Coverage of your event can be as important as the event itself, if you want it to continue to retain and grow bookings every year. Richard Forsyth, Varn Media, explains the seven rules for filming your corporate event.
In the YouTube generation filming is going to happen whether it’s your official film or someone’s shaky mobile phone footage of the director dancing after the boozy black tie dinner. For the sake of your reputation, as a way of sustaining interest after the event, and as a way of creating interest for it next year, the creation of a film should be part of the event planning itself. It’s wise to hire a professional film company for a polished finish but be aware that you should tick some tried and tested boxes when making your corporate event film.
Here are my seven rules for making your event film memorable for the right reasons:
- Top and tail
Don’t leap into the film without giving it a professional beginning and ending. The beginning should be branded with a logo and have a small explanation of what it is and where it is and the date – add a short music score as well if possible.
- Film the glamorous backdrop as an introduction
Whether it is the neatly lined-up, glistening champagne glasses, the decorated venue, or the city it is hosted in (preferably all of the above), this sets the scene. It can be as simple as filming the doors of the hotel that the conference is held in.
- Capture everyone getting ready and ‘feel the buzz’
Covert long lens filming here – it has to be natural. Film the stills photographer snapping guests, film the signage and watch the delegates milling about, chatting and smiling and taking seats.
- Name your big hitters
When filming speakers don’t spend too long on any one delegate but make sure you have their name and job title on screen where they are important and industry heavyweights. They are your credibility. Having great soundbites says that there is valuable knowledge at this event to share. Some film makers overlay the sound with a music score that makes the event feel dynamic and show the best delegates in a Hollywood red-carpet style approach. This is old fashioned name-dropping, pure and simple, as people want to know who attends these events to see if it’s worth the ticket price.
- Film the fun and prestige
Many CEOs and MDs are invited to an array of events each year for a sizable fee per event so they will want to select the ones where they won’t feel like it’s a chore, no matter what the perceived value of networking and knowledge acquisition. The after-dinner parties, the informal networking in the bar, laughing with new friends, the four course meal, the live band at the party – make this say ‘fun business trip’ as well as VIP experience. Business is ultimately about people and not numbers. Some industry events become legendary for the stories that are not official and like it or not – this can make them attractive to return to for some.
- After-event endorsements
These can be edits spliced though-out the film or at the end. You need to get great feedback on why the event is useful, why it is worth the fee and how much value leading figureheads of the industry got from being there. This takes someone in your team to ask the right people at the right moment. Alternatively, book a side room with branding in the background and make this a formal five minutes-worth part of the event. Most people behave and will be generous as they are representing their firm and will hopefully want to come again.
- Make this like a movie-trailer for next year
Remember that a film should tell a shortened story of the event through pictures (not unlike a movie trailer) and leave the viewer wanting a ticket next time. The viewer needs to have the experience of being there, feeling the anticipation of the morning as everyone arrives, feeling the tingle of meeting new people in the industry and gathering the best advice from the best in business. Give your viewer a pitch in pictures and they’ll remember your event is not one to miss.