Unique photography service plans for business expansion

by Scott Douglas

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Read the full articles here:

The Scotsman – http://business.scotsman.com/medialeisure/Borg-Grech-proves—an.4630957.jp

Falkirk Herald – http://www.falkirkherald.co.uk/business/Wireless-photos-will-help-business.4621853.jp

Business7 – http://www.business7.co.uk/business-news/latest-business-news/2008/10/24/borg-grech-exposure-increasing-97298-20834182/

The article has also been featured on Journalisted – http://www.journalisted.com/article?id=943242

Paul Borg-Grech

AN innovative Scottish company believes it can offer visitor attractions and event organisers a new ‘customer experience’ thanks to its hugely successful 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 secure deals with up to two major visitor attractions in Scotland for 2009 – as well as attracting interest at one-off events with its new mobile unit.

The Borg-Grech Events system 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.

But the company has also invested heavily in training and recruiting key people to ensure staff using the system are able to not just take professional pictures but put people at ease – key factors in the success of any on-site photographic service.

The service 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 Falkirk-based firm in 1988, developed the bespoke on-site 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 our on site units at these attractions really respond to the fact that they can see their pictures displayed instantly – which means more sales are generated.  It’s clear people love the fact that their experience at a particular venue can be captured and viewed within seconds.

“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 been very focused 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.

“These two attractions are also very pleased because not only are their customers’ experiences being enhanced but they gain financially from an agreed commission from each successful sale.  It’s also important to highlight that the pictures are proper professional photographs, not images banged out by some trainee with a digital camera.

“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.

Paul said: “The practical uses of the system are endless. For example we can turn up for a charity who are staging a raft race and ensure all the competitors can be photographed on site – with the charity gaining from sale. Or, as we have done, turn up to take large numbers of individual pictures at kids’ football training session.

“And of course any event organiser or operations director can rest assured that they are dealing with a professional and well-organised business who has long experience in the field of event photography.

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

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.

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