Video Is The Main Ambassador Of Your Events
By Nicolas Pagniez
Soraya Cabezon, Head of Content at the think tank EBG, explains why you can’t have an event strategy without video.
“Video is part of the strategy for each of our events”, says Soraya Cabezon, Content Manager at EBG. The leading digital marketing think tank in France has no less than 665 member companies and organises 150 and 200 events per year for all employees. In this event industry, the institute has gained expertise in effective tools for maximising the ROI of its events.
It all begins with a specific mindset for the event strategy. “Each of our events is designed as a product, but unlike a material product, it has a beginning and an end. The goal is thus to make the latter last.”
The event, a prime source of content
The events organised by the think tank fall into two categories: Weekly conferences dealing with major marketing trends and four major annual events attended by 500 to 1000 people each.
“To us, an event is a great source of content to be used over time. At conferences, our first reflex is to film the speeches in their entirety”, explains Soraya. “The goal is to make the video available to those who were unable to attend.” EBG also shoots a set of interviews at the end of the presentations to give the speakers a second chance to speak. “These will summarise what was said during a presentation, address a particular topic or highlight an initiative.” The formats used are short, edited and more elaborate, in order to boost distribution. The think tank aims to make the most out of content from each event: “To us, an event is a great source of content to be used over time”, explains Soraya.
Pre-videos as part of a strategy for attracting participants
Video plans are naturally more elaborate for the four annual events. These are implemented before, during and after the event. “Before the event, we will create several types of videos”, says Soraya. First of all, promotional or teaser videos for the event. These will be based on edited material from the previous edition and posted on the site dedicated to the event.” The goal is to give visitors a sense of the spirit of the event, its content and the way it unfolds. “Then we conduct interviews with speakers and partners to invite them to speak about their participation. The goal is to make the event speak through them, in order to attract participants. This way, we can mobilise our network, but also the network of speakers and partners who relay the video.” That’s why EBG essentially prioritises two social platforms: LinkedIn and Twitter: “We don’t really see Facebook as a professional platform”, explains Soraya. “By making all these videos, we increase the lifespan of the event.”
Filming a maximum amount of material on D-Day to extend the lifespan of the event
Then comes the day of the event, when several arrangements will be made over one or more days to generate quality videos. As with weekly conferences, plenary sessions are filmed in their entirety. The video recordings are then posted without editing on the event’s website and social media.
In addition, interviews are conducted with the speakers after their participation in order to post them after the event. A person with a smartphone captures key moments of the event to make a “best of” video: speeches, stands, exchanges between participants and general atmosphere. “By making all these videos, we increase the lifespan of the event”, says Soraya. It’s also important to use various formats to get diverse content. In interviews, for example, the point of view of a speaker is always a little different when they are in a more private setting.
The day of the event, however, is not only an opportunity to stock up on video content; it’s also a time to promote it: “Each of our events is also a way to promote our other events. As a result, we continuously play teaser videos of our other actions and initiatives on screens positioned in areas where people will see them. It’s very important to use the audience at the event to spread our messages. We have 500 to 1,000 people on site. We wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to communicate with them!”
After the event, EBG uses the content made during the event to extend its lifespan. “We highlight the results of the event, the key figures, the number of participants and the topics covered. The aim is to show those who were not present what they missed.”
“Along with the website, video is the most important element for properly positioning your event.”
Video to remind people of the event
This task is not so simple. Unlike with plenary sessions, other content needs to be edited before it’s shared. “Nowadays, people don’t take their time anymore. This is the era of fast, easily-consumed content. So we need to be able to quickly provide our audience with fun, edited content with music and messages with an angle.
But how do you measure the impact of video on the ROI of your event? “What is certain is that video is the main ambassador of the event”, says Soraya.
I would say that video and the website are the two most important elements for properly positioning your event.” As for the results, they are not always quantifiable. “The strategy is primarily related to branding. It’s not always easy to measure. We evaluate how much people talk about the event. Video is used to establish the event and make it unique, recognisable and memorable.”
In conclusion, Soraya Cabezon advises companies seeking to maximise their event strategy to consider each of their events as a product in its own right. “When you think about the short lifespan of this product, the use of video both before and after the event is a natural choice.”
The aim is to ensure that the investment and the success of the event do not just evaporate once it has finished by giving it a second digital life without a set expiration date.
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