Developing an Online Event Strategy in 2020

You may have needed to cancel an event. Or looking at your first online event. While you are in quarantine you still need a plan. For you, online events might be a completely new strategy to generate leads and meaningfully engage an audience.

Whether you’re in the initial development stages for an event or just announced an event, you’re looking at dozens of different variables to successfully execute it.

Which is why we’ve put together this resource to help you along the way. In this guide, we’ll cover:

  • How to put together your event requirements
  • Different ways to keep attendees excited for your event
  • Why your content will shape whether you go live or pre-record video
  • How to set up your home for recording video
  • What you’ll need in your event tech stack

First, let’s talk about creating the initial blueprint for your event.

Concepting Your Event

Being quick and nimble is what’s separating many brands right now.

Within a few days of closing, my gym put together a virtual experience where we are all on Zoom calls. We’re still working out which is great and they provided a better response than many fitness facilities out there.

At the end of our session, they asked what else they can do. Someone replied, “can we do distanced outdoor workouts?”

I am recommending this to every business right now — talk to your customers. Find out their immediate needs. Ask them questions like:

  • Where are they going for help right now?
  • What sites are they now regularly reading?
  • What devices do they use at home?
  • What content did they last view on your site, and why?

You can also look at your analytics for device usage and see what social platforms they’re engaging on with your brand.

The 7 P’s of Marketing

Marketing is one of the biggest pillars of a successful digital event. To ensure you get the best results, consider the 7 P’s of marketing as they relate to event management.

1. Price

The same people who would have attended your in-person event expect a high-end experience. If they flew into an event, they were likely expecting to stay at a nice hotel with all sorts of dining options available at their fingertips. Plus, all the ways they could have networked throughout the event.

They may have been ready for a night out with new friends. And a pint of Häagen-Dazs out of the mini-freezer at midnight. Then continental breakfast the next morning.

So even if that conference at the Fairmont (and room service) is off the table for now, you can still create networking opportunities. Set up a private Facebook group or Slack channel where attendees can share what they need help with and introduce themselves. During your virtual event, you can also encourage one-on-one interaction through social media hashtags and other event-specific tools. (more on that later)

That said, now might not be the time for your business to make a 100% paid event. Your focus might be on building your brand and developing a stronger following. Consider if you want to incorporate free and paid tiers for your event and what each entail. Paid tiers could include exclusive VIP access to speakers, hands-on training sessions, additional post-event content, or a subscription to your product.

Once the event is over, think about the next action you want viewers to take and if there is a specific offer you want to provide. This could include:

  • Setting up an accountability group attendees can pay to join with office hours available to answer their questions
  • Offering an exclusive discount on your product or service
  • Pre-paid discount offer to a follow-up event

For many B2B brands, the sales cycle might be a little longer now so your follow-up event might also be more free content. With any paid offer though you should have a much better idea of what’s enticing to your audience after talking to customers.

2. Product

In this case, your event is the product. Your event needs to address your customer’s needs and be delivered the right way to connect with them. Consider also reviewing competitors here, is your event objectively better?

3. Place

Rather than a physical location, consider how you can make it easier for people to register and attend your online event. Can you use reminders and specific platforms so getting to your event is frictionless as possible?

4. Promotion

Whether you’re using influencers, email marketing, social media, or other methods, which avenues have you identified for driving event awareness?

5. Positioning

How do you want people to perceive your event? After attending your event, what do you want to read on surveys and social media?

6. Packaging

For a digital event, this encompasses branding, site design, and any promotional materials. Consider particularly the role you want branding to play with the event’s video content and whether you need to revise branding guidelines to cover video.

7. People

Whether it’s planning or production, people are how you can successfully accomplish your business results and the event you envision.

Don’t have the right people in place? Contact us to help you plan and execute your event.

Identifying Your Needs

Once you know what your customer wants and the KPIs you want to track, write out your needs to launch an event next week or within the month.

Take an inventory of your current assets. There may be existing print collateral, social media pieces, or other content you can potentially repurpose for the event. However, that will require finesse and production skills to translate into a virtual event.

For at least the next 30-60 days, you may not be able to shoot video outside your immediate sight since many cities are shut down beyond essential travel. So you’ll need to learn how to shoot videos from home.

