ASMP e-interviewed LA Chapter Vice President Amy Tierney about how they manage their Ladies Power Brunch event.
Can you give us a basic description of the program?
The event was called “The 2nd Annual Ladies Power Brunch”. The purpose of the event was to network and educate the imaging community as a whole about the work and content that is being generated by women within the field (Photographers, Motion Directors, Art Producers, Editors, Assignment Editors, Stylists, MUA/Hair, Photo Producers). This year’s event specifically focused on what it takes to produce a commercial shoot from first telephone call to delivery. Our itinerary of the event equaled networking for forty-five minutes, an hour for the program, 20 minutes for a networking circle of introductions and a final forty minutes to network. We had two speakers (photographer /producer/director Jenna Close, and Photo Producer Ms. Ryan Beshara of Goldie Productions) present their work, and one moderator (myself) for questions. As a special bonus for ASMP members we invited them to send images of their work that they wished to be shown (projected) at the Leica Gallery during the networking.
How did you come up with the idea for your program?
The idea for the 2nd Annual Ladies Power Brunch was both a continuation of what our chapter’s prior President Yasmina Alishav started the year before, and a talk I produced in 2015 called “Female Photographer Roundtable”. I have spent much of the last 10 years supporting the work of women and girls. The passion behind the event is to truly network the women of ASMP. The key to a successfully networked event is to bond the attendees, and to do that you can generally follow these three components: a great location to keep the memory alive, fun food to keep the energy up, and one activity that allows all attendees to hear from one another (this year I lead the attendees, asking everyone to stand in a circle and share a quick anecdote about the last job that inspired her).
How did you approach sponsorship? Tips for other leaders regarding this?
Most of our sponsorship was approached by calling on our Board’s relationships, such as our President Molly Peter’s relationship with the Gallery Manager at Leica, and my relationship with SanDisk as one of their Ambassadors; however, a good pitch sheet and two to three months lead time can garner sponsorship from companies that you want to bring on board. I crafted a Sponsor Package Sheet for us noting various dollar amounts alongside a description of what those dollar amounts delivered to the sponsor, and shared it on our google drive so all our board members could access it and reach out to any sponsors they had in mind. You do need the lead time. All the largest companies have their budgets tied up months in advance. A Sponsor Package sheet should have your chapter’s logo at the top, and then options listed, for example: $750; Logo and link on ASMP-LA Facebook and Instagram social media marketing posts. Issued 2x/week for 4 weeks leading up to event. $500; Sponsor name projected at the event and mentioned live at the event.
What marketing tools & timeline did you employ?
Email Marketing, Eventbrite (public) ticketing, ASMP-LA Facebook Page with Event Page Advertising Boost (aka paid), ASMP-LA Instagram feed. Email marketing with a save the date went out the first week of August; however, that was not the timeline I wished for. Professionally speaking, three months lead time should be bare minimum for first contact with the location, and a save the date two months before. This also allows you to make printed marketing materials to share with interested sponsors (which we didn’t have the time to do). Have your ticketing go public as soon as you secure the location, the key speaker and the key sponsor (you can update your online marketing as your panel and sponsors fill in). Share your ticketing link with your chapter’s Facebook page (again with an advertising boost) 2x a week, 6 weeks up to the event. Use your email marketing 1x a week for 6 weeks to garner ticket sales. Use your Instagram page 4x week for 4 weeks. Use Twitter 3x a week for 4 weeks. And do these all on different days of the week.
How did you involve the board and the community in helping with this undertaking?
Our Board President Molly Peters was instrumental in securing the Leica Gallery via her relationship with the Gallery Manager, Paris Chong, and I asked all the other female board members to volunteer their time in various capacities – as catering lead, as event photography lead, etc. I also reached out to the photography community outside of the Board when I needed additional roles handled; and there were many – but if you ask nicely, offer free ticket entry to all the people helping you, and show them on-site how you too are chipping in you’ll find a great crew who will share great stories about the event to those who want to know if they should attend next time.
How did you find speakers?
We found the speakers two different ways. We wanted to make certain at least one of our panelists was an ASMP member. Our first speaker was at the suggestion of our Board President Molly Peters. She recalled Ex-Officio National ASMP Board member, photographer/director Jenna Close being in attendance and enjoying herself quite a bit, so she was my first call. Thankfully she was available. Our second speaker was brought on board for the event by contacting ASMP members I knew of who likely had great relationships with Photo Producers. I wanted someone who not only has a tremendous roster of clients but also plenty of years under her belt to describe the challenges of production. ASMP photographer/director Krstyna Archer graciously referred me to several great people. Ms. Ryan Beshara of Goldie Productions was, thankfully, able to make it fit her calendar.
What tips do you have for time management and delegation of responsibilities for large program undertakings such as this?
My tip for time management is: set certain days and times of day to achieve certain tasks. Yes, especially email correspondence! For example, one hour a day noon – 1pm and when that time is up move on to the other tasks you want to accomplish (like those of your full-time, paying job!), and schedule another time to resume your list of to-dos. Setting specific times makes space for you to achieve what you want to achieve – otherwise another demand inevitably requests this time. As for tips regarding delegation of responsibilities, without a doubt have an Event Co-Chair to share the overall plan of the event. The two of you can delegate catering duties, event photography, front door ticketing, etc to your Board and volunteers while you both secure donations and get the marketing out.
Do you take feedback after the program is over? If so, how do you encourage people to share their opinions and how do you use these for future projects?
Yes I take and ask for feedback from my Board and the sponsors. In fact, that was one of my key questions to our President, and past attendees, before I embarked on producing the event. After the event, I created an Event Re-Cap Form via Google Docs with questions like: ‘List and Describe 2-3 successes’, ‘List and describe 2 – 3 components of the event that can be improved for next time’, and ‘What was the purpose of the event?’. Next time, I would additionally ask for feedback from the attendees at the event, right before they left, by building in 5 minutes at the end of the program for everyone to answer via a live text poll, or writing down their responses on anonymous index cards we could collect and review later.
Can you give us some tips on effective chapter programming? Anything you think would help leaders put on a variety of successful events, large or small.
One tip for effective variety of chapter programming is to have each board member chair at least one event in the calendar year. Having said that, I welcome tips from other chapters’ leaders on effective chapter programming as this is only my first year on the board. Seriously, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope these tips have helped you, as others have helped me. Best wishes for great community building! – Amy Tierney, www.thriveimages.com, VP, Board of Directors, ASMP-LA.