There has been a lot of chat about improving and reinventing some of the aspects of the events we run , the main one is the photo ops , so i thought i would come on here to talk to you all about what we have understood and what we have learnt and what we have been planning for some time .
First photo ops photos
We have seen that over the last few years the printing technology has moved forward , it has not been very fast but it is moving forward.
The issues we have found out are as follows
The prints do not react well with some pens especially cheap marker pens (but as we use sharpie for all our events we are covered on this front and we have tested these so thats all fine)
The photo process does work and each prints take around 30 second per print if the image feed goes direct into the printer from the camera
But if there is an issue with this process like the image were someone is blinking or flare on someones glasses or anything wrong with the photo then it will come out on the print with out it being fixed in post production.
We saw this weekend photos being printed with blinks and issues with the image , when people have an issue with the photo nothing can be done so this would not work for us and we want the image to be right every time and we do not feel making it fast and instant works yet and losing quality to something that could be a once in a life time chance of having is not acceptable to Showmasters.
Now we can use these printers and we can make them available in less time than we do at this time but we would still want to put them images through a post production session so we fix any issues with the image and also we can back up the images onto a hard drive for safety .
We feel the time delay for a 400 per hour shoot would still need a hour after the photo was taken to be ready for the public , we just feel that we do not want to lose quality on the product.
Another important point is the cost , it will cost more money to process these prints as the printers cost around £2000 per unit and to keep up to 400 images an hour would need around 3 printers and a back up and there is a service cost to the printers as well so in the end we feel there would be a 30% extra cost involved in printing photos in this way , and as at london we have 3 photo shoots going on at once the costs of changing over to printers would mean an outlay of around £24,000 to set up and then there is the upkeep costs of running them so it is a big investment and not something to get wrong so we have been looking into this for many months.
We tried a printer at our last Autographica with out anyone really knowing and we had some issues there getting the amount we needed back in time so we learnt from that and again we tried with a different printer at the Mike Tyson event last month again we did not feel it was up to it , but we have now found what printers we feel will work for our events and we are going to start to use them and phase them in over the next few months but the time delay from having the photo taken and you receiving your photo will have to be still one hour.
Our cost will go up investing in these printers and we are looking at other want to cover the extra costs involved with out putting up the cost of photo shoots , an event that took place recently charged around 20% to 30% more to cover the costs of this extra Tec upgrade , we do not feel thats right and we are not going to increase the costs of our photo shoots.
We have been asked about Jpegs being sold as well as hard copies , we feel that there is a need for these and we have also been thinking about this and a way that is safe to send out the images as we do not want to give other people outside of the people in the photo access to the image , so we feel that if we can put the number of your image on the back of your hard copy then you can email us after the show and we can send you the Jpeg of the image via email we would have to have someone look after the and to go through the images and process the order , if the order was made at the show at the pick up desk and the paper work was filled out and paid for there then we could charge around £5 to send you a Jpeg if it was to be paid for on line them we would need to charge a little more to cover the credit card charges etc so we would think it would be around £6 , this would be an extra service and there is a cost involved to us to we feel its fair to pass on this cost and also it will help to cover a little more of the costs involved in having these new printers on site.
The other benefit to having photo printers on site is that we can run the photo shoots till much later which will help spread out the photo shoots a bit helping everyone to be a little less rushed , and having them on site will also help us know when the photos will be ready as in the past we have to rely on the labs to tell us what time they will be back and somethings they get this wrong and it makes us look a bit silly even though its not down to us :-)
So we will start to bring this online from Collectormania with one printer and then as the year goes on we will bring more printers online till we are fully able to print the photos at the shows by the end of the year , so i hope that helps you see what we are planning and also see we are looking forward to the future and evolving what we do , but we only do this for the better and to improve things for you all , there is no point in just trying to improve things if its not going to work well.
The funny thing is some events try things out and it may not work but that seems to get away with it , we on the other hand people expect us to get it right first time with 100% effectiveness and if we mess up we get killed for it and then if we do not evolve as fast as others then people go on about us being to slow to improve as well so we know we cannot win.
well we have been on this for the last two years and we have been using this technology a little but we have held back so as to get it as right the best we can first time and we are not going to be hurried into get it wrong , so i hope you all see we do try to provide the best we can every time and at a fair price.
This year we have also see other events charging more and more for guests autographs , we feel that this is something thats very important to try to control and keep down, we feel very strongly about value for money and at every point we can we try very hard to give great value , this year we once again have many guests autographs at the £10 price tag and a lot of the other guests are also very competitively priced compared to other events that take place around Europe and the US , we do not do gimmicks like 3 to the price of 2 etc as we feel you will buy what you want and the price of each autograph should not be put up to cover the price of the free autograph, in the end we all know everything has to be paid for and nothing in life is free , so the price we charge is the lowest we can charge for each autograph and you get that if you buy one item or ten items its the same fair price across the board no tricks not games just a fair price for this amount of autographs you want to buy.
well i think that covers some of the things i have been thinking about .
we all look forward to see in you all soon at our next few events .
Edited by 1of2, 15 May 2012 - 10:01 AM.