It sounds easy enough, right? You’re asked to go out to your event, work diligently (The way you always do…) and just take a few photos to send back in to your agency/client afterward. Piece of Cake…That is until you’re amidst the craziness that can be event marketing.
The thing about event reporting and taking event photos is.. being a photographer is expected of you, on top of your other job duties. During a busy event, things can get crazy on site and the next thing you know, you’ve only been able to capture a few pictures and they’re not great…maybe even usable. You don’t want to disappoint your agency or client..so you need to be sure you get your job done correctly and efficiently. The only way to do this is to plan the turn of events prior to your event starting.
Plan, plan, plan!
Know how many pictures you are expected to take in advance. Does your agency want you to send in 20 pictures from your one day event or 100? It may not be as hard as you think to capture some great shots. Just follow these few simple guidelines.
- Understand what your agency would like to see as a result. Read through your training materials. More times than not, the picture criteria is listed within it. If not, don’t be shy to ask. It’s understood that you’re required to take photos (Take them weather you’re asked..or not) but you’re account manager won’t mind if you ask what type of photos they’d like to see. (They’ll even be impressed!)
- Group Shots are one of the best kinds of shots you can take! Take them at every chance you have and remember.. You WILL have to get the group together yourself for the shot. They will not gather together in a great group position and wait for someone to randomly come by with a camera to take their photo. You will need to convene everyone into a group and announce that you’d like to take a quick shot of the group for the client. Wait until there are little or no customers around (5 minutes prior to the beginning of the event is a perfect time) and then let everyone know you’d like to take a few pictures.
- Always be sure you get more than one shot of each picture. Taking a few shots of each picture helps you be sure you will get a good one. Someone might close their eyes or look away, so if you have a few different shots of the same pose, you’re likely to get a great one!
- Take customer interaction photos. Put yourself in the client’s shoes for a minute. Think about the types of photos and interactions you would like to see if you had planned this event out. If you’re the one planning the event and imagining how the customer will react and interact with the event staff.. how would you imagine it? In your opinion, what is the most interactive part of the event. Take pictures of that. Get shots of the event staff interacting with responsive customers. Make sure to capture their faces in the shot!
- Just a simple step to the left or right can make a big difference in an event photo. Try your best to center your photos, with the subject in the middle. Be sure that the photo is focused and not blurry and that you’re using good lighting or have your flash turned on.
- Get shots of your client’s branded event materials. For example, a picture of an event sign by itself is probably not going to be a great picture, however a picture of an event staffer standing next to the sign handing out event materials to consumers can be a great picture! Set your pictures up. Don’t be afraid to let your fellow brand ambassadors know that you’re setting the photo up and you’d like to get a shot of them interacting with the group. Brand Ambassadors, as a whole, should be comfortable having their picture taken. It’s part of the job! 🙂
- Be certain that there are not other brand materials in or near your photo. If you’re at a large event, you’re likely to be surrounded by a number of other sponsors and their campaign materials at your event. When you’re taking your photos, however, as mentioned earlier, be sure that you’re taking the precautions you need (take a step to the left or right, reposition your subject, etc) to make sure that your client’s staff, materials, and customers are the only thing in the photo.
When and How to Report
When you’re finishing up your event, no matter how big or small, the last step you’re likely to encounter is your reporting. It’s important to understand what’s expected of you regarding reporting before you set out for your event. Follow these few important steps to ensure you collect the information you need for your report forms before it’s too late.
- Read through your report forms before your event. This will allow you to know what information your client expects to be reported. Is this the type of form (interactive) that needs to be filled out while your working (inventory needs to be counted, etc) or is this the type of form that needs to be filled out after the event (reflective).
- When filling out reflective forms post event, memorize or jot down the types of information you will need for the form and keep it handy at your event. For example, some report forms may ask you a question such as: “How many customers did you encounter in the day”. Obviously this will need to be an estimate, as you will probably be too busy to actually keep an accurate count, however you’re more likely to report a closer number if you jot your estimate down several times throughout the day on a note pad. This will give you a reference point to refer to when you’re filling out your report forms after the event. Keeping notes on the event is a excellent way to fill out a more accurate report afterward.
- Always turn your reports in ON TIME! Reports, accompanied with photos, need to be turned in, in a timely fashion. Never wait more than 36 hours after your event to turn your post event materials in. You want to be paid in a timely fashion, so be sure you turn everything in from your event on time. Familiarize yourself with your agency’s requirements since some of agencies have a 12 or 24 hour requirement for their staff, however, never wait more than 36 hours. More times than not, the information you collect in the field is needed for reporting purposes to the end client. They expect their information fast!
Taking Great event photos and turning in accurate and efficient report forms is a very important part of a brand ambassador’s and Tour/Market Manager’s job. When you understand what your client expects out of you, go a little farther than that. Turn in a few extra photos, take down a few extra comments and notes for your forms, and turn your reporting in a few hours earlier than expected. This type of pro activity from event staff is the thing that rehire is made out of. Best proud of what you do and let it show in your reporting!
Happy New Year!
Sr Account Manager
Lucky 415 Marketing & Promotions