If you attended any of the major professional photography conventions in the mid-nineties, the relationship between Hasselblad and Kodak was legendary. Terry Deglau was the key Kodak manager at the time and between the two of us we put together one great promotion after another. Unlike Kodak today, the company was a powerhouse built on relationships with both photographers and other manufacturers.
One of the things Terry and I worked on together was essentially joining our booths. Hasselblad was on one side and Kodak on the other, then we shared the cost of the aisle and put in Speakers Corner. I surprised the crew from Kodak and had director's chairs made up in their colors to match the chairs we had in Hasselblad blue and white. Although, it's pretty funny, since our company names were on the back of the chairs and somebody, probably me, put the backs on backwards. You don't see the company names when anybody is sitting down!
Next, we put together a schedule for the speakers. Because we shared so many industry icons, it was easy to come up with a series of terrific mini-programs. Every hour, another 20-30 minute program took place, and both our booths were mobbed.
That's Denis Reggie in the top image, who always draws a crowd. While Denis usually did a program sharing ideas on wedding photojournalism combined with a little business and marketing, Don Blair would do a live shoot like the one on the right. I used to kid Don that he could just lay down and sleep in the booth, and people would still come to watch him!
I love it when I go to a convention today and see speakers in a booth. It's a great way to draw people in, but I'm surprised more companies don't join forces like Terry and I used to do. Even today, I can't recall seeing any two companies combine their efforts and share the cost and the publicity the way we did back then.
I've written a lot about photographers forming partnerships with other artists and vendors. Even a simple direct mail postcard is reduced by a factor of three if you bring two other partners. For example, a wedding photographer doing a mailing with a florist and a venue brings in three non-competing companies and reduces everyone's cost. Plus, each company becomes an ambassador for the others. You don't have to do everything alone.
Meanwhile, it's Throwback Thursday - have you gone off in search of your own classic memory-makers? Better yet, share the value of old images on your blog. It's a great way to remind potential clients about how quickly kids grow up and life changes,
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.