With all the planning and resources that go into organising an event, successful companies do consider how event videography can be used to promote, document, and take advantage of all that hard work. But your event videography shouldn’t be an afterthought, another box to tick off in the run up to the big day.
Just a little forward planning can revolutionise the quality and success of your event video strategy!
Here's a clear and simple guide to transform your approach to event videography and achieve demonstrable impact.
A. DEFINE YOUR GOALS
If you don’t know what you want to achieve with your event video, then you risk throwing money down the drain. To get the most out of your content, you need to establish your goals before you start filming. Don’t miss the opportunity to get the right footage: not everything can be ‘fixed in post’.
1. What do you want to achieve?
The first step is to know what you want to achieve through event filming. Is it to sell more tickets for next year’s events? To grow awareness within your industry? To share the highlights of your event with those who couldn’t make it in person? To make your main competitors jealous?
Crucially, how does this fit in with your wider marketing campaigns? Your event may be the perfect opportunity to execute some other video projects you’ve had on the back burner (read more about this below).
2. Who are you creating this film for?
In order to achieve your goal, you should know who you want to reach with your films.
Do you want sales? The films will need to speak to potential customers, from those that know what you do to those who are unfamiliar with your work.
All about awareness? Make sure the films appeal to a wider public, and avoid using lots of industry- or location-specific terms.
3. What is your event’s USP?
- Big-name speakers?
- Brilliant insights and learning?
- Networking opportunities?
- Cultural experiences?
- Launching an exciting new product?
Even if it’s a mix of things, that’s OK! Video is diverse and flexible: you can show a huge amount, as long as you know that key message you want to highlight.
Having your goal, or goals, in mind will help you to focus your video plan: what type of content to make, how to make it, and how to share it.
B. CREATE CONTENT TO ACHIEVE THOSE GOALS
1. Showcase your audience
People like to see people like them, so make sure you feature the audience that you want to attract in your film.
Want to increase revenue from your exhibitors? Don’t just show exhibition stalls. Make sure you capture vox pops with happy participants talking about how exhibiting has transformed their business.
Want to attract better sponsorship deals? Include a slick testimonial with your event sponsors and what they got out of it.
Need to attract a more diverse audience? Steer clear of shots of homogeneous faces. Use a mix of wide shots to show the scale of your audience and close-ups of diverse, engaged attendees.
Hot tip: if you missed some crucial content at the event, you can get creative with on-screen text or crowd-sourced footage to save the day.
Looking to build trust? Get written testimonials from your attendees. Editing dynamic motion graphics text in with your other visuals will get the message across!
Want to make it personal? Create a hashtag for your event and encourage people to use this on the day - you can be creative with the hashtag promotion too, think GIFs, sponsored social media posts and more! After the event, check back over the hashtag’s streams and if there’s great content, ask the owner if you can use it within your film. (Remember: always credit the owner!)
When we filmed at the Knights in Training Day at Windsor Castle for the Royal Collection Trust, the client was clear that the highlights film needed to appeal to families - showing how the Castle is open to everyone and it makes a brilliantly fun day out.
2. Diversify your content plan
Don’t think that one video can rule them all.
If you have different goals, think about how you can create a range of highly targeted content, rather than rolling all your resources into one single video that never quite hits the mark.
This is also a great way to consider economies of scale. By investing slightly more in the videography team on the ground, you can prepare for months of follow up content, to keep you going until the next year.
This summer, we worked with property developers Ballymore to capture a range of community events celebrating their regeneration project in Brentford, west London.
With a whole programme of different events we created films with distinct characters and flavours, to target either a family, youth, or adult audience.
3. Make the most of getting everyone together
If you’ve gathered everyone together and, for one of the only times of the year, have all of your key players (or VIP guests) in the same place, take the opportunity to create some content which isn’t simply about the event itself.
At the Institute of Directors Annual Convention in 2014, we created this film featuring business leaders whose tech companies have disrupted their industries, such as Uber, Wikipedia, Buzzfeed and Bitcoin.
The interviews were shot in separate rooms at the venue during the run of the event, and edited alongside footage from the leaders’ onstage speeches.
4. Don’t be afraid to change it up
If you host a yearly conference or event, it’s easy to fall into a routine of producing the same films each time. Repeating something, for the sole reason that you’ve done it before, is the WORST reason to do it that way again, especially when it comes to video.
Don’t be fearful of changing your brief. If you’ve got previous events under your belt, you’re in a great position to improve your video content: use data and insights to help drive what your vision and focus should be for this year.
Take the Royal College of Art’s graduate show, displaying the work of over 800 art and design postgraduate students and offering visitors a unique opportunity to experience the very best of emerging contemporary art and design practice.
In 2018 we took an exciting approach to showing the breadth, scale, and variety of work on offer, with a zippy edit jumping through and contrasting the different work.
In 2019 with a revised brief, our film uses smooth gliding shots and tracking text to offer the viewer the feeling of coming to the show and really experiencing the artwork for themselves.
Same institution, same event, even the same video production company, but completely different films.
C. OPTIMISE THE CONTENT TO ACHIEVE RESULTS
1. Make it clear
You can’t be too clear. Use language and images that everyone understands, and don’t be afraid to say what you want to say right at the start of your films. We live in busy times. Your audience is likely to see your film when flicking through their emails or social media, you need to grab their attention straight away.
By telling the viewer what they can learn from the film within the first few seconds, you will entice them to watch on.
2. Keep it concise
Did the whole audience rave about one particular moment at your event? Were there key takeaways and learning points which offered most value?
There’s no point hiding your 20 second life-changing tidbit within a generic 5-minute highlights film or hour-long edit of a full talk - chances are that your audience won’t find it and you’ll lose the great impact it had.
Signpost the content that you want your audience to see. Why don’t you try ‘one minute marvels’: short edits of your speaker’s (or speakers’) words on a specific topic.
Our friends at The B2B Marketing Lab did this very well to showcase brilliant insights from HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan. As well as the film of his full interview, they created a series of short edits to highlight some of Brian’s key messages.
3. Know your platforms
Where and how you share your video is just as important as the quality of the video itself.
Whether you’re sharing through direct campaigns or using social media to reach a wide audience, simple tricks such as making the most of on screen text can really make a difference (on social media, over 80% of people watch with the sound off!). Free advice: read our 10 practical tips to win at online video.
Feeling ready to promote and host your next event? Or do you still have questions? Chocolate Films crews from London and Glasgow shoot conferences, conventions and performances all year round. Get in touch for a free quote or more information.