We are out filming for events every week. We also make promos and do live-streaming for events which reach out to a variety of audiences. In our experience, the best way to make video work hard for you is to get organised. So, if you’re planning a conference, panel discussion or talk, we thought we’d share a few pointers to help you get started.
Make a promo The most effective way to guarantee attendance is to inspire people about what’s happening. More people booking means more will be sharing the event on social media. Event management platforms such as Eventbrite or Meetup are your friend. The more content you can post onto your page, the more you will give people to share.
So plan in a 20-second, promo video to excite interest. Add highlights from last year and a ‘sneak peak’ into what to expect. Ask previous speakers or attendees to speak out about their experience and tell your audiences what to expect.
As a general rule, aim to have this ready around 4 weeks ahead of your event to build up interest in a short space of time. Then share, share, share with your online communities.
Event day How best to capture your event on video depends on the size of your audience, how many speakers you have and the style of your stage set.
How many cameras To capture a session such as a discussion panel, have at least two cameras. One to be ‘locked’ onto the stage, and another to focus in on the speaker. A third can face the audience for close up shots of people responding to the discussion and asking questions. Add a ‘roving’ camera to capture highlights of the day and ‘vox pops’ with speakers and delegates. Remember, you can use everything you capture in a highlights video, next year’s promo and for video projects in between.
Lighting Find out how well you can control the lighting to ensure it is consistent throughout the filming. The sun shining through large windows can suddenly flood a room with light. Dusk can take lighting down gradually, which will viewers will notice. So check that it’s possible to cover windows if your event is in daylight.
Ensure your speakers are well lit and that the house lights are high enough to capture the audience. If necessary, ensure the speakers and cameraperson speak to each other before the session. They need to reach a happy balance on what level the house lights should be at, so it works for everyone.
Sound If you are relying on sound equipment from the venue, find out what audio equipment is available. Radio mics work best for speakers seated or moving around, and you will need hand-held mics for questions. Use a podium with a fixed mic for a speaker giving a presentation. But ensure they get some practice speaking into the microphone. For panel discussions, consider table mics so that everyone can be heard.
To ensure the best possible quality sound feed to the camera, ask for an audio desk which connects the mics and gives control of the different feeds. When there is more than one speaker, the best way to get good sound from everyone speaking is by taking a single feed from the audio desk.
What to wear Consider the environment the speaker will be in. If for instance the backdrop is dark black or blue, speakers should wear lighter colours to prevent them from blending in. Avoid heavy or loose jewellery, especially if using radio mics.
Branding It’s amazing how often branding is an afterthought. With planning you can make your brand clear without bombarding your audience with logos. For example, add a simple title screen and the beginning and a call to action at the end to prompt your audience. And think about how to incorporate your brand into your staging.
Reaching out Live-streaming offers many more people the opportunity to view and share your event. People can also interact by posting questions and comments to the live feed.
It’s tempting to post the whole recording to your website. But think about a highlights video that features key soundbites and inspiring questions. Plan this by interviewing attendees during the breaks. Then add in ‘cutaways’ from around the event to capture the atmosphere.
Sounds like a plan? If this inspires you to use video for your next event, we can help you to put it into practice. Email our head producer Sam Cooper – email@example.com – to talk through your ideas.