Event & Convention Video Best PracticesShawn Forno 02.13.2017
A great convention video starts has one simple goal—get people excited. The tone and energy of your video set the tone for the entire convention, so follow these guidelines and best practices to help your convention video standout in a crowded, loud, competitive space.
This post takes a look at some successful (and not so successful) and convention videos and the four steps you need follow to ensure your convention video is a hit. Enjoy.
Start Strong: Front Load your Video with Relevant Content
Your video should begin with the most important information in the video. If you’re selling something—pitch it. If you’ve created a groundbreaking new feature—tell us. If you want to unveil a new accounting software—unveil it.
Making a great convention video really is that easy.
You gain nothing by burying a big reveal two minutes into a presentation or video. Everyone is already paying to be at the convention, and they’ve taken time out of their busy schedule to sit down and watch your video. Don’t waste their precious time.
Convention Video Don’t: Long Introduction
This video is actually nearly five full minutes of people talking about how awesome their company is (without citing and specific examples), and how awesome the conference is. It’s rough. They say the word “leverage” almost as often as “supply chain.”
What’s a real shame is that they start talking about the classes and skills you’ll learn at the conference—but they wait until nearly halfway through to mention why you’re watching the video.
When you commit to front loading your video with relevant content, people respond. What’s more, event attendees are much more likely to talk about the video, and even share a simple direct video (if you provide a link) during and even the convention. Your video shouldn’t come with a disclaimer that says, “Skip to 5:40 for the good stuff.”
Keep the Energy High
Your animated event video has one broad goal—get people excited. Sales reps and booths will communicate more detailed information to attendees throughout the event. Setting the right mood is up to the convention video—especially if it’s unveiled at the beginning of the convention.
“A feeling of excitement and inspiration prompts people to attend in the first place and then come back each year. It’s also the reason people share their experiences afterwards,” notes Kristen Craft from Unbounce.
Your video should create buzz. Buzz means that ideas get shared, which is the entire point of a convention.
Convention Video Don’t: Low energy
This video is a stereotypical example of what not to do for your convention or event video. It begins with incredibly dated graphics and music (was this made in 1991?!) then it follows it up with unenthusiastic talking head style interviews of people talking about themselves. They literally drone on about their synergistic business acumen with pure jargon. I almost passed out.
Your convention video needs to be industry specific (obviously), but that doesn’t mean it has to be dry or boring. You can make anything exciting with the right approach:
Convention Video Best Practices
- Keep the voiceover upbeat — avoid monotone!
- Avoid jargon — Say what you actually mean. Don’t couch your video in double speak
- Don’t use the same shot over and over — vary the production up
Avoid Distractions with a Clear, Simple CTA
I can see you getting excited about that new star wipe feature you just discovered in iMovie last week. Don’t even think about it. Cheap, pointless wipes, transitions, and lower third elements distract viewers from your major selling points. If you highlight everything, how will anyone know when to pay attention?
The point of your convention video is not to just look slick. It’s there to get people excited about something. Make sure that you channel that excitement with a clear, singular call to action at the beginning, middle, and end of your video.
Create a single, simple visual style for information like job titles and lower thirds information and headers and let the talking do the talking. Excessive visuals steal thunder from your big CTA.
Convention Video Best Practices
- Don’t bury your call to action
- Repeat it several times, not just at the end
- Frame it in the form of a question to get the conversation started
- Provide next steps, a call to action with no outlet is a waste of time
Don’t Hold Your Captive Audience Hostage: Keep the Video Short
Conventions are amazing. It’s one of the few places in the business world where clients, buyers, staff, vendors, and potential business meet in person. Better yet, you have a captive audience with their eyes glued to the screen. However, if you abuse that relationship with an hour long video, you’ll not only anger your attendees, you’ll dilute any potential enthusiasm generated by your video.
The best way to ensure that your audience stays riveted to your event video is by keeping it short and managing expectations. Show the length of the video. Heck, tell them that you only want a minute of their time, literally. If your convention video can get people excited about your product or service, unleash them from the presentation and let them buy your stuff!
Like they always say, “Once you make the deal, stop selling.”
The nuts and bolts explanations are important, but they come later—in their own separate video that lives on your website. People will have questions about your product/service/business, but an event explainer video isn’t about answering questions—it’s about raising them. Get people excited, curious, and engaged in the possibilities of what you’re offering. Then manage those expectations during the actual event.
Convention Video Best Practices
- Show don’t tell
- Keep it under 5 minutes
- Create (realistic) expectations
Respect Your Paying Audience
A compelling convention or event video starts with a great idea. Keep your video focused on the one thing you want attendees to take away from your convention and let that idea guide your introduction, music, energy, and ultimately your CTA.
People paid to attend this convention and watch your video. Make it worth their while.
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