CSR and sustainability conferences and meetings generate thoughtful dialogue and enthusiasm that, unfortunately, can evaporate soon after attendees leave. Video provides a simple, cost-effective solution to this problem by providing compelling, sharable content that continues these discussions long after the conference is over.
Here are some basic tips for successfully using video at sustainability conferences, meetings and events:
What to Record?
The centerpiece of most conferences are keynotes and panel sessions, so focusing on these events is a good place to start. Attendees also bring a wealth of knowledge that complements what’s being said by the panelists and speakers. Take advantage of this diversity of experience by videotaping interviews with as many conference participants as possible.
Ask them why they came, what they’ve learned and what they’ve liked, and you’ll get great content for videos to market and promote your event. You can also provide attendees with valuable videos of themselves discussing the areas of their of sustainability expertise. They’ll appreciate the opportunity to be recorded, and will drive more traffic to your site when they share their videos with friends and colleagues.
Many conferences already use social media, with Facebook updates and live tweets during the event. Adding video and YouTube to the mix creates online buzz, and gives followers more great content to share.
Livestreaming presentations and panels, for example, is a green way to virtually increase attendance and awareness, with minimal logistics. Or, publish short newscasts and testimonials to give outside viewers a glimpse into what’s exciting at the conference.
Make it Happen
Deciding who will record your videos depends on your budget, your skills, and your plans. If you hope to charge for access to footage, you definitely want to make sure that it is professional quality. But for more informal videos, you may be fine recording with a cell phone or pocket camcorder.
To maximize the impact of video at your conference, look for a full-service production company that can provide you with a range of video services, including on-site editing, social media distribution, and archiving. Many hotels and conference centers offer to provide videographers, but these services are often limited and more expensive.
Maximize the Value of Your Videos
You know that your conference is valuable, and if you’ve invested time and money in video, it makes sense to make the most of it. Video is an incredibly versatile tool, and you should always be thinking about new ways to use what you record. With minimal editing, footage can be re-purposed into promotional and editorial content to fuel a year-round social media campaign, extending the reach of your sustainability conference.
There are several benefits that come from providing free access to conference footage. Conferences that post videos of their event on YouTube and other hosting platforms experience measurable increases in website SEO, as well as overall interest in the conference from broader online audiences.
Another option is to charge for access to live streaming and conference videos. Many events do this successfully and profitably by limiting access to registered users or by using an online commerce system to charge for downloads.
However you use it, video allows you to showcase thought leadership and your conference’s role in convening talent within the sustainability sector. By effectively using video, a conference can further its mission, extend its message and attract more people to future events.