Event Filming – Tips for Event Managers & Conference Organisers
Producing great conference or event videos doesn’t need to be costly or complicated. Giving a clear brief of your requirements to your video production company prior to the event on specifically what content you are expecting should make the process relatively hassle free. Broadly speaking conference and event filming can be approached in three ways;
Presentation Video Filming - Filming all the on stage presentations with the possible addition of Powerpoint slide content – This footage will be relatively static and is usually intended as reference material. The presenters and all their content is recorded in full and made available on-demand after the event. An add-on to presentation filming is live streaming, broadcasting to the internet to a paid or free hosting platform for remote viewers to watch live online.
Promotional Video Filming – A roving camera operator will spend the day gathering interesting and engaging shots of people networking, short excerpts of the on stage presentations and general footage around your event space. This content can then be edited in to promotional video to generate interest in future events, or simply to show people what they missed! Usually fast paced and 1-2min in duration, set to an upbeat music track, promos are ideal for website and social media use.
Interviews & Vox Pop Video Filming – Combining interviews with promo content brings event videos to life. Interviews with presenters and delegates often forms the backbone of event promo videos. Engaged and enthusiastic people are what make great events, capturing that should be your number one priority if you want your videos to stand out and deliver results.
The Brief - When engaging with a video production company before your event, give them a clear brief based on one of the above scenarios. They will then base their quote on a number of factors, for instance what equipment they need and how many crew are required. It’s likely quotes will differ in cost for numerous reasons, take the time to understand what each proposal is offering. For instance are they providing an interviewer, or is that something you are expected to facilitate? Is the editing included? Filming an event on multiple cameras generates a lot of content, the resulting editing process can be very time consuming. Edit costs should either be included in the main filming quote or at least estimated, then you can allow for them in your budget. Expect to pay £400-£500 per day for post event editing.
Agenda – Send the event agenda over to your video producer ahead of time, it will allow them to plan the day and what they film with more efficiency. Highlight any key elements that are ‘must-haves’. For instance is there a guest speaker or someone who you really want to see in the final films? Is there an event sponsor that should be featured? If you have breakout sessions throughout the day, then ask the camera operator to capture audience shots during the opening keynote, nobody wants to see lots of empty seats in the main room once the breakout sessions start! Consider asking the crew to minimise general shots of people eating, it rarely looks good and people generally won’t thank you for including it. With that in mind maybe consider scheduling interviews over the lunchtime period, but don’t forget to feed and water your crew! Plan a break in for them outside the busy filming times.
Filming Notices – Inform everyone you are filming and let them know what you intend to do with the final content. Make an Announcement in the housekeeping messages at the start of the event and strategically place notices around the venue. Give people the option to opt out if they want to, by speaking to either the camera crew or the event organiser. Ask anyone who is filmed directly, either on stage or in an interview to sign a release form, it will help avoid any issues at a later stage. The production company should be able to provide a template release form for you to tailor to your event. Check with your presenters if they have any sensitive or copyright material in their presentations that should'nt be recorded. It also helps to be clear with them whether you are filming their presentation in full, or simply capturing a few snippets for inclusion in a short promotional film.
Interviewer– If you are on a tighter budget and employing a camera operator/one person crew, you will probably need to allocate a colleague to conduct any interviews. In most cases they will not be seen or even heard on the final film as are there only to prompt a considered response from the person being interviewed. Make sure they are well versed with what is required and have a range of questions that will result in engaging and relevant answers. If budget allows though consider employing an interviewer from the production company, it is a skill and they are more likely to get exactly what is required for a great vox pop interview.
Formal Interviews – Whilst it’s entirely possible to film interviews in busy, noisy environments and it can help convey the atmosphere of an event, you still might want to consider setting up formal interview room. That way you can take a more structured approach, scheduling people in for filming slots throughout the day. This kind of set-up has more of a 'studio feel', rigged lighting and controlled sound with a branded backdrop can create a slick looking corporate environment. This scenario will need additional crew and kit in the room throughout the day, but the quality of video content you get make it worthwhile and can often justify the extra expense.
Editing – Be clear with your video production company from the outset what videos you require and how quickly you want them after the event. Ideally any editing time should always be booked in advance. Some production companies may require you to be present during all or part of the editing process, so you might need to schedule that in your diary. Alternatively ask if they offer an online review option. In this case the footage will be draft edited, to pick out all the key shots and highlights for you to review and pass comment on, they will then produce a 1st edit based on your feedback. A further round of amends is usually all that’s required to finish your videos.