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4 Reasons Why Your Next Event Should Be Captured On Video

May 23, 2013

“But If I Put It Online, People Won’t Come To My Live Event…”

Whether you’re organizing a tech conference, a non-profit workshop, or a marketing summit, it takes a lot of work and money. So naturally, you might be worried about how putting your event online could impact attendance. Here are 4 reasons why you have everything to gain from hiring a videographer for your next event.

There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction

packed conference room with video camera recording

In this connection economy, people fork out hundreds of dollars to attend live conferences for the chance to network with likeminded people, the hope of meeting someone they respect highly in the flesh, the feeling of laughing or gasping alongside thousands of others in the room, or even the bragging rights – being able to say “I was there!”

Your Online Content Sells Your Next Live Event

hands in the air at a crowded concert venueThink TED Conference vs. TED Talks online. Without the hundreds of TED talks available for free viewing online, it’s unlikely that TED would have spread as quickly and as far to become the international hit that it is now. Because when it’s valuable content, and easily accessible, it will be shared. Now ask yourself, how much more likely will someone be willing to fork out the money to attend the annual TED Conferences after they’ve had a free taste of what to expect?

If there’s one thing the modern day musician has learned, it’s that having a couple of their songs available online for free helps fuel the fire that spreads their art. And the real return comes from selling out concerts and merchandise to the dedicated fans who stumbled upon their music.

Reward Your Attendees

The one thing that audience members always come up to me to ask whenever I’m filming at an event is “when can I see this online?” For your attendees, having video becomes a valuable resource they can access anytime for a re-cap.

First, how great would it be if your attendees could spend that time really listening and engaging with the speaker, instead of struggling to write everything down at breakneck speed? I’ve seen many attendees faces completely light up when the organizer announces, “these talks will be recorded and made available to you after”.

Second, how many times have you found yourself at a conference saying “oh man, session A sounds good, but I really want to attend session B too!”. Save your attendees the heartbreak of having to miss out on one session just because of scheduling. Let them know you have them covered.

Great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you want your website to show up in search results, then the content on your site needs to have valuable and relevant answers to questions that people have when they search the web. For example, if I were looking for information on how best to use social media to raise awareness about my conference, I might search Google for “how to use social media to market my event”. If you have a video of the “social media marketing” workshop that took place at your conference and put it on your site alongside a good writeup and carefully chosen search keywords, Google is more likely to recommend your page as a result for my search.

Spread Your Message

If your goal in organizing the event is to spread the word and for people to learn something new, then making your workshops, panels and sessions available for viewing online will simply extend the reach of your message. After all, why limit your impact to the capacity of the venue you’re in?

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Written by Shuling Yong
Shuling Yong is the founder of Media For Social Change, a Chicago video production and marketing company. She’s a documentary filmmaker, community engagement specialist, and a speaker at conferences. You can find her on Google+ and Twitter.

Y.O.U. – Selalah and Tiaira Scott’s Story

March 7, 2013

For over 40 years, Evanston-based non-profit Y.O.U. has been providing quality programs and services to youth. Their vision is that all young people acquire the skills, self-confidence, and opportunity to participate fully, freely, and responsibly in the life of the community.

The Scott Family shares their story of how Y.O.U. has impacted their lives in this video:


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About the Video
Producer, Director, Editor: Shuling Yong
Cinematographer: Jeff Perlman
Production Assistant, Additional Sound: Andrea Blake

 

Creative Fundraising and Audience Engagement

February 27, 2013

In these tough times of shrinking budgets and attention spans, we are forced to think of creative ways to raise funds and keep our audience engaged. Here’s how I found one unique avenue, right when I least expected.

Intuitive Technology

I had my virgin flight with Virgin America Airlines recently, and while I was impressed by the sleek plane design and cheeky safety announcements, I noticed something in front of me that I’d never seen on any other airline – a touch screen monitor. On it were instructions on how to use the touch screen navigation bar to watch movies on demand, free tv, and even order food.

touch screen menu on board virgin america airplane

Hungry? All I had to do was browse through their selection of snacks and beverages (options for the health-conscious included), add them to my cart, swipe my credit card through the built-in slot, and voila! The flight attendant brings my order to me in a matter of seconds. It felt just like shopping on Amazon.

Applied To Do Good

So I thought to myself… what if this same technology could be engaged to ask for donations? On board an aircraft, you have a captive audience, most with time to spare. How about making it such that a passenger could watch my documentary for free, and then at the end, be shown an easy way he/she could take action and support the cause on the spot?

Inspired, I dug around their menus a little deeper and stumbled upon an example that came quite close! Thanks to Virgin Group founder Richard Branson‘s participation in the Stand Up 2 Cancer movement, the entire fundraising show was available for viewing on board for free. And true enough, there was a line in the show description that said that if I wanted to donate to Stand Up 2 Cancer, I could simply navigate to the online store to do so.

Almost perfect! The down side was it was a little challenging to find my way from the entertainment section to the store section, and then to the section where a few non-profit organizations were listed and people could donate to their chosen cause. Because it’s so difficult to keep an audience member engaged, we always want to minimize the number of clicks a person has to make before completing a transaction. I’m looking forward to the day when the technology enables us to make the donation on the spot right at the end of the show/movie.

That said, big kudos to Virgin for making the ability to support great organizations on board your planes available. I haven’t seen the ability to do this anywhere else… yet! And this whole experience makes me wonder… what if we could implement similar technology in other places where people tend to sit for a period of time… like a movie theatre? How would that change the way we raise money and engage audiences? What other innovative methods have you seen in your community? Share your thoughts below!

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Bringing Diversity to Documentary

February 4, 2013

Logo for Kartemquin's Diverse Voices In Docs programI’m honored to have been accepted into the 6-month “Diverse Voices in Docs” program organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. (see HuffPo article) Think of it as an incubator for emerging documentary filmmakers of color.

We’re now done with our very first session and I’ve been blown away by all the talent in the room. So much experience. So much wisdom. We wasted no time on day one. Tasked with introducing everyone to our works-in-progress within 5 minutes, I took the leap to turn an idea that’s been in my head for months, into reality. I’m excited about highlighting and exploring a much heavily praised aspect of Singapore with folks here in Chicago.

Adventures In Learning

The documentary I’m going to be working on throughout the course of the program and beyond will shine a spotlight on innovation in the classroom, before teens enter university. Areas of interest include classrooms that incorporate social entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, or global citizenship.

Driving Force

The interest in these new curriculums and teaching methods really stem from my experience of growing up in a very “exam-driven” educational system, where school was more about learning to get the good grades than it was about learning… actually learning. I remember feeling like a fish out of water when I first stepped into the classrooms at Northwestern University. “You mean you actually wanna hear my opinion?” And also in constant awe of the number of fellow students around me who truly believed they could change the world.

Research Research Research

I’d like to follow stories both in Singapore and in Chicago. If the above resonates with you, I’d love to chat. In this initial research stage, I’m seeking people who’ve done academic studies on the education systems in Singapore and the US, and those who are directly involved in either education system, whether as a teacher, an administrator, or even as a student with an opinion to share.
 
At this point, I’m still searching for the right points to cover, characters to follow, and stories to tell. Know someone who fits the bill? Send him/her my way.
Journey With Me
Curious and wanna come along for the ride? Sign up to receive progress updates via my newsletter. :)
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