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50 Ideas Using Video to Market and Improve Expos and Events

Video marketing for events

©2018 By Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES

Video marketing is king! The State of Video Marketing in 2018 report from Wyzowl details numerous survey statistics about the growth and increasing power of using video for marketing products and services.

This applies to events. The creative use of video can help engage attendees and prospects. It can build attendance and greatly broaden visibility. Here are some of the ways this can happen.

Before the Event:

Events are content generators. There are speakers, entertainers, exhibitors, gala dinners, and satisfied attendees from past events. All are natural to include in email and online promotions for an upcoming event:

1. Create a video from the CEO, show organizers, and/or key volunteers about why viewers should attend this meeting. This promo clip can give a quick overview of the coming highlights of the event, speakers, key topics, performers, networking opportunities, topics, giveaways, how to register, “save the date” information and much more. Include a specific call to action (i.e. register by a specific date at a specific webpage).
2. In general, all promotional videos should be high-definition and short (90-120 seconds – three minutes maximum). Educational content videos can be longer.
3. Post event promotional videos to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at your web site, and use embedded video links in promotional email regarding the event. Video links have demonstrated much greater click-through and share rates compared to standard email increasing the impact. Make sure that your email marketing platform has strong video sharing capabilities.
4. Create and promote an event hashtag to promote as a search vehicle through all social media channels (especially Instagram and Twitter) including video. Be sure to choose a hashtag that it short, memorable and unique.
5. As part of the speaker contract, ask speakers to create and post to YouTube a short video promo about what they will be speaking at the event.
6. Most speakers, musicians, and other entertainers have YouTube clips. Post these on and aggregated “video page” at your event website.
7. Some venues have videos of their facility. Post them to familiarize and interest attendees.
8. Create how-to videos with points to get the most out of the conference, exhibition, orientation, networking, etc.
9. Most convention bureaus have attractive, nicely produced videos about their city, the local attractions, and things to do. Embed these videos on your event website. 
10. Create a YouTube Channel to aggregate these videos in one spot.
11. Post these promotional videos on your Facebook Page, Facebook Event Page, LinkedIn Company Page, Instagram and other social channels.
12. Create a Pinterest page to aggregate these YouTube videos as well.
13. Post links to this video promotional content on Twitter
During the event:
Live events are replete with content opportunities to use video to extend the footprint of the meeting and for promotion of the next event. Consider some of the following:
 14. Crowdsource your event content and production with a cloud-based platform such as Cinebody.
15. Webcast the keynote addresses and other key portions of the event extending the event far beyond the four walls of the meetings space. Video brings and extra dimension that is more impactful than other media channels. A video production crew should be used for high-profile video production.
16. Create behind-the-scenes time-lapse footage of the event and tradeshow set-up to play during the event.
17. Stream portions of your event to remote audiences in a hybrid meeting format or as a webcast to increase the footprint of your event.
18. Use produced video to provide compelling introductions and content during general sessions.
19.  If your event is going to launch a new product, create a video to promote it.
 20.  Video record your CEO or other executives discussing something cool, new or important about your company, association or a specific product.
21. Encourage speakers to incorporate video in their presentations to provide compelling, time efficient and engaging ways of describing elements, product demonstrations.
22. Bring in remote speakers (either by design or to fill in for missed flight connections) using streaming video.
23. Content capture the video of the educational sessions for delivery on demand after the event either for a fee, for certification programs, or as promotion of next year’s event.
24. Record the video for event press releases to increase the impact: Press releases that included images received an average of 1.4 times more views than text-only releases. Video releases averaged 2.8 times more views than text-only – double the performance of releases that included images.
25.  Interview speakers at the event and use this video for additional web content.
26.  Interview satisfied attendees at the event to use to promote the next event. Ask them why they came, what they have learned, and what they liked. This will likely produce lots of great content for promotional videos. People love the attention and these videos will likely be shared with their friends and colleagues.
27. Video record the galas and other special events to show viewer what they missed as promotion for the next event.
 28. Live stream an event channel from the exhibit hall with interviews, commentary and other content.
29. Interview the “top 10” exhibitors or the ones with the most creative or innovative content to combine in a compelling video to provide content and increase exhibitor exposure. 
 30. Similarly, create product showcase videos on new or interesting exhibit products.
31. Exhibitors can use video in creative displays (3D video, interactive iPad video, video walls, etc.) to attract and engage exhibit attendees to their booths. Video can provide high-quality and focused messages about services/products that can be compelling to visitors. On-demand video can answer specific questions freeing staff up for other interactions.
