This year’s contest is the result of a decision made last month midst the sturm und drang of ipw in Orlando, when we saw nearly every single delegate equipped with a smartphone or easy-to-carry point-and-shoot camera that enabled them to record images of the event at any time and in any place. So, we were short on detail and long on our expectations as we announced the First Annual IPW Photo Contest.
Unanswered questions abounded. How do we distinguish between photos that were mementos and those that celebrated a new product announcement? How do we compute innovation in a shot taken in an exhibit booth versus one taken in the setting of one of Orlando’s famous attractions or theme parks with their built-in optical special effects? How do we select one image over another when one is a presentation or announcement that is formal in tone versus the whimsical shot of celebrants at a social function?
Answer: We don’t.
So, in order to judge entries that were different in substance, purpose and quality, we used the formula that film and theatre critics use to rate different, and sometimes unique, films and stage works: We ask ourselves the question, “What was the director trying to accomplish and how well did s/he accomplish it?” And then we answer the question.
We will tackle the challenge of developing categories and other standards for next year’s Second Annual IPW Photo Contest. For now, here are the Top Photos of IPW 2015, as we made our selections by answering the question: “What was the photographer try to accomplish and how well did s/he accomplish it.” Our selections and comments follow.
The Winners—The Top Three Photos of IPW 2015
Disney’s Pluto helping the Flagstaff CVB celebrate Lowell Observatory’s “Year of Pluto.” With (left to right) Heather Ainardi, PR & marketing manager, and Joyce Lingenfelter, travel industry sales manager; Pluto, Ryan Kennedy, Little America Hotel Flagstaff; and Gina Leingang Courtyard and Springhill Suites Flagstaff. The Lowell Observatory is a well-known tour bus attraction in Flagstaff and is widely known and regarded worldwide by scientists in the field of astronomy.
Lingenfelter explained to the Inbound Report, why it was important to seek out Pluto: “2015 is the ‘Year of Pluto’ at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona where the (now dwarf) planet was first discovered in 1930. This year NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, launched in 2006 arrived for a Pluto fly-by on July 14th. In planning for IPW, and knowing that we had a night at the Magic Kingdom, finding and shooting a photo with our planet’s Disney namesake seemed like a fun opportunity for the Flagstaff CVB delegation, and Pluto was happy to join in our celebration creating this shot when we shared our mission. It is thought that ‘Pluto the Pup’ was named by Disney, also in 1930, to connect to the excitement of the new planet’s discovery.”
In a queue at the ipw social function at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the Flagstaff contingent spotted Pluto, set up the photo and had another individual (a delegate they did not know) in the queue take the photo on a smartphone. Only at ipw would such a promotional opportunity ever have a chance of presenting itself.
Michael Parra, partner services rep, Brand USA (left) and Brand USA partnership manager Philip Joseph (right) pose with Frank Sinatra at the Hudson County Tourism booth. Hudson County Tourism held a contest to win a stay in the area in celebration of Frank Sinatra’s centennial celebration (Sinatra was a native of Hoboken).
The photo was submitted by Alessia Aron, director of marketing, Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs and Tourism, who explained to us the story behind the photo: “We asked every appointment we had at ipw to take part in the contest. The more creative each person was, the better! The picture that was selected included two representatives from Brand USA, who we actually ended up doing business with! I was the one who snapped the shot. The winner of the contest ended up being a very funny tour operator from Japan. He said he had never won anything and we look forward to his visit to Hudson County in November.”
Eunice Juliasz, of Brazil’s Viagem e Turismo (Travel and Tourism) magazine and friend at Madame Tussauds, submitted by Eunice Juliasz.
“Who could resist?” said Marjorie Magnusson, public relations manager and calendar editor at the Arizona Office of Tourism, in commenting on this entry after it appeared in the list of 10 finalists in the July 2 issue of the Inbound Report. And we could not. Taken on Sunday morning at ipw, following the press reception at Orlando’s I 360 attraction—it includes a branch of Madame Tussauds—the Brazilian journalist featured here captures the whimsy, the irreverence and the simple joy of the moment that one finds all about the social functions at ipw. Asked for a quote about the photo and why she had it taken, Ms. Juliasz told us only, “Eu sou o verdadeiro Einstein!” (“I’m the real Einstein!”)
(Editor’s Note: Feel free to submit your industry-related photos for consideration for publication in the Inbound Report)