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Archive 2012 · Who needs viewing stations....?
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Who needs viewing stations....?

luketrot: As far as writing an app to find bluefin tuna I can do that as well. You just point the camera at them and that will tell you where they are

Jul 03, 2012 at 06:35 PM
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Who needs viewing stations....?

I have tried a few of the ideas mentioned here.

My very first foray into sports/ event selling was with a big BB tourney my son was in.
I set up large image proof sheets and put them in cheap plastic binders with ordering info in the front with envelopes the people could write their orders on and fill in with CC info or seal the cash in the envelope.

I made a folder for every team I shot and handed it out the next day. It worked OK and was a cheap way for me to test the water in event work. Most of the printing I did on site working out the back of my stationwagon in the carpark. I had a full size desktop machine and printer running off an inverter from a spare car battery.

Basic as but it paid for the the whole week for the entry fees, accomodation and meals and we probably cleared a massive $20 on top of that. I was happy enough for a first time Rough as guts effort!

I have run viewstations using a wireless network and some cheap Dongles I found on fleababe on the machines themselves. It worked OK but slowed due to the amount of stations we had even though I had an N series dual channel router doing the broadcasting. In a lot of ways it was a lot quicker to set up and more reliable than running switches with tons of cables which would get occasionally damaged in transit.

What I did do at some events though was locate the V stations ( mine were freestanding) in other areas such as popular thoroughfares etc. It worked OK but doing the same groups over and over had people familiar with us anyway.

At the same time, I had all the image gallery on an open channel so they could be Viewed on peoples own Laptops and phones. Not so many Ipads people take with them here.
The novelty factor was high ( we promoted it on signs around the place) but practical usage was low. As for phones, the images come up too small to have much effect or even make the kids easily Identifiable in a lot of the work I did. I suspect with something Like BB where they have helmets and uniforms, picking your kid off a phone could be more difficulty than they would persevere with.

I also tried the bluetooth broadcasting. Set up a laptop with what I wanted to say and sent my daughter into the crowd to broadcast it. You could tell when it did by the movement of 20 people in the crowd all simultaneously reaching for their phones. Was great in the arena I worked as she just walked about 30 Ft at a time through the middle walkway of the seating and hit the button again. People read the message as I carefully worded the bit about who it was from but we didn't get a lot of takers on the offer.

I also used it at other events where we told people to come back to pick up their prints and disks when we got slammed. The area where they all sat was right next to our trailer so I would just broadcast the name of the person who's prints were ready in the header.
We did spend a lot of time showing people how to turn their bluetooth on in the first place though.

As for V stations, I went to laptops and ran them wirelessly and on cables.
They are cheap to buy used machines now and for Vstations they don't have to be powerful or have big HDD's.
One thing I found a benefit in was with officials who may get lumbered in a position all day and can't move to see the pics. I'd take a laptop with me around the grounds and ask them if they wanted to see the pics of their kid(s). I preloaded the gallerys onto the HDD so even if the thing was out of wireless range they could still see all but the latest pics.
This was a BIG winner in getting remembered by officials as much as the orders it generated.

Many of the volunteers at these things are the same people over and over for different events and I regularly heard their lamenting of being tied up all day and not being able to see pics and having to rush off to do something else or having to get home.
Leaving them a laptop gave them something to do in the quiet time and the opportunity to see what they normally missed. Often they would have money waiting when I went back to get the machine and I'd deliver their order back to their position without them ever getting near the trailer.

Because I had about a dozen of one machine and half a dozen of the others, I'd just swap the batteries out with the fixed Vstations that were on power and therefore had charged batteries in them. Being older they all only lasted a bit over an hour which I warned people about and if they went flat I just threw in another.

Another thing I found had great PR value was to take pics of the volounteers/ officials and send them back a complimentary print. Small sticker with our name and details on the back got me quite a few calls when these people were organising events which they often did.

I tried Online and everything I could to make it work but it didn't for me. We handed out Flyers to the crowd and plastered the carpark but still bugger all. What I did find though was when people found out the shots were online they would say they would look at them at home but the orders never came through. All online did for me was Kill the onsite sales substantially.

When I stopped it again we went back to having the people complain they didn't have time to look at the pics then but we all noticed that 9 out of 10 did and not only that, they tended to be the people that hung around looking the longest and had the better orders.

I know everyone else in the world seems to do OK with online orders after the event but buggered If I could make it work. I tried every suggestion I could find but all it did for me was Kill sales.
As for facewaste, I think that again is just giving people an opportunity to get the pics without buying anything.

I asked as many kids as I could find about buying pics for their phone and facewaste and they all seemed pretty indignant that they wouldn't pay anything and and anything you find online was free.
Most were pretty keen to tell you how to get images without paying for them and get around right click disabled etc.

Kids maybe different in other parts of the world but here they seem to think they have a right to anything online for free.

As such, onsite only is the way for me.

Jul 04, 2012 at 12:12 AM
P Alesse
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Who needs viewing stations....?

That pretty much sums it up. Online is dead. On-site is the way to make a go of this.

Jul 04, 2012 at 12:39 AM
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Who needs viewing stations....?

penpro wrote:
Case and point is jail broken iPhones. I know I can jail brake it but why bother when apps are so cheap. How many games do you have on your phone for your kids that you just grabbed because it looked cool and it was only 99 cents.

Not to pull this thread off topic, but if you think people jailbreak just to get free apps, you are wrong. I jb my iPad 2 to be able to get a keyboard that was able to show letter and numbers at the same time (such a novel idea I know), and to get the "retinal display" app which smooths out the blockiness of the iPhone only apps when viewed on the larger iPad screen. I don't have a single pirated app on it and never will. Actually I think the vast majority of people that jailbreak their devices do it for reasons other than stealing apps.

Jul 05, 2012 at 05:10 PM

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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Who needs viewing stations....?

Great thread! A lot of good info in here. We use one server to host/store the photos and all of our photoshop work. We then set up 6-10 viewing stations(monitors) that run off of the one server. Works well although we could run them wirelessly

@glort- Very good info. Online sales have been the same for us. People will use it as a cop out not to buy pictures there and even thought they take a card to view them online the sale hardly ever come. What we resorted in doing was keeping the cards behind the desk and only offering to the people that asked, mainly when the stations were full. We would also stick them in the envelopes that people got when they bought something. It seems that if they see the card and that you have a website it's all over, they will cop out and say they will do it online and you will never see them again.

Again thanks for sharing!

Dec 22, 2012 at 03:46 AM

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