If you are like me and many of our clients, we are always looking for something unique that we can bring to the conference experience that does not feel hokey or out of place and conference time-lapse videos are one of the coolest things an event team can put together. Luckily, it is so simple that almost anyone can do it. How can you do it? With that amazing digital photo studio you have in your pocket (your phone).
Not familiar with time-lapse? Time-lapse photography is a pretty simple concept and unless you have been living in North Korea… Nah, even they have time-lapse videos. You have no excuse cause we covered time-lapse back in 2012. But…in its most simple form, to create a time-lapse video, you take a gazillion still images of the same spot, over a period of time, and then glue them together to make a digital flipbook.
There are super advanced ways and methods to create over-the-top time-lapse videos but this post isn’t that, this post is about getting it done simple and easy with no muss and no fuss.
First, let’s check out some conference time-lapse videos that have better production quality than we will have out of the gate.
This one was created by PCMA for Convening Leaders 2016. Kinda cool watching a room flip.
Then there is the conference series that all meeting professionals love to hate… TED. We can all learn a little from the folks in the driver’s seat over there at TED central. Check out how they merge styles to create something that you could show at the local multiplex. That is totally some zippie dippie time-lapse stuff here and this is what we should all aspire to achieve.
Now that we have seen how to do it really well, let’s talk about how we can get started on the road to an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.
Here is our simple setup for conference time-lapse videos
That is pretty much it but what does it cost?
The cost of diving into this pool is cheap. Like really cheap.
- Phone. $0.00: It is mine and I am not charging myself to use it.
- Charging cable: $0.00, again, already own it, not renting it to myself.
- Mini Tripod/Phone Holder: $13.98 on Amazon. This is the one we own. Its cheap, it works, but it will probably break at some point and I will just order another one.
- App to capture and create the conference time-lapse: We use Frame Lapse Pro $0.99 for iOS or $2.99 on GooglePlay (they do have a free version that had limited functions).
- Total cost to try it out: under $20.00.
UNDER $20.00. If you think that is too much, there are probably bigger issues than trying new things. What are you getting for your money here? Is it broadcast quality? Hell no. But it will be good enough to start you off? Yes! And if you have never tried anything like this before, your attendees are not going to expect perfection. They will just be shocked that your stodgy old association actually got a little feisty and all up in the technology.
You can even up your game right out of the gate by skating over to eBay and picking up a refurbished GoPro Hero 3 (older but still an awesome action camera) for less than $90 with tons of accessories or you can grab a brand new Akaso EK700 on Amazon for $83 (see the Tom’s Guide review). We like to stick action cams up behind the main stage pointing out toward the audience. Really cool way to get a wide-angle view of the attendees walking in and taking their seats.
To get an idea of what you might achieve, here is a cool time-lapse that was made using Frame Lapse Pro (I just pulled this sucker from YouTube, we are leary of showing client videos).
One of the reasons that we like to produce conference time-lapse videos is that they never get old. No matter how many times we see them, we all think that they are the bee’s knees. Time-lapse videos are great to show before, during, and after your conference. Use them to rev up the audience as the kick off to a general session (we do this one), you can use them in a marketing piece, incorporate them into post conference videos, or just show them on your website.
Like the Swiss Army Knife of photo marketing, you can always pull out another conference time-lapse and stick it on your facebook page, website, or throw it up on Twitter and it is bound to get likes and shares which will introduce your conference or event to new people and that is kinda the goal of marketing.
Why are you waiting? Go get to it!