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Tag: 2011

Whether you’re having a national convention, leadership conference or incentive trip, your photos can really come to life with props. With all of the time, money and effort it takes to put on these events, you want to make sure give your participants great memories. Here are a few ideas to consider:

1. If your event has a theme, buy props that goes with your theme. Fun props like hats, sunglasses and blow up musical instruments help drive home the theme and make it more memorable.

2. Buy props based on the location of your event. Whenever I’m shooting in Mexico we buy the most colorful sombreros and ponchos. When we’re in Texas, the huge foam cowboy hats are always a hit.

3. The crazier the better! I find that once people step outside their comfort zone and put on or hold up a crazy prop, they have much more fun in the picture and are always glad they participated.

The best time to do these types of photos is during registration. It helps get people excited about what’s coming up in the next few days. We usually provide these things free of charge for our clients but if your photographer doesn’t do this you should give him the idea or have some home office staff do this.It would be a great way for them to interact with the sales force. I’m going to go ahead and state the obvious – women are much better at this crazy picture thing than men. I wouldn’t suggest any of this silliness for an all male audience.

Mark Taulbee is a professional event photographer and commercial product photographer with over 25 years experience in the direct selling industry. Learn more about Mark and how he can help your company with photography at To view some of his work visit http://www.proshotsevent.comand

Soon you’ll begin planning and promoting your 2011 national convention. Maybe you’re thinking about sending out printed invitations, professionally designed evites or maybe posting videos online. All of these are great ideas, but they can be time-consuming and costly to produce. However, one of the most effective tools in your arsenal is also one of the easiest (and cheapest) to implement—plain testimonials from your attendees. And if you didn’t collect these at your 2010 event itself, now is the time to get them!

Simply send an email to everyone who attended your 2010 event and tell them you’re looking for quotes you can use to promote your 2011 event. Ask for short comments on specific aspects of the events—the training, major announcements, guest speakers, the recognition or any special fun events you had. Invite attendees to share their photos with you as well! While many may not be useable, others may be and you’ll be glad you have them.

Comments on training are especially valuable. It’s been my experience that training, more than any other part of a convention, is what brings people in and keeps them coming back. So be sure to ask specifically for comments on training.

Your own field events happening over the coming weeks are another great source of testimonials. Many companies will be having fall meetings or Leadership events in the early part of the new year. These are great opportunities to harvest testimonials, both written and on video. These days, decent video cameras can be purchased for surprisingly little money. So use your fall/winter events to collect more testimonials. You’ll be glad you did!

Then once you have your testimonials, post them on your website, put them in communications about your convention, make them part of your printed invitations or evites. There are many places and ways to use testimonials, but first, you have to have them. So start collecting your testimonials now, and then use them to promote your 2011 national convention in the best, easiest way possible.

Dick Wilson has over 20 years experience writing and producing events for direct sales companies. Learn more how Dick can help you at