In our last round, I got to have a sit down with Eva Rovillos, founder of LuckLove Productions and Associate Director of Volunteers for the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival. Round 1 explored post event marketing materials and why all events should consider hiring professional photographers and videographers. Here we wrap it up with direct advice to event organizers, lessons from the wedding photography industry, and special takeaway tips.

Shireen: What do you wish you could directly tell event organizers about event management based on your experience?

Eva: I’d start with a 6 point checklist:

  1. Hire at least one photographer for every 100 guests/attendees expected.
  2. Hire at least one photographer for every 6 hours of the event.
  3. Hire a videographer with crowd as well as interview experience.
  4. When hiring a videography company, request a team that includes on-camera talent to conduct the interviews
  5. Take at least an hour sometime before the event to meet with the photographer and/or videography team to discuss the event, the event schedule, special requests, special VIPs, lectures or performances that will take place. Discuss the tone of the event and what type of imagery is needed.
  6. Provide a “press list” with photos and names of staff members, VIPs and guests for the photo and video team to look for during the event, as the team may not be familiar with a special guest or a sponsor who is attending the event.

Shireen: LuckLove Productions also does wedding event photography, which is arguably the biggest event market out there. Are there any lessons from wedding photography that we can carry over to general event management? Is there anything you see the wedding market gets right that event management could learn from?

Eva: Wedding planning is a specialized form of event planning, yet a lot of the same ideas apply. A wedding really highlights the need for hiring a professional photographer or videographer. Just like you would not want to have one of the bridesmaids running around with a camera, you don’t want one of the event staff running around with a camera either. Each of those people already have specific tasks to handle and places to be during the event.

One thing that wedding planners are great at is consideration of a beautiful aesthetic environment. A wedding planner will consider the location, the location during what time of day (sunlight), different areas of the event where photographs will be taken, props, seating arrangements, decorations, etc.

The planning process for a community or corporate event includes little to no consideration for the aesthetic environment. Great collateral marketing will includes images and video of a beautiful, vibrant and enticing event. This imagery has to be thoughtfully considered, planned and set up with backdrops, lighting, available architecturally appealing areas. For example, in an outdoor festival-style event, the planners would not use a photo for promotion that included the porta-potty in the background or terribly backlit photo of someone’s silhouette.

The wedding industry nails aesthetics; it’s what they focus on. Other markets could learn from that. There’s a reason why wedding marketing material gets circulated virally regardless of whether or not you attended the wedding or know anyone in the wedding party. The photos left behind after each of these events will be used in some way, but not if the environment or backdrop of a photo is not visually pleasing. The same rule should apply to all other market areas.

Shireen: Thanks so much for your time, Eva! Is there anything you want to leave readers with? 

Eva: When a group decides to put on an event for the public or for a company, this group must make time to consider the marketing collateral that an event has the potential to produce! Every event, from a 45-minute visiting lecturer with 20 students to a 7-day, celebrity-filled film festival for over 3000 attendees, has the potential for great marketing collateral images.

Marketing imagery and video is essential for online promotion. When a potential attendee sees how great the event was before, it is more likely that they will attend again and it is more likely they will send that video link or photo to a friend to convince them to go, too!

Photos and video captured during an event builds the professional portfolios of the event team/company. This marketing collateral shows the hard work that a team does and it promotes the community reach of a company as well as drive up sales for the next year!