The Most Important Thing to Show at Your Conference

As a professional event photographer, I have opportunities to see (and photograph) a wide range of conventions, conferences, awards banquets, and other corporate events. Over the years I’ve noticed distinct differences in each event – what’s featured and emphasized, what’s offered in terms of entertainment and activities, and what attendees do during the event. When a convention or conference includes a trade show you see your normal assortment of booths featuring products and services, and attendees all browse. Conferences see speakers presenting informational or motivational speeches. With awards banquets you have presentations and congratulations abound. One thing they all have in common is a desire to engage – for speakers to connect to the audience, vendors to “put a face to the name” and build personal relationships with customers, and companies to acknowledge awards-winners.

Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter greets VIPs at the American Psychological Association (APA) conference in San Diego, CA.
Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter greets APA guests

A vendor at the Johnstone Supply tradeshow greets a potential customer
A vendor greets a customer

A UoA rep greets a NACE member at the BP Career Fair
Career Fair networking

A HR representative from Shell Oil greets job-seekers at the NACE convention
HR rep meets career-seeker

I look for moments. From my perspective that is best illustrated when people meet. Before they start highlighting their goods or talking business there is an initial smile and greeting, usually with a handshake. To me this encapsulates the interaction of networking, and the engagement that sponsors, vendors, and organizations seek. Connecting people – whether for sales or camaraderie – makes events great, and in my humble opinion, successful. I capture this by watching for those smiles and handshakes.

What aspect of a corporate event do you feel is the most important goal? Tell us in the comments below!

Photography of a Dynamic Keynote Speaker

Terry Watson delivers a keynote speech for CAI at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront.
Terry Watson speaks at the CAI 40th anniversary conference at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront hotel.

William Morton had the opportunity to shoot with J.T. MacMillan yesterday, covering the CAI 40th Anniversary conference. Terry Watson delivered an energetic (and highly entertaining) keynote speech to the Community Associations Institute members  at the beautiful San Diego Hilton Bayfront hotel. The man has the smile and enthusiasm of a little boy, but the perspective and perception of a wise sage. Having an opportunity to listen to great speakers is just one reason I really love this job!

Morton Visuals Covers Microsoft

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011
Microsoft WPC 2011 entrance

Morton Visuals was selected to cover the weeklong 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference last month. Occupying most of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the WPC event was enjoyed by a record-setting 16,000 attendees from 135 countries. William Morton worked with the Filmateria Digital crew to provide coverage of the Microsoft Dynamics trade show presence and their keynote speakers. Additional coverage included a party at The Highlands in Hollywood and an awards program across the street at the historic El Capitan Theatre. The Filmateria crew is well-organized, and William was able to provide images throughout the day to make them available to Microsoft immediately. All in all it was a terrific experience, and Microsoft proves that when they do something they do it First Class!

Michael Park, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft, speaks at the 2011 Microsoft WCP conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Convention photography by William Morton of Morton Visuals.
Corporate VP of Microsoft

A panel fields Questions and Answers at the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles. Event photography captured by William Morton of Morton Visuals.
Microsoft Q&A Session