There’s a lot of technical expertise involved to pull off a successful digital experience. For example, if your customers use their devices to tune into your content you’ll need to ensure text is big enough to be legible on an iPhone. Or if your team is looking to record from multiple locations and you still want the same look and feel.

Beyond ensuring the production and technical components are up to par (or better), you’ll also in the initial concept phase need to brainstorm:

  • Why are people going to attend your virtual event? How can you create content that addresses your customer’s needs?
  • Where will your event go live and how will that content be repurposed after the event?
  • What ways can you provide value prior to and during the event?
  • How can you make your event fun?
  • What do you want your audience to do after attending your event?
  • What is the voice and tone of this content?

Need help planning and producing your virtual event? Contact us now.

All that said, in some cases, a higher-end production might not be necessary. Your audience might be solely focused on the actual content. If GitHub puts on a virtual event, their audience would likely be far more focused on what they’re going to learn far more than whether a speaker has perfect lighting.

Keeping Your Event Top of Mind

If you’re switching from in-person to digital events, the biggest change you’ll notice is people may forget about your event. You need content in place so that attendees stay excited and ready to jump in when your event happens.

Calendar invites with a link to join embedded into the emails will be important here. That way, your attendees aren’t digging through their inbox for a link to join your event or potentially needing to provide their name, email address, and other details again — and more likely dropping off before completing if they see that.

Your email sequence might also include:

  • A welcome email after registering that includes an invite to a private Facebook group or Slack channel
  • Announcement emails when your event adds new speakers
  • Event reminder 24 hours before launch
  • Two more reminders an hour prior and right when the event kicks off
  • Post-event email asking for feedback and providing an exclusive offer

Incorporating pre-event video into campaigns targeting your attendees and potential registrations will also be key. Consider adding video to your speaker announcements and if there are any existing video assets you can repurpose to create awareness.

Here are a few other pre-event video examples I’m seeing right now with everyone shifting to virtual events… (click the thumbnails to view the videos in a new window)


Day-of Hype Video

Speaker Spotlight

Building Networking Into Your Digital Event

When you have hundreds or even thousands of people interested in attending an event, they still want to make meaningful connections. And feel like they aren’t just registering for something they can watch later.

Fortunately, there are a variety of tools you can use to create a greater sense of community. Event software like Hopin lets organizers connect people for one-on-one video meetings. Along with setting up private social groups and hashtags, you can use Run the World to segment your audience based on similar interests. After reviewing your RSVPs you can also host smaller events so these groups can have more direct conversations and network.

Personalizing is also key in post-event communication. Your CRM will be especially powerful during an event. Assign this task and let someone own recording this information so you can leverage it to create more personalized emails that mention:

  • Sessions they attended
  • Questions they asked during an event
  • Comments they left on social media
  • Specific feedback they provided

In some cases, personalizing your emails with custom snippets can double your response rate.

Going Live Versus Recorded Content

Your event’s content and audience will dictate the right type of video you need for your virtual event.

Here are a few different things to keep in mind as you decide whether to do live, prerecorded, or a combination of the two …

Live Video

You may be considering live video if you are providing:

  • Live Q&A after a presentation
  • Small-group access for a conference workshop
  • Panel featuring multiple experts

A lot of influencers are also turning to Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites to broadcast their live video. If you’re approved to broadcast on LinkedIn Live is the most underutilized tool you can use to go live on social media right now.

Facebook and YouTube can be where your audience already visits. If you are trying to reach the masses and your event is anonymous, both sites can take the worry out of managing event registration. With Restream, you can even stream simultaneously on other sites like Facebook and even your own website.

All that said there can be other logistical requirements that hosting your event solely on Facebook or another social site won’t support.

If you’re offering free and paid tiers for access to your event, you could stream the free version on these sites. Social sites can be used to provide a preview of your event and then funnel viewers to your site with a strong CTA at the end of your video. However, you don’t have a way to capture your leads beyond retargeting them with ads if they don’t heed your call.

This is why I wouldn’t recommend just going live on Facebook or YouTube for a digital event.

If your conference has multiple tracks such as breakout sessions for specific topics, you’d also need a way for attendees to specify their schedule — and still be able to attend other sessions if they change their mind.

While live video provides natural interactivity, it can cause issues such as the host’s connection going down or a speaker not showing up on time. If a host drops off by accident or runs into a last minute emergency, you need a plan in place.

