A picture is worth 1,000 words so invest well says Andrew White.
If there is one thing that Instagram has done to the business of meetings it’s kicked venues into touch about the need for decent photography. The social media platform has catapulted venues, museums and spaces into a whole new realm of reality where image is everything.
Quite simply bookers will not engage, and therefore won’t enquire, unless you have strong visuals that paint the picture of what hosting an event with you would or could be like. The people who are looking to book events come from a generation where brand marketing is instantaneous and the platforms they use are image-intensive; a picture is worth 1,000 words.
If you look at any website nowadays, it’s image driven with fewer words and pared back fuss. A hero image sets the tone for who you are, your facilities and standards and what bookers and buyers can expect. But be aware that today’s 24/7 mobile savvy consumer is no longer willing to accept inconsistencies between the image a brand projects and the reality of what it represents.
Shots should be standout and should showcase you in your best light but do be careful not to over-egg your offering. From my experience, without doubt, venues across the UK need to invest good money into their photography and also make sure there is a budget for the creation of new images on an ongoing basis. After all no one wants summer images to sell a Christmas party and a bride and groom do not want to look at your largest space set up for a corporate training session.
Personal recommendations will always get the phones ringing, but with the advent of online booking platforms such as Hirespace and Headbox, it’s stellar views and fantastic reviews that will swing the enquiries your way. We recommend that the key four quarters are photographed allowing your website and listing imagery to change thereby keeping you relevant with your audience. Dependent on your business you may want to consider shots of the following seasonal dates for your image armoury:
• Spring: Dry January, Valentine’s Day, Easter
• Summer: Al fresco meetings, team buildings, outdoor lunches / coffee breaks, weddings
• Autumn: Halloween, external shots at dusk
• Winter: Snow and frosty scenes, Christmas, New Year
Within these seasonal variables you will need shots of your grounds (if relevant), seasonal menus and set ups, and events spaces (set up for weddings, Christmas, conferences etc.).
Before you embark on a full day’s shoot, ensure that you have researched and sourced a photographer who can encompass your brand – neither brash nor boring.
A call sheet will keep the day on track and also sets your expectations for the photographer. In return, ensure that all rooms are ready, chef is on board to provide dishes quickly and there are no potentially fractious delays in the day’s shootings.
Once the day is over and you’ve chosen your website and seasonal collateral images, remember your Instagram and other social media platforms. Timely well shot pictures will pay far bigger dividends than poorly put together, wordy adverts. After all, today’s buyers are ferocious when it comes to image – invest well and reap the benefits of one picture being worth 1,000 words.
About the Author
Andrew White is MD of Triggerfish Communications, a specialist in helping heritage venues and leisure attractions build awareness and market share in the business of events. www.triggerfish.co.uk