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Tag: themes

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

Choosing a Theme for Your Next Event

A theme is an important component of a meeting, but probably not for the reasons you think. So before you spend hours in brainstorming meetings in anticipation of your 2011 event themes, consider why themes exist and what they’re really meant to do. To do that, you need to understand 2 basic truths about themes.

Truth #1: Your audience doesn’t care about your theme. Really, they don’t. A theme is like so many other things at an event—it’s only likely to be noticed or remembered if it’s absent, weird or not working. If you need confirmation just ask anyone who attended one of your recent events what its theme was. Chances are they won’t remember, probably because they never knew what it was in the first place. And that’s fine, because the theme really isn’t for the attendees at all!

Truth #2: Your theme is for you. Regardless of your role in an event, a good theme is your best friend. It will help you decorate your room, design your logo, write your scripts and create your Powerpoints. So choose your themes thoughtfully and carefully. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  1. Less is more. The theme is the official name for your conference, so keep it short. For years it seemed as though “verb the noun” themes (Seize the Day, Leading the Way, etc.) would never go away. Fortunately these days one and two-word themes are more common and more workable.
  2. What kind of starting point does your theme present? Your theme should be versatile enough to let you go places with it, lots of places. For example, a theme like “Imagine” opens up all sorts of possibilities… creativity in business, the future, famous artists and their works, the list could go on and on.
  3. Think of your theme as the bookends for your event. Picture yourself delivering your opening and your closing remarks. Imagine what you’ll say about your theme—why you chose it, how it relates to the audience, your event, your key announcements. Then consider what your parting words will be to your audience and how you’ll wrap your theme around that. Your theme should provide the logical bookends for your event. If the words come to you naturally and quickly, you have a good theme.

Quick! What was the theme of the last event you attended?!

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

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