The Power of Live: The Benefits of Incorporating Video into Your Events

October 14, 2016

Brea Carter

Brea Carter is a Content Manager & Copywriter for FreemanXP, EMEA. View more like this on the FreemanXP blog.

Storytelling, User-Generated Content, Virtual Reality... The global event series, Social Media Week is known for covering a range of exciting topics of relevance to our industry. Video, however, is one trend that really seemed to jump out at me as part of the London installment.

Many of the speakers, including representatives from brands such as Facebook and National Geographic, stressed that incorporating video into social is the way of the future. It’s an effective tool for the events industry, as it enables us to promote our client’s events in an engaging way before the fact, broadcast these experiences to their communities in real time, and package up event highlights for people to enjoy post-event.

Below are a selection of tips and tricks from some of the speakers around how you can create winning social video content that truly engages consumers.

Video for Mobile

Ian Crocombe, regional head of Creative Shop at Facebook sees a world that is video-first, and notes that video sits at the heart of all of Facebook’s apps and services — the company only recently launched its Instagram Stories functionality, after all.

He notes that consumers behave differently on smartphone devices — on average they spend just 1.7 seconds per content item on mobile, and 80% of these users’ watch videos without sound. How then, can we cut through the clutter to connect with our increasingly mobile savvy audiences?

Crocombe offered a range of insights, including: add stylized text overlays — an effective tool for pre and post-event videos where there is time to edit — as this will draw users in even where there is no sound. It’s also important to consider the key creative messages and ideas around your client’s event, and focus on incorporating captivating imagery that reflects this into the video. Questions are also a great way to spark curiosity. 

Content Across Multiple Platforms

Nadine Heggie, vice president, global partnerships, National Geographic Partners Europe & Africa explained that video plays an important role in the brand’s social media strategy, and summed this up with a great statement: “Relevant, relatable and timely content always wins the day.”

She explained that the brand regularly publishes YouTube videos that showcase its journalists and photographers out in the field, which are then broken up into snackable content pieces for sharing across the video functionalities of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Footage of our own events can re-purposed in much the same way — a longer-form highlights video can be edited down with respect to the different social channels in which we want to feature.

Live video presents another unique opportunity for National Geographic Partners, at it enables audiences to access unique locations across the globe in real-time, so that they feel as though they are right there beside the brand’s journalists and photographers. In the world of events, social tools such as Facebook Live and Periscope are similarly an effective way to broadcast what is happening live, however it’s important to be authentic, keeping in mind the client’s messaging around the event. 

The New Brand Channels

Eric Fulwiler, executive director at VaynerMedia London likens the smartphone to television. In other words, just as TV surpassed radio as the place for brand advertising in the 1950s and 1960s, mobile is fast becoming the place for brands to connect with their audiences.

He explained that if the mobile phone is the new television, social networks are the new brand channels. This means as event organizers, we need to work with our clients to ensure the footage of their live experiences is packaged up for social video, so that their ‘stories’ become the new hit shows.

Video isn’t a new medium per se, yet the ways that we as event organizers can embrace it to extend the reach of our events has changed dramatically in recent years. Thanks to social media, not only can we stream our events to global communities in real time, we can package this information up into bite-sized pieces for consumers to enjoy across multiple channels. As our attention spans get shorter, the need for visual, snackable content has never been so important. 

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