32. Exhibitors should create videos of demonstrations of their product to post on YouTube and have on demand at their boot.
33.  Rent a video photo booth to create attendee engagement experiences with easy links to social channels.
34.  Use video within your event app.
35.  Use drones under carefully controlled circumstances to capture unique video audience shots. Post them and distribute the link as soon as possible to the participants for posting to their channels including the event hashtag. Be sure to use an experienced, well-insured drone company when doing this.
36.  Use 360-degree video and other VR video capture options to post unique views of receptions, exhibits, and other visual event elements.
37.  Encourage attendees to upload their event experiences videos to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels using the event hashtag in the title and description.
38.  Encourage attendees to live stream approved portions of the event.
 39. Host a video competition on social media channels (using the event hashtag) with prizes for the funniest, most creative and/or most shared videos.
 40.  Use a social media wall that displays videos as well as photos and tweets.
41.  Show attendees a sneak-peak video of next year’s conference highlighting the destination, venue, activities and other content to generate excitement.
42. A recap video at a closing session is often a great way to remind your audience of the event highlights and key topics and themes covered, saying thanks to the attendees, sponsors and those that made it possible. Give attendees the video link so they can share the great time to their social channels.
After the event:
There are significant opportunities to use videos of the content generated during the event to extend the life of the meeting after the event and for promotion of future events:
 43.  An edited video of conference highlights to showcase the event can be posted at the association, corporate or event webs and the social media channels, reminding attendees of what a good time they had and showing non-attendees what an excellent meeting they missed. Videos allow you to show rather than tell how spectacular the event was: the venue, the décor, the food displays, the impressive turnout, the exiting entertainment, and the amazing speakers. This content makes excellent material for a variety of marketing vehicles including blogs, other social media channels, mobile channels, email campaigns, and web content such as next year’s event website for promotion. Include a “save the date” announcement within the video.
44.  This video often times should be posted to YouTube to reach potentially a larger audience as well. It is recommended that this video be in high definition, short (about 3 minutes or less), and with care taken for using key words in the title, description and tagging.
45.  Ask sponsors, participants, speakers and exhibitors to share event related videos on their social media channels, an easy way to greatly extend the impact of the video.
46.  Video recordings of the sessions (all or part of them) can be posted for on-demand viewing (for pay, for free, with restricted access to attendees only, for members only, or open to everyone). This can be used for review for those attending the session; to enable attendees going to other sessions to see what they have missed; to provide benefit for members unable to attendee the meeting; or open to the public to advance an idea or as promotion for future events. Ideally, the video and audio should be combined with the PowerPoint slides and other presentation graphics though content capture and distribution services such Digitell providing capabilities for all video presentations to be shared on all video platforms, with every view tracked. Through a content delivery network and/or a customized event portal you can charge viewers to stream or download your conference videos. A portal acts as a one-stop-shop for all event content and presentations, ensuring maximum impact long after the event has ended. You can also use presentation “guest books” to capture viewer contact information, include survey questions to gather input, and track viewership to better forecast attendance and topics of interest for your next event.
47.  Videos of key sessions can be highlighted throughout the year providing continuous fresh website content on a regular basis improving your web site traffic.
48.  Videos are also great for testimonials. Let your speakers, exhibitors, attendees and others sing the praises of your event. There is nothing like a satisfied customer telling potential customers how well your event or product works. The more details, the more believable.
49. A collection of exhibitor interviews of the best booths or most innovative products at a show can provide compelling content and is another vehicle for exhibitor visibility as well.
50.  Feature sponsors in the promotional videos. If done right, they may use this video as a marketing tool getting more views about your event.

Videos engage viewers, increase retention of content, are accessible via many devices, and can be easily shared via social media channels. The use of videos can improve your search engine rankings and video email marketing has fully trackable and higher click-through rates compared to traditional marketing methods. The costs to produce and distribute video from point of inception to delivery have reduced dramatically. The bottom line is that video can be a very cost-effective way to promote and build event attendance.

These are just a few ways to use web video to promote your events. Many more are coming as society and meeting professionals increasingly embrace this medium.

Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP is a speaker and independent third-party consultant focusing on meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity He can be contacted at his extensive web site: www.corbinball.com and followed at www.twitter.com/corbinball.

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