As an event planner, what do you do when your client needs filmmaking services? For the client, video services can add extra value, but, as with all things, good fortune favors the prepared. As the owner of Transcendent Enterprise, a popular video production company in New York City, I’ve worked with plenty of event planners whose experience ranged from none to pro. So, whether your client needs video services for a conference, summit, event, workshop or the like, and whether it’s their first time hiring a video service company of 500th, here’s a few key things you should know and expect in order to guarantee a successful experience.
Before you hire a production company, find out exactly what the client needs.
It sounds simple, but there might be a few questions you wouldn’t think to ask the client at first. For example, what exactly is the recording going to be used for? Oftentimes, beyond archival records, the client will want to create content to market the conference for next year, and this will likely require a highlight reel of the event. If this is the case, that should be noted in your RFP, and you should let the video production team know as soon as possible so they can prepare for the testimonial interviews and b-roll footage ahead of time.
Additionally, find out some information about the venue or event space. Audio/Visual (A/V) information and lighting are two key factors for your video production company. If the venue doesn’t have good lighting, a production company should be able to provide additional lights (at an additional cost). Most venues will have a spotlight, which should suffice. Stage lighting will often work as well, and if there is no stage lighting, be sure to let the videographer know so they can provide it for optimal video quality.
Keep your videographer in the know.
Event planners should make sure the video team has a schedule of what’s going to happen when and where. It’s a shame when the production team misses a video opportunity because they didn’t know where to be or at what time. Keep the lines of communication open and be sure to make any schedule changes known so the video team can adjust their setups accordingly. It’s helpful to have someone from the company working with the video team on the event day to help foster that communication.
Find out if there will be an A/V team.
If so, great! Make sure that the video production team is getting clear audio feed from the A/V team. Your videographer should ask: ‘How are you going to record audio to your video?’ and, in this instance, the correct answer should be: ‘Record it with an audio recorder, or have a direct line in to the camera.’
If there is no A/V team, the videographer should ask if the speakers will have lavalier microphones (lavs), or other audio equipment connected to the speakers.
If there’s a panel, make sure the audio or video professionals know how many people will be on the panel ahead of time. This way they can set up and match up all the microphones and sound equipment.
Set expectations and deadlines realistically.
For each one hour of footage, it takes two to three hours to prep it for the final production. Videographers are often capable of producing a fast turnaround if they know to expect it, but a fast turnaround often means someone will be spending the night in the office, or they’ll work back-to-back shifts, so it’s best to set the deadlines ahead of time. And, on that note:
It’s unlikely that the production team will get the editing right on the first cut. Most production companies will present the video on a platform that allows for easy editing communication (Frame IO, Whipster, Vimeo, etc.), however, those edits and revisions will take time.
Give yourself enough time to go through the videos. Depending how long the event was, it will take just as much time to review the footage.
Expect more revisions.
If there’s a Powerpoint presentation, do you want the slides in the video, or do you want the frame to be wide so that the slides are in the shot? Adding the slides afterwards will likely increase the cost as it requires more time and editing, so make sure your videographer understands how you expect the final presentation to look.
Know how much you’re paying, and what you’re paying for.
Most video production services will base their prices on several factors, but the biggest variables are likely to be recording equipment, time, and video quality. Clients who want top-quality video should opt for 4K recording. For those who want clean video without the high budget, HD is the best option, and then the most economical choice is shooting video with a DSLR.
That said, videos will also vary in price based on how many cameras, events, or services are needed for the production. Some common service offerings are Livestreaming, multiple-camera recordings, testimonial interviews, etc. Depending on the needs of the client, production companies will adjust their packages and prices accordingly. Additionally, if we’re delivering a full video service package, we need to get to the venue or event space approximately two hours prior to the start to get set up.
In most instances, it is fair for the client to pay half of the total up front, and then to provide the last payment after the final footage is approved.
Make sure to get all waivers signed and inform your audience about filming.
The video production company you work with should be able to provide waivers for filming. This will allow any images captured to be used in the film, including brand images and attendees. That said, it’s usually helpful to have a sign at the door to let people know the session is being recorded. Another helpful tip for event planners: If there are some attendees who wish not to be on film for any reason, designate a few seats that are guaranteed to be out of the video frame and label them with a sign that says ‘Sit here if you do not want to be recorded.’
Check the frame.
If possible, look at what the video team is recording. Sometimes, if seats are empty towards the front of the room, it can look like the presentation was poorly attended. If that’s the case, ask attendees to move towards the front of the room, or re-adjust the frame to focus in closer on the presenter.
Get a copy of the RAW footage.
Your video production team should be able to provide you with the RAW footage at the end of the production day. Clients are encouraged to bring a hard drive so the video team can dump the footage on-site. (We prefer a 2TB hard drive, which can be purchased for less than $100.) This is helpful for two reasons: First, you can use that footage and repurpose it as needed. And second is that you simply never know what might happen. Cameras can get stolen or damaged, so avoid the trouble and hold on to your own copy.
Here is a look at some of our recap videos:
For a recap video we always keep in mind that viewers want to get the whole picture of what the event was about especially if they were not in attendance. So highlighting the main point and capturing one-on one interviews with the primary participants all help to bring it all together.
Being the home of sports media here in New York, this conference focuses on the technology that’s driving sports into the future.Our goal with this recap was to capture the essence of the conference.
Beautycon is the world’s premiere fashion, beauty & lifestyle destination for fans, brands, and creators. We were tasked at creating a recap video the captures the spirit of their event.