In today’s economy, one has to consider any and every purchase carefully before pulling out the wallet. This is no different for the most avid photo enthusiast. With a clear understanding of these circumstances, Lensbaby and Digital Photo Academy (DPA) have joined forces with a dozen photo retailers around the country to provide free Lensbaby demonstrations for consumers who are interested in trying out the Lensbaby system before purchasing it.
To make the experience both informative and enjoyable, Lensbaby has employed Digital Photo Academy instructors to lead lectures and photo shoots at each retailer event. And to top it off, retailers receive a shipment of loaner Lensbabies for trial use by the attendees who participate at each event. According to David Brommer, who is the B&H Event Space Manager in New York City, “Lensbaby is a product that leads to greater consumer response with a test drive, and the success formula is further enhanced with Digital Photo Academy instructors leading free seminars, lectures and photo walks for the participants who are considering purchases.”
The excitement being created by these events is evidenced by the comments of the participants. At a recent event at W.B. Hunts in Boston, Martin Grassie wrote, “This was a wonderful opportunity! I never would have had the chance to try one out for so long.”
Another participant, Jennifer Tonelli, wrote, “This was a great way to get a feel for the lens’s capabilities.” Frank Siteman, the Digital Photo Academy instructor at the Hunts event, was given countless compliments on his instruction of the Lensbaby’s capabilities.
It is this format that makes these sessions exceptional: All participants get a demo lens to use, and a Digital Photo Academy instructor is there to teach them about the lenses and guide them through the mechanics of using them. There is also a short PowerPoint presentation about how to use the Lensbaby and its accessories. The participants then spend at least two hours shooting with the lenses, with instruction and help from the DPA instructor.
This well thought out approach to accommodate interested consumers, and retailers, has resulted in impressive sales, leading to the satisfaction of customers and retailers alike. Says Gary Farber of W.B. Hunts, “Our partners at Lensbaby have thought of everything with this strategy, and participants are not only pleased and appreciative, but more often than not, they are purchasing the product after the demo. The Digital Photo Academy instructor explains how to best use the Lensbaby and this is the perfect step to get the participants excited about the possibilities in a new creative spin on their photos.”
An event at New York City’s Adorama in February, run by DPA instructor Adam Stoltman, had several different still life setups for the participants to capture. This gave them several choices in using each component of the Lensbaby system, from the macro lens (that seems to be a favorite) to the fisheye lens.
There have also been opportunities to go outside for photo walks, and in San Francisco, at Calumet Photographic, the Lensbaby event took on a new twist by having a professional model and a lighting setup, as well as a photo walk for attendees to experience.
Sean Arbabi, the DPA instructor, had his hands full, yet he pulled off a “really first-rate workshop,” as participant Susan McDowell expressed. And, many participants brought their own Lensbaby lenses in order to learn more about using them.
Karen King, Communications and Event Specialist for Calumet Photographic, wrote: “Calumet Photographic has a long history of educating and inspiring customers through workshops and classes at our retail locations. To help expand our course offering and address the increased demand for hands-on learning, we’ve recently teamed up with Digital Photo Academy. Their instructors are terrific for informing and motivating the participants who attend the free Lensbaby demos in our stores. They have worked out very well, especially since Lensbaby provides loaners for each participant and heightened sales have been the result. We now have booked out more events with Digital Photo Academy at our locations around the country and are very pleased with how easy they make the process, by handling all matters from start to finish, including scheduling the sign-ups and providing props and staff for the actual events. It’s been a true win-win.”
As evidenced by the photographs taken by participants, these events give the public an opportunity to get a real feel for the product. After attending an event, consumers have a good idea whether the Lensbaby is right for them or not. This strategy is getting the potential buyer to make the purchasing decision more quickly, often during the event, with many more sales coming in within the next week. Participants also leave with a positive opinion of the retailer who gave them the chance to experience an extraordinary hands-on workshop with a product at no cost. Kristi Lasher in San Francisco remarked, “I would have paid for that!”
Interested retailers can log on to DigitalPhotoAcademy.com to learn details of the Digital Photo Academy or call the toll-free number, 1.877.372.2231, for inquiries. http://www.digitalphotoacademy.com and http://www.lensbaby.com