It’s a truth universally acknowledged that NO-ONE wants to sit through a three-day general session consisting of slide after slide after slide, no matter how snazzy your transitions are or how beautiful your imagery is. Your audience need a break from keynote speakers and information dumps to reset and re-energise, and clever use of video is more important than ever. Beware – there’s a fine line between a VT that energises and excites and a video “break” where the lights go down for a little too long and your audience sneaks a look at their phone, so here’s six of our favourite ways to use video to give your next conference a boost.
1. Pre-Show/Walk-In Video
Depending on the room, you’ve likely got somewhere between ten and thirty minutes of audience walking in, chatting to their colleagues, finding a seat and finishing their coffees, so don’t waste this screen time! Your audience don’t need a hold slide with the event name (they know where they are) or the agenda and dinner location (they’ll find that out) so use this time to entertain them and get them excited for what’s to come. Perhaps you have a new ad campaign or product launch video to showcase, or a recap of successes since last year’s event. Maybe you had a crew interview people at registration the night before to talk about what they’re looking forward to at the event. You might even have the capacity to do this live, with a cameraman and roaming reporter chatting to your audience with a feed direct to screen! Be creative and use this huge chunk of screen time to your advantage!
2. The Big Opening
A great conference opening should have people sat up in their seats, turning off their phones and getting pumped for what’s to come, and a high-energy video accompanied by some banging tunes is a great way to shake off the jetlag and hotel-bed aches. This is where you establish the vibe of the event – is it celebratory, or thought-provoking, or educational? Are you showcasing people, products or ideas? Plus, boost your video with live performers, pyrotechnics and a great light show and your audience will be filming and sharing before your first presenter has even hit the stage!
3. Refreshers and Anticipators
You might have four or five speakers taking to the stage before your audience gets their first coffee, so break these up with short 30-60 second clips that deliver your message and lead-in to the next session. You might have an event theme you want to recap, social media channels and hashtags you want to encourage your audience to utilise, or simply introduce the next speaker with a “biography” style video – keep the pace up and keep the music loud, and give your next speaker a well-deserved boost of energy to walk-on to!
4. Social Media
And talking of social media, video has long been the highest-performing type of content on Instagram and Facebook, so use this to your advantage. Have your video team create bite-size versions of your energiser videos, interview your speakers backstage after they’ve delivered their presentation, create 30 second location videos full of venue and party footage and gorgeous B-roll – pump these out on your official channels and encourage your live audience to share, ensuring those not in attendance are in full-on FOMO mode and already booking their ticket for next year!
5. Crowd-Sourced Footage
Everyone is carrying a camera around in their pocket these days, so ask your audience to contribute to your pool of footage to share on-site and online – people love seeing their faces up on the big screen, so will be happy to oblige! Video selfies, mini-interviews, best-dance moves at the evening reception (maybe moderate this one) - you can collate everyone’s footage via a hashtag, e-mail address, file-sharing system such as a dropbox link or even an event app, and use it for everything from registration screens, to recap videos to your marketing for next year. And if you’re not sure about giving people quite so much freedom to film, how about upgrading your standard photobooth to a video-selfie station or boomerang booth, creating so much more content to play with!
6. Event Recap/Closing Video
So you’ve opened with a bang, energised your audience throughout, and you have hours of footage to work with – don’t let your general session end with a simple “see you next year” from the CEO, send your audience off with a bang! A great closing video filmed over the course of the event is your final chance to hammer home your key messages, celebrate the wins of the year, showcase the highlights of the last few days and best of all, act as the perfect marketing video to use moving forward. Don’t forget to end on a call-to-action and direct your audience to sign up for next year’s event!
Have you got any great video ideas we have missed? Or would you like to talk about how to upgrade your video at your next event? Give us a shout at email@example.com and let’s chat!