Notes from a Rep’s Journal. Observations from Le Book’s Connection NYC

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For those of you who do not know Lauranne Lospalluto, she has been working with me for almost 15 years now.  She and I are the perfect compliment for each other.  There is no one that could compare to Lauranne.   So, when I found myself unable to attend the recent Le Book Connections event in NY, it was natural that she would pair up with Henrietta Pertuz (our NY associate) and handle the event without me.

Lauranne of course came home excited about how it went and wanted to share her observations.  Here is what she had to say.

“After our recent success at LeBook’s Connections LA event in January we decided to jump on board for LeBook Connections NYC.  It was hosted in a beautiful light-filled loft in SoHo and did not disappoint. I would consider it a huge success for our group.

Here are some of my observations at the event:

New work is still crucial

New work was again a big request and thankfully most of our photographers had recently updated their portfolios.  The Connections show in NY is larger than LA so creatives that are familiar with your work already will easily pass by your booth if new and interesting work isn’t front and center.  It was not uncommon for visitors to our booth to ask to show them “just what was new.”  David Martinez‘s portfolio was a big hit because he upped the ante and installed a video page to his portfolio; which was a huge success and draw for the entire group.

Shifting trends in photography

I heard from many creatives that they were “looking to shake things up for their clients”.  I heard that so often that it began to feel like a trend.  I found several high-end fashion companies wanting to move away from high fashion and get more “natural and down to earth.” We wouldn’t typically target our photographers to high fashion so I was surprised and excited when these clients asked to be added to our lists.  When a representative from Perry Ellis International asked to be added to Richard Schultz’s mailing list, I knew things were changing out there.  As a result, I walked away with a new experience once again due to the power of good photography.\

IPads or Portfolios?

From my NY experience nothing beats the printed book.  We were fortunate to have Richard Schultz’s large 18”x24” book with vivid colors as a centerpiece and it drew in many people.  Once we had the captivated audience it was easy to share other work as well.  We used the iPad to show video skills of our photographer and also categorize them in groups (food, product, lifestyle, cars, etc).  This was helpful when someone only wanted to see car work for example and didn’t have time to look through multiple portfolios.   Seeing how many exhibitors were present, I am sure the variety of presentations at each booth was appreciated.

The size was manageable and the event well attended

You would think this would not need to be an observation but we had never participated on the NY event and people often talked about how “it is a bit overwhelming.”  After our positive experience in LA we were curious to see  how and if NY differed.

We must admit the days started off slow but eventually people started to arrive.   Maybe it was the 95+ degree that caused the slow start , but as the day progressed, there was always a steady stream of people.  There was never a time we felt unable to attend to our booth fully.   As for the attendees, many of them mentioned that it was the best one yet!

Visual cues at your booth are important

When Heather and I designed our banner, we did so choosing images that worked well visually together and represented the most interesting of the work of that particular photographer.  We chose the most creative and graphic images that we thought would stand out on the banner best.  The result was that our food photographer’s image wasn’t a plated food image, our car photographer’s image wasn’t  a car and our product photographer’s image wasn’t a literal product image.   We noticed that on a few occasions, creatives would look at the banner as a literal guide to what was in our group.  If we hadn’t engaged them to determine what it was they were looking for and then redirect them, there was the potential they would pass us by.  Next time our imagery will be more literal for sure!

Europe was well represented

After our experience in LA, we knew that people traveled from all over to attend.  At the west coast event there were not as many European visitors as were in NYC for obvious reasons.  We made several new connections from Europe, Mexico and South America.

The variety of attendees was appreciated

There was a great mix of advertising clients, client direct, editorial, graphic design, freelancer, interactive and digital media companies.   Since many of these clients are hard to research we were grateful for the opportunity to meet them.  It was nice to be in the position of being approached rather than the other way around as is typical.

Once again we were given the opportunity to connect with friends, clients and collegues and make new connections.  And, in this ever changing industry having direct access to all of those people under one roof was powerful.  Thank you Le Book.”

See full post here: Heather Elder Represents Blog2011-06-20.