job figuring it out.

Good photos speak volumes

If a picture says a thousand words, you can imagine what that means for a bad photo. Good photos are crucial for representing your brand well. Event photos can be used on social media, in marketing collateral, or to advertise your next event – all places that showcase how professional your brand is…or not.

With the world becoming more and more reliant on visuals to inform us, it’s now more important than ever to ensure you’re visually representing your brand to the highest quality.

So, how do you choose a photographer for your next event?

There are many different types of photographers out there, each with their own style and approach. To make sure you’re hiring the right photographer for your needs, consider the following:

View their portfolio

A professional photographer will have a portfolio or gallery of past events and shoots. This will give you an idea of the quality of their work and their range. Often you’ll find this on their website and social media channels. You’ll quickly be able to see whether they are good at capturing moments from different angles, or whether they just offer the usual same old photos.

Ask questions

If you don’t ask, you won’t know, so don’t be shy when it comes to finding out as much as possible about your potential photographer and their suitability for your event. Who are some of their past clients? How will photos be given to you after the event, and will they be edited? What are the costs involved? How long will they be at the event?

Meet with them

It’s a good idea to meet the photographer prior to the event. This way you’ll be able to ask them questions directly, and see how they interact with you and your team. This is important as it’ll give you an insight into how they handle other people and how they will act at the event. A photographer needs to be professional, approachable and friendly, as they will be approaching your guests throughout the event.

Want to create an event worth capturing? Talk to AVPartners today about how to create a visually stunning event.

Conference break out session

3 things to consider when planning a conference

Conferences are great for bringing a large group of people together to discuss and learn about certain topics. They are sometimes held over a few days, or even just within a few hours. Either way, there’s always plenty to think about when planning one.

Here are our top three things to consider when planning a conference:

Venue

Conferences tend to be larger scale events, so it’s a good idea to research venues that will cater to your needs in terms of size, amenities and style. You might need separate rooms or sections for break out sessions, or just one big hall to present in. Make sure the venue is appropriate for your conference, that it speaks to the style and theme you want to present, and that it is convenient enough for guests to get to by car or public transport.

Sponsors

Having sponsors who pay to feature at your conference can really help with costs. You might have a few different sponsorship options and levels available, or just one or two main ones, and sponsors may be granted exclusivity or a chance to present at the conference. It’s entirely up to you and the needs of your conference when determining how deep the sponsorship relationship goes, but don’t be too shy when seeking sponsorship income as sponsors can be a huge support during this time.

Audiovisual support

A great conference relies on great AV support. Work out what you need in terms of AV – such as microphones, lighting, staging, monitors, teleconferencing capabilities, or video access for virtual attendees. Many venues have an in-house AV team, such as AVPartners, and are able to make your conference AV needs for sound, lighting and audio smooth and professional!

If you’d like some more information on planning your next conference, contact us today!

Meeting room

Will video conferencing replace face-to-face meetings?

New technologies are making it easier than ever before to stay connected with your colleagues or clients in different offices, states or countries. Video conferencing connects people in real time, through audio and video communication on laptops, TV screens, computers, smartphones and tablets.

Video conferencing has become the norm for meetings; saving travel, time, and money, and increasing productivity. It’s an effective way of communicating, especially if your organisation has a broad geographical spread.

But are we really getting the same benefits as in-person interactions?  Will video conferencing replace face-to-face meetings?

We took a look at some of the pros and cons of video conferencing.

Pros

Time and cost effective

The time and money saved when meeting virtually as opposed to investing in air travel and hotel stays can be a huge benefit to businesses. It can be faster to arrange these types of meetings because people only have to travel as far as their meeting room or even just reach for their smartphone to connect.

Meeting in real time with anyone across the globe

The convenience of discussing ideas in real time and not having to wait for email chain responses is an advantage when it comes to video conferencing.

Shared data

Depending on the software being used, people can be simultaneously working on the same document while on a video call on opposite sides of the world and easily share documents too. This ease of collaboration can greatly increase productivity.

Cons

Physicality

You can have the most high tech equipment available, but it is hard to replace the value of physically being in the same room as each other. There is so much communicating that is done through non-verbal gestures and cues such as handshakes and body language that is hard to replicate with someone through a screen.

Technology

In a video conference everyone is at the mercy of the technology. If the system stops working, or if there is a lack of knowledge about how to use it, it can throw a spanner in the works. This is why having an AV rep to assist makes sense.

Cost

While video conferencing is cheaper than flying people across the country for meetings, decent quality video conferencing software and services aren’t cheap, and other costs need to be considered as well such as high speed internet connections and perhaps a cost-per-user.

Although video conferencing offers an efficient way to stay connected, face-to-face interactions will always be the most effective form of communication, offering vibrancy and engagement within the meeting that you just can’t emulate via a screen.

The importance of content creation for a standout presentation

The key to an engaging presentation is content. Visuals, videos, infographics, audio, graphs and more will take your presentation to the next level. The art is in balancing rich content with compelling simplicity.

