Selling CDs to a large group

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Sandspur, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    I'm being contracted to photograph an upcoming flower show/convention. It's a five-day event, with, probably, 600 participants.

    My original plan was to offer pix for sale through my Shutterfly Pro Gallery (which I use successfully for other event Photography). That way all I need to do is make sure the participants get the site address, upload the images, and wait for the orders.

    BUT ... they don't want to do it that way. Instead I'm being asked to provide CDs for sale. And I've been assured that these folks won't be shy about paying a reasonable price for them.

    Of course, in order to do this I'll have to have a sales table set up, hire an assistant, and offer sales via Credit Card.

    Since it's actually two conventions back-to-back over five days, there will be at least two separate CDs, and probably another featuring just award winning arrangements and special events. So, let's say - a total of 3 different CDs to sell.

    I'm thinking $25 per CD. With 600 participants, I can probably expect to sell at least 200-300 CDs. So, being optimistic, I'll estimate a gross income of (300 x $25) $7500.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts you guys may have.

    Oh, and BTW, as a Noob (just signed up yesterday), I'm finding this to be one great forum, filled with real people asking and answering real questions.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks...we like it here :D

    Do they want you to photograph every one's flowers, then put all the shots onto a CD for people to buy?

    When & where would you offer the CDs for sale? If the show is still going on, won't it be difficult for you to put them onto a CD & sell them? I mean, unless you only sell them at the end of the last day, won't you be missing somethings? (or are the conventions the same on each day?)

    Also, I wouldn't want to sell images that haven't been edited...at least a little bit. I guess you could have an assistant doing this while you were shooting...but it still seems like a logistical problem.

    Maybe you could take orders for CDs...and you could send them to people afterward...but they might as well just order the shots they want, off of your Shutterfly site.
     
  3. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Big Mike!

    Yeah, any way you cut it it's a logistical nightmare. If I go the CD route, I'll have to take orders and ship them.

    It's actually two conventions; the first lasts two day, the second lasts three. But a lot of people attending #1 will stay for #2.

    As far as editing is concerned, I never let anything out of my control until that's done. And BY ME! I simply don't trust anyone else to edit my images. So there's another day or two of post processing, even before I can start burning CDs and shipping.

    I agree about the Shutterfly offering. I'll just have to convince the powers that be to let me offer it. So I guess I'll end up doing both - CDs and individual shots from Shutterfly.

    My earlier question remains: What should I charge per CD?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's a good question...:scratch:

    I think your initial thought of $25 is low, for a whole CD full of edited, professional images. You also have to consider the use of the images. So they want to make prints from the images, or would it just be a slide show for them to view on computer or DVD player?

    If they are high resolution files for printing or whatever, $25 is way too low...but the problem is that people won't be buying the CD so they can print all the images...they probably only want photos of their flowers and maybe a few favorites...in that case, you probably won't get $300 per CD.

    Maybe you could take orders for custom CDs...that would include a slide show of images from the show...plus any photos of that person's display (or a few favorites/best in show etc). This would mean more work on your part but it might increase sales.

    It seems to me that this is one of those things that has to be learned by trial and error. If you did this a few years in a row, you should be able to figure out what sells and what doesn't. What works for you, at this venue, might not work for other situations and visa versa.

    Good luck with it anyway.
     
  5. MichaelT

    MichaelT TPF Noob!

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    I can understand how people would want to have images of the entire show - especially for their future participation.

    So how about this approach:

    Get a focus screen for your camera that perfectly outlines 8x10. Be very careful when photographing so that every image fills that format. That should keep your editing to an absolute minimum.

    Print up some order forms and ask if they can be put into the conference packets that everyone receives. On this form offer the following:

    Available CD's:
    CD-A: Images of all participants entries during Convention 1
    CD-B: Images of all participants entries during Convention 2
    CD-C: Images of convention 1 and 2 winners

    Get 1 CD for $39.
    Get any 2 CD's for $69
    Get all 3 CD's for only $89

    Have the convention registration table able to take the orders. Also have your address on the form so people can send it in from home, but be sure to have a deadline so you're not getting orders a year later.

    Crop the images to 4x5 at 250 dpi. You should be able to get lots of those at a #8 jpeg compression on a CD, and the files should be ok for up to 5x7 prints. You could make a PS action to do this if you were consistent at using the crop lines in the camera.

    Think this might work? At least it's somewhere to start.
     
  6. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Great suggestions from both you guys. Thanks Big Mike and MichaelT.

    Michael, I really like your suggestion on the pricing breakdown.

    I've got the formatting thing down pretty well, having done this several times on Shutterfly event projects.

    I'm still open for more good ideas.

    Thanks again,

    Sandspur
     

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