Events are back! Well – sort of. Our newest Business Partner Splento Photography tell us more…
After what can only be described as the most challenging 18 months many businesses have ever faced, industries are finally enjoying a return to near normality.
More accurately, some are. Hospitality (both in the UK and beyond) has felt like an industry left behind in all this – and even today, within the UK, different rules remain in the different devolved states, further highlighting the issue.
However, now is the time to stop looking back, and start to reflect on how we can shape our future.
Events ARE back – some with limited numbers and some with other restrictions – so our focus needs to be on making the most of the opportunities we have.
One tactic which can have a significant impact on event success is a focus more than ever on visual content creation. Event photography (and videography), sometimes seen in the past as an optional extra should now be considered a key fundamental.
So how can event photography boost your company in this post-covid world?
Yes, event photography begins before your event does.
Regardless of the event (weddings, parties, concerts, festivals, conferences, trade shows, dining experiences, and everything in between) the impact of quality visuals on the marketing cannot be stressed enough.
During the extended lockdowns, even the most online-resistant members of our communities have opened up to the digital world; they had to (they had no choice) – and they are not going back.
The customers and companies you are marketing to now are not the same as the ones you were reaching out to in 2019.
People and businesses have changed – in their outlook, in their communication methods and in their engagement with life. Over the past year and a half, the world has moved online, and so this is, almost exclusively, where we will now find them. Get the best photos for small businesses.
This means social media campaigns, PPC advertising, and a host of other digital terms that we never needed to consider before. Even your website and email marketing may need to be adapted to this brave new world.
It means that, even if you have never done so before, you now need to be engaging on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even (shudders) TikTok, depending on your customer demographic. Even messaging channels such as WhatsApp and Telegram have become marketing domains!
You will need to do some research at this point and find out where your customers have migrated to, as many will be engaging in online places you may not expect.
And the one common denominator which ties all these platforms together is a demand for visual content.
People engage with images; if you are promoting your event, understand that social media marketing needs photos content! Video works even better – social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined, as long as the production quality is high.
Summary: Find your customer’s new touchpoints, create some great photo and video content, and go out and market your events like never before.
During an event, photography can be used in several ways to make the most of the day.
With restricted numbers still hampering many events, online attendance should still be an option, running alongside the live event itself.
And even if you don’t currently have a restriction on attendance, consider that you may have many potential attendees who still feel uncomfortable venturing out into the open. Many people with medical conditions, or vulnerable relatives, are understandably choosing to remain at home even as the world opens up again.
To not cater to this group is to do them a disservice, and also represents a missed opportunity for you.
So for the next year, at least, consider hosting live events concurrently online as well. Have photographers (and videographers) at your events, creating amazing content which you can live-stream to your at-home customers.
And if live streaming video is not suitable for your event, or your budget, you can still broadcast up-to-the-minute photos online, at very little expense.
As live events return, don’t immediately turn your back on the virtual world – for many, it will be their only option to remain engaged with ‘normal’ life.
Posting live events online is also a great nudge for those who have simply got comfortable staying at home. One small pub we know has revitalised its post-covid trade by constantly posting to social media each evening photos and even a video stream of what is happening in their bar (with appropriate consent from the drinkers, of course).
They are reminding the at-home locals what they are missing out on by drinking at home, and it is working! Since starting this campaign, they’ve seen a big upswing in returning customers that wasn’t happening before. They believe that many people simply forgot what a good night out was!
Summary: Don’t forget those who still cannot attend a live event, cater to all your customers. Keep connected through video and photos, and business will return.
We will keep this brief, as this is the one area we know most event holders already excel at.
Post-event coverage is both a thank you to all your attendees and a reminder to those who didn’t make it that they should have been there!
This year’s post-event photographs are next year’s marketing strategy.
Again, keep in mind that social media, in all of its guises, will be your new best friend for this – even if it wasn’t in the past.