upon a time, there was a young, stressed out corporate
events planner called Tanya. She was organising a large-scale
event for her firms biggest client.
In the midst of organising the guest list, Tanya's
boss told her that the client had requested some video
footage be edited together to open the event. It had
to be done in a hurry.
Tanya asked her boss, What do they want the video
to tell their audience?
Oh, they dont have any messages,
said her slightly panic stricken manager, they
just want to show footage that was taken years ago that
seems relevant for their new launch.
Tanya knew nothing about video production. She didnt
even have the time to find out. After quickly talking
to a few production houses, she chose one that was close
by that had quoted a cheap price.
The production house was able to quickly edit the footage
together in one day. They did what she said, but deep
down she knew she really had no idea what she wanted
or why the video was being made.
The video opener was used to kick start the event.
Tanya noticed that nobody seemed enthralled by the vision
and that some people started talking half way through.
Luckily, the client and her boss seemed happy with the
A couple of months later, Tanya was out at a networking
function. She met another corporate event planner who
told her how well video had been used at their events.
Tanya was amazed and asked what they were doing.
The most important thing we do is spend the time
working out what the video has to do, said the
vibrant woman. Then, we make sure that it ties
in to our theme and our communication objectives. If
you just edit together a collage of pretty pictures,
all youre doing is creating a meaningless video
that doesnt connect with people. People get bored
because there is no clear message.
Next time, she advised, spend the
time working out what the video needs to do, before
getting anything made. Work out the objectives with
your client and refuse to just make anything just for
the sake of it. Otherwise, all youll do is waste
There are lots of event planners and PR account managers
like Tanya who are put into this situation.
Tight deadlines, lack of clear client direction, little
knowledge of how video can be used and minimal budget
all compound to make it really difficult to create a
video that pulls people in.
The secret is skilled strategic planning. All this
requires is spending some time working out the objectives.
First of all, what is the event all about? Is it a
company celebration or an awards night? Is it a product
roll-out or a publicity event? What problem does the
video need to solve? These days, the need for return
on investment is imperative. By having some defined
goals, you will have metrics to measure the success
of your video.
Second, describe the audience. Does it include sceptical
buyers or excited employees? How likely are they to
take home your message?
And last of all, what are the main communication messages?
Do you want your audience to learn about the success
of others? Or do you need them to be sympathetic to
When you have important messages that need to cut through,
you need to get out the big guns.
The Use of Emotion
Want to get a message across that wont be forgotten?
Then, remember this formula. E+I=C. Emotion plus Information
Using the right blend of emotion and information is
a powerful way to get people to listen to what you have
to say. And want to hear more.
If you really want to captivate a large group with
a message, you have to grab them with emotion. Otherwise,
youll have a bored and noisy bunch who will turn
to the alcohol for entertainment far too early in the
For special events, create a video that has an emotional
angle to the set mood and tone. Use video to inspire,
motivate or excite.
Communicate with Stories
Story telling is a powerful way to pull people in and
listen to what you have to say. Lets face it;
we all know how relaxing it is to chill out at the movies
or in front of the television to watch stories about
There are many ways to tell your story in a corporate
environment. Show re-enactments, use historical footage
and photos, interview people and use engaging case studies.
Make use of video testimonials.
The Gift of Music
Music has a way of touching the soul like no other
type of communication. Used properly it can make people
laugh, cry and feel inspired.
Used badly and it will turn people away.
At an awards night I once attended, a motivational
video was displayed that featured greyhound racing highlights
throughout the year.
It pulled out all the tricks in the book - action shots,
over-animated titles, emotional winners and screamingly
bad 80s guitar music. The type that instantly
made you think of bad hair, leery jumpsuits and ridiculous
make-up. The result was an audience who stopped watching
and spent the rest of the night complaining about it.
The only other caution with music is that everyone
wants to use commercial tracks. This music requires
expensive licensing fees and permission from the artist.
Royalty free or production music are often the best
choices. A good producer will be able to choose the
right music for your production.
So if you are an over-worked Tanya type, who needs
to produce a video in a hurry, just remember that you
are wasting your time and money, if it has no specific
message. Spending a couple of extra hours working out
what the video needs to do will create an enjoyable
and successful event that people will remember for years
(c) Marie-Claire Ross 2005. All rights reserved.
About The Author
Marie-Claire Ross is the Director of Digicast Productions
a full-service, concept-to-completion video production
facility specialising in videos that connect with your
audience. She can be contacted on 0500 800 234 (Australia
wide) or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is at www.digicast.com.au.