We get it. You’re down to the wire trying to get as many last-minute registrations in for your event as you can. You’ve got priorities — and next year’s promotions aren’t one of them. I’m here to tell you, though, that planning video for the next campaign cycle IS a priority. And an important one.

Having a comprehensive, vetted and approved video strategy is key to setting up your next year’s video campaign for success. Without one, you’re going to end up with a ton of random bits and bites of content that will have you scrambling to piece together some sort of sensible story. This is what you don’t want to happen.

So, let’s not get caught on site with the camera rolling, an interviewee mic’d up, and no idea what to ask or do. Here's a quick guide to planning your video strategy when you don’t have time for one.

1. Think about the past cycle and decide: What was I missing to tell my event’s story?

Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t have until you don’t have it. Plan to get the messaging points you lacked during this past campaign cycle in this year’s shot list. Were you missing a key value prop message about your event? Did you forget to get a CEO’s perspective on why the show is an industry game-changer? How about a super-trendy product live in action? Get a list going.

2. Then ask yourself: What’s my strategy?

Do I need to build brand awareness for those who don't know about my show? Or is this video for loyal attendees who just need a reminder about how cool this event is? Get loyals to upgrade to a special program? Or do you need to announce that your show has been rebranded? Think long term.

3. What do I need to deliver on that strategy?

Know what you want your video to do/say ahead of time to achieve your strategic goals. This will help you craft your interview questions (and b-roll check list) ahead of time. You can even send your questions to interviewees (see #4 in this list) ahead of time. (Sensing a theme here? DO ALL THIS AHEAD OF TIME!)

4. Schedule key interviews AHEAD OF TIME.

Are there key perspectives you know you need to have? Certain exhibitors you want to grab soundbites from? Speakers who make attendees say, “WOW, I CAN’T MISS X EVENT THIS YEAR!”? What about an attendee who is celebrating their 20th consecutive year at your show? Schedule high-profile interviews well in advance. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day once on site. Interviewees will be much more willing to give you a few soundbites if they have time scheduled. If you can, provide interviewees with your questions at the time of scheduling (AHEAD OF TIME!) so they can prepare their responses. Trust me, they will appreciate it. Plus, you’ll get better footage.

5. Get diverse viewpoints.

You’re a marketer. You understand the importance of authenticity in this day in age, so be sure to get a lot of perspectives. When you are on the floor looking for individuals to interview, make sure you’re gathering bites from multiple age groups, genders, nationalities, etc. Consider this while scheduling your key interviews mentioned in #4, too!

6. Get the Right B-roll.

B-roll is essential. And so is its planning. It is also arguably just as important as getting the right sound bites. Make a shot list. What’s important to attendees? Look at the data. What are the top product interests of your audiences? Is it important to them to feel, touch and play with the stuff on the show floor? What about meeting with peers? Think about the experience your attendees want and create your shot list around that. And remember to align your B-roll shot list to support your testimonials, which can further bolster key messaging

Video is a major driver for the events industry. It literally SHOWS the attendee what they can expect to see, experience and even feel (if done properly!) at the show. And if a photo tells a thousand words, a video tells…well, a lot. So take the few hours to plan your video strategy before you are on site. Your future self will thank you for thinking and planning AHEAD OF TIME.

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