How to create an image that sells your events business

What does your business look like online? Do you beam with pride at the image you are selling, or do you feel like your library of images doesn’t really do your business justice?
 
Selling your business online is all about the image you present. Your website, your downloadable brochure and your directory listings all need to showcase a consistent image of your business that screams quality and highlights your businesses’ key selling points.
 
A recent study conducted by online travel agency, Expedia, found that quality images on a website help to convert sales. This seems like a pretty obvious finding and yet we constantly see businesses posting poor quality images on their website or directory listings.  
 
Expedia’s study, however, does not stop at quality. By using special technology called electromyography (EMG) they were able to gauge peoples’ reaction to all types of images and they gained some interesting insight into the type of images that sell and those that don’t…
 
Expanding on Expedia’s findings, and combined with our own observations of listings on eventbirdie.com, we have pulled together some great tips to help you build a library of images that will help convert sales.

We also have a chat to some of our event photographers to discover how they have helped their clients create an image that sells.

A room with a view…

Expedia found that the most important image to include in an online gallery was a room with a view. Rooms overlooking an attractive visual scene such as a landmark or beach evoked the most delight in online shoppers. This is a great tip for event venues - if you have it, flaunt it!
 

Natural daylight

Always try to use images that are taken with natural daylight or are well-lit.
 
Evening events with mood lighting and special effects are fabulous on the night, but are a nightmare for photographers trying to capture clear images of your venue, catering or decor. Filtered light often doesn’t do food justice, so consider saving your food shots for the light of day. 
 

Distorted or ‘touched up’ images

Expedia found that images that were distorted by a fisheye lens or taken at unusual angles evoked the most negative reaction from shoppers. Users viewed these properties with suspicion, as if the hotel had something to hide. 
 
We also recommend avoiding images that are obviously enhanced or ‘touched up’ for the same reasons. 
 

Variety of events

Build a library of images that showcases the variety of events your business caters for. For venues, take images of various event set-ups – think about including dinners, cocktail parties, meetings and weddings. For caterers, ensure you showcase the variety of your menus – include images of food stations, canapes, banquets and buffets, where applicable. For suppliers, the same applies – showcase a snapshot of the range of events and products you have to offer potential clients. 
 

Close up and perspective shots

Give clients the big picture (e.g. a wide shot of an event set-up, catering station, band on stage, etc) as well as highlighting the smaller details (e.g. a close up of a place setting, canapé or lead singer). 
 

People shots create trust and ambience

Use images of people enjoying your event to help to convey the ambience of the occasion. Caterers should include images of wait staff or chefs within their image gallery to visually represent ‘service’. Suppliers and event managers may also benefit from having an image of their team to reflect the friendly and professional customer service offered by the business.
 
Avoid using stock images or actors to replicate these effects. 
 

Present a consistent brand image

If budget permits, it can be helpful to develop a relationship with one key photographer who will help you build a consistent brand image. By using the same photographer for all your events, you can quickly create an image library that has a strong brand image across your entire collection.



We sat down with some fabulous photographers to see how they have helped their clients create an image that sells…
 

Monique Perera from CAMERA CREATIONS
Case study: MV EPICURE
 

Tell us about your photography brief

MV EPICURE is a luxurious floating venue on Sydney Harbour that launched in 2014. Camera Creations was hired to help build an image library for use on their website, online directories, sales proposals and marketing collateral. 
 
The main goal was to show the versatility of the venue by showcasing the variety of events that can be held on board, ranging from a corporate business lunch to a lavish Indian wedding.
 
Before any photos were taken I established a good understanding of MV EPICURE’s brand values and marketing needs. It was important to the client that the images emphasise the venue’s three key selling points by capturing the luxurious atmosphere of the vessel, the outstanding hospitality service they provide and highlighting the Sydney Harbour views wherever possible.
 

How did you meet the brief and help create your client’s image?

My client at MV EPICURE booked me to photograph several events over a period of time in order to get a variety images that represented the versatility of the venue.  The client carefully selected events for me to attend that showed the venue in its best light and that would exhibit the range of events that can be hosted on board.
 
The purpose of the shoot was always to focus on getting images of the décor, venue set-up, ambience and views – not to focus on close-ups of guests. While images of the venue without people in them is very important, so too is having some images with people enjoying the venue. This helps to translate ambience and adds vibrancy to the overall message the image library is trying to communicate.

Professional Event Photography by Camera Creations
Capturing the key selling points of the venue - luxury, service and views
 

Professiona event photography by Camera Creations
Capturing ambience while highlighting the venue's key selling points - luxury, service and views



John Kung from HARUSTUDIO FOR BUSINESS

 

How do you suggest clients start a library of images?

If you want your business to look its best, we need to spend the time to shoot it properly. Sometimes that means investing time in staging shots. If you only get a photographer in an hour before an event or whilst the event is on, you will never get images that showcase your business at its best. By staging shots we get a lot more control over the end product as we are able to create the perfect lighting and can take time to get the right shots.
 
This applies not only for our venue clients, but also caterers and event hire companies too.

venue photography by Harustudio for business
Venue photography

catering photography by Harustudio for business
Catering photography
 

How do you get the best shots during an event?

We like to shoot each event to a plan based on the shots our clients need and where the action is during the course of the event. We try to anticipate where the best angle might be and set ourselves up and wait for the right moment. A detailed brief from the client is invaluable, the more information we have, the better we can work out where we need to be to get the best shots!

Event photography by Harustudio for Business
Capturing great live action shots at an event

Event photography by Harustudio for Business
Capturing beautiful moments at events
 


Building up a library of quality images to use across all your marketing is a lot easier than you might think and with some careful planning and budgeting you can create an image that sells. You may also enjoy reading - How to make the most from your event photographer, which gives some great tips to make the most of your investment. 


Header image: Opera Point Marquee ©AnsonSmart