After having been at the Visa Pour L’image photojournalism festival in Perpignan, France from tuesday to saturday the consensus seems to be that companies are taking shorter visits to the professional week. While a number of companies arrived for meetings on wednesday most people arrived on thursday for two days of meetings only. The area where companies traditionally have stands was quiet with a significant part of the room empty where in other years there were stands. Most of the contact-moments in the area where photographers showing portfolio’s. I had a very effective time having planned meetings in advance, I’m certainly no expert on the event though and got the feeling this event takes a few years to grow on you.
Here’s my take on the best way to have the most benefit from the event:
- Arrive on wednesday night as the days before are quiet for businesses
- Plan meetings on thursday and friday only as this is when most companies visit
- Don’t plan meetings too early, most people start around 11.00 (see point 6)
- If you do plan them early don’t go the the conference center as the roofterrace is closed early mornings
- Go and see the projections on the Place de la Republique instead of the official area, this gives you more flexibility and the opportunity to engage with colleagues
- Be prepared to stay up late. The cafe de la Poste starts to be busy after the projections at 23.30 and stays buzzying until about 3.00 am. Hardcore networkers can stay until about 5.30 though (see point 3)
- Get mobile numbers for all your contacts, the venue is large and things can get confusing otherwise
- Staying saturday means you can take in the exhibitions and even the closing party in the evening.