Content marketing has an insatiable appetite for great video. But the logistical plate spinning required to capture quality user-centric material can leave your initiatives starved. Leverage your next trade show, user conference, or partner summit as an opportunity to gather video content that can be repurposed throughout all your marketing efforts.
Your Next Event: A One-Stop Footage Shop
Imagine scheduling all of your favorite partners and clients to be in the same location during the same timeframe, so that you can capture them on video. Never gonna happen, right? Actually, it may already BE happening.
There are thousands of trade shows staged each year, and these events naturally bring together motivated clients, partners and customers – all you need to do is be waiting for them with your camera crew. A user or trade event isn’t affected by stakeholders’ schedules. The start, end and location have already been announced. This avoids the headache of juggling multiple calendars to coordinate a shoot.
Your business contacts will generally be more relaxed in an event environment, making it easier to get a “yes” from a potential interviewee – very different from trying to get that same commitment when the person is back at HQ, too busy for even a phone call.
Events, particularly trade shows, also make it possible to capture unscripted, natural “Wow” moments, especially during “man on the street” interviews.
Events. Camera. Action!
The goal and content of captured video can vary widely and still provide substantial, ongoing, value. For example:
- Breakout learning sessions can be captured to create a library of on-demand seminars. Instead of realizing the benefit of great speakers and content only once, you can extend that value for months in the future. Send an edited version to attendees so they can share with coworkers after the event, or remarket the video to new lists of qualified prospects.
- Large trade shows are naturally social, and offer a platform for social media updates. Your CEO may not want a blooper reel of a speech-gone-wrong posted on Facebook, but I bet he or she would love to have an interview posted on LinkedIn from the trade show floor, or real-time questions and answers from a product knowledge session.
- Even if footage is from an internal company event, it’s likely that there will be video footage that can be repackaged and presented to potential clients…or employees.
- Product demos or new technology unveilings can provide recurring value when captured on video, helping you make that big splash over and over again.
And then we get to the holy grail of business building: partner and client testimonials. These are extremely valuable in any organization, and testimonials on video are exponentially more compelling than a written endorsement. Research unquestionably supports the fact that people assign much more credibility to a testimonial spoken by a human face, versus a written letter – however well-crafted and impassioned.
Tips for Setup and Successful Execution
Depending on the specific event and venue, there are often multiple options for simple camera and lighting setups. For example, renting out a meeting room gives you the freedom to add props and a suitable backdrop, ensuring interviews maintain a consistent ambience. Or, at a trade show, it can be fun to create a small “interview stage” where participants can offer short comments about your products and service commitment.
Your team will be the best resource for determining the specific goals for your video capture and the event that would support it, but here are some general tips:
- Make sure you have the right video crew, including the video and audio operators you need. This is rarely a task for a hobbyist. Obtaining quality footage, especially in a noisy, unevenly-lit environment, requires skill. The better the end product, the more positive the reflection upon your brand.
- Ask participants to wear camera-friendly wardrobe. Obviously, this is not always in your control, especially when capturing video of a guest speaker you did not hire. But in general, discourage onscreen talent from wearing solid black, solid white, or complex, graphical patterns.
- Contact participants right before the event to remind them of their commitment, then reiterate the meeting time and place one hour before their scheduled on-camera time.
- Have releases prepared, including blank ones, that can easily be signed – you will need one from every person in order to use their image and likeness.
- Set up cameras in convenient locations, whether a single meeting room, or even an interview booth in a hallway (depending on the style of video/interview you’re seeking).
- Be easy to find, and note any nearby landmarks so you can easily guide subjects to you. The easier it is to find you, the better chance you’ll have to complete the interview.
- Consider incentives, like promotional items or snacks; of course, they must give their true opinion of your service – the incentive is to get their time, not to influence their feedback.
Once you have video footage captured, there are scores of use case scenarios: slice and dice footage to tell a variety of narratives (e.g. sales, product education, success stories); edit down to Vine- or Instagram-length; extract still images from “snapshot” moments; create an email series. The list can go on and on.
When the event is over and you’re finished soaking your feet, you’ll have hours of footage to review, edit and share – all of it efficiently and cost-effectively mined during a single event.