Greater exposure for fast-growing photographic service

by Scott Douglas

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Paul Borg-Grech

AN innovative Scottish company is forecasting a rapid surge in business – with turnover expected to almost triple – after the runaway success of its revolutionary instant on-site photography service.

Borg-Grech Events’ photographic system has won wide acclaim after being introduced at Edinburgh Zoo and the Falkirk Wheel, two of the country’s most popular tourist attractions.

The firm is now aiming to sign deals with other leading visitor attractions and event organisers in Scotland – which is predicted will see turnover over the next three years swell from £250,000 to £700,000 and the number of employees jump from 10 to 30.

Falkirk-based Borg-Grech Events has developed wireless technology to instantly transmit professionally-taken images from the camera to computer, meaning they can be displayed on screen and printed for the customer as either photographs or mementos within seconds of the picture being taken.  The company has also focused heavily on recruiting key staff and training to ensure potential customers are put at ease – a key factor in the success of an on-site photographic service.

The system has helped both Edinburgh Zoo and Falkirk Wheel enhance their visitor experiences and gain commercially from a share of each sale

The on-site service introduced this year at Edinburgh Zoo’s new Rainbow Landings, which offers visitors the chance to get close with exotic birds, has proved to be particularly successful, boasting conversion sale rates of an average 40%.

Kevin Macdonald, Retail Manager, Edinburgh Zoo, said: “I am delighted with our new photography offering in Rainbow Landings. Our visitors experience is enriched with the professional photographs and key-rings that give them a personalised, lasting memento of our Zoo.”

Carole Keltie, Manager of Falkirk Wheel, is also full of praise, adding: “The service has been a great success and added value to the overall customer experience at the Falkirk Wheel. Visitors from across the world are delighted to be able to take home such a personal memento of their time at the Falkirk Wheel on the very day they visit.”

Paul Borg-Grech, who founded the firm in 1988, designed the state-of-the-art system after he was brought in as a consultant to transform the photographic operation at the Falkirk Wheel in 2005.

British Waterways, who run the tourist attraction, were so impressed with the system that they eventually asked Paul to run the operation full-time to provide visitors with mementoes of their visit.

Paul said: “Our successes at Falkirk Wheel and Edinburgh Zoo have proved just how effective our technology is.

“Visitors to both these attractions really respond to the fact that they can see their pictures displayed instantly – which means more sales are generated. Previously you would have to wait until the pictures were downloaded onto a computer, which caused delays and that inevitably meant potential customers drifted away.

“We have also invested heavily in recruiting the best people and providing key training to ensure they not only understand the equipment but are able to handle the crucial role of interacting with customers.  It’s this skill that has helped generate the results that have delighted Edinburgh Zoo and Falkirk Wheel.

“I’m really keen now to develop our service and enter in discussions to sign up one or two new attractions who can see the value of this service to their operation.”

Borg Grech Events are also keen to attract interest for its 20-foot mobile event photography trailer which can be set up to offer a tailored photographic solution for large events, one-off events. The system is so adaptable that it is ideal for virtually any event such as weddings, black-tie events, charity functions, school proms, graduation ceremonies and sporting events.

The firm believes the expansion plans will allow it to grow rapidly over the next three years, with turnover tripling and 20 new jobs being created.

Paul added: “We are fully confident we offer an unbeatable, professional service that should irresistible to anyone looking for a mobile photographic solution.

“We have developed a superb product, which typifies the kind of entrepreneurial spirit still being demonstrated in Scotland despite the current economic gloom

“Companies like ours show that with dedication and creativity there are still plenty opportunities to succeed in today’s depressed marketplace.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

How it works:

  • The photographer(s) will work in a team at an event with a member of the sales team who has set up a computer, screen and printer on location.
  • The photographer will take pictures, which will then be instantly sent by wireless technology to the computer at the on-site sales desk.
  • The customer then brings a bar code, which has been given to them by the photographer, to the sales desk in order to identify the correct images.
  • The customer can instantly view the images on the screen and purchase the required number. These can be printed, converted into mementos, e-mailed or burned to CD.

 ENDS

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