Cooper of Administraitor Video has recorded thousands of talks for conferences. So on episode 9 of our podcast we asked, "What does every event organizer need to know before recording their conference talks?" He broke it down into 3 simple questions.
1. Have You Set Expectations for Your Attendees?
If you're planning on recording your talks and putting them online, clearly set those expectation with your attendees. Letting them know exactly what talks you're filming and when they'll go online could change their entire conference schedule.
Cooper: If you’re going to put a camera in a room, people will notice and say, “Oh, it’s being recorded. When will it go online?” It may cause your attendees to say, “Well, in that case I’m going to go to the workshop and talk to people in the hallway because I can watch the talk online."
2. How Quickly Will the Talks Go Online?
Decide how quickly you want talks to go online. Do you want to post them within a day or week? Or do you want to spread out your content over the year? This will help you narrow down videographers much faster.
Cooper: Both Irongeek and myself have a reputation of getting things online very fast. With many commercial vendors or somebody who’s just doing it from the kindness of their heart, usually the workflow isn’t there and you need to wait a month or two. That may end up disappointing people, even though they are getting something that they weren’t expecting in the first place.
3. Why Should Attendees Buy A Ticket If Talks Go Online Immediately?
Immediate uploads or even live streams might be exciting to event organizers, but be prepared to answer attendees' questions. Why should they pay to attend if they can just watch it at home? Offer your attendees something more than the talks. Selling them on the connections they'll make and experiences they can't get by watching at home.
Cooper: If you’re going to put the talks online the same day, people might argue what’s the value of showing up? And you need to have an answer for that.
Taylor: So step one is thinking about the strategy where that video fits. Does it give attendees more optionality so they can watch this talk later online and attend a workshop in person? Coachella for example livestreams their festival and they sell out every year. But it lets even more people who weren’t going to attend to experience that event. It’s a brand-building strategy.
Cooper: Yeah. But the people who go there don’t go there just for the things that are being filmed. They are going for the interaction with the rest of the audience.
In security conferences, the thing that people might often talk about is hall con. It’s just talking to people in the hallway. For some people, that is where the real value is.
Taylor: That’s the connections aspect. You can’t replace that. I talked to Mark Littlewood, who runs the Business of Software conference a couple episodes ago, and he purposely keeps his conference small. He cares more about keeping that small community and making those connections.
But because Business of Software sells out every year, he records the talks and uses it as marketing material throughout the year. It's a chance to share with people who couldn’t attend or are thinking about attending.