22 Aug How to Use Post-Event Photos: 5 Tips to Maximize Your ROI
You hire a photographer to cover your event. That photographer captures the event in hundreds of beautiful photos showcasing your attendees having fun, speakers being engaging, and more. After you receive the images, you choose the top 50 that you want to share online and say to yourself:
“What the heck am I going to do with the rest of these?”
Figuring out how to use post-event photos is important. Some people view event photos as having a one-time purpose. Those images are meant to promote that single event and are only to be used in post-event coverage. Others go beyond the event itself and incorporate the photos into their overall marketing and PR strategies. It takes some planning and creativity to do this, but when executed properly, using event photos beyond the event itself can make a lasting impact on your marketing and communications efforts. Here are a few ideas:
Post-Event Thank You
After sharing the photos in a social media gallery or using an image in a press release, you can send photos to thank specific people involved in your event. Whether that person is a speaker, sponsor, committee member, etc., print an image from the event and mail it with a thank you note or letter. Sending a physical copy of a photo from the event will strengthen your relationship with those that were essential to the event’s success and leverage engagement post-event.
If your photographer is worth their salt, they will capture elements of an event that can be used for other purposes. From this, you can create your own archive of “stock” photos. Images of someone writing, people engaging during a cocktail hour, or creative compositions of branded items can be used for website pages, blog articles, marketing materials, and more. Some of the event coverage will have excellent candids that could be used to promote future events or imagery that can help attract new talent to your firm.
Event photography can provide wonderful images for office art. If your CEO is speaking at a major conference, you can frame a beautiful image from the event for your boardroom. Clients have framed photos from a ribbon cutting for their lobbies and group photos to highlight their corporate culture. Creating office art is something that needs to be planned and communicated with your photographer in advance. If you know you want a “hero shot” of your CEO for a conference room, make sure your photographer knows this so they can get creative for you.
There will always, always be a handful of photos that are not “on brand” with a specific event. You may not want to share a silly group photo in the final event gallery, but that photo could be perfect on social media to humanize your brand. Just like weddings, a person’s favorite photo could be of them letting loose on a dance floor or giving someone an impressive side-eye. You can save these photos for internal or external use.
**Note: If you do not want any outtakes where people are behaving off brand for your corporate culture, communicate that with your photographer prior to the event. They will try to avoid capturing those photos or will remove them from the final gallery before delivery.
Framing a photo for donors, leadership, or anyone else involved in the event is always a lovely gesture. We had a client create a photo book of the event images and gave a copy to each team leader that attended the retreat to put in their office. A gift like this is personal and unique — no one will have one like it, and it will mean something to the recipient. These are the gifts that we both like to give and create.
Ready to take your event photos to the next level? Here are a few tips:
- Have a plan. Know what your important shots are in advance. If you’re giving something away, have a list of major donors, or want a group photo of your team, plan to work with your photographer to capture it. Set time aside in the schedule or dedicate a staff member to follow the photographer to ensure the right people are photographed. If you don’t have a plan to make it happen, you cannot guarantee that you will get the photos you need.
- Communicate with your photographer ahead of time. If you plan on using photos for anything other than standard post-event coverage, let your photographer know. They cannot create the images you need unless you tell them, and even though they may have planned to get creative with composition, it is always helpful to have this information before they start shooting.
- Dedicate one person to be in charge of the photos. This is a lesson that should not be learned the hard way. Having one contact not only makes it easy for the photographer, but it ensures that the company has control over who sees what image. This person should scrub through the gallery and hold back any photos that they want to use for other purposes.
- Get Creative. We love it when people are fearless and try to do something innovative. If you have an idea on how to use your event photos, then go for it. Make sure to send us a picture. It’s exciting to see what people do with their imagery.