Bottom line for planning around live video: you’ll need a pre-event plan, backup plan, and testing so that everything goes down properly.


When you’re looking to deliver an event that’s also visually powerful your pre-recorded content will take center stage. To open your online event, you may run a 60-90 second clip; something that connects with viewers emotionally and gets them excited about tuning in.

If you are streaming pre-recorded content you even still have an opportunity to provide direct engagement from speakers to your audience in other ways. Your speaker can answer questions in chat and poll the audience during their talk. As long as the audience knows the video isn’t actually live they’ll understand and engage.

Recorded content from your audience can also be a great way to get viewers involved. Ask them to send in pre-recorded videos or video questions and use those when streaming the event.

Or you can host a trivia giveaway contest. Viewers submit their answers as recordings and their submissions play throughout the event. Then trivia winners could receive a prize.

Hybrid Event

The best-case scenario for your event could incorporate both live and pre-recorded video. Pre-recorded videos, graphics and animations can bring in more value to the virtual event but you are still having the live interactions from a combination of the host, panel, or small group sessions.

For example, let’s say you’re doing a live keynote from Tony Robbins. You can show Tony’s story to excite viewers and get to know him on a deeper level. Then maybe even do a Tony trivia contest. Follow that with a high energy video to get the audience excited so that Tony comes out and nails the live stream portion. After that, the event could stream pre-recorded audience questions answered by Tony.

P.S. I am just using Tony as an example — this could obviously work for anybody and everybody in so many different ways.

Whether you choose to do live, pre-recorded video, or a combination of the two, you have additional content you can now use to continue to drive new leads to your site. After the event, these videos can be used potentially as gated lead generation pieces or outbound content to deliver more value to your leads who missed the event.

Run Through Your Event

To help prevent issues, I recommend doing a test run of different facets of your event.

Your potential attendees may be getting payment errors and you don’t even know it. Don’t assume your payment and ticketing gateways work. Some platforms offer a test credit card feature to do a mock transaction. However, you can always run an actual credit card to ensure it’s working properly and then process a refund for it.

During a practice run of your event you can also test:

  • Audio and video run in sync
  • Last-second session reminders go out properly in real-time
  • Mute, polling, Q&A, and other features specific to your session platform work

You can also test your bandwidth or have a speaker test theirs using tools like SpeedOf.Me.

A dress rehearsal of the event can also catch other issues like a speaker accidentally staring at the computer screen instead of the webcam while recording.

One more pro-tip: If an animation doesn’t load or you have any other technical issues running live on a Powerpoint presentation, have a backup PDF file ready to go and share.

Building an Event Tech Stack

For managing speakers and sponsors, you can use Clust to build an input form and complete eSignatures for agreements. For communicating with speakers, sponsors, and attendees at scale, check out Mailchimp.

Event Registration and Session Management

Some SaaS event management platforms might also be helpful if you are running a large scale event such as HeySummit and other tools for event registration and session management. Just keep in mind it won’t be a solution to 100% of your event needs.

For the actual presentation and recording of video, your stack might include:

  • Camtasia for screencasting
  • Wistia for streaming pre-recorded content
  • Zoom for pre-recorded and live streaming video

For virtual conference tools that also encourage 1:1 interaction and networking, you can also use (as mentioned) Hopin.

During the COVID-19 crisis, a number of software companies are offering free or discounted plans including:





Other Tools

Zapier can help you partially or fully automate a range of tasks including:

  • Sending a welcome email after each attendee signs up
  • Slack channel notification for everyone on your team each time someone registers
  • Uploading post-event content from Google Drive to Wistia

Consider also adding a live chat tool like Intercom to answer questions as prospective attendees browse the event website.

Ultimately your full tech stack will depend on your event needs and goals. Reach out if you need help with narrowing down to the right solutions for you.

