When hiring a videographer to cover your conference, the price tag can often seem pricey. Personally, I’ve found there to be a sticker shock in about half of the proposals I submit for conferences. The question is why? I think it comes down to ROI.
If you don’t have a clear goal for how you plan to use the content after it’s captured – perhaps, you just plan to hold onto it for posterity – then it’s going to be hard to justify the cost. However, conferences are an amazing opportunity to capture loads of content that can support your marketing and social media efforts for months, even years when there are clear goals and an action plan.
Setting Clear Goals
Here are some high-level considerations when setting ROI-driven goals for your conference video content:
Sharing the event on social media immediately after the conference.
Letting your customer base and social media audience know that the conference exists and why that matters – whether it’s used to promote thought leadership, bring people together, or whatever the reasoning may be.
Capturing content that can be used to promote the next year’s conference.
Showing is most often more effective than telling. Footage of a previous years’ conference is a great way to show potential attendees what they are in for and help drive attendance.
Capturing ongoing content that can fill the social media calendar.
We’ll dig into this more later, but there’s plenty of opportunity to generate content that lives on past the conference itself. Video testimonials and interviews can be stretched over several months of an editorial calendar if well planned.
Capturing content for marketing major products and services.
In the same regard as the social media content, the footage, testimonials, and interviews captured during a conference can be repurposed for marketing campaigns as well. It’s all about ensuring that the appropriate footage, customers, and questions are captured to meet these goals.
Extending the usability of training sessions.
Consider recording or streaming your conference sessions to add additional value for the conference attendees or provide an on-demand content opportunity for those that can’t attend in person.
The three most common content types for conferences
When planning out how you are going to utilize video content captured during your conference, it’s important to begin with the end in mind. What are these videos going to be used for and where are they going to go? Here are three of the most common types of content produced from conferences to help guide that conversation.
This is the baseline – the most common video that comes out of a conference. This is your basic culmination of clips from the conference that sums up what happened during the conference. The hope with this video is to capture the main events, sessions, people and places to give a general summary of what happened in the event.
You can rack up some bonus points with your attendees by setting aside time for the videographer to edit together a highlight video during the event so that it can be played for the attendees during the final hours. It’s a great way to wrap up the event. People love to watch a recap where they can see themselves participating in the various activities of the conference.
Testimonials and Interviews
Conferences are a golden opportunity to grab testimonials and interviews from the conference attendees. Remember, conferences are often a singular event during the year where many of your clients, remote workers, subject matter experts, vendors, etc. are all together in one place. This is the perfect opportunity to get these people on camera to discuss topics for your social media calendar and marketing campaigns.
The key with this content is to think big picture. What topics do we need to discuss and who should we try to get on camera?
Client/Customer Testimonials – This is a two-pronged area of content. The first avenue for testimonials is to grab feedback about the conference itself. This is content that can be put in a highlight video and/or used to market future conferences. Thinking bigger picture, there’s also an opportunity to ask questions for more evergreen marketing and social media content that you can tie to general products and services.
Vendor/Sponsor Testimonials – Do you leverage vendors and sponsors at your conference as a source of revenue or to supplement the conference budget? Getting those sponsors and vendors on camera discussing what value they get out of participating in the conference can help to market those sponsorships and booth spaces next year.
Subject Matter Experts – If you have subject matter experts at your conference giving presentations, think through the various topics you may want to post about on social media throughout your editorial calendar. What sound bites can you grab from these experts to cover these topics you want to post about? If you can plan your interview questions carefully around those parameters, 5 minutes with a subject matter expert can cover several potential posts throughout your social media calendar.
Choosing the Right Interview format
There are two basic formats that you can utilize when capturing interviews and testimonials from your conference. There’s the Man on the Street interview style (also called Vox Pops) and the classic formal interview style. Here’s some thoughts on when you would want to utilize both.
Man on the Street-style Interviews
In this style of interview, the videographer and/or a producer are literally walking around the conference, pointing a microphone at a participant (with their permission of course) and ask for their thoughts on a subject. This is the easiest type of content to grab at a conference because it doesn’t require as much set up and preparation. It also means that you’ll have the visible and audible hustle and bustle of the conference in the interview which makes the content less evergreen. Typically this type of interview is best for questions that are specific to the conference. Ultimately, it will come down to preference though – there’s no absolute rule that you can’t use these interviews for evergreen content.
This is more than likely what you first picture when thinking about a video interview. It’s a person sitting in a quiet, well-lit space for a formal interview. In order to achieve this at a conference, you’ll likely need to book a conference room or suite somewhere away from the rest of the conference to avoid the noise. However, it’s best not to have these be too far away from the action so that it’s not a major inconvenience for your subjects to participate. The main benefit of this type of interview is that it is more evergreen. There’s less conference noise, no conference branding etc. This frees you up to ask questions about subjects not related to the conference that can be more easily inserted into marketing videos tied to products and services. The key with this type of interview is to plan ahead! Since they require additional time to set up and will take people away from the conference for a larger amount of time – make sure to schedule the time with your desired subjects in advance, so they are prepared and can work it into their schedule.
If you have training sessions scheduled during your conference, video is an excellent way to extend the value of that training content. Recordings of the live sessions can be given to participants as an added value or provided to non-attendees for an on-demand fee. Additionally, there’s the option of leveraging live streaming to open up the conference to virtual attendees – expanding the exposure for the presentations and revenue opportunities if it is a paid event. Of course, it’s crucial to make sure that you have the appropriate permissions from the presenters before recording or selling recorded the content.
To wrap up, conferences are a unique opportunity to capture valuable video content to support your social media editorial calendar and marketing campaigns. With a bit of planning and an eye on the big picture, there is a huge amount of ROI to be gained from investing in video for your event.