Power to the People- The Evolution of Event Photo Activation Marketing

August 20, 2019

It was 1980-something. That magical (albeit just a tinge off-color) Polaroid picture developed right on the spot. It was as if we had photos in 80s real-time. We took a picture and watched it take shape right in our very own hands. And we liked it.

Polaroid put the power of photo production into consumer’s hands. Smart. Very smart. Consumers like personal power and influence over their world. Consumers want something relevant, something personal, something immediately.

At events, green screen experiential photo activation has done a bang up job at reeling in attendees. It allows them to engage with brands in a rather non-invasive manner. Consumers have the power to choose who is in their picture and to select a green screen background for their new shot. A rep or brand ambassador acts as photographer and informative guru- greeting eager attendees, taking their event photo, and letting them know how and when to retrieve their new (and branded) picture. No longer are people shaking hands with cardboard Clooney. They’re interacting with their virtual green screen backdrop, igniting a spark of imagination and anticipation.

But, about that photographer...

December 25, 2006. Do you remember who Time magazine named as their Person of the Year? Their ingenious and very telling cover revealed the answer: “You. Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world.” You, you, you. Exactly. Consumers’ hands are now full - clenched with market-tastic power thanks to social media and smartphones...you know, the pocket-size photo booth that consumers use to snap photo after photo. Meet Joe Consumer, photographer extraordinaire.

So...about that photographer...

The evolution of face to face engagement marketing is right before our eyes- or at least in our pockets.

Event + Consumers with Smartphones + Social Media + Custom Hashtag = The Next Wave of Photo Activation.

Consumers are equipped to do their own event photo marketing at brand experiences. They can snap their own shots throughout your event via popular apps like Instagram and apply the custom hashtag provided to them by trusty brand ambassadors. Event technology companies simply need to provide the means by which these photos can be captured, custom-branded, and printed for consumers... and/or streamed live to Facebook. No waiting. No waving an orangey-tinted floppy picture. The power is in Joe Smith’s iPhone. Well, that and his propensity for public photo sharing. His world has become brand territory. Good job, Joe.

And for the 50% or so of people without smartphones (as of this writing, at least), let’s go a step further and offer a stationary engagement option: an event photo booth or kiosk that prints right on the spot…maybe even captures consumer data. Now, everyone can walk away with a branded photo (stationary or mobile), even those without smartphones can have their photo streamed live to Facebook, and you’ve done consumer data collection and lead generation in the process.

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