Using Digital Content at Your Event – a guide to getting the best return on your investment

OK, so you have all your delegates ready, they’re sat down waiting to be entertained, informed and excited. Some of them might have flown half way around the world the be there. What could be worse than delivering poor, un-engaging, drab content because the client didn’t see the value in film content?

Well thought through and well produced digital content at events is on the increase for a very good reason. Visuals cut through the ‘noise’ that surrounds us in our busy lives, visuals can make messages easier to understand, visuals can grab attention, hold it and keep people talking afterwards.

Technology is changing and enabling an increasing number of providers to produce digital content for events. Whilst this has been bringing the price of digital content down (a good thing) it has also lead to some really poor examples of digital content at events (definitely a bad thing!). Whether you are opening your event with an all singing all dancing film, creating content or backdrops, speaker support, pre-event teasers or stings, there are some things you need to know. We’ve created a list of what you need to consider to make sure you get the best return on investment from the creation of your digital content. So here goes the list…share it, keep it for future reference, use it!

Content is King!! Whilst its super important that digital content itself needs to look great, catch everyone’s attention, be shot and edited well, the content still needs to be there. If you are including filmed speakers or text in the form of graphics, or however you are getting your message across you need to make sure the content is there. What message are you giving? Does your content reflect that clearly? Sometimes talking to a good supplier can help see a bigger picture that event producers might not as they are too close to the event.

Length… don’t be tempted to play an unnecessarily long piece of digital content…nothing worse than starting with a bang and grabbing everyone’s attention to then lose it again because your content is too long. We’ve all been at a wedding where the Best Man spends a little too long on the jokes. Start well, keep the middle to the point, and end well. And if you are considering filming someone talking to camera and just playing that back for the first 20 minutes please cross that off your list right now!

Know your objectives. Write them out, check them over, share them with your supplier at the start of the process, and keep referring back to them. Your digital content needs to meet those objectives just like any other part of your event. Getting creative is great, but make sure the creativity doesn’t stray outside the objectives.

Keep the quality there. The quality of your digital content is super important. Whilst it is the most engaging media,if done badly it can also be the most likely to create a negative impression that sticks in your audiences memory. A negative experience will give a negative impression of your brand or organisation. There may have been years of previous work developing a brand image but that can destroyed it in two badly executed minutes of digital content. Take your time on it, get the experts in, or at least ask advice from others.

Words vs images vs sound. One of the big bonuses of using digital content is the flexibility it gives you to be creative, to use a mix of sound, images and graphics. Whilst this is definitely a good thing BE CAREFUL how you use it. NOTHING worse than not getting the mix right. It’s all too easy to overload your audience…listening seeing and reading is not something most of us are able to do all at once. Ask the experts for their opinion.

Pick your supplier carefully. Make sure you are working with someone who is comfortable in the live events sector, used to working to time critical deadlines with last minute changes, and used to working with different and unusual resolutions. AND make sure you are on top of the technical side of things. If your digital content production and AV equipment suppliers are different, the they need to be talking. A file that is too large playing on a small laptop could well end in disaster.

Whilst all this serious stuff is the key to success, it’s also important to remember to have a bit of fun with it…audiences love a bit of fun and film give you the opportunity to do this. They will remember it and they talk about it afterwards. The power of the moving image is without doubt the most engaging, entertaining, inspiring media today. When done well of course.