Promoting Your Events with Video: Video Pep Talk
In this episode of “Video Pep Talk” 12 Stars Media CEO, Rocky Walls, and Steven Shattuck, VP of Marketing at Bloomerang discuss ways video can be used to promote events. Check out the full episode and transcript below.
Video Pep Talk transcript for your reading enjoyment.
Rocky: Well, here we are. Video pep talk episode something. I actually couldn’t remember which one it was.
Steven: They know. We’re back. We had a hiatus, but now we’re back.
Rocky: All that matters is we’re back and we have a topic that’s video-related to discuss, but more importantly, I’m here. I have been reunited with my friend Steven, who, for so long, I haven’t been able to hang out and talk about video.
Steven: Yeah, no pep talks. But now we’re going to give them pep talks.
Rocky: Yeah. But we did hang out recently in the back of a van.
Steven: We did. We spent the night, or was it the evening, in the back of the van?
Rocky: [laughs] We spent the night.
Steven: Not the whole night. Just an evening. We had, like, seven to ten evening window. That was lovely. That’s a nice van that you have there.
Rocky: It was nice. The cookies were what kept me interested.
Steven: They were delicious.
Rocky: Yeah. They were good. My wife made them.
Steven: Everyone just turned off the video.
Rocky: But we wouldn’t have, see, and that’s what makes Video Pep Talk so great, is that we know that really the qualified people are the ones that really watch, because they sit through the first minute and a half of our BS in order to get the real good stuff, the meat, if you will.
Steven: Those are the people that matter.
Rocky: Those are. They are the people that matter. You know what? If you don’t have time for our 90 seconds of BS then we’re alright without you.
Steven: Get out.
Rocky: Hit the road. You’re not getting our good content. So this is Video Pep Talk, and this week we wanted to talk about using video to promote an event, which is, I think, like a really good thing to do. But there are definitely some challenges. I mean, video, we talked about this before, video can be challenging anyway, but event video can be even more challenging, especially using video to promote your… And I will just throw it right out there that the very first thing that we always run into with folks is that, you know, you can’t very well promote your event for this year unless you have video footage from last year.
Steven: Yeah, right. The first year is the hardest.
Rocky: Yeah. You’re almost always a year behind, right?
Rocky: So I think that maybe one of the things that we can talk about is how to make sure that even if you didn’t get to promote your event with a video this year, how to make sure you get some footage so that you can promote your event next year. But then also maybe we can talk about some things that you can do. If people are thinking about promoting their event, and we are going to talk about different kinds of events too, what kinds of videos did you use? And maybe even, we can get some examples of videos that you wouldn’t have to have video footage from a previous event in order to promote. What are some events that you think videos would work especially well for, maybe, to kick this off?
Steven: I think an event that you need to have people show up to is good, especially events that maybe are a little hard to describe or visualize for someone who has never been. That’s where video is really effective, because you can show what the event looks like and what the experience is going to be like for our first-time attendee. But like I said, you have to take the long-view approach and know that you are going to have to make an investment in the first year and see a pay off in the second year, in the form of collecting video at the event that you are going to use next year. So it’s not something that, you know, a few weeks or even months before the event you can say, “Well, let’s make a video.” Well, we don’t have video of the event, so then you have to figure out what you’re going to do. And there are ways to get around that. You can certainly use photos. You can interview past attendees and weave something together that way, and then know that maybe next year the video will include live-action footage of the event. So that’s kind of a good way.
Rocky: Yeah, and we have seen that happen before where actually it came together pretty nicely, especially if, like you said, you get those interviews. Because you almost, like you said, if something is kind of a little difficult, maybe, to understand, you know, “What am I going to get out of this event? What is it like?” We were invited to sponsor an event recently and they had the unfortunate challenge of this being their first year, and they actually chose not to do the sponsorship because I had a really hard time understanding what this event was.
Rocky: Like, it was like, “I don’t get it.” You didn’t really give me an idea of what this event really was. Is it a conference? Is it like an expo? What is it? So finding something to visually tell that story, or even better, finding something that visually helps tell that story, even if it’s just photos, but then also having an interviewee explain it can be really nice. So I think that’s a good balance, so if people are thinking about using video to promote an event, think about all of those options. You’ve got someone that you can interview, someone that can share content, here’s what you can expect. Even if it’s just someone talking, that, maybe, is way better than nothing, because you may be able to communicate what the event is going to be like in a different way, other than maybe just text on a [inaudible 00:05:31] pages.
Steven: And even if you don’t have video of the events, that doesn’t mean that video doesn’t exist. If it’s an event that a lot of people go to, they may have taken video themselves.
Steven: So you might be able to search on Youtube for maybe the name of your event, or on Facebook, or just on the web, and maybe even reach out to those folks to collect some of that footage. You may even be able to put something together from that, even if you didn’t hire a videographer to take video yourself. You’re not necessarily up the creek if you don’t have something, which is kind of nice these days. That’s one benefit of everyone having video on their cell phones.
Rocky: Yeah, absolutely. Go back to Twitter and search the hashtag and see, “Hey,” even if you just got 20 twit pics or Instagram it’s like, “Alright, well, I will just throw those together in montage, interview somebody and call it a day.” So that can be a start.
Steven: But if you are going to shoot an event, I think that there are some things that people could think about ahead of time. And obviously, we talk a lot about planning and being prepared, and I think that an event is one of the most difficult video types to get content for without a plan, because what happens is, events always give you this false sense of security. You’re like, “OK, well, we have this two-hour event. I will have plenty of time to record video,” or, “It’s an all day event. We’re going to have plenty of time to get some good video,” and then what happens? Well, if you’ve ever been involved in an event you know what happens. All the crap hits the fan when the event starts, or before it even starts, and you’re stuck playing host or cleaning up, or whatever, putting out fires all day at the event, and before you know it, it’s the end of the day and you didn’t get a video. So, of course, number one can be to hire a videographer, but even if you’re going to hire a videographer you may need to tell them so that they…
Rocky: What to get.
