Go For Substance Over Style When Shooting Event Video

Just a random musing after watching the video below…I have had an ongoing, five-year-long discussion with a client over the “at the event” video and the style in which it is presented. You know, all those highlights and interviews that seem to be lying around.

My style is to push it out the door and get it posted with minimal editing and post-production, and her style is to have a well-produced video with pre-roll, intros, and 100 other bells and whistles… Who is right? Maybe both of us. Maybe we are having the wrong discussion. Perhaps the only thing that matters is what the conference or event audience cares about and what they want to see.

Look at this video interview that Social Fresh posted two weeks ago while at SXSW. Low production cost, one take, done… But… It would have been as good if they had gone all fancy schmantsy with titles and credits, post-production, chairs, and make-up.

What matters with this shoot is that the video is attractive to the audience… They have a host person who is engaging and a guest that the audience wants to hear from.

Sometimes, style is irrelevant.

10 tips for shooting better video at your next conference or event.

Creating a compelling and high-quality video at a conference or event can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. As a videography expert, I’m excited to share ten essential tips to help you capture better footage and create an engaging video for your next conference or event.

  1. Pre-Planning is Key
    Start by understanding the event’s schedule and layout. Identify key speakers, sessions, and activities that are essential to capture. Scout the location beforehand, if possible, to identify the best spots for shooting. Planning ahead ensures you don’t miss important moments and helps in setting up the right equipment in the right place at the right time.
  2. Choose the Right Equipment
    Select cameras and lenses that are suitable for indoor lighting conditions, as most conferences are held indoors. Consider using a DSLR or mirrorless camera with good low-light performance. Bring along a variety of lenses to capture both wide shots of the audience and close-ups of speakers. Don’t forget essential accessories like tripods, extra batteries, and memory cards.
  3. Focus on Sound Quality
    Good audio is crucial for a conference video. Use external microphones, like lapel mics for speakers and shotgun mics for ambient sound. If the event has a sound system, coordinate with the audio technicians to get a direct audio feed.
  4. Use Manual Settings for Consistency
    Rely on manual settings on your camera to maintain consistency in your footage. Auto settings can fluctuate with changing lighting and movement, leading to inconsistent video quality. Manually set your white balance, exposure, and focus for the best results.
  5. Capture B-Roll Footage
    B-roll is crucial for adding context and interest to your video. Capture shots of the venue, audience reactions, signage, and other event details. This footage is invaluable for editing and helps to tell a more complete story of the event.
  6. Be Mindful of Composition
    Use the rule of thirds to compose your shots attractively. Pay attention to the background and make sure it’s not distracting. When filming speakers, frame them in a way that the audience can connect with their expressions and body language.
  7. Utilize Movement Wisely
    While static shots are essential, incorporating movement can add dynamism to your video. Use tools like gimbals or sliders for smooth panning and tracking shots. However, use movement purposefully and avoid unnecessary camera shakes.
  8. Lighting Considerations
    Although you might have limited control over lighting at an event, try to make the best of it. If possible, position speakers where the lighting is most flattering. In situations with poor lighting, consider using portable LED panels to enhance your subject.
  9. Interview Attendees and Speakers
    Short interviews with attendees, speakers, or organizers can add great value to your conference video. These interviews provide personal insights and can break up the monotony of continuous event footage.
  10. Post-Production Matters
    In post-production, pay careful attention to editing, color correction, and sound mixing. Use cuts and transitions wisely to maintain the flow of the video. Adding subtitles or captions can make your video more accessible and enhance the viewer’s understanding, especially during speeches or presentations.

Shooting a conference or event requires a mix of technical skills, creativity, and planning. By following these tips, you can significantly improve the quality of your event videos, making them more engaging and effective. Remember, the goal is to capture the event and tell its story in a compelling and visually appealing way.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

Yep. We use cookies. Just like everybody else. Cool? Click OK.