4 Reasons Why Your Next Event Should Be Captured On Video

“But If I Put It Online, People Won’t Come To My Live Event…”

Whether you’re organizing a tech conference, a non-profit workshop, or a marketing summit, it takes a lot of work and money. So naturally, you might be worried about how putting your event online could impact attendance. Here are 4 reasons why you have everything to gain from hiring a videographer for your next event.

There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction

packed conference room with video camera recording

In this connection economy, people fork out hundreds of dollars to attend live conferences for the chance to network with likeminded people, the hope of meeting someone they respect highly in the flesh, the feeling of laughing or gasping alongside thousands of others in the room, or even the bragging rights – being able to say “I was there!”

Your Online Content Sells Your Next Live Event

hands in the air at a crowded concert venueThink TED Conference vs. TED Talks online. Without the hundreds of TED talks available for free viewing online, it’s unlikely that TED would have spread as quickly and as far to become the international hit that it is now. Because when it’s valuable content, and easily accessible, it will be shared. Now ask yourself, how much more likely will someone be willing to fork out the money to attend the annual TED Conferences after they’ve had a free taste of what to expect?

If there’s one thing the modern day musician has learned, it’s that having a couple of their songs available online for free helps fuel the fire that spreads their art. And the real return comes from selling out concerts and merchandise to the dedicated fans who stumbled upon their music.

Reward Your Attendees

The one thing that audience members always come up to me to ask whenever I’m filming at an event is “when can I see this online?” For your attendees, having video becomes a valuable resource they can access anytime for a re-cap.

First, how great would it be if your attendees could spend that time really listening and engaging with the speaker, instead of struggling to write everything down at breakneck speed? I’ve seen many attendees faces completely light up when the organizer announces, “these talks will be recorded and made available to you after”.

Second, how many times have you found yourself at a conference saying “oh man, session A sounds good, but I really want to attend session B too!”. Save your attendees the heartbreak of having to miss out on one session just because of scheduling. Let them know you have them covered.

Great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you want your website to show up in search results, then the content on your site needs to have valuable and relevant answers to questions that people have when they search the web. For example, if I were looking for information on how best to use social media to raise awareness about my conference, I might search Google for “how to use social media to market my event”. If you have a video of the “social media marketing” workshop that took place at your conference and put it on your site alongside a good writeup and carefully chosen search keywords, Google is more likely to recommend your page as a result for my search.

Spread Your Message

If your goal in organizing the event is to spread the word and for people to learn something new, then making your workshops, panels and sessions available for viewing online will simply extend the reach of your message. After all, why limit your impact to the capacity of the venue you’re in?

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Written by Shuling Yong
Shuling Yong is the founder of Media For Social Change, a Chicago video production and marketing company. She’s a documentary filmmaker, community engagement specialist, and a speaker at conferences. You can find her on Google+ and Twitter.

Becoming Indispensable.

Photo by Rachel Koontz

That’s just one of the many lessons Seth Godin teaches when you engage with him through his books and blog posts. Connect, be generous, make art, acknowledge the lizard, ship, fail and learn. A daily subscriber like me receives a fresh post every morning that helps me see the world through a different lens, gives me inspiration and challenges me to reinvent myself.

I’ve been a fan of his work for a while now, which is why as soon as Seth announced the plans for his Road Trip and put out the call for volunteers, I stepped up in a heartbeat. It was the least i could do for the art he’s so generously gifted to the world.

His Chicago stop took place last week at the beautiful Harris Theater. I was the volunteer videographer, and the very talented Rachel Koontz was the photographer. We had the great pleasure of meeting and working with some really talented Linchpin volunteers to pull off what would go down as one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Photo by Rachel Koontz

It’s amazing how powerful being in a roomful of like-minded individuals can be. You could feel that every single one of us there had the desire to do remarkable things, create art, and connect with fellow tribe members. Seth spoke for 2 hours early that morning, and then spent the rest of the day tackling our audience questions with calmness and brilliance.

Thank you, Seth, for all you do. I’m definitely excited for the passion and possibilities that lay ahead! If you missed out, Seth Godin has two more stops on his Road Trip!

Atlanta, GA – Oct 8th
Los Angeles, CA – Nov 9th

More information’s available here. In the meantime, here’s a peek at what happened when Seth graced Chicago with his presence. :)

Depth of Field Master

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

In my search to download and print a depth of field table for reference during our shoot for State of the Apartment, I discovered a brilliant website that’ll make things a whole lot easier.

The online Depth of Field Calculator by DOFMaster! Yay!

No need to spend precious time scrutinizing the endless numbers on the charts, trying to match up the right focal length with the f-stop. Just choose your camera model, focal length, f-stop and subject distance from the drop-down menus, hit ‘calculate’ and presto! You know exactly how much of your visuals will be in focus and at what distance. Sweet.

But wait, there’s more! They’ve even got the app for the iPhone… *gasp*… perfect for outdoor shoots. Thank goodness for people who develop software like that. :)

Film Club: Mini Assignment 1

So the last time I talked about the Cabrini Connections Video and Filmmakers Club, it was when Karl and I guest taught a lesson when Michael was away. 2 months later, Karl and I, along with another volunteer Mae, were asked to co-lead the club with Michael permanently. I’ve since learned to understand that changing lives takes time, and that I don’t have to strive to do it within 90 minutes. Baby steps, baby steps.

The first few sessions with all 4 of us leading brought some interesting dynamics. Good that there were more resources between the 4 of us to deliver a better lesson. Thanks to Mae’s projector and screen, we were able to show the students great video examples. But now that Mae’s left Chicago to further her studies in Texas, we’ve had to get creative. More people in the equation also means a bigger variety of mindsets. Each of us has very different styles of doing things. I’m a planner and a big fan of being well-prepared and well-researched before the time comes to teach. Some others are just better at doing things on the fly. We’re still working to find a middle ground, but at least we all know we’ve got one goal in common… to give the students the best.

This week, we kicked off our first lesson of 2010 with something different. I wanted to put the big horror movie on the backburner for now, and have them focus on mini assignments instead. The plan is to teach a different aspect of filmmaking each week and have them do an in-class activity related to what they’ve been taught.

Since we spent a number of weeks going through storyboarding, we asked the students to come up with a short story on the spot and tell that story within 6 shots. To add some challenge, we said they had to include 1 pan and 1 tilt.

In previous weeks, we sat at the table with the students to walk them through the creative process. Progress was slow. We constantly had to poke and prod for creative input from them. It seemed to me that because we were there hand-holding so much, the students didn’t feel as involved or challenged in the process. Many ended up texting on their phones, sleeping, or watching videos on the nearby computers.

This time, we experimented with a more hands-off approach. We gave them 25 minutes to complete the storyboards for the 6 shots and left the table.  A few peeks across the room revealed that the group was engaged in discussion together. 15 minutes later, they came over to tell us they were done. Brilliant! So lesson learned. Students sometimes just wanna do things on their own. Since we had time to spare, we decided to teach them how to do up some overhead diagrams to match their storyboards and explained why overheads are so useful.

By the end of the 90 minutes, we’d finished our 6 shots. Still kinda rough, but it’s good progress. We’ll let them do an exercise on editing next week with the footage that they shot. :)

Check out the video below to see how things went! Read the official Cabrini Connections Video and Filmmakers Club blog to see previous entries too!

[Vimeo http://vimeo.com/8580667%5D

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