Three Tips for Better Association Videos

Association video should be produced to advance mission, vision, learning, or causes.  Assuming that you have identified which of these reasons calls for video, here are three tips for better results.


  1. Plan ahead.  I see many associations, who for years have hosted the annual conference and exhibition, decide to “video” speakers and/or sessions.  Usually this decision occurs after the meeting schedule has been developed, or is well underway.  Bad idea. Tip:  If you are going to video (or audio or live-stream or “webinize” or other) make that decision as early in the planning process as possible.  Ideally such productions are part of the education architecture, designed, installed, and used all the time. So when conference planning begins, a member of the digital production team is automatically part of the conference-planning group.
  2. Select video-friendly content.  Not every speaker or session is video-friendly.  Remember that video attracts us (viewers) because there is action, preferably with audio, on screen.  The video of the keynote session (unless it’s dancing ponies) is like watching water boil.  Even with post-production editing, such videos can be deadly boring.  When a viewer (member) experiences one, maybe two, of these “talking heads in a black box “videos, your video brand is set:  boring.   Tip:  Identify content for videos that is, or can be, action oriented then produce accordingly.  Work with the speaker(s), to storyboard or script (yes, script) the session to include deliberate action sequences.  You don’t need a car chase through LA, but you do need active demonstrations, interactions between at least two individuals, or other designed activities sprinkled through the session.  Caution:  audience small group discussions do not count… impossible to mic for audio, much less capture focused video.
  3. Use an experienced videographer.  Even though anyone with a smartphone can video these days, such UGC (user generated content) is quite different from the association video product.   The experienced videographer brings expertise, perspectives, and  tools that are not part of the typical association executive skill set:  lighting, sound, angles, shots, and much more.  Tip:  Deliberately seek a videographer, either staff or contract, with experience in meeting, learning, and exhibition venues.   If you’re hiring, develop the job description and posting to highlight the video role.  If you’re contracting, identify videography requirements and request a proposal to meet those expectations.  In either case, ask for work samples.   When your association has met your “perfect videographer,” keep that relationship going.  The ongoing association–videographer team can lead to creative, purposeful videos that enliven learning, meetings, and all things digital.