Steven: …what to get. Yeah, exactly. So I think maybe just off the top of our heads, if we could list some things, I think one of the things that I see people do a lot of, and this one is kind of the “give me,” if you have an event where someone is speaking it’s great to get video footage of the speaker, of the subject matter expert sharing that content. Maybe you want to use it later. But I think that one is, like I said, kind of a “give me,” and there are other things that you can record that will do what we talked about earlier, help people know, in the future, what is this event like? Maybe some of those things, you know, could be less obvious when it comes to what you should record. I don’t know if you want to list off some of those, kind of think about what are some of the other things somebody could record at an event?
Rocky: Yeah. I mean, think about what you would put on your brochure, your flier, your advertisement. You know, that list of things that people can do and see. Get pictures of that, basically, and you might want to put together a team of people and recruit them to go around and take video. You don’t want to do it yourself. You know, tell three or four people, “Hey, take some video while you’re there,” and then maybe just crowd source everything and see what you’ve got. But certainly tell them what you want to show. Know what you want to show in the video before you go out and shoot, because it’s like you said, they are just going to be running around kind of, like, “Oh, maybe I can get this, get this,” and then what they have at the end of the day may not lend itself to a great video.
Steven: Yeah, absolutely. It’s one of those things, I think, that people just misconclude, you know, people registering at the registration table. That’s a great place to get a sense of who all is going to this event. How many people are there? What does it kind of look like? Look at how our people are taking good care of folks and getting them signed in and registered. Getting those wide shots of a whole room full of people, indicating that, you know, “Hey, this is a popular event. There’s a lot of people here, but at the same time, we have enough room for everyone. There aren’t people sitting on the floor or standing around. So you think about the kinds of things you communicate with those other shots that are only a little less obvious, you know, a shot that’s… If your event is one in which the food is a big draw, or the drink, if there’s an open bar or something, you want to make sure you get the video footage of those things and feature that, so that when you produce a video to help get people to that event, you can showcase some of those things that you know are a big draw.
Rocky: And, like, what…
Steven: Go ahead.
Rocky: I was just going to say, you know, don’t be afraid to ask people for a little man on the street impromptu interview. You can just go up to somebody and say, “Hey, what did you think of the event?” you know? “Oh, it was great.” Or even if they just give you the thumbs up or they wave to the camera that’s something you can use for sure, so don’t be afraid to ask folks what they thought. “Are you having fun?” Are you having fun? is a good question to ask, and you are going to get something nice out of that nine times out of ten.
Steven: Absolutely. What has been your favorite part? What is the key takeaway here? What would you say to somebody who is thinking about coming to this event next time we had it, those are all good questions just to grab somebody. It’s a ten-second answer. It’s not a big deal. It’s not like you are inconveniencing them. So those are all things that are great, and then even, there are some things that you can do for events that aren’t, like, go to the event, actually attend it in person. So to promote your webinar or web conferences, and things of that nature. You can also do video to help promote those, and maybe what you provide in video in that sense is screen capture, or an interview combined with screen capture.
Rocky: Or potentially, again, a testimonial. Use your webcam and shoot a quick testimonial, and I would love for you to email that to me so that I can use it as a promotional video for my next webinar.
Steven: Yeah. Absolutely.
Rocky: Have you done that before?
Steven: I have. We actually just did that for our CEO here at [Bloomerang]. He’s going to be speaking at a fundraising conference in Idaho, actually, and we… Yeah. They had stuff going on in Idaho. Idaho is cool. We sat him down. We are just kind of sitting in front of a webcam and he just said, “Hey, I’m Dave Love and we’re going to be speaking at blah, blah, blah event and we’re going to be talking about this, this and this, and I hope you will join us.” And boom, we shot it off to them and they included it in our newsletter. It was great. No other speaker was doing that, and I can guess that some folks are going to maybe want to attend ours, because they know a little bit more about what’s going on, and they have been able to meet the speaker and see his face and hear his voice, and that was great. I mean, it didn’t take much at all. It didn’t take hardly anything.
Rocky: Absolutely, and that’s the thing. I think, you know, like we have talked about before, people a lot of times think that video has to be so complicated. It doesn’t need to be that big of a deal.
Steven: This isn’t complicated.
Rocky: Put something together. What?
Steven: This is not complicated.
Rocky: This is not complicated. Although we did have some microphone issues at the beginning.
Steven: It’s all sorted out.
Rocky: [laughs] We think. We think it’s recording right now. Well, I think that is all we have time for. This is great. I think you did promotions that I kind of… One, I think, if we can each give our one main takeaway out of all that, mine would be just to make sure that you plan ahead and you realize that video is one of those things… I see people kicking themselves all the time, that they had an event last year, they want to promote the event this year. They didn’t get any video footage at all. And you came up with some really great examples of how you could do that without even having to hire anybody, really.
Rocky: There are some good ways to get video footage so you have it, so the next time you have the event you can promote it. That’s my one takeaway.
Steven: Mine is, you don’t have to do it all yourself. People are probably going to take video at your event even if you don’t ask them, so ask them for it afterwards.
Rocky: Very good. Awesome. Well, thanks. That’s another episode of Video Pep Talk. I really appreciate your time, Steven, as always.
Steven: Aww. Thanks.
Rocky: Aww. Yeah. And we will hopefully see you next week. [laughs]
Steven: Yeah. We will.
Rocky: We will. We will.
Steven: OK. Goodbye.
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