Contributed by: New Jersey
Description of program: A Salon has one of two formats. In one, we ask photographers to bring work and talk about it; in the other, we bring in a notable speaker who has done something interesting in the field in the areas of technique or business practices. The Salon also provides an opportunity for photographers to network and exchange ideas. It is a good opportunity to see what other photographers are working on.
How many people were needed to produce the meeting, and what were their tasks?
Usually one or two because we keep them simple. All Board members suggest program ideas for the Salon and then that person will arrange for the speaker to appear.
Describe the type of location needed for the meeting.
We hold the Salons at Unique Photo, which is a big camera store in New Jersey. They have many other programs there, but we have reserved one night a month for the programs.
Break down the costs associated with putting on this type of meeting.
Usually there are no costs. Sometimes we pay someone to speak for about $250. But for the most part it is free.
It should be noted that Bob Kirst did a presentation at the Salon on two occasions and donated his speaker fee to the ASMP Legal Action Fund.
Describe the attendance and the fee structure used for this meeting.
We ask $5.00 as a suggested donation; this money is used to pay the guy who maintains our web site. We literally pass a hat.
What was done to market or publicize the meeting?
We have a huge email list and use that to promote the event. We also use the ASMP Mass Mail list and search for all members past and present in New Jersey. We have found that newspapers will not publish our event unless it is free. Even if people do not attend the Salons, it is a great way to put the ASMP name out to the photography community.
Was this a public meeting or a chapter only meeting?
The Salons are open to the public. We have had some attendees become members because of the Salons.
Is there anything else we should know about this meeting and why it was so successful?
First off, it is important to note that Joe Pobereskin (who subsequently moved to Chicago) created the ASMP-NJ Salon. Currently David Verdini is the main contact for the Salon with the support of other Board Members.
It is important to note that when the Salons are for showing your own work, we ask the Board members to bring work and set the precedents. At first, few people brought work, so Board members brought work to break the ice.
Also sometimes we have had a poor turnout at the Salons. We don’t let this get us down; we just move on to the next one.
When we put out the promo emails, we make sure there is something in the promo to use as a draw. We will mention somebody who has something interesting to show, or talk about how the Salons are a great opportunity to see what other photographers are working on. We just don’t put the time and date, we promote the event with teasers.
In addition we have had other successful programs beyond the Salons. We had an Adobe Photoshop program where over 200 people showed up and we had to turn people away. The reason for the success was it was free and the Newark Star Ledger photography columnist mentioned it in his column and told everyone they should attend.