Setting Up Your Home for Recording

Whether you’re recording in your place or need to provide guidance to your event speakers, here are a few things needed…

  • Lighting: Since everyone’s working from home you may only have natural lighting as your best option
  • Webcam: Built-in or external
  • Microphone: You can get a solid one from Maono for less than $90.
  • Camera: If you’re looking to catch multiple angles or enhance the look of your event consider an additional camera such as a DSLR
  • Hardware Encoder: Support multiple video inputs including DSLR along with professional mics; encoders can also include the ability to switch between inputs for a multi-cam shoot
  • Backdrop: Consider whether you want a minimalist background versus branding that potentially has to go out to multiple speakers depending on your ends

Extra mics, webcams, adapters, computer, and anything necessary for live events can also help you avoid a potential headache. Having a backup internet connection if possible can also help if you’re live streaming.

And just to give you an idea, here is Rob Lester, Creative Director at True Film Productions’ current in-home setup:

Get the Expertise Needed to Execute Your Virtual Event

Reach out for a free consultation and quote to help you develop a virtual event that will align with your business goals. Our team of digital producers and event planners have the experience, the know-how, and the drive to take your virtual event to the next level.

Our free consultations are no risk, no pressure. We know you’ll love what our True Film Productions team comes up with, and we’re ready to help. We look forward to hearing from you and working together to create great mojo for your brand.

The post Developing an Online Event Strategy in 2020 appeared first on True Film Production.

14 Best Examples of Corporate Videos That Share Your Brand Message

There are a lot of reasons to use corporate videos, whether you’re explaining your product to customers or training your sales staff. But all corporate videos have one thing in common…

The goal of corporate videos is to get your brand message across.

Each video you incorporate in your marketing strategy will have a distinct objective, including those used for events and trade shows. For example:

  • Demonstrating the company culture of the venue where you’re hosting an event
  • Revealing the uniqueness of the event planner who’s putting on the event
  • Showing who’s sponsoring an event and what they’re all about
  • Explaining a product or service at your trade show booth
  • Asking people at a gala or fundraiser to donate to your cause

No matter what that objective is, though, you want any video you share to tell your audience who you are and what you do. Corporate videos are the most effective way to communicate your brand, your product, and your story.

For example, you could use a video at a gala to tell the story of why your organization is in operation, who you’re helping, and where the money is going. Visualizing the mission of your organization firsthand can touch the hearts of donors attending the gala who want to know their money is getting into the right hands.

What should corporate videos look like? We’re going to bring you through 14 of our favorite examples to spark inspiration for your own videos, whether you’re creating a video for your event planning company or to help show off your brand at an upcoming show or conference.

1. Urban Farmers

They’re looking to make waves in the food industry, so Urban Farmers isn’t afraid to change it up with an unconventional video either. They poke fun at the organic food trend, while promoting their greener and healthier methods. They present you with some deep ideas to mull over, but the Western drawl and humor makes it approachable and interesting. We like the lighthearted approach they take to a pretty serious topic.

Use animation and entertainment to simplify the explanation of your brand message.

2. Dubai Association Centre (DAC)

Another animation that explains what the company does, but it’s presented in a totally different way than Urban Farmers. The DAC has a lot of dry, somewhat hard-to-understand activities that can be a challenge to explain to people not involved in the DAC. But the use of a rich, distinctive video packages their messaging in a more digestible way. The beauty of this video instantly draws you in, and the voiceover keeps the message succinct and understandable. What we especially love about this video is that it focuses on people, because that’s what the DAC is all about.

Utilize visuals to reflect the purpose or mission of your brand.

3. Watermark

This video has a similar purpose as the DAC: use animation to get the idea across. What we love about this video in particular is that the outline exactly who their audience is, what their main pain point is, and how Watermark solves that concern. Their goal isn’t to wow with a totally novel video; they’re just looking to give you the facts about why their business rocks, and this video succeeds with that.

Be concise about who you are, what you do, and who you do it for.

4. Spotify

Another animation, but this one’s without the voiceover. Instead, it focuses on the music. Now Spotify is a household name, but this video comes from 2011 when they were just starting out. It’s got a lively beat, minimalistic but charming design, and a simple message: music, like you’ve never heard it before.

With corporate videos, often it’s the sensory aspects—like the visual and the sound—that tell the story.


A break from the animation, but equally awesome visual storytelling in one of our favorite corporate videos. RIPO is a Latvian furniture designer that shows firsthand in this video what they do. The video is minimalistic in imagery and text, which is reflective of the Scandinavian design that RIPO furniture emphasizes. They also use on-screen text—like Spotify does—to tell a visual story and broaden their audience (rather than using a Latvian voiceover that might alienate some potential viewers).

