Published on Thu Mar 10, 2022 by David J Colbran
Multi day corporate conferences are back. Worked one a couple of weeks back for a national venue management and cleaning company here at the ACC Liverpool - Conference Venue on the waterfront. It is a venue I know very well, having worked at dozens of business events, conferences and exhibitions since it opened. It really does compete to be the UK's number one multipurpose arena and convention centre.
Quite a bit of preparation prior to the two day commission due to the variety of activities planned, above and beyond the usual conference format. Lots of team building and fun activities - this organisation is spread across the UK and it was the first time many colleagues had met for over 2 years, so a good opportunity to catch up. Of course my goal regardless of what is planned is to document and share the event's story and spirit through photography.
First up was a visit to a new attraction at The Albert Dock - Escape Hunt - an escape type challenge venue, were teams go to separate rooms and have to solve themed puzzles to 'escape'. Which was followed by something a little less taxing, The Beatles Story. Which even if you are not a fan, the world's largest permanent exhibition is really interesting and tells the story of the lives and times of the most famous band in the world.
Next on the agenda was the ACC centre, where the company have the contract to clean the facilities. As the delegates had lunch I set up my mobile studio in the corner to take staff portraits. It was a busy session and I managed 40 staff in one hour - obviously not ideal and not usually the way I work but that was what the client needed and understood that they weren't going to get a lot of alternatives for each person.
At the business part of conferences I understand where the important shots will be, how to interact with the conference attendees successfully, and know when to step back and let things unfold without me distracting anybody. Of course I won't use a strobe flash during key note speaker sessions, or dart about in front of the audience. Angles are always better from the side or using a long lens from behind the delegates to create that busy look, even if there are only 20 people there.
After a couple of hours break the evening event started at The Hope Street Hotel. Another great venue and I was recently there providing G7 Summit photography for the Australian Government. It was a formal meal with an award ceremony - lot of bonus big cheques and a variety of awards and presentations. The highlight being employee of the year. A real fun and entertaining night !
While I have 16 years of experience photographing events, large and small - each can be unique and often include something new for me. The final part of their conference fell into that category the next day. It was a chocolate making session at the Blue Coat art space with some expert chocolate makers - The Chocolate Cellar - in charge. They put on an Apprentice style challenge where teams worked against each other to create a series of sweet products and then market them via a presentation at the end. It proved to be a real fun few hours and a great and unusual team building exercise. And a fab way to finish off a busy couple of days.
As always, I really value client feedback and it was fantastic that Claire took some time to recommend me on LinkedIn.
"David was the professional photographer for my company conference that too place in Liverpool in February 2022. David had quite the task of organising nearly 40 grown adults who hadn't been able to get together for nearly two years into group shots- as task I did not envy him having to undertake. David was the ideal photographer - he was there without really being there which has meant he has been able to get some fantastic shots of the team, and they were sent back in record time for us to be able to use internally and externally. If you are ever looking for a photographer in Liverpool, David is your man!"
Tags: business, conferences, awards, evening, commercial, ACC
Author: David J Colbran
In between meetings I met business man Will and got a few classic portraits on the waterfront and of course the iconic Pierhead. So if you doing business in Liverpool, need some quick but quality coverage of your time here, drop me a message.
In 2006 I was contacted by a design agency here on Merseyside to help them photograph their forthcoming debut album cover. Exciting times !
If you need last minute coverage of a speaker, a meeting, debate session, protest, fringe event or anything connected with the Labour Party conference Sunday 08 to Wednesday 11 October 2023 I might be able to help.
"The photos were great, they were exactly what we were after in terms of capturing the networking, the high profile speakers, the Awards winners and also the fun of the Awards dinner. It was great to have such an involved photographer at the event capturing as much as possible and we would be very happy to use you again"