Using Event Photography to add attendees into your sales pipeline

We all look at social media as a means of distribution for our content, which, it is, at least some of the time. The rest of the time social media is, well, social. It’s about connecting with others and enriching one another lives by talking and sharing our insights about the world. But how do you actually start an authentic conversation on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook?

One answer lies in tagging. I’m sure we’ve all been tagged in a post at some point by someone we don’t know, be it an individual or a company trying to get our attention. And sometimes it might work, but it equally might not. 

So when someone frequents your event it means they are interested enough in your company, your services, or at the very least your industry, to give up a proportion of their day to come and listen to you and your colleagues talk about whatever it is you know the most about. However, just because they attend, does that mean they’re a potential prospect, a lead? Maybe, maybe not. Only in your event follow up can you identify that.

So how can you follow up with your event attendees without sounding like you’re trying to sell them something? How can you use event photography and social media to transition attendees into your sales pipeline?

Taking photographs at events has many uses, and yet they are inherently useful in event follow up and lead generation, and in more often than not, guaranteeing a response. Let me explain.

Let’s say Helen came to your event. She enjoyed herself, met some interesting people, and went about her day. Helen may, or may not be interested in your service, but you don’t know which one. So how do you spark a conversation with her to find out without sounding like you’re pitching to her? 

You had a photographer at your event, snapping away to provide you with a nice selection of photos for you to use on social media to tell people what you’ve been up to. You spot a photo of Helen, happily chatting away with someone she just met. You have Helen’s twitter handle and so you decide to tweet her the photo of herself with the accompanying copy “@helen thanks for coming to our event today, it looks like you enjoyed yourself! What did you find most interesting?”

Now you could have tweeted Helen anyway asking her the same question, but the fact that you included a photo makes the tweet more visually interesting and takes the underlying tone of the conversation from one of feedback / sales (let’s not forget, this was your event), to one of lightheartedness and conversation. Helen is very likely to comment on the photo, because, well, she’s in it, she may make a joke about how she looks. This then gives you the opportunity to move the conversation along in an authentic, natural and lighthearted manner, so that when you ask for 5 minutes of her time on the phone, she is more accustomed to you and more likely to accept. Your fun, timely, efficient follow up may have impressed her and got her thinking in a little more detail about how your company might actually be able to help her, something that she may have forgotten about if you left the follow up too long, or didn’t follow up at all, or went straight in for the sales pitch phone call.

You could argue that you may have come to the same result anyway without the photograph, and that’s true, you might have, but you would have likely had to work much harder to open that door. What the photograph did is broke down a barrier - you instantly built a rapport, you made it personal, she found it funny, she liked the approach and it softened her up for your call suggestion. Without this she may have felt a bit used, after all, you sold the event as a means to provide value, insight and information to your attendees, they expected some kind of survey or follow up, but not a full-on sales pitch. Events are about building connections and relationships not just sales. And yes, that sounds hypocritical because I’m telling you to use the photography from the event to try and add someone into your sales pipeline, but the point here is that you’re doing it in a very soft way, that’s fun, authentic and means your not going straight for the jugular!

James Quayle