What advice would you give to established photographers who are “on the fence” about attending a networking event?
To be honest, I’m not sure it’s worth it for established photographers who have a presence in NY already. It’s expensive and it’s probably more worth their while to put that money towards promos or testing. I would, however, suggest it for photographers who are trying to break into the scene and meet reps and art buyers.
I found it to be a good way to get your work in front of the people in the industry. The good things about these events in sometimes they feel more inclined to give you feedback if your portfolio could use improving. I did manage to get a couple of jobs out of it when I attended a few years ago and make some contacts. Its expensive if you have the money to invest ( if your more established ) if your just starting out and your book isn’t up to par …it might not be such a good idea.
I’ve been to a couple of these in the past few years with the aim of making some good contacts in an efficient way, and that has indeed happened. One contact even lead to an award winning piece and campaign work. It’s important to follow up with people and keep them updated.
But some reviewers have a clear bias of “if you’re here you must be new” and don’t take you seriously. But, that’s the business for you.
I do agree that if you are established, well known and your other efforts to meet and maintain relationships with art producers are working, this is not a venue you would need to pursue. Indeed spend that money on promos and other forms of marketing. I would make sure though, to note that this art producer does point out that for the right photographer, these events are a “good way for photographers to meet reps and art buyers and break into the scene”. Even if you are an established photographer, you can very well take advantage of an event like this to do just that. In fact, many photographers find it a very efficient use of their time and money.