The Ultra-Ultimate Guide To Live Streaming Events – Part I

This guide is going to give you everything you need to know about live streaming. Whether you’re looking for basic tips on how to get started or you want more advanced training on the equipment to use for live streaming in-person or virtual events, this guide will give you the scoop on it all.

Why’d we create this guide for you?

Our primary area of expertise is event video production. In our years working on event videos, we’ve never seen event promotion flourish like it has since live streaming came on the scene. Our clients have seen massive success by leveraging live video strategies that create immersive events and engender meaningful interactions with consumers.

Still, live streaming alone won’t get you a higher ROI. If you really want to see success and differentiate yourself, the quality of your live streaming video production matters. Anyone can go live now. It’s about creating a live stream that looks and feels just as valuable as your other content.

When quality matters, you want to learn from and work with the people who know video production the best. That’s True Film Production. We’re experts in producing recorded and live videos that cut through the noise to generate views, engagement, and revenue.

We have a stake in your success. So that’s why we’re giving you our guide with everything we know about live streaming, from the equipment you need to the platforms to choose to the content you should record.

It’s time to go live.

What you’ll learn:

Part I

  1. Why live stream your events?
  2. Getting started with live stream video production
  3. What you need for a successful live stream
  4. 5 types of live streams that show massive success

Part II:

  1. 8 ways to encourage engagement on a live stream
  2. How to live stream on 6 key social channels
    YouTube
    Facebook
    Twitter
    LinkedIn
    Instagram
    Twitch
  3. Our favorite live streaming solutions and software
  4. Going live

Why live stream your events?

Live streaming is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. Consumers expect that their favorite brands will “go live” to interact with them on a more personal and intimate level. Live streaming opens the lines of communication between brands and audiences in real-time, which creates an authentic dialogue that consumers love, appreciate, and value.

What are some of the advantages of using live streaming for your branded events?

1. Qualified interaction

The people who are watching your live video want to be there. They’ve made time in their day to watch your live stream. They’re not just browsing around and come upon your video and watch it for a few minutes. This means your live viewers have a high level of commitment and brand loyalty, which means you’re more likely to continue to engage and convert them moving forward.

2. Engagement

Live content not only increases engagement levels, it raises engagement in real time. The audience is interacting with the streamer right now, through virtual chats and digital networking. This allows businesses to provide live support, encourage Q&A sessions digitally, and even provide interactive tours or experiences.

3. Differentiation

Like anything, the first adopters are ahead of the game—and usually stay the leaders of the pack. While the prerecorded video is still a large part of visual content consumption, live stream is quickly growing—without yet being overpopulated. People are watching lives on a daily basis, but not all brands have hopped on board yet. Those brands that do—like you—will be ahead of the curve and able to differentiate before live stream becomes the new norm.

4. Cost-effective

Live streaming is one of the most inexpensive forms of video production. Even if you use high-quality equipment and strategy (which you should), you still don’t have the same sorts of costs as prerecorded video. There are a lot of free or low-cost platforms for streaming, and you can create high-quality videos with minimal additional cost.

5. Time-effective

You’re already hosting the event. Throwing it on a live stream doesn’t take much more time to set up and launch. In fact, you’re getting two birds for the price of one—an awesome event and digital content. This widens your reach during the event as well as offering content for promotion post-event.

6. Wide reach

A typical event is limited to a defined number of seats and attendees. Plus, attendees have a time and cost commitment with an event, or they may not be able to attend for other reasons. When you live stream an in-person event online or use live streaming for virtual events, though, you can invite as many digital attendees as you’d like. And they won’t have to worry about travel expenses or taking time off from their lives. There is no longer a location or size constraint (except the capacity of your servers). This allows for a much wider reach, which in turn creates a more connected network.

Live streaming is a powerful and resource-effective tool to connect to a large, engaged audience who is eager to learn from and interact with your brand.

Getting started with live stream video production

Live streaming is different than pre-recorded videos, so the strategy for execution is also a little different. Rather than having time to set up a storyline, curate the content, and polish the final product, live streaming video happens in real-time and of-the-moment. But that doesn’t mean you want to throw it to the wind and just hope for the best. Live streaming video requires ample preparation and pre-production to ensure the scene is set and the storytelling is on point when you go live.

What do you need to think about when you’re creating a live stream video strategy?

