There’s no doubting it: video isn’t going anywhere. As time becomes an ever-scarcer commodity and attention spans continue to decline, video allows for information to be communicated quickly, succinctly and directly to a specific audience. And it’s effective, too: targeted, scripted, high-quality video content not only educates and entertains, it also sparks conversation, debate and new ideas.
But when it comes to eventing, video is often sidelined. As a paid-for skill, it’s usually seen as a luxury, and tired, amateurish presentations are used instead. Here, Kim Winstanley, our Chief Growth Officer, talks about why and how video should be part of your events, and offers some fresh ideas on video generation that you might not have considered before.
Why video shouldn’t be overlooked
Video can be slotted into every stage of your eventing process: from pre-event promotional videos, to on-the-day highlights clips and after-the-fact wrap-ups. In every instance, it serves a different purpose.
Before your event even kicks off, a short video can be an excellent way of creating hype, educating your audience on what’s to come, and publicising your event to a wider network. In particular, the shareability of short videos on social media makes them an essential ingredient to any marketing plan.
“During an event, videos can help to draw an audience in, to elicit emotional responses, and to energise a crowd who, until now, has been subjected to death by presentation,” says Kim. “They’re also a great, engaging way to demonstrate the work that you do, or to offer practical tips and tricks.”
Once your event has concluded, creating either full-length or bite-size clips of the event’s presenters helps to make your content available to those who didn’t attend the event. “With video, there’s no room for misinterpretation,” Kim explains. “Relying on slide decks and someone else’s notes becomes a thing of the past when you have access to these powerful videos.”
Novel ways of using videos
Videos don’t have to be shot in advance or in an expensive studio to be effective. Instead, there are many ways of incorporating video into your event that are easy, organic and affordable.
“You could record a Skype call with an international presenter – or do a live video call,” says Kim. “This approach helps you to access high-profile people who can be difficult to pin down, while still using them as a drawcard to your event. It also saves on travel costs.”
If you’re running a multi-day event, you might consider creating videos in real time. These could be made available via a live stream, or they could be curated into clips that offer highlights at the end of every day. Vox pops with attendees, interviews with speakers, and information on key attractions work well in these sorts of videos. “They also offer a great way to reinforce your event’s key messages and takeaways, but with the added bonus of including your audience in the production (everyone secretly loves seeing themselves on camera),” adds Kim.
DIY versus professional video production
Making use of video doesn’t necessarily need to involve a crew of hardened documentary filmmakers. “The platform and audience your video is targeting should dictate whether you attempt a DIY video or whether you bring professionals on board,” advises Kim. “The content is always more important than the production.”
That said, a slick video will likely lead to higher engagement. And remember, production houses don’t only offer great camera and editing services, they also come with scriptwriters, designers, and access to stock footage and music libraries. Also, if you get professionals involved from the get-go, you’re unlikely to have to pay for your low-quality, inexpensive first option to be fixed, which could ultimately (and frustrating) work out more expensive overall. And just because they’re professional, doesn’t always mean they’re expensive. Many production houses offer cost-effective solutions to suit your budget. Work out what yours is and talk to a pro from the start.