Now that large events are making a comeback, a new value-added benefit for attendees is gaining popularity with #eventprofs and #meetingprofs. Providing new or updated conference headshots to event attendees – particularly after the event hiatus over the last two years – is being incredibly well-received. Morton Visuals had the opportunity to serve as a conference headshot photographer at two separate events in Dallas just a few weeks ago, and this article aims to highlight how this could be a great offering for a hosting organization (or a sponsor).
Adding the title Conference Headshot Photographer to our business cards is a small price to pay to see the excitement with which attendees realized their organization’s generosity. At one conference we set up in the corner of a large ballroom that was a designated break area and networking area. (Other attractions of the room included a barista, a golf simulator to practice and fine tune driving, and multiple charging stations. The latter was arguably the most popular benefit of the room. Morton Visuals set up a portable photo studio in a corner and photographed free headshots to any attendee wanting one. As is our usual custom, we were tethered to a laptop so that our guests could review the images immediately afterwards. If they didn’t see one they liked, or wanted to change their hair or expressions, we made adjustments and captured additional images. Guests could then select a favorite image for retouching, and sign up to receive them via email the following week. In all we delivered 69 retouched conference headshots a week later. At this event the conference headshots were our primary focus. We had our second photographer provide a few hours of event photography elsewhere while we concentrated on providing a great headshot experience.
A few days later Morton Visuals provided a conference headshot photographer at another conference across town. At this event we were providing event photography over several days, and the headshots were a much smaller segment of our job. But in just a few short hours we were able to provide 35 retouched headshots to excited attendees. This time we were set up in a much smaller space – a double-wide trade show booth on an end. But we were able to make it work, with the same process of photography and review. We added a text message option for distribution this time. Many people prefer to deal with a text message rather than an email, and download their images to their phone rather than their computer. (This also avoids the problem of getting notifications through some companies’ firewalls – which are quite strict in many industries.) As with the previous event, trade show attendees were thrilled to get an updated headshot for their social media profiles. We found that throughout the rest of this particular conference, as we photographed other segments of the event, those whom we had photographed this day made it a point to come up to us and thank us. And of course ask for a photo of them with their friends!
Although the organization can provide this kind of benefit at their own expense, this is also the perfect opportunity to allow a conference sponsor to get a little extra recognition. A September event in San Diego was able to take advantage of that, providing additional signage at the photography station to credit and thank the sponsor. (Full disclosure: that event featured our printing-on-site, so that attendees could take home a souvenir of the event with the sponsor branding in a corner of the print.)
Providing a conference headshot photographer may be considered an additional expense to a standard conference type of event. It requires planning, promotion, quality photography, and of course distribution. We are able to provide that quality headshot photography and handle the distribution for you. And from our experience the goodwill it produces is invaluable. Guests get pretty excited about a free portrait when an event is able to offer a conference headshot photographer to their attractions.
To discuss how Morton Visuals may be able to add some additional benefit to your convention, conference, or trade show, please Contact Us. We’d love to talk over the opportunities!