The data is mounting that video content is popular, compelling, and highly motivational. It makes sense then that companies hosting corporate events would turn to video to deliver important messaging and enhance the attendee experience. But the process for delivering video across multiple devices can be challenging. Technical meeting and event production expert Brandt Krueger has some advice on best practices for deploying video at a corporate event.
Matching the digital files with the device type
The firm responsible for creating or capturing the video content has to think about where and how the video will be viewed. Different file formats, video resolutions, and file sizes will be variously required for each of the device types, such as wall monitors, projectors, smartphones, and tablets for example. The device providers can be very helpful in recommending the optimal types of files and formats for each device type, but event planners should weigh in with their content strategy early in the process.
Krueger offers some advice about file formats, resolutions, and sizes:
- Create or capture video in the most compatible and high-resolution format possible. The most compatible file format for video is H.264. The resolution of the video should be at least 1080 pixels. High-resolution video can be modified into lower-resolution video, but lower-resolution video cannot be modified into higher-resolution video, Krueger explains.
- Use video editing software to create files that are lower in resolution (and size) as the viewing devices require. For instance, video files that will be viewed on a smartphone or tablet should be in the range of 244 to 360 pixels in resolution. Content that will be projected or displayed on a video wall should be in the 720 to 1080 pixels range.
- When a robust wireless Internet connection is available and the hardware is Internet enabled, consider uploading the videos to YouTube (rather than using software to create different file sizes). “It automatically makes multiple copies in different resolutions and sizes in the background. It detects the device that it will be viewed on and offers the correct file resolution for that device,” Krueger says.
Designing content for the viewing canvas
One of the biggest mistakes that video content planners make, Krueger says, is “not being aware of the canvases and creating the best content for them.” For example, “It’s a waste of money to place a giant panoramic screen on the stage, but only use it for a single background image that doesn’t move,” he explains. Rather, he adds, “look at the displays and kiosks and screens—where they’re placed and how they’re used—and put the best messaging that will have the most impact on them.”
Considering the attendee experience
Creating content that adheres to a specific messaging or branding strategy is only one challenge that corporate event planners face. Delivering it a palatable way that enhances the user experience is equally challenging. “No matter how useful video content is, if it’s not deployed with the user in mind, why do it?” Krueger asks. Placing a twenty-minute video (on the history of anything) on a video wall in a high-traffic area may not be viewed very much. But a very short clip that provides useful, timely information (a short preview of an upcoming keynote presentation) in the same location will probably be viewed more often.
Measuring the value of video content
While testing video content before the conference rollout (when possible) is a good best practice, Krueger has some advice on how to measure whether the content hits the mark during the conference:
- Review the number and frequency of video views and downloads on devices like smartphones and tablets and look for drop off points. “When viewers stop watching video at a certain point, it could mean the video is too long or boring,” Krueger suggests.
- Make some observations about whether the video content on display screens or video walls is effective by standing in the area and taking note of viewer reactions.
- Use proximity-beacon technology to learn who and how long attendees stand in front of the video display. Dwell time is an indicator of interest.
- Provide ways for video content to be shared via social media. Shares can be an indication of value.
- Build in ways to measure the impact of specific video content. If, for example, a video asks attendees to go to the bookstore and buy a certain book, measure whether the volume of book sales increased over the previous year.
Video content is an exciting new frontier for event planners. But video can be an expensive way to deliver messaging and impact attendees if it isn’t executed well. Krueger advises that event planners work with agencies and production companies to create and deploy quality video content. He recommends consulting with integrated technology service providers to match file formats and resolutions with the best equipment for the best uses. “Old technology done well is better than new technology done poorly,” he says.