Before the pandemic, events and film were mostly separate entities, with videos predominantly being used for screen content and highlight reels. The planning, investment and focus was very much on the in-person experience.

However, this changed dramatically as we switched to virtual, and events and film became inextricably linked. This saw audiences’ expectations around quality film content increase, and it also demonstrated the power of this approach from an audience engagement, analytics, and brand building perspective.

Now as the industry returns to physical experiences – with hybrid becoming a very popular route – it’s inevitable that this practice will continue. We’re not only seeing it appear in briefs, we include this strategy in our pitches and project work, as there’s proven value in this approach

Developing a complementary event and film strategy

Incorporating films into an event in a seamless way, as opposed to shoe horning them in, requires detailed planning and consideration. Ideally, they should form part of the event’s strategy from the very beginning.

Focus on a consistent look and feel

Once the event’s brand identity has been finalised, the video content should continue to complement it. This ensures consistency across all touchpoints, and visual cues throughout the film enhance brand recall and recognition in a professional and considered manner. Some effective ways to achieve this include featuring design elements in lower thirds and transitions. These work really well not only for virtual shows, but live event screen content too, as they help to direct guests’ attention and drive the narrative forward.

Pepper content throughout, and keep it varied

Energetic opening videos are a great way to set the scene and generate excitement about what’s to come. Meanwhile, 10-15 second sting videos can build further interest and excitement during break periods by revealing what’s up next, and are a great way to share key announcements, including speaker or award winner spotlights, in emotive ways that continue the brand design.

For added engagement, strive for moving content to produce different effects on the screen, including transitions as a means of shifting between different scenes or topic areas, all accompanied by relevant sound effects or music backdrops.

Look to animated videos, particularly when dealing with challenging subject matter

If you’re sharing complex data or information, consider using video animations to communicate these messages in easily digestible ways. We often adopt this approach by leading with a speaker presentation, which then flows into an animation detailing key facts and figures. The supporting moving visuals complement the presentation, and the event’s overall messaging.

Leveraging films for campaign longevity

There’s a lot of power in utilising video content beyond the main event, with opportunities to develop end-to-end campaigns around it. Footage captured in advance can be edited into short, snappy teasers for platforms such as social media, websites and email marketing to build excitement, encourage attendance, and when shared at regular intervals, ensure the experience remains front of mind.

Video content also provides amplification opportunities as the event unfolds, in the form of session or day of highlights, which can be shared via company owned channels, media or other marketing related opportunities. A summary of key moments can deliver an exciting overview for anyone who missed the event, but crucially, it also entices audiences to see what they missed and learn about the event’s value, which encourages them to attend in the future.

Creative ways to deliver event mementos have always been a focus for our industry, and by combining video content with virtual platforms, we can share post-event highlights, takeaways and learnings and gain a much deeper understanding of how the experience continues after the live event. The data available such as views on social media, website visitor numbers and dwell time can help to pinpoint the most engaged moments, allowing us to use this data to shape experiences in the future.

There are a wealth of opportunities when it comes to the fusion of events and film. When this is done so in meaningful, relevant and thoughtful ways, it can drive engagement, interest and ultimately, brand advocacy, and it’s a strategy to consider adding to your arsenal today.

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