Remember that the visual and audio content, of whatever variety, should never compete with your message, but should engage each member of your audience in a variety of ways to help them process, remember and act on the message. This is harder than it seems, and many effective presenters find that it takes a great deal of practice and preparation to distill a presentation down to the essentials. Less is generally more.

So how can you use content to create an elegantly simple yet standout presentation?

– A striking image,
– A consistent colour palette,
– One concept or idea per slide,
– Short video or audio to express an idea visually or aurally,
– Graphs or infographics to simplify complex data,
– Fewer words on a slide and,
– Empty (or white) space,

The process by which we remember and decide to act on a message is quite complicated. Overworking any one information pathway with too many visuals or too much aural information, for example, can cause audiences to tune out.

Find new ways to deliver your message beyond the written and spoken word – graphs, word clouds, infographics, photo collages, even humorous memes speak to the other side of the brain and can add a bit of levity where appropriate.

There are a number of well-recommended digital content creation tools to help you do this – but remember, a light touch works best.

Whatever content you choose for your presentation, remember that effective presentations ultimately require an engaging concept and message. The content will take it up a notch but shouldn’t be used as a crutch to prop up a weak message. The key to a standout presentation is a well-executed message, tailored to your audience.

How to integrate social media into your event

When social media is incorporated into an event, it can be hugely impactful and influential, generating immeasurable campaign awareness before, during and well beyond a physical event.

Here’s how to integrate social media into your event effectively:

Plan your event with social media in mind from the outset

Finding out how your audiences use social media, which channels they visit, the content they engage with and the conversations they are having there – otherwise known as social listening – can provide valuable information to tailor a social media strategy for an event.

Clever social media interaction with attendees prior to an event can also work to enhance the event experience. Attendees can also be incentivised with social media based competitions that engage, increase relevance and build anticipation.

Provide good, relevant content

For social media to be successfully incorporated into an event, delivering content that is worth sharing is key. Participants will share exclusive, insightful and expert information, but also fun and entertaining material. Early planning will ensure this content is relevant and accessible.

Facilitate participants to become advocates

Here are some ways you can encourage engagement and advocacy with participants:

  • Select a simple hashtag and consistently promote it
  • Post live on different social channels throughout the event
  • Incorporate innovative technologies, such as event apps with social media integration, that make it easy, engaging and fun for attendees to share

Social media can take your event to the next level. Ensure you receive the right advice and are fully aware of the technologies that exist to leverage it properly.

This article originally appeared at Business Events News.

The 'wow' factor

5 ways to use social media to promote your event

Using social media to promote an event attracts customers and increases the level of engagement. But promotion shouldn’t stop once the event has passed; social media can be used to both build a buzz beforehand and extend relationships with customers during and afterwards.

Popular platforms for brands promoting events and building communities include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, and the tips below incorporate ideas for each of these.

1. Be active on social media

Encourage greater engagement with your audience by posting regular updates about your event on the social media platforms they use. Ask your audience which events or which speakers they would like to see and offer early bird discounts to build rapport, then make sure you keep the conversation going by sharing posts about the event and responding to people’s comments.

For example, a brand could ask attendees to check into the event via Facebook and post images while there. A Facebook event page can also be used to promote upcoming events with text, images and video that the audience can like, comment on and share with their own networks.

Secret events for those who connect with your brand via particular platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, are a great way to reward audience loyalty and generate good word of mouth.

2. Make it easy to share your event on social media

Who doesn’t love telling their networks what they’re up to? After all, social media is full of updates from people sharing what they are doing at any given moment – and your event attendees are no different.

Help your audience tell the world about the event by pointing to your social media profiles, building discussion about the event on forums, publishing speaker’s social media profiles and publicising any associated hashtags. This exposes the brand to a wider audience than attendees only, and spreads the promotional message further.

3. Embrace real time

Include using social media during the event in your promotional strategy. Twitter is an excellent real-time tool because you can see what people are saying about an event right now by searching for the event hashtag.

Have someone monitoring social media during the event and share updates and photos (if applicable) via social media, retweet others’ tweets, regram others’ Instagram posts, and encourage attendees to do the same. You can also point to what is happening in the near future, such as a Friday afternoon happy hour that starts as the event finishes.

4. Social media is not just for younger staff members

Many think social media is the domain of Gen Y and younger, but that is not true. Your events will appeal to attendees of all ages, so it makes sense to encourage a range of staff members to be involved with promoting your event via social media.

Another reason to consider age when it comes to social media promotion is the experience that is needed to understand and manage the online community you’re looking to build. Ensure whoever is involved in promoting your brand via social media has been trained in the correct usage of each platform.

5. Advertise on social media

Social media is a big part of many people’s lives now and affects so many consumer decisions, so advertising on the platforms your audience uses will reach further and build your brand’s influence.

The impact social media has on repeat business is a major one, so use these tips to start building a relationship with delegates and then extend that relationship afterwards for ongoing custom.

This article was originally published at eTB News.