|MAXIMIZE EVENT ROI WITH A DIGITAL VIDEO “HIGHLIGHTS REEL”
©2002 Ann Rebentisch, CMP
Why digital video?
With economic concerns still cramping the quantity and scale of meetings and events, what better to time to introduce a technology and get more mileage out of them? For around $1500, you can add huge marketing value to your event with a living, breathing, downloadable replica on digital video. A DV highlights reel can be:
- Posted on a company’s website to show potential clients what makes their product and/or customer service so special
- E-mailed with personal remarks from the host to attendees within a week of the event. This unique follow-up adds positive reinforcement to their experience.
People love to see themselves or others they know on camera and pay rapt attention to such opportunities. Although digital video is “better, faster, cheaper” and more versatile than its analog counterpart, it’s still relatively novel and underutilized. Be the first on your virtual block to use this technology; cement a steadfast connection with your audience and preserve a priceless example of your work.
To see an example of digital highlights from a three-day client conference for Mindport, a broadband technology company, check out: http://www.winetablemedia.com/archives.html.
The Mindport User Conference attendees were truly international. Since English was a secondary language for many, this mostly non-verbal recap was especially appreciated.
Steps to creating a good highlights reel
Sketch out a storyboard of anticipated visual highlights:
Based on the Mindport example listed above, these would include:
Striking visuals, such as:
Fleet of 26 red pedicabs
Arriving in serpentine formation to pick up attendees
With attendees on board, enroute to dine-around
Footage from rider’s perspective in backseat
Craps tables in action
Marilyn Monroe impersonator boarding mid-cruise and interacting with attendees the rest of the evening
Presenters and attendees (a quick montage of stills works well)
Attendee participation and interactions
Group table discussions
Presentations and materials
Wide angle of room set
Close-ups of each presenter
Script on-camera remarks from company spokesperson should include:
For website, public access:
Explanation of event
For special Attendee versions (to e-mail and post on Customer Only website page):
Welcome and explanation of event
Review of goals achieved; thanks for participation
Set shooting schedule:
Videographers generally charge a day rate, so choose the best time frame during which to capture the storyboard items. The Mindport User Conference ran 2.5 days, but shooting was confined to the reception on night one through the dinner cruise on night two (1.5 days).
Choose a vendor:
Digital video for the web is very specialized. Items to consider are:
The “small screen” restricts frame composition and camera movement
Subtitling to indicate speaker names, etc. is illegible; however auxiliary information may be provided on a web page
A one-person crew can direct, interview, shoot and edit the piece
Within one week of the shoot you should:
Receive a rough cut (by e-mail)
Get through several rounds of edits with input from you (the producer) and colleagues you choose to include
Add a sound track
Because the technology hasn’t fully caught on, the field of experts is limited. This company created the Mindport segment:
Wine Table Media
1638 Stanford Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
To find other vendors in your area, contact the Association of Internet Professionals; www.association.org
Playing back a digital video:
Audiences need a “player” such as RealNetworks or Windows Media to view web-delivered videos. Newer computers are generally equipped with these, but free versions are easily obtained and downloaded. For the convenience of viewers, include a link such as www.realnetworks.com with all references to the highlights reel.
Distributing a DV:
E-mail as attachment:
A two-minute DV will have a file size of about 6 megabytes, no problem for recipients with broadband internet access. However, those using a dial-up modem (such as those traveling) may object to the download time for this size document.
Sending the DV as a file ensures that recipients will always have access to it, whether they are online or not.
Send an e-mail with a link:
The highlights reel may be posted on a special Customers Only page on the host company’s website. That unique URL can be e-mailed as a link within a follow up message.
When a DV is viewed from a website, it does not download to the user’s computer. Instead, the media is “streamed” and merely passes through the player.
Keep in mind:
Viewers access the web at different speeds. To ensure the best clarity for each viewer, offer streaming media in:
- 56k for dial up connections
- 144k DSL and
- 350k cable modem
Include a brief explanation about playback software with a link to www.realnetworks.com
Post a general website version under News, Events, or Customer Service. Include playback options as above
See you in the movies!
If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to contact:
Ann Rebentisch, CMP,
“Queen of Logistics”