The Now Hear This podcast festival brought together 30 of the hottest podcasts in the industry, ranging from Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air to Levar Burton Reads to Off Book: The Improvised Musical. As these podcasters performed live on stage over the course of three days, Midroll VP of Marketing Amy Fitzgibbons and her team captured every moment.
The team not only wanted to create buzz and a sense of #FOMO on social media in real time during the event, but they also wanted to produce assets they could use on social media throughout the year. This live event provided a rare opportunity to generate a massive amount of visual content for a medium that is typically not very visual.
Watch the on-demand webinar to learn about:
- How Amy revamped the Now Hear This photography strategy
- Amy’s top tips and lessons learned for a streamlined social media workflow during events
- How to maximize your event photography well after the event is over
Scroll through the Q&A with Amy below to get the answers to our questions from the audience, and be sure to tweet any more questions for Amy @getlibris!
Q&A with Amy Fitzgibbons, Midroll
Have you had any pushback or resistance from talent during the event or after the event?
I have a good example of that actually from 2016. We had a photographer who was a wife of one of our employees do some backstage photos. They weren’t the best photos but some were completely fine. We posted one of those photos on Instagram and one of our talent who was in the photo freaked out and made us take it down and made us never use it again. However, those photos were still floating around our Dropbox, and so in 2017, someone on the social media side of things used that photo again. And so we had to deal with this whole, I thought I asked you to take that down, I don’t look great in that, please never use that again, and it was kind of embarrassing that we had to do that a second time, just because of institutional memory. Whereas in Libris, we could have deleted it or we could have put it in a locked place far far away, and not let anyone have access to it.
Before the event, we get releases from all the talent – that’s part of their contract – so technically we were allowed to use all the photos we took. But you want to tread that very lightly.
Do you have any advice for making sure your photographers capture unplanned, unexpected moments?
I think it’s very event specific. You kind of have to know what’s going to happen at the event to point it out to the photographers.
For example, we had people kind of running around, who would be giving out free merchandise t-shirts and things like that, and so we saw the photographers to go follow her, and spontaneously, she was giving out t-shirts in the line for a podcast called Off Book, which is an improvised musical podcast, and got the crowd to sing one of the songs from the podcast in order to get their t-shirts. And those are the kind of things where you just know, as the event producer or the event marketer – go follow Shannon, she’s going to do something really fun.
We did meet and greets with the talent where people were able to come in and get their autographs. We made sure people were there for that. People were so excited to get Levar Burton’s autograph. We found a woman who had a tattoo for one of the podcasts on her leg. So, for podcast conferences especially, just making sure to get in the audience and find those people in the audience who are these rabid podcast folks.
How did you make sure you covered everything?
We made sure that we had people assigned to each podcast and to each platform. We weren’t able to cover every single podcast that was going on. But we also knew which podcasts tend to get more bang for our buck on social media, so we made sure to have people at those, doing live tweets, doing quotes, things like that.
How do you prepare the space to make sure you are giving the best space for photographers/videographers, such as lighting and sound? Is that something you worked on in advance or did you just trust the photographers to figure out the situation?
Really, trust our photographers to figure out the situation. If I had my druthers and if I had had more time, I would have had a slightly different setup. Lighting – I think photographers should be ready for any kind of lighting, especially event photographers. We happened to have signage on stage from some of our sponsors that really interfered with the photography – specifically a hair care sponsor that had two posters up on the stage of women with their long luxurious hair that looked really weird. So a lot of the podcasts up on that stage, I didn’t end up using those photos on social media. And I talked to our chief revenue officer after the fact and said, next year let’s find a different way to make sure that sponsor gets visibility, because it’s too bad we just don’t want to use any of those photos from that specific stage.
If you had a blank state, what would be your #1 piece of advice in terms of visual storytelling for an event?
Staff it up. If it’s volunteers that you need – my volunteers were great, and this is a long event. And the more excited they are, the better images that they’ll get. And the better posts you’ll get as a result. And even with our photographers, and we didn’t plan this, but they were also podcast fanatics, so they were really excited, and they were able to really make the event come to life in the photos in a way that I think someone who wasn’t as passionate wouldn’t have done.