Making the most of your company events

You can find this article in it’s original location over at LinkedIn – click here to view

The very best time to get short comments from trusted colleagues, suppliers and customers is when you have them all together in a room – though this is often skipped.

If you factor all of the time and money put into preparing an event, the creation and distribution of supporting material, entertain and thank people then most likely, follow up with attendees to solidify existing relationships and / or generate new business.. would it be worth spending a small fraction of those costs to dramatically lift the chance of converting new business?

Yes, it’s a leading question, but if you consider putting 5-10% of your event budget into creating short, remarkable (in the Seth Godin sense) video content that is 60-120 seconds in length, your event follow up becomes dramatically more engaging, you capture the high points of your customer and client interactions, you create meaningful testimonials and you can share the energy of the event with people who did not or could not attend it.

Most importantly in my mind, is that all the effort, time and money that went into creating the event doesn’t evaporate as soon as the last person has left the room. It lives on in your company marketing, essentially in a timeless fashion being digital, and creates sales tools for you.

Oh but I can’t afford it – wrong.

Video capture comes in many forms, from the quick and cheap to the polished and expensive, I feel it’s summarised best using the triangle, which you can see in this 55 second video (filmed in March 2012, timeless digital yah?);

Sounds like.. bad audio.. looks like.. shakey footage

Quality filming is about getting good audio and a stable shot (in that order).

If you are approaching this from a cost conscious budget perspective, the cheapest way to get yourself (or your head of marketing, your intern et al) making decent video is to buy:

A TRRS extender cable for your iphones microphone / headset –

A Sidekic (iPhone tripod mount, a copy of the Glif) – EBAY link

A tripod – EBAY link

Put your iphone in the tripod mount, on the tripod, plug in the extender cable, put the microphone from the headset near someones collar and let the earbuds hang into their shirt – voila! Stable, lapel mic’d, high definition camera for $40.

The setup

You can save yourself a lot of pain by finding a quiet environment and it’s a lot easier to get energy out of people by having them communicate either directly with yourself behind the camera, or taking the opportunity to put your staff next to customers / suppliers and doing Q&A.

If you don’t have lights, stand with a window behind you, so the light is falling onto the faces of the people speaking, alternatively use the sunlight to ‘backlight’ the people and use your lighting to light up their faces. Keep trying and moving until it looks good to you 🙂



Upright banners are useful for backdrops, and when there is a height difference, have both participants sit. The trick is to get people to sit at angles to the cameras and much closer than they normally would, as if you don’t do this they seem far apart on film.

Using a light on either side gives you good ‘cross-coverage’ meaning each light acts as a ‘key’ light for the person its facing as well as giving a bit of ‘fill’ to remove the shadows on the person its coming across the shoulder of.

For the technically inclined, my in-house gear is the Canon C100 on a Miller DS10 Carbon Solo, using a Rode NTG-3 as my ambient shotgun microphone and a Sennheiser EW-100 ENG wireless kit with the Rode Reporter microphone, lit by Comer CM-LED5500k light panels (all pictured above).

Going for.. wow?

Something I’ve really enjoyed and got great results from as far as ‘wow’ factor is concerned, is filming events and then before the people leave, showing them a video of themselves at the night, projected back to them as the event finale.

The video below is 3 minutes long and a bit ‘guerilla’ as far as filming schmick goes, but hey, it’s about the story, right?

Your story matters

“The digital revolution” and access to creating video in every phone means we are at a time when you can put aside the press releases, stop talking about product features and actually reveal who you are and why you go to work – and you can empower your staff to do it.

Indeed here is Ashley Brown, Global Group Director, Digital Communications and Social Media for Coke saying “I think the corporate website is over, it’s dead – I think everyone needs to start thinking beyond it .. how can you turn that into a media property .. and hopefully the age of press-release PR is ending as well.. I’m on a mission if there is one thing I want to do at Coke, it’s to kill the press release.. ”

Now you may not have the marketing funds of Coke but .. the writing is on the wall.


Want to know more about how Video Production & Social Media Systems will help your company thrive in a modern, digital world? This 3.5 minute is meant to educate, challenge and inspire you (via )

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