Stop BANNING cell phones and START PUTTING THEM TO WORK! Follow this tips on how you can turn this social media storm into a useful business tool AND discourage their use at your recital!
TIP 1: ALLOW PHOTOS, VIDEO, ETC. AT YOUR DRESS OR TECH REHEARSALS
Many schools feel concerned that if they allow parents’ to record or photograph the dress/tech rehearsals parents will not be willing to buy the DVDs and photographs the school sells (many schools hire a professional to record each recital). However, we have found that allowing parents to record at dress rehearsals or tech rehearsals does not significantly decrease sales of the recital DVDs and photographs as parents want the actual performance copy. Also, allowing parents the chance to film and photograph at dress rehearsal significantly decreases the amount of parents who attempt to video at the actual performance. Do not forget, however, to remind your parents to turn off their flash! This can be dangerous and very distracting for any type of school (class presenters can be easily distracted by flash).
TIP 2: ENCOURAGE POSTING!
Encourage parents and students who film or photograph during dress rehearsal to post the pictures! Put a sign up with your school's information or ask them to tag the school in all pictures and videos. This is easy and free publicity for your school and it will help you reach potential clients. In addition, both students and parents will only post the best videos and pictures of the students as they wish to appear skilled to their friends/followers.
TIP 3: GET IMAGE RELEASE FORMS AT SIGN UP
When students sign up and provide general information, have them sign a photo release form. In this photo release form, include the right to use all images/videos taken from rehearsals, recitals, at your studio, and at performances. This will ensure you have the right to re post, re use, and re publish any particularly spectacular video or photo a parent takes.
TIP 4: USE WORDS THAT GENTLY SUGGEST THE OUTCOME YOU DESIRE
The way you speak about electronic device use makes a big difference. While this will not work on all of the parents, it generally works on a large majority. Use kind words that encourage parents to behave as you desire. Here is an example:
“We are happy to have you take as many pictures and videos at dress rehearsal as you would like! Feel free to share them with friends, family, and online. We would really appreciate if you tag the studio. At the actual performance, we want to make sure everyone is able to enjoy the performance without distraction so please refrain from taking photos and video. We want everyone to enjoy our special performance in person as it happens. If you would like a copy of the performance we have professional photographers and videographers who do a wonderful job of capturing the show.”
Getting amazing videos and photos of your school can be challenging and costly, but when you enlist an army of proud parents to help you by allowing them to use their electronic devices you can significantly cut down on costs (the only cost is spending time gathering and reposting the photos). At the same time, you can avoid loss of profit on the copy of recital you sell by not allowing video/pictures of the actual performances.