The incredible power of photos at trade shows
Smartphones have become a natural extension of our hands. Taking photos of anything and everything around us is like breathing: you do it without even thinking about is.
Sharing is now something we expect from people and companies. Looking at your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn channels, your visitors want to experience your product, “live” your services, appreciate your company.
Photos (and videos) are no longer something unique best companies use for promotional purpose. It has become a minimum requirement and everyone, with or without budget, can use that tool.
But what kind of photos should you be taking and how should you use them?
Don’t capture images, capture moments
Taking pictures of your booth every other hour is easy and can be posted on Twitter in no time. But do people really care about it?
Go on Twitter and type “visit our booth“. What do you see?
Mostly people staring at the camera, posing in front of their booth, some empty stalls, some close-up on products, some photos of giveaway & promotional material… anything that makes you want to click or go pay them a visit?
Most probably not.
It does not strike you because it is not special. Not only those are things you have seen a million times already, it also completely lacks emotions. Many of these pictures don’t show people, just objects, and when they do they “stage” people staring at the camera.
Try to think a little out-of-the-box and forget about traditional photos. What you need is not to become a talented artist but just to “capture moments”.
To achieve that, all you have to do is open your eyes and take pictures without informing people (you may want to ask for their permission before sharing, though!). A prospect smiling during a product demo? A sales person shaking hand with a visitor? Booth staff having fun? Your booth swamped with people? A customer looking surprised?
All these are “moments” – pictures that carry both emotion and a story. These are things that talk to people and make them want to connect with you.
Don’t just “post” photos
Alright, now you have GREAT photos to post online. What should you do with them?
If you are like most companies, you will post the photo, eventually add a description or a comment and leave it there. How engaging is that?
Instead, try to build a relationship with your followers / fans / visitors, try to engage and start a conversation.
You can tell the story behind the photo and ask for feedback, you can ask people to tell their own version of that story, you can ask them to “tag” people they recognize, organize a poll or a contest… just be smart about it and find ways to make people want to engage with you, ask questions, interact.
Optimize your output
It can take a while to shoot good pictures – better maximize your ROI!
Social Media is a great channel for posting your photos but you may want to think “larger” than that. Here are a few other channels worth exploring:
Having a large screen showing pictures of what happened in your booth can drive additional traffic and motivate people to participate and end up on your screen as well
Social Media are great but don’t last. Keep your photos somewhere in the news section of your website, if you’ve got one.
Writing a complete post-event review for the shows you join is great for content creation and to keep people in the loop even if they could not join.
Keep your team informed about what’s going on! Share these pictures with them.
If you had a product launch or something big to announce at the show, having the right pictures can be crucial for the success of your PR distribution.
You need to follow-up with your visitors to convert them into customers. You will send them an email at some point (you should do it IMMEDIATELY, but if you cannot, within 48h maximum). Add a couple of pictures in your email! A picture of your booth full of visitors or a selfie with that person would be perfect!