If pictures are worth a thousand words, then one can only guess how many words a video is worth. This is precisely why videos should be incorporated in some form or another before, during, and after an event.
Videos help create novel ways of engagement so that the event lives up to attendee expectations. Here are few video ideas to help kick-start your next conference.
1. Homemade Video
Just because a video is homemade doesn’t mean it’s unprofessional. On the contrary, a video recorded on a smartphone and filmed in the office or even at a staff member’s home can be quite effective. The reason being is because homemade videos have an organic and authentic feel to it.
When promoting your video this way, feel free to be humorous, witty, and even a little quirky. This shows that there is a human side to your company and that you’re not all about business. With this kind of video, get your message across while adding a fun and even a little cheesy element to it.
The UK company Design Council did this to perfection. For one of its events, it created paper flyers that are meant to be folded into paper airplanes. The company uploaded a video on Vine of a staffer at her work desk playfully folding one of the flyers into a plane and hurling it at the camera. Check out the quirky video here.
2. Livestream the Event
Consider live streaming the event on YouTube. This is a terrific way to maximize viewership. Let’s face it; due to geographical limitations, there are simply people who will be unable to attend. Tuning in live via teleconference is the next best solution. You can film the event as it’s in progress and give viewers at home a tour of the venue or just capture the main portion, such as the presentation.
Most live streaming tools also allow for viewers to invite friends as the video is in progress. This means more opportunities to attract friends and family of attendees. Furthermore, when the event is over, the video from the live stream can be uploaded and heavily promoted on YouTube and be used as marketing material for the next event.
3. Collect Attendee Testimonials
Before guests start heading for the exit, get a few of them to share their thoughts about the event. You can simply approach people at random and request a quick comment. Another and more creative method, however, is to set up a video booth.
This is not unlike a photo booth, except guests have full privacy to share their thoughts. Of course, friends and family that attended together may also provide testimonials as a group. Guests may be more inclined to participate via video booth simply because it has that old-time feel of a traditional photo booth.
As with material from a live stream event, the testimonials can be uploaded and used as promo content for the next event.
4. Create a Vlog
Create a countdown video in the form of a vlog series. Starting about two weeks out from the event date, begin recording your own mini-series that includes a variety of topics, such as a behind-the-scenes look, an interview with the speaker or sponsor, or take viewers along as you scout for a venue.
A countdown vlog is a common tactic used in the sports industry. In the days leading up to a high-profile match, there is usually a vlog series that look into the lives of the players, analysis from commentators, and so on.
You can do the same here. With each daily upload, promote the content on social media. A vlog series may look something like this:
- Day 1: behind-the-scenes look, perhaps in the form of a time-lapse video
- Day 2: interview with the event planner
- Day 3: venue scouting
- Day 4: interview with the guest speaker
- Day 5: a look into an office brainstorming session
- Day 6: (day before the event): a “see you there” video
As an afterthought, consider incorporating Snapchat on some days. Since videos can only be 10 seconds long and self-deletes after being played, it can be used for showing a quick sneak-peak. Considering that the video can’t be replayed, it leaves viewers curious and wanting to find out more.
There are some really great Snapchat ideas for creating videos that really get attendees excited; this ultimately leads to higher conversions.
5. Live Discussion Group
Several days before the event, consider hosting a discussion group. This is easy and can be done through a number of platforms, such as Google Hangouts, Skype, or Facebook’s live stream feature. A discussion group is an opportunity to give attendees a voice. This will make them feel like you are serious about addressing special needs or requests.
Instead of a discussion group where everyone’s voice is audibly heard, you can also opt for a u-stream, which a lot of celebrities do nowadays. A u-stream is simply the person appearing live in video and answering questions as they’re posted live on social media. However, you decide to host the discussion, be sure to record it. This will serve as yet another piece of content to be used as promo material.
If you’re camera-shy, then find a way to get over it because videos are more resourceful than most people realize for promoting an upcoming event.
Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Venueseeker, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 6 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently, he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.