What is an event video and how to create one
In this blog you can find tips about best practices and some concrete suggestions on how to create an event video in three steps.
After a long period of enforced hiatus due to the pandemic and its long aftermath, the events world has restarted with great force, along with the huge supply chain that orbits around it.
But not everything has remained the same.
In recent years, in fact, professionals involved in marketing, communications, and events have learned a very valuable lesson: It’s not a matter of choosing between the physical and digital worlds: The key word is “integration.”
The two sides are mutually reinforcing. And our daily experience—at all levels, in all contexts, and for each of us—is that of a hybrid reality, in which “digital” and “physical” alternate, mingle, and overlap continuously.
This is the inescapable premise when it comes to the conception, realization, and distribution of event video.
But what is it all about?
Event video – what’s under the label
“Event video:” the label itself is very clear and self-explanatory.
The same terms could also be used to refer to videos made to promote an event that has not yet happened.
Or, perhaps to videos that are shown at particular events.
In the case of this blog post, however, we will specifically focus on the type of video content that is used to describe what happened during a particular event.
There are many goals that these types of productions could achieve. But what are the main goals?
To broaden the reach of the event, making a wider audience feel as involved as those in attendance.
To simultaneously broaden the duration and memorability of what took place.
To bring the company closer to people, communicating a sense of openness and sharing, but also a sense of real community.
All of these are absolutely decisive goals, and goals that can (and should) be achieved simultaneously.
The subject of event videos, of course, is very broad.
It has to do with technical and specialized aspects. But also with the basic elements of designing effective storytelling. And then there is everything to do with distribution on different channels and for different targets.
Without being discouraged by the vastness of the subject, we decided to divide this post into 3 sections. Very simply: before, during, after the event.
For each of these moments we are going to isolate the best practices to put in place and some practical and concrete suggestions.
Let’s get started right away!
First – the moment of planning
The success of any kind of event depends largely on the care and level of detail that goes into its planning.
The same can be said for anything concerning documentation, thus for event videos.
First, watch out for the technical aspects: it is very important to plan for site surveys so that everything to do with spaces, lights, audio is evaluated in advance.
On this basis, companies can make more effective, focused, and safe choices about the equipment needed, the possible shots, and the settings.
Another fundamental and rather obvious aspect concerns informing viewers about the scheduling of the event and of the different phases of the event in advance so that it can be covered in the most complete and thorough manner and allow them to plan ahead.
Now let’s go deeper; the effectiveness of a good event video is closely related to its “rhythm.” You must know how to alternate between official moments and more “intimate” and relaxed ones. From crowded shots to close-ups. People and places. Balancing informative clips with more promotional ones; entertainment balanced with direct emotional involvement.
It’s a matter of editing, sure.
But—again—it’s a matter of advance planning.
If you plan interviews, agreeing on them in advance and planning the context in which to carry them out (as well as the questions to ask).
If you plan to shoot in specific settings, it’s a good idea to test them out before the event.
These are just some examples.
In short: it all depends on your intentions and goals in relation to possibilities.
To put it more succinctly: before the event, it’s a good idea to have a rough script for your event video ready.
During: Capturing the moments
An event, by definition, is something that happens and cannot be interrupted to be documented; nor can it be staged on purpose… this is the starting point.
Sometimes (though rarely) it may involve re-runs, sure, but the rule for the best possible event video events remains the same: being able to capture the moments.
What does this translate into?
Certainly not in relying on improvisation, even though there is nothing more wrong with it. And we have already seen above how crucial it is to plan everything down to the last detail.
However, you must be careful not to fall into the opposite mistake: the previously devised outline and script must not turn into cages. You must have an outline in mind, but not one that is too rigid. You need the readiness to capture significant moments, especially when they are unpredictable: these are often the ones that will stick with the audience the most because they are more spontaneous and genuine; therefore, they are perfect for generating empathy and involvement.
We also suggest that you film scenes that tell the behind-the-scenes story of an event in some way.
This is another highly effective way to get closer to the audience who could not attend and show something “invisible” to those who did attend.
Also, don’t forget this important point: a wide range of videos can be generated from a single event video and these can be distributed through different channels and addressed to different target audiences.
This brings us directly to the last section, which will focus on the stages following the event itself.
After – Editing and distribution
Here, we come to the most important and delicate stage of making any kind of event video.
To start, you have gathered all the material, working in detail and aiming—first and foremost—for abundance and maximum coverage of all phases. There are the scenes that you had planned in your outline script, but you also managed to capture the most interesting and engaging moments that could not be foreseen.
Now it’s a matter of making choices. And here is where storytelling comes into play.
There are so many aspects to consider, and there is no universal recipe. But where to start? On which North Star should you orient your plan?
The answer is clear. Your ultimate goals must be your compass.
You have to ask yourself, first of all: what is the image that you want to portray about the event, therefore of the brand or company that organized it?
What are the feelings you want to communicate?
And, even further upstream: who is the target audience of the video? What characteristics and preferences do they have?
It’s clear that a communication aimed at a general audience of teenagers has very different best practices, for example, than one aimed at a selected audience of investors or stakeholders.
All of this influences choices regarding pacing, sequences, narrative arcs, and graphic solutions.
However, there are two factors that you must always take into account, in any case:
1) An event video is not a cold chronologically ordered account of what happened. It is always about re-constructing a story that has a beginning capable of creating attention, a coherent unfolding built around meaningful scenes, and an effective ending capable of leaving something memorable in the viewer’s mind (be it information, feelings, or suggestions). Much better if long term.
2) Watch out for the brand presence: it must be clear right from the graphic choices. But it must never be too invasive. In fact, the vision must always offer some added value, something that goes beyond the pure promotional spirit.
Let’s pull the strings.
At this point your event video, an imagined and planned script has turned into an effective and coherent production, the product of an editing that is conducted on the basis of concrete objectives and the potential target audience.
This takes us to the last, equally decisive aspect: that of distribution.
Another huge chapter that can be summarized in one key word: omnichannel.
A good video event must be optimized for viewing from all devices (with attention especially for enjoyment via smartphones, which is undoubtedly the most popular mode).
But that’s not all.
An event video can be distributed directly on a company’s website; it can be uploaded to YouTube; incorporated into a targeted email marketing campaign; and then there is everything about social networks, with their marked differences. Each channel has its own technical rules and best practices.
To conclude the post, we have one last suggestion.
This is something we have already referred to above: a great deal of content can be generated from a single video. Teasers, for example. Or even snackable content of just a few seconds to run on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube shorts, so as to generate even more engagement and coverage…optimizing resources and reaching even very different slices of the target audience.
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