I received a lot of great feedback on my Part one of the my list of things WEVA needs to fix for Expo 2010 – thanks everyone for sharing your insights.
I did get a few comments from presenters who had A/V issues during their presentations wondering if it would make my list – it won’t. That kind of stuff is pretty obvious (or at least I would hope it is) and seems to be more isolated than a pattern. I’m trying to focus on bigger picture items. Part one was largely inspired by my own change in perception of the quality of the Awards Gala. I remember my first few and how impressed I was with the show back in the Las Vegas days at Bally’s. The content isn’t remarkably different and the food was excellent this time around but it is the small things – I remember getting my photo taken with an Elvis impersonator, some pretty fancy stage backdrop props, and coloured lighting. All these impressed me, to say the least, and made me feel like I was a part of an exciting and great organization.
Ok – now onto Part 2 of What WEVA needs to fix for Expo 2010!
I decided to focus my attention on a pretty big item for number two. The letter “E”. And specifically the letter “E” in “WEVA”. Although at one point wedding videos accounted for 50% of my annual revenues (way back in 2003), they now account for less than 2% of my revenues. My shift has been a dramatic one but I know I am not alone in my portfolio that lacks exposure in the wedding markets. One of the speakers and I were joking around that we were the “E’s” in “WEVA” as we were amongst the few speakers who were chosen to represent topics related to Event Video Production (and technically my topic was business strategy for event video producers).
In my local Professional Videographers Association, the BCPVA, our founders started the association as a wedding video group but around the time I joined in 2003, it started shifting to include more corporate and event. The result is that now weddings account for less than 1/3 of the business our members report they generate and we have adjusted our meeting content accordingly.
Now I know the history of WEVA, the Wedding and Event Videographers Association, is wedding videos. For the past 19 years WEVA has been at the forefront of raising the bar on this market segment and have done an amazing job at it. But with all the competition from other groups who are focusing exclusively on wedding video conferences and forums, competing with WEVA’s own Expo and forums, maybe it is time for WEVA to consider expanding their marketing mix. Here is where it currently sits – I took all the seminars, including the pre-convention power sessions, from this most recent Expo and did my best to put them into categories (that’s me at the bottom – I’m the lone business one):
As you can clearly see, wedding topics absolutely dominated. They accounted for more than the next three largest categories combined, which even includes a category I called “other” so that I could group the randoms together. A look down the list reveals that more importance was given to system/camera specific topics (there were three Final Cut and three Canon 5DMk2 seminars) than to the corporate and event market seminars.
So I would like to see this mix become a bit more balanced and certainly more representative than where it currently is. When I speak with speakers and attendees alike, they all tell me that they do corporate and event work and would like to grow those areas of their business, but every year WEVA selects only a few Event and Corporate topics. As a speaker, I find that if I am the only one representing a specific niche then I need to cover a lot of territory and give a broad overview, rather than getting into some pretty high level topics. I would like to see more topics within the event and corporate categories – much like the wedding video guys have.
If WEVA wants to grow (and I know Chairman Roy Chapman does), then I think the easiest way is to reach-out to the event and corporate video producers, who currently have no conference to call their own. How is that for easy pickings?