Design your video storyline, aesthetics, and narration/music in alignment with your audience.

6. Dollar Shave Club

Arguably one of the most popular (and even notorious) corporate videos out there, Dollar Shave Club knows how to use tone and humor to rake in the views. Their first video that introduced them to the world has nearly 27 million views with 133K likes, because it’s just that “f***ing great.”

They’re not afraid to get raunchy and whacky to differentiate themselves as a novel sort of razor company. Imagine making razors fun? If you take a look at their other, more recent videos, you’ll see that same lighthearted tone and storytelling from the first video has defined who they are and how they do business moving forward.

Find a strong brand tone and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different.


Love at first site is one of the punniest corporate videos we’ve seen, and not without reason. They use the date pun not just for entertainment purposes but also to demonstrate their high-end customer service for their clients. They end the short video with their logo and a quick voiceover to explain what they do, wrapping up the story into a nice little package with a passive CTA. Make it entertaining, but keep it relevant to the purpose of your message.

Throw the viewer off kilter with storytelling, then bring them back to something certain like your logo or a narration.

8. Ford

For Father’s Day, Ford uses a customer testimonial to tell the story about how a dad came to the rescue for his daughter. Although it’s an animation, this story feels real with the cars honking in the background and the light music. What works so well here is that it’s not about the Ford car, and it’s not really even in Ford’s typical brand tone, but it evokes emotion specific to the event going on (Father’s Day).

Tailor your corporate videos to specific events or shows.

9. Hubspot

This video is an awesome representation of how to effectively use storytelling and tone to embody your brand image. HubSpot are known for being marketing experts, and you can see why in this video. Their vid is easy to understand, approachable, tongue-in-cheek, and engaging. Corporate videos don’t have to feel corporate.

Tell the story of your founding/founders. Oh, and have fun with it!

10. AirBnB

There’s a lot to love about this AirBnB video. What we love most is how they use the format of a customer testimonial while representing the heart of their brand: traveling the world and living a richer life. This is a great way for AirBnB to attract more hosts for their platform, but it also shows everyone—hosts, guests, and partners alike—just what AirBnB is all about: the people and the places.

The best corporate videos are those that show happy, fulfilled customers. Notice how AirBnB goes to each family’s home around the world to better demonstrate the vastness of AirBnB’s offerings. They then end by welcoming you to AirBnb, like they’re welcoming you into their home.

Show the faces of the people impacted by your brand.

11. American Express

Have you ever considered using a video at an event to recruit talent? If you’re attending a trade show, you might be looking to sell your product—but you might also be looking to interact with smart minds and talent in your industry. American Express uses this animation to introduce their brand as a tech firm (not just a financial firm) to attract a specific workforce.

Even though this video is working to flip the idea of what Amex is and does, it maintains their brand aesthetic with blue, white, and gold colors. They utilize the visuals to create a strong association between their classic brand and the new message they’re portraying.

Create and maintain your brand aesthetic, even with a new or challenging message.

12. Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins does hundreds of hours worth of events every year, so a lot of their promotional corporate videos use footage from those events. These reels allow prospects to see what the event is like firsthand and to see how many smiling faces are impacted by this event. The video uses no voiceover but lets Tony and the participants tell the story, which is a powerful way to put prospective attendees right in the action and make them excited to attend the event themselves.

Transform your event footage into promo reels.

13. Burger King

Burger King isn’t afraid to use shock value to grab their viewer’s attention before explaining the marketing campaign they’re running—giving a free whopper in exchange for “setting on fire” a competitor’s ad in the Burger King app.

This campaign is brilliant. It gets people to download the app, think about the BK brand when they see other ads, and brings people in-store. But even more than the campaign itself, we love how the ad uses visuals and music to push it further. The upbeat jingle paired with the on-text graphics tells a concise, fun story that’s hard not to love.

Use music and graphics to mirror your message.

14. Dissolve

To finish off our list, we’re going to give you one of our favorite videos… that pokes fun at what corporate videos should not be like.

Dissolve is a stock footage company that’s making fun of stock footage. It’s hilarious and entertaining, but amidst the jest, they’re actually showing off the quality and range of the clips they have available. They’re pulling the attention away from their message, while visually demonstrating their point–genius!

