How To Attract Delegates To Your Academic Conference

Doctors, nurses, and scientists listen to speakers at the ALCC in Sydney 2018

So you’ve organised guest speakers and a venue for your academic conference in Sydney. Now how will you get bums on seats?

Making your conference event stand out with engaging photography & video is one way to attracting more guests and influencers from your industry.

What Are Educational Conferences and Workshops?

Speakers and guests at a financial industry conference in Sydney

Business events and academic conferences are critical to many industries in Sydney, being an important source of collaboration and new ideas.

Sometimes a national corporation runs an event for all its staff across the country. Other times an industry body organises leaders from around the globe to a signature event.

But in today’s world of so many conferences and busy schedules, how can you attract the right speakers, and then guests, to attend yours?

Should You Use A Professional Event Photographer?

Budgets are tight, and for less experienced marketing staff, the value of event photography/video isn’t clear. There are 3 options for you to choose from:

  • Hire an experienced Professional Event Photographer
  • Hire a cheap photographer
  • Ask a member of staff to take photos with the company camera

We’ll examine how some of these options affect the success of your event.

Who Are Your Target Audience?

Speakers on stage at Sydney conference

As Sydney Event Photographers we’ve seen a lot of different types of conferences.

Some are grand events with all the glitz and glamour. Delegates feel proud to attend the event and are excited to buy tickets as soon as they are available. There are socials each evening, and being seen is also an important part of the event.

Others events are smaller and tight knit. The venues are simple, people know each other by name. They are excited about collaborating with other professionals in their field, and hearing from prominent speakers.

In each case, the experience of a photographer will allow you to capture imagery that appeals to those desires. Knowing your event and audience helps you promote the event in a more effective way.

Making Your Event Look Exciting

Speakers at the ALCC in Sydney 2018

Academic and business conferences aren’t the most exciting events. There’s no MC, there are no stage performances, everyone is in a serious mood.

How can you promote such an event and get people to pay to go?

This is where Professional Event Photographers shine. Some photographers just randomly capture things happening throughout the day. We capture events with the aim to create imagery that attracts guests and promotes your brand. We anticipate and capture the engagement of the audience and speakers.

As much as it is a little cliche to say ‘learning is fun’, guests usually do enjoy academic conferences and there are little bursts of energy throughout the day. Our experience lets us anticipate the moment and be ready for it.

Feature Your Speakers

Speakers on stage at an academic conference in Sydney

Capturing influential speakers is a given at an event. But how they are captured can vary greatly depending on the goals and experience of the event photographer. Speakers at workshops are taking time out of busy schedules to share their experiences. It is important to treat them well.

The Value of An Experienced Photographer

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On the left is a professionally taken shot with a DSLR by someone having trouble coping with the dim lighting. We’ve seen lots of event coverage like this.

It’s always blamed on poor lighting, but frankly your guests weren’t stumbling in the dark on the day, so your photos shouldn’t look that way.

On the right is an event captured by us. It was also a dim room, but dim rooms don’t look inviting. We used lighting and technique to ensure your speakers look their best.

Which do you think can be used to promote your next event? More importantly, which one do you think the speaker would use on their website – and bring you free publicity?

Show Off The Content

Doctors, nurses, and scientists listen to speakers at the ALCC in Sydney 2018

Our job is to tell the story of your day, from what the speakers said, to the questions from the audience, to the general mood of the event.

One detail often missed by less experienced photographers is the projection or TV screen. They are often hard to capture, due to the brightness and the dark rooms. You end up with photographs that show bright washed out screens, overly dark rooms, or sometimes both.

Of course, the topic on the screen is an important part of the story, and we ensure everything is captured in clear detail.

Show Off The Workshop

Many conferences will separate out into workshops in small rooms, with dim lighting to allow using a projector.

These are important parts of the day, that need capturing. Often staff are told to take some photos from the front/back of the room.

Don’t Burden Your Staff With a Photographer’s Job

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On the left is a workshop photographed with the company camera. The flash went off, giving you the nuclear blast at the front and black hole at the back. The company staff didn’t know what they should be capturing so they asked everyone to smile at the camera.

On the right is a workshop captured by us. It was a challenging room, with standing room only, and lights from the window turning the speaker into a silhouette. But we worked our equipment to give you the best result possible.

Which photograph do you think will help attract more paying guests? Which will bring you positive publicity?

Provide Social Proof It Was Worth Attending

People enjoying networking after a business event

You can say anything you like, but in the end a photograph of delegates enjoying the event will outshine anything you say.

These moments are social proof to your audience that the event is worthwhile to attend. We watch for and anticipate these moments carefully.

In a professional environment, networking opportunities are a significant draw card of many business events and its value should not be underestimated.

Professionals mingling at a business event in Sydney

How would you like to grow your academic conference in Sydney? Executive Images provides Professional Event Photography Coverage for organisations and industry bodies across Australia. Contact us to find out how you can showcase your event and engage with audiences years after it is over.

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