Attending a conference provides you with a great opportunity to post some social video.
It sends out all the right messages to your customers and to your competitors - we're here, we're relevant and we're on it.
But how to film a piece without it taking over your entire day? Follow these six easy steps to post a cracking video from your next event.
1. BE REALISTIC
As the old cliché goes, under-promise and over-deliver. Unless you're at a conference solely to provide video for your company, you'll need to manage your time carefully so as not to compromise Any Other Business.
So decide the day before how many pieces of content you can realistically provide in the time you have, and stick to it. A couple of quick posts directly to Twitter first thing in the day will establish your presence with the event hashtag. You might then commit to filming the opening keynote in its entirety, colour shots of activities, and a couple of key interviews.
The less you promise to do, the better the content will be.
Shooting three considered pieces is better than a random array of snippets.
Vox pops are useful also and work well if you ask a lateral question. Not "How are you enjoying the conference?" but "Describe the conference in one word."
2. PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE THE DAY BEFORE
Once you've decided on your key pieces of content, prepare them roughly the day before. Scribble down a running order for each one so that you have a clear picture of the elements you need.
For example, you might introduce the keynote with a quick piece to camera. "I'm just out of the keynote by Ms Brilliant Keynote, and here are the main takeways." Insert the keynote, and finish with another piece to camera. "Loads to take away from that, and it has set a great mood for the rest of the day. I'm off to check out the Innovation Hall".
Write this stuff down very loosely the day before, and you will have a very valuable framework on paper, which allows you to follow a definite plan, and still be able to slot in spontaneous happenings.
3. GET IN EARLY
If you want to announce your presence early on social media with video, you need to be at the conference earlier than everyone else. This will enable you to spin around the venue, get the lie of the land and plan spots for filming (especially at a keynote).
While the venue is filling up, you could film a Hyperlapse or Timelapse as a quick win for Twitter and Facebook. Then have a nice-fresh-no-queue coffee. You're going to need it!
4. GET THE KEYNOTE
This is a really useful piece of content and worth capturing in its entirety. Chances are it's a headline name, good visuals on stage, and usually gets to the crux of the theme of the conference. The keynote sets the scene for the day, and is the thing that everyone who isn't there wants to see. And they want to see it early.
You don't need to stage-dive, any decent seat near the front will work. You absolutely must use a tripod. Look carefully for a big speaker near the front, and position yourself as close as possible to it to capture the audio. And film the whole thing. Make the version that will become the go-to version online.
Basic editing on a laptop will allow you to break it down into bite-size chunks. Or in a pinch, just upload the whole thing. As long as it's static, folks will watch the lot.
5. FOR ONE HOUR SHOOT EVERYTHING THAT MOVES
That is not one hour non-stop, but a cumulative hour across the day. For ten minutes every hour, or fifteen minutes every two hours (your plan, your commitment), shoot everything in sight. Products, demos, fun stuff, lunch, coffee, behind the scenes, customers, escalators (a personal favourite).
All of these should be observational, and filmed using a tripod. You will use every single one of these shots, so quantity is crucial. If you get nothing else from the conference, you will at least have a compilation of shots that give the atmosphere and colour of the event.
You can top and tail a sequence of these shots cut to music with an intro piece to camera. "We're wrapping up here at Conference Central, but we've had a brilliant day. Here are some of the highlights."
And a closing piece to camera ideally with a call to action. "Well, that's it for another year, thanks to Conference Central for a brilliant event. We'll have our key takeaways on the blog later in the week, do visit the website for those."
6. SHARE THE HECK OUT OF IT
Just as you have planned the content, plan the platforms and channels. Bear in mind that it's easier to upload to certain platforms than others when you're out and about.
Decide which platform you will use to host all your video, upload it there, and use URL's to share around all the social networks. This is much more efficient than trying to upload native video to individual platforms, ie. trimming for Twitter and uploading natively to Facebook.
Speed is of the essence, especially with the early stuff. YouTube and Vimeo work well across a majority platforms. That means you need active accounts and of course...the password!
Having someone back in the office to manage the outreach is also a bonus, and after all, if you're sending them a video link, they have loads to work with. This should also be part of the plan.
So next time you're at a conference or an event, take up the challenge, follow these steps, and post out some video. You'll be happy you did!
Niamh Guckian is the Director of Go Motion Academy
Providing Training in Video for Social Media & Digital Marketing