So let’s use the Dissolve brand video to give you some parting thoughts about how to create a brand video:

  • Have fun with it!
  • Create a brand tone.
  • Don’t be vague or cliché. Originality is the only thing that works.
  • Describe the pain point, and then show how your brand solves that pain for customers, employees, partners, or other stakeholders.
  • Use visuals, graphics, and videos to reflect and enhance your message.
  • Stay authentic to your brand in every aspect of the video.
  • Show faces. People sell. (But only people who are actually part of your audience and use your brand.)
  • Don’t just list out your brand values. Show them. Prove them with stories and testimonials.
  • End with your logo or a call to action.

Let’s create some cool corporate videos

Whether you’re selling your product, promoting an event, or attracting talent, corporate videos are the best way to reach your audience and attain your goals. The examples we gave you are all unique and novel—but the principles remain the same. When it comes to creating an awesome video for your brand or event, it comes down to telling a story and sharing your message.

That’s what we do at True Film Production. Our one and only goal is to tell the story your audience wants to hear from you. And we do it with the best design elements, specific to your needs.

That’s what makes us different from any other video company. We’re not here to just put together a stock video that gets a few likes. We’re here to create inspiring, entertaining, and evocative stories that make an impact. Like this story from our founder, Stan, that provides a more in-depth look at who we are and where we came from.

Want to start brainstorming corporate videos for your events or brand? Cool. So do we.

All you have to do is fill in this quick form to start creating magic together.

The post 14 Best Examples of Corporate Videos That Share Your Brand Message appeared first on True Film Production.

10 Not-So Secrets of an Entrepreneur

One thing I have found is that becoming a successful entrepreneur is not a matter of having a great idea. That great idea is just the beginning. It takes the right combination of certain factors to take that great idea and make it into something successful.

I have found 10, not-so secret, secrets of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Here they are.

Strong leadership abilities

An entrepreneur cannot build an empire without strong leadership skills. An entrepreneurial endeavor comes with a certain about of uncertainty and unpredictability. A strong leader can reassure his team and motivate them to keep moving forward.

Strong self-motivation

Motivation for an entrepreneur must come from within. An external motivation, like a job loss or pressure from a loved one, is not going to get a budding entrepreneur very far. A strong, internal drive to succeed and take an idea as far as possible will push that person forward even on the worst days.

Willingness to fail

Failure is a part of business, especially for entrepreneurs. It helps them learn what is not working, so they can change directions toward what is working. It builds a certain mental resiliency that makes the entrepreneur stronger and more motivated than ever.

Willingness to do the hard work necessary

Let’s be honest. Starting up a business is not a simple task. There are tons of things to do and, in most cases, very few people to do it all. The entrepreneur must be willing and able to put in the hours and hard work necessary to keep the business running and moving forward.

Dedication to see the venture through

An entrepreneur must have a stubborn sense of dedication. Getting people to buy into a new idea can be an uphill battle. Getting lenders to buy into a vision can be a long journey littered with rejection. Getting customers to make that first order can seem like an effort in futility. That is why dedication is critical for entrepreneurs.

Desire to build strong relationships

Almost all successful businesses are built on strong relationships. The entrepreneur must have the desire and ability to build those kinds of relationships with peers, employees, vendors, lenders, investors, customers, and just about everyone else.

Willingness to treat staff the right way

Treat your staff with trust, dignity and respect, and you will see results. If you treat your staff members right, they will treat your customers right. If they feel discontent and no motivation, that will reflect in how they treat your customers.

Constant sense of competitiveness

One thing that motivates most successful entrepreneurs is the desire to win any challenge presented to them. They see opening up a company as one of the biggest challenges out there. This sparks their competitive side to win at all costs.

Ability to recognize and address knowledge gaps

The inability or unwillingness to ask questions is a weakness that can cause a business to fail before it gets off the ground. Asking questions and seeking advice from subject matter experts is a cornerstone of successful entrepreneurs.

Comfortable with taking risks

Opening a business is a risk. Putting yourself out there to sell your idea to a potential investor is a risk. Signing that first customer contract is a risk. Cold calling 20 people a day is a risk. An entrepreneur who is risk-adverse is not going to get very far.

I have seen many great ideas go nowhere because the people behind them just did not have what it takes for an entrepreneur to succeed. Do you have what it takes?