How do you make the most of your event videos? It's perhaps the trickiest question you have to answer when faced with a quote. We've already explored the justification for the seemingly high cost of video production, as well as working out the best way to cover our event. The next question shouldn't be "How can I make money from them?", but perhaps it should be "How can I justify my event videos?".
Monetising content online has always been difficult. We've just started to get there with music and studio produced television and film platforms, but for the independents it can be trickier than ever. With a whole wealth of free content out there how on earth can we expect anyone to watch our videos, let alone part with some money for the privilege? Event videos can be expensive so how can we justify making them?
The tried and trusted method of funding most event videos is through sponsorship. You can either include it in the overall sponsorship package of your event and spread it across all of your sponsors, or get a lone sponsor to pay for the entire video production.
The benefit of having a sponsor cover the costs of your event video is that you can provide the content for free to your audience and you can bank on the sponsor promoting your content too. They'll be keen to get the most of their investment.
Sponsor supported content works for all types of event video, whether it's a highlights package or a set of conference talks.
Sell Your Content
You charge people for tickets to attend your event, why not start charging for access to the online videos too?
Content is king and clearly people think you've got great content if you're managing to sell out your event every month. Not everyone can make the event, some people might love your content but be 3,000 miles away. You have all of your talks filmed, but you put them online for free and don't really promote them? This seems a bit counter intuitive.
If you have an audience who is willing to pay £10 a month for a ticket to your physical event, why not charge £5 a month to access your archive of filmed talks? Clearly there's a demand for your content and if you're having your event filmed anyway, so that you can make a highlights promotional video about it, why not sell the full talks online later?
There are a couple of services at the moment who will let you sell your individual videos online, or even groups of them. YouTube and Vimeo have recently announced forthcoming tools to allow creators to charge for their videos online, as part of their pro packages, and there are tools like Viddler and Sparkeo that allow you to sell video subscriptions and courses online.
Selling your filmed content, whether through a subscription method or a one off payment, works for live streamed events and fully recorded talks, but I really wouldn't advise trying to sell a highlights video. After all, that's the one designed to post-promote your event and show off to the world what you can do, it acts as a trailer for future events.
The large majority of events, in my experience, are filmed for promotional purposes, or to provide a record for people who weren't in attendance.
When creating videos for promotional purposes, it's always best to remember that the casual viewer has a short attention span. Someone's who's clicked a link on Twitter to a highlights reel of your event isn't going to want to invest more than 3 minutes of their time to marketing material, unless you can add value.
It's best to tease your viewers / potential attendees with promotional material. Instead of uploading a full copy of a half hour presentation, consider having it cut down into highlights of the best 5 minutes, so that people can get a quick understanding of what your event is about. Commission a fun and upbeat highlights package of the entire event, something that could be considered shareable. It's important to get this type of content out as quickly as possible after the event. No one wants to see a highlights video of a party that happened a week ago, a few days maximum.
As cheesy as it may sound, try and get your video production company to jam in as many vox pops, or cutaways of people networking at your event as possible. Play to the ego of your attendees, they're more likely to share the highlights video of your event if they feature in it, which helps your marketing efforts.
Video of your events also allow potential sponsors to see what they're supporting and investing in. They get to see the layout of the event, the venue, the audience and the captured atmosphere that photos and text just don't carry across. Sponsors are a lot more likely to hand over money to an event that they can experience first.
Make the most of your event video by outlining the goals you have for it right from the off. Do you want it to be an additional revenue stream? Do you want it for promotional purposes? Do you want it to help you secure sponsorship? If you consider and experiment with all of these options then you'll get the most out of your event video. Don't just stick it on YouTube and hope for the best, or don't follow up with it afterward. Event video can be an important weapon in your arsenal, exploit it to its full potential!