Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 11 2016

See How One Destination Boosts Their Clients’ Success With Visual Narratives

Jeanna Hofmeister

Getting The Bigger Picture

As a professional writer, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit that I’m often more inspired by pictures than words. As it turns out, I’m pretty much like everyone else. According to the experts in a Harvard University study, “words are evocative while pictures are more immersive.”  No surprise there. Images capture our attention, motivate us to act, and transport us to places unknown, in an instant.

That’s why I was fascinated when the team at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center (MBCC) shared how they’re using time-lapse photography to help event planners market and sell trade show space to potential vendors, exhibitors and attendees. “It’s pretty hard to give someone a sense of your show, or get them to commit to buying exhibit space, when they’ve never experienced it,” says Tiffany Andrews, Sales and Marketing Administrator for the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. “We want to help them create a visual narrative.”

Looking to Differentiate

Visual story-telling was one way to differentiate MBCC’s facility and services. Andrews came up with the time-lapse concept five years ago. Since then, their videos have been delivering an impressive amount of exposure for both clients and the center. In fact, a recent Gaither Homecoming in Myrtle Beach time-lapse video generated nearly 640% more views in a single year than traditional testimonials had delivered in the previous five.

The center’s photographer takes, on average, nearly 10,000 still photos to create the time-lapse videos. For those of you who are counting, that’s one shot, every fifteen seconds, over four consecutive, ten hour days!  Beginning with the set-up, events are documented in detail and then edited into the short films that get posted on YouTube as well as individual meeting websites.

Clients Get An Even Bigger Bonus

Not every client qualifies for the time-lapse treatment, but those that do also get free (yes free!) access to the thousands of still images, in addition to the video. The added visual content for their websites and marketing materials is clearly a bonus. “It was the coolest thing, seeing all these huge exhibits that take days to build… come together in this video in a matter of two minutes,” says Donna Shealy Foster, Meeting Planner for the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association ‘s (SCNLA) Annual Conference and Tradeshow. But as marketing directors and meeting planners can attest, saving the costs for commercial photography, and avoiding the headaches of managing that intellectual property, are an even bigger payoff.

As one of the more lucrative components of a meeting or convention, planners are regularly looking to enhance the size and number of exhibitors at their tradeshows. “With these videos, we can actually help them sell their shows,” says Andrews, “particularly their exhibit space.” And the free creative assets have become a benefit that MBCC’s clients appreciate.  Shealy Foster says they immediately posted the video from their 2014 conference in Myrtle Beach on the SCNLA website. “It’s really helpful from an attendance building standpoint,” she says. “I’ve never seen any other association that has a video like this one.”

To find out more about meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC and how their convention center team can help you create more successful events, contact:

Myrtle Beach Convention Center
Brian Monroe, Director of Sales and Marketing
(800) 537-1690

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