In all my time, I’ve never quite witnessed a company launch, take off, and make a name for themselves regionally the way OC-based LuckLove Productions did in under 6 months. Here I get to sit with founder, videographer and photographer Eva Rovillos to ask a series of questions that gets to the bottom of their event marketing secrets. While they don’t brand themselves an event marketing firm, they’ve no doubt pegged the market better than most who do – a role she demonstrated with both small/large scale events as photographer, videographer, and Associate Director of Volunteers at this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival.

Shireen: Do you recommend events hire professional photographers?

Eva: I believe that both small- and large-scale events should hire professional photographers and/or a video production company to capture the event.

Often, one person in the planning committee (or similar group), is tasked with photography. This does not work for several reasons:

  1. EQUIPMENT. This person may not have the variety of photography equipment to capture crisp, clean photos in a variety of lighting and activity situations (indoor/outdoor/fast-moving action, entertainment or crowd).
  2. DISTRACTIONS. The individual is often pulled away to handle situations during the event and may miss key photo opportunities during the event.
  3. PROCESSING. The person may not have the software (or the time) to adequately process and edit the photos each night of the event or even after the event is over. Photographing an event is a full job during and after the event. It should not be considered an “additional task”.

The main point here is that event photography is a full-time event task, not just an additional task for a multi-tasker event staffer.

Shireen: What’s the red carpet angle – is there any real benefit to hosting a red carpet photo op or video interview?

Eva: Red carpet could push your event to the next level. Consider that a red carpet is not only good for photo ops, but it’s a great way to promote the sponsors of the event. Red carpet photos and interviews are often held in front of a “step-and-repeat” or “repeater”. This is the paper backdrop that includes logos of the event sponsors in a repeating pattern.

A red carpet area provides a designated place for formal photos and interviews with VIPs, special guests, luminaries and event staff. A red carpet “photo op” is also a great way to allow attendees and guests to take their photos and share with friends and family. This may not seem relevant at first, but imagine the hundreds or thousands of attendees taking their photos at a red carpet repeater with your logo on it—and them sharing those photos online. The repeater option of a red carpet is a great addition to a sponsorship contract for an event.

The takeaway here is the obvious “glamour” angle of using a red carpet, but also the convenience of having a designated area for photos and interviews, as well as the promotion and sponsorship leverage.

Shireen: Tell me more about post event marketing material. You were saying most people focus so much on prep work, that they don’t consider what comes after the event is over.

Eva: The planning stages of a community or corporate event do not often include specific consideration of the marketing collateral that will be used for promoting the event in the future. The attendee’s point-of-view dictates what the event includes as far as ticketing options, length of event, activities, and overall experience. However, the attendee needs to be convinced that going to this event will be worth their time and money. Visual collateral from previous years is a persuasive way to promote an event to potential attendees.

Successful event planning and marketing will always include the use of professional photographer(s) and video production company to capture the event from beginning to end, or at least during the highlights of the event. This wealth of marketing collateral will includes photos of luminaries, special guests, event host, as well as candids of attendees, crowds, seminars, audience, performers and event location. The video clips captured during the event will go a long way in promotion using social media and building on the excitement or success of past events to promote future events. Even if the event is a one-time-only event, the marketing collateral has a long life after the event is over. Marketing collateral can be distributed to promote not only the event, but to highlight success in a business report or to build the promotional portfolio of the key players in the event to use for acquiring future collaborations or partnerships.

Also consider that prep work should should always include capturing the marketing collateral that an event leaves behind. Take into consideration that the photos and video are not only good for promoting the event in the future, but for building the professional portfolios of the top-level people responsible for the event, like the CEO, directors, lecturers and so on.