  • Content strategy: What is your overall content strategy purpose? Where and how will live streaming fit in and add to the value of this strategy?
  • Goals of live stream: What do you hope to achieve with the live stream? For example, do you want to reach a wider audience, engage customers from home, instill a sense of FOMO, etc.?
  • Content: What will you live stream? Are you live streaming at in-person conferences? Are you live-streaming virtual events? Will you live stream behind-the-scenes or panel discussions, for example?
  • Consistency: When and how often will you go live? Can you create a series of live streams during your event(s)?
  • Audience: Who is your intended live stream audience? How are you going to target your prospects/customers with your live stream?
  • Conversions: How will you promote action during and after the live stream? What will the call to action be?
  • Interaction: A major goal of live streaming is real-time engagement between brands and customers. How will you enable and encourage interactions and conversations?
  • Value: What sorts of value are you going to provide to your audience with live streams? How will you differentiate your content?
  • Distribution: On what platforms will you live stream? How will you distribute your content during and after the stream? Where does your audience want to watch your live stream?

There’s a lot to think about. We’ll take you through some of the key decision factors in the rest of this guide, like distribution channels, technology solutions, and more.

The most important aspect to get started with live streaming is to understand how it fits into your current content strategy. Just like any marketing tool, you should go through your typical brainstorming and creative process to ensure your live streams align with and achieve your business goals.

Brainstorming your strategy is our very first step at True Film Production. No matter what kind of video content you’re looking for, we take the time to define what a valuable strategy will look like for your business, audience, and goals. That’s because we know getting the strategy right is the key to unlocking success with your event content. Learn about our unique video production process here.

What you need for a successful live stream

Preparation is key to ensuring your live stream goes off without a hitch (or at least as few “hitches” as possible). What do you need to prepare in advance for a high-quality live stream?

Internet connection

You can’t live stream if you don’t have a reliable internet connection to support the stream. You want at least 2x the upload speed as the bitrate at which you’ll stream.

For large-scale events where a lot of people might be in the room using the same network, you may want to stream using an Ethernet to a dedicated network. This reduces bandwidth fluctuation, so you know your stream will continue loading.

We typically recommend a minimum internet speed of 25 Mbps. For multiple cameras and larger productions, we recommend at least 50 Mbps. You also want open ports 1935, 80, and 443 to enable a flow of inbound and outbound traffic.

Cameras

The camera is the golden ticket that captures your event, so it’s critical you get the right high-quality camera for your event needs. We typically use an FS7 or c300 for live streaming most events, because it’s durable and flexible while streaming superior quality footage.

You may need multiple cameras to capture different scenes, shots, or experiences at one time. Even a presentation from a keynote speaker could benefit from multiple camera angles, so your live stream audience can see the speaker, the venue, the crowd, and the stage during the presentation.

Audio

You don’t want an awesome picture without great sound to back it up. It’s important to ensure your audio is crisp and aligned with the speakers (no lag time). There’s a lot to know when it comes to audio like mixer outputs, connection types, digital vs analog mixers, audio equalization (EQ), gain and loudness output, microphones, and more.

To make it easier for you, True Film offers different audio packages based on your needs. This includes audio packages with mixers for large and multi-camera events.

Lighting

We always start by taking a look at the venue to note the natural light sources. The sun can be the camera’s best friend—or worst foe, depending on the time of day. We’ll take a look at the scene to see how we can balance natural and manufactured light for each live stream event (noting place and time of day), so you can have the best quality stream.

Basic lighting includes a three-point light kit. This has a main light, fill light, and backlight that adds more depth and strength to the lighting. This works for interviews or contained streams, but it’s typically not enough for most large events. True Film brings in a full lighting package based on the venue’s team and location to ensure every shot is lit beautifully.

Power

Without enough power, your cameras and live stream could shut down. Large events use up more power, so you could end up with circuit failures. If the power blips for even a second, your live stream will cut off entirely. You’ll want to make sure there are different power circuits for lights, audio, encoders, cameras, and other tech to minimize power usage. You may also want a backup power source like an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in case one of the circuits shorts.

Encoder

An encoder is what allows the live feed to be viewed on the internet. You’ll likely need a strong encoder to ensure your video can make the jump from the camera to the web. Check out YouTube’s resource about encoders for more.

Switcher

A switcher helps you “switch” between multiple cameras during a live broadcast. This is important if you want to create an immersive, dynamic event that presents a grander experience to the online viewer. Check out different switchers/mixers to see the number of camera inputs and bandwidth they enable.

Crew

It’s the crew that really makes the show and stream happen. The size of your crew depends on your event and live streaming needs. For example, if you’re just live streaming an interview, you probably only need a producer and cameraman. For a panel of presenters, you’d likely need multiple camera operators, producers, production assistants, and technical directors. You’d