You are walking along a terrace approaching that event when all of a sudden camera flashes make you blink in slight confusion, causing you to almost stumble. Urgent questions come to mind: what is the reason that has made you an overnight celebrity and are you dressed the part? Is there some negative story about you circulating on social media? You pray not!
Carefully, you offer your best smile while slowly negotiating a path away from the photographers to find the designated room for the upcoming event and think nothing more about it.

While enjoying yourself, a set of photos are expertly thrust into your hands. You find yourself looking back at yourself in the most flattering manner and the photographer is asking for a fee. The cost of these photos can range between UGX 5,000 to about UGX 100,000. Yes, they are really good, but you did not come to the event with any thought of buying photographs. You’re torn between sending the man away, but then you think of the possibility of the photos falling in the wrong hands and used against you, as innocent as they are.
All over the world, people (especially high-profile personalities), go extra lengths to protect their image. In the communications world, image is everything. But technology has made it much easier to manipulate pictures. Software like Photoshop allows for all kinds of opportunities for others to ruin your image. This is why as events managers /organizers it vital that you provide the dos and don’ts to the photographers covering an event. It helps if the relevant photographers are known to most of the invited guests to put them at their ease.

There are many professional and respected photographers who wouldn’t dare turn up at an event if they were not assigned and yet the reverse is also true. Smartphones have complicated the situation further and everything often becomes a blur of outstretched arms and smiling poses. In some countries, however, organizers indicate on invitation cards that phones will not be allowed into the room where the event is being held. It all depends on the purpose of the event and your guests/clients’ wishes.

Hosting events is both exciting and tedious, but as an organizer you must not be overwhelmed. In all the hustle to make the event world-class, things like photography and its restrictions can be easily forgotten. But like I said in my to-do list article, this is one of those sensitive things that needs to be agreed upon with your guests/clients to prevent future recriminations. In order to make your guests as comfortable as possible, take care of even the smallest details at your event.

About the Author: Immaculate Namanda

Immaculate has a solid grounding in account management. She knows the market, with skills in strategic positioning, media and client relations together with project coordination and management. Prior to joining WMC Africa, she headed media relations, brand positioning, strategic writing, CSI initiatives and events management at the Alam Group.

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