As Covid-19 restrictions eased, Vanguard is proud to have supported the Photography Show at Birmingham NEC 18th-21st September 2021, where our stand was difficult to miss at the main entrance.
Attendance was definitely down a little (no surprise), but the stand was constantly busy, and allowed us that little bit more time to speak to customers without a queue building up behind.
The view of the stand from behind the reception desk
The view of the stand from in front of the stand
At the trade show we launched a number of new products that included:
We had the global launch of the new VEO Adaptor Backpacks to try out at the show! As well as being compact and capable camera backpacks, they introduce a new USB interface port that allows you to keep your device powered on the go, and your power bank(s) safe inside the bag. Whether it's for navigating on your smartphone, or keeping your camera going that little bit longer, this option can make all the difference on your trip.
All Models include:
- USB-A interface port
- Tripod holder
- Ergonomic harness system with waist strap that tucks away when not needed
- Can be set up for top access
- Top pocket
- Front pocket
- 2-side zip up pockets with internal pockets for accessories such as SD cards and cables
- 2-side elasticated pockets for water bottle (or another support)
- Enhanced waterproof material with rain cover provided
- Reflective stitching to stay safe at night
- Available in black (BK) or grey (GY)
- Extra wide side access with zipper stop for security
- Ability to access from either side, so suitable for left/right-handed photographers
- Daypack section
- Traditional rear access
Stock is available in November 2021, so we asked people to register their interest (as you can) at the bottom of this form and we'll email them when they're available. The interest and registrations blew us away and we've taken to referring to the VEO Adaptor R48 as the "TARDIS" for what such as small backpack can carry.
With an ever-growing choice of social media channels, the demand for kit that can help your content stand out from the crowd is growing, whether you’re using a professional level camera, or a smartphone. We recognise that our customers are often photographers first, but still want to create content for their YouTube or TikTok channel, without having to purchase a brand-new set of kit. They want a versatile solution that delivers both. To "support" this, Vanguard introduced a new series - VEO 3T Travel Tripods.
For photographers, these travel tripods deliver a solid, stable platform that hold up to 12kg, yet fold down to as little as 41cm and include a host of features that customers have come to expect from Vanguard, such as Arca compatible heads, a low angle adaptor, hook at the base of the central column for attaching additional weight, spiked feet and a tripod bag.
For vloggers, these travel tripods include an Arca compatible ball head that comes with a removable pan-handle, allowing greater control while filming. They also introduce a new Arca compatible quick release plate that can hold a camera or smartphone up to 85mm wide, and a Bluetooth remote control for IOS or Android. In addition it can hold up to three tripod support arms for additional accessories, such as a microphone, a display or a lighting unit, removing the need to take additional supports into the field.
All models include:
- Removable pan-handle
- Arca compatible QS-72T quick release plate for camera/smartphone
- Cold shoe mount
- Ability to hold up to 3 tripod support arms (one on quick release plate, and two on central column spider)
- 3-easy set leg angles (20°, 50° and 80°)
- Leg that converts to a monopod
- Low angle adaptor
- Rubber or spiked feet
- Tripod bag
We weren't sure how this would go down as we have the ultra-portable VEO 3GO travel tripods and the ultra-versatile VEO 3T+ travel tripods, both of which have been incredibly well received. On paper this falls between the two, but we needn't have worried. The new VEO 3T went down incredibly well as it seems many photographers are happy with the traditional central column, but want something more stable than a traditional travel tripod, with all the flexibility the VEO 3T offers.
Despite our successful launch, we're conscious that many photographers hadn't met our award winning VEO 3+ full sized tripods, or the travel sized VEO 3T+ yet, so we made them a major part of the show for people to try for themselves. We believe this is the most versatile tripod on the market, and many photographers agreed, especially with the new VEO Dual Axis Ball Heads.
You can see Vanguard Pro Mike Moats take on both series:
VEO 3+ full sized ultra versatile tripod:
VEO 3T+ travel sized ultra-versatile tripod:
All models include:
- Multi-angle central column that moves almost 360° in any direction
- Central column that converts to multi-mount using VEO+ MA1 provided
- Leg that converts to a monopod
- 3 easy set leg locks (23°, 50° & 80°)
- Easy set and easy clean leg locks
- 3/8” thread hole on side of canopy for support arm
- Removable and retractable hook on a spring for adding extra weight
- Arca compatible heads (not including tripod only options)
- Rubber or spiked feet
- Luxury tripod bag
Allowing photographers to use these new tripods definitely showed how intuitive and versatile they were, winning many converts from more established brands.
The show wasn't all about the new products. It's a great opportunity for photographers to have a play with the different products and get personalised advice on the right products for them. You can get a feel for the products we had available by visiting our Exhibitor's Profile.
To help with the advice, we had experienced members of the team to direct people to the right product for their needs. We don't believe in hard selling, or selling the wrong product. Where we couldn't help, we always tried to direct them to a brand who can, and pass any insights back to our design team for future development. It was lovely to see so many come back at the end of the show to purchase, and we hope all our visitors will agree that they received useful advice and no hard sell.
We were also delighted to get the support from several of our Vanguard Ambassadors over the weekend, including:
- Andy Robinson - Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st
- Chris Nowell - Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st
- Ian Gregory - Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st
- Laurence Norah of Finding The Universe - Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th
- Matt Watkins (provided image above) - Saturday 18th, Sunday 19th and Monday 20th
- Scott Read - Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st
We also had two, Laurence and Chris, giving talks during the show.
Our Ambassadors are all volunteers with a social media following ranging from a few hundred, to over a million. Social media following is much less important to us than a true passion for photography, quality of photography and being genuine users of Vanguard products as a significant, but not complete, portion of their kit. We don't pay our Ambassadors as we believe that distorts the relationship, and their support is completely voluntary, so thank you to each of them for taking the time to join us on the stand!
For those who did choose a Vanguard product, there were be exclusive discounts available at the show to save them that little bit more, and make their money stretch that little bit further.
Unfortunately Vanguard is not immune to the global supply chain challenges that are affecting almost every brand. Whether it's Covid's impact, the lack of global shipping capacity or the shortage of lorry drivers, there were products that may be ideal, but we don't have in stock.
Most visitors to the stand were understanding, and it's something most had personally experienced over the last few months, though some were less tolerant. Unfortunately, this situation is likely to last into the new year, but we will keep working to minimise this.
Overall, we have no regrets at investing in the Photography Show 2021!
It was great to meet so many people from previous years and hearing "I bought this from you in...and now I need a...". The loyalty of our customers is always incredibly motivating. It was also great to meet so many new people and we look forward to seeing them again in future years.
The feedback was also amazing and we've increased the forecasts on several products based on this. We also had a prototype Alta Sky on display for feedback. Where the Alta Sky 66 (and similar competitor products) only allows photographers to carry up to an 800mm lens attached to a camera, the new Alta Sky 68 will allow photographers to carry their large lens and multiple other lenses. The response was amazing, but we're sorry to the few photographers who got upset that it wasn't a live product. Clearly a product that stirs up that level of emotion is bound to be a winner"
But Photography Show 2021 is done, and we now look forward to Photography Show 2022. We hope to see you there!