Back in November last year, we spent the day in London at BFI Southbank filming the Apteco FastStats® User Group Conference. It’s an annual event that Apteco puts on for its user community to update them on the latest software developments and give their partners the opportunity to treat their clients to some top-class hospitality.
2016 was a particularly special year because it marked the 10-year anniversary of the conference, which started life in a small room in Warwick Castle for a few dozen people.
Given the setting, the event was film-themed and there were keynote speakers talking about a range of fascinating topics. One highlight for me was Jamie Bartlett, author of The Dark Net, who talked about his book and his experience of spending time with shady outriders including Bitcoin miners, political extremists, drug dealers, and Neo-Nazis. We didn’t get to interview him, unfortunately, but I recommend seeking out his work.
Events are a great opportunity to create content and produce videos that attract and engage audiences, both new and current. If you’re planning an event video or you’re briefing a production team, here are ten questions to think about to ensure you produce a video that has the impact you’re looking for.
(If you want the 10 questions as a helpful checklist, scroll to the bottom of this post)
This is probably the most important question to ask because it will influence all the other decisions that need to be made. Reasons for producing an event video include:
In this instance, the client wanted to capture positive user experiences that could be used across their marketing channels, show the engaged and vibrant user community, promote the brand and capture positive testimonials for FastStats® and future conferences.
Once you know what you want to achieve, you should have a clear idea of what you want to say. Remember that a good events package should be no longer than around three minutes, so having a clear idea of what you want will help focus the filming and editing.
Ideally, the key message should be summarised in a short, succinct sentence that the team can keep referring to throughout production. It can also be a useful way of measuring how effective the edits are. If you’re left in any doubt about whether the video conveys your mission statement, review it and cut out clips that distract from the story.
Events are a chance to get interviews with guests, experts, clients, staff, and exhibitors, so seize the moment. As well as creating the highlights video above, we also produced a client testimonial reel from the interviews: a shining example of making the most of a video marketing budget.
Don’t just post the video on YouTube. Think about embedding it into an email campaign, sharing it directly on social media like Facebook and Twitter, playing it in the office reception, and showing it at other events you may be exhibiting at.
As a medium, video is fantastically versatile. It could also be cut into other marketing content such as homepage videos, end of year reviews, and client testimonials. Build this into your plan and let the video crew know so that they can get everything you require on the day.
Not every video needs talking heads or vox pops to show what a great event it is. Some of the best event videos I’ve seen are promoting festivals, which don’t need people saying how much fun they’re having because it’s clear from what they’re doing. If you’ve seen events videos that you like, share them with the production team as inspiration.
Another decision that follows on from the style is where to film interviews. Do you want to film them with the event going on in the background? Or a separate quiet room away from the action? The former can work if you want to convey the vibrancy of the event, but some audiences may find it distracting – particularly if what the subject is talking about isn’t related to the event.
Sound is key to a great video so it pays to think about where you can capture the right audio. In this instance, we filmed in a quieter spot away from the talks that had to be arranged by the client beforehand with the venue. It’s worth including this point while planning so that it can be included in conversations with the venue manager.
Another point from this brief was that it had to work for both the UK and German marketing teams. As such, we had to make sure we filmed both the English talks and the sessions run by the German team.
The testimonials also got translated and subtitled for German audiences. There were also German delegates who got interviewed in their native language for their own region-specific marketing.
This will take time in post-production so notify the production team beforehand so they can include this in the editing schedule.
It’s massively helpful if the interviewees know they’re going to be filmed before the event. We can schedule accordingly, the right questions can be asked, and they can prepare if needed. Vox pops have more of a rough-and-ready feel, which is fine in some instances, but it does add pressure to find the right people to ensure the final output is engaging and insightful.
Not everyone will want to be captured on film and should be given the chance to opt out if they want to. Sending an email before the event, putting up signs around the venue and getting any presenters to mention it in their opening speeches are all ways of letting people know that they could be filmed.
There are few things more annoying than having to pull an event video because someone contacted you saying that they didn’t want to be featured, incurring time and cost to you as it gets re-edited. Apteco put a helpful disclaimer at the end of all their marketing collateral, which looked like this:
Finally, share as much information about the event as possible with the production team. The filming schedule is fully dependent on the running order of the day, particularly if the only chance to get interviews with speakers or attendees is during coffee breaks and at lunch. There’s a lot to capture in a short amount of time so planning is key to producing a successful event video.
So to summarise, here are the ten questions to consider when planning for an event video: