Introduction

Sponsoring a trade show? Attending a conference? Hosting your own customer shindig? Whatever the event, event marketing can feel like you’re competing in the stress olympics. Marketers have to print booth banners and fish for attention in an ocean of attendees or leap registration hurdles, wrangle speakers, and corner venues. Whatever the details, marketers must demonstrate a return on their investment and make it feel seamless. For all that work, video can help.

Video empowers marketers to channel all the excitement of in-person events into their marketing campaigns to boost attendance, generate new opportunities, and build a rolling repository of content that pays dividends throughout the year. This provides a boost to your event ROI that’s limited only by your creativity.

You can think about harnessing the power of event videos during three stages: pre-event, onsite, and post-event.

Build Pre-Event Buzz

Any marketer that wants to hit their event attendance targets faces one of the gnarliest physical challenges of the modern age: cracking through the attention barrier. They have to communicate to tuned-out prospects why their event or presentation is unique and compel them to drop by a booth or hop in a car, train, or plane. For this, video works wonders.

Pique Interest with Personalized Video

Personalized videos used in email are shown to deliver 5x higher response rates than text emails alone. That’s because they allow marketers to virtually transport prospects and customers to the event by scribbling their name all over the tickets, badges, swag, and billboards. Just look at how marketing automation leader Marketo personalized its Marketing Nation Summit invitation. This example features someone named ‘Amanda Lynn.’

With Personalized Video Marketo was able to:

  • Increase open rates by 36%
  • Increase click-through rates by 144%
  • Generate buzz on ‘How did they do that?!?’

The key to great personalized event videos is mixing the past, present, and future. Use customer testimonials to show last year’s attendees gushing about how impactful the event was, use this year’s speakers to promise that things will be even better, and sandwich viewers right between the two with an emotionally evocative call to action.

Or, if you’re driving booth traffic or session attendance to an event you’re sponsoring, personalized email helps you cut through the noise and actually reach the prospects that matter. Check out Vidyard’s own personalized invite to the Marketing Nation Summit to ‘Dusty Rhodes at Hooli.’

Supercharge Pre-Event Sales Outreach

Before most events, prospective and planned attendees get showered with invitations from partners to visit hundreds of booths, bars, and parties. Amidst this message maelstrom, your sales team still has to make an opportunity-worthy impression and stand out in their inbox. Again, whether your hosting or attending an event, video can help.

Salespeople can send personal sales videos to each of their prospects introducing themselves and explaining why this event will be valuable to them. Each rep can include their own selection of clips from past events, customer testimonials, a note from your CEO, and close it out with a pop-up calendar link.

Amplify and Share the Onsite Experience

The big day is finally here and the event is about to commence. What are you going to do onsite to not only make the live experience more valuable, but to collect and deliver content that you can use the rest of the year to deliver more and more ROI?

Broadcast the Event to Capture More Leads and Content

You can turn your local summit into a global event by live-streaming it. Broadcast your keynotes and main sessions in real-time to leverage that “in the moment” excitement that causes viewers to drop what they’re doing and watch. With a video platform, you can gate this content and use it to generate leads and net-new opportunities. Just remember to record the session too. Actually, record everything.

By live-streaming the Marketing Nation Summit, Marketo was able to:

  • Add almost 1k virtual attendees (increasing attendance by 15%)
  • Make the Summit a top program for pipeline generation
  • Contribute to 120x for multi-touch pipeline

Your events are perhaps your greatest video creation opportunities. Where else will have you have all your prospects, customers, industry thought leaders, salespeople, executives, and marketing team gathered in one place where the spotlight is on your product?

Customer Video Testimonials

Nothing speaks to the power of your product like unrestrained praise from real people. Set up a booth with good sound quality and film existing customers and attendees talk about their experience. A backdrop showing all the action of the event can add extra energy.

Prompt your interviewees to talk about a wide range of topics, from their emotions surrounding the event to why they attended. If you’re having them speak about the product, ask that they do some homework to come prepared with success statistics.

If you’re sponsoring an event, take advantage of the fact that your customers may also be in attendance. Grab a quiet space and conduct an interview for a video testimonial. Check out this example of a customer testimonial that Vidyard captured onsite at an event:

Thought Leadership Interviews

If your attendees bought plane tickets to come see your speakers on-stage, odds are, they’d love to see them on video too. If it’s your event, use your sound booth to interview everyone from keynote speakers down to breakout session leaders. If it isn’t, find a quiet space and film anyway! This makes great content, but it also allows those individuals to promote themselves and their business along with yours.

For an example, here’s Dan Martell, a Canadian entrepreneur, speaking at Startup Grind.

Live Sales Videos

If sales folk are having trouble tracking down their elusive prospects onsite, encourage them to use video. Nothing gets someone’s attention like a selfie introduction taken with their boss from their own booth.

Social Promotions

Don’t just live tweet your event—tweet live clips. Short video snippets give viewers a more immersive experience, occupy more real estate in people’s social feeds, and are more shareable because they carry greater social currency.

Keep the Party Alive With Post-Event Videos

With video, you can keep the energy and excitement around your event at a high for weeks to come and leverage captured content to populate your editorial calendar for the rest of the year!

Hopefully you’ve captured far more content than you could possibly hope to share during the event. This allows you to release it in waves to remind your audience and attendees how much they enjoyed themselves and, let’s be honest, dole out a healthy helping of FOMO for those who have no choice but to be there next year.

Leverage Video Hubs to Host On-Demand Content

To host all your wonderful event content on-demand, create a video hub. If you choose to gate it, your event becomes an anchor piece that generates leads and net-new opportunities and vastly increases the reach of your event. If 500 people attended but 5,000 watched via your content hub, you’ll get a return that’s an order of magnitude higher.

Here’s a great example of a video hub featuring content from Dreamforce 2017:

Video Event Marketing - Dreamforce Video Hub Thumbnail

Video hubs are like a YouTube channel built just for your content. Use a Video Hub to:

  • Eliminate distractions
  • Recommend your own related videos
  • Strengthen brand awareness and loyalty
  • Control who sees your content
  • View analytics

Sales Post-Event Recap Videos

Always encourage your sales team to follow up after the event with personal videos. Your attendees likely met hundreds of new people and heard just as many pitches within just a few days. A face-to-a-name recap video from a salesperson who wants to solidify next steps goes a long way to cementing a positive impression.

Keep That Content Working For You

Use the videos to create blog posts, social posts, email campaigns, and more. In our experience at Vidyard, one event generates enough content that even 6-12 months later, we’re still surfacing new customer testimonials and thought leadership clips.

Check out one of our Modern Marketing Point of View videos that we captured onsite at an event:

Video is Key to Promoting Events

Video and events are great together because they’re so much alike: Both are delivery mechanisms for emotion, excitement, and scintillating interactions with real people. And while nothing beats being there in-person, video is the best medium for bundling the enchantment of the roaring crowd into clips that can travel anywhere.

Need a little extra inspiration for your next event video? Check out the Vidyard Inspiration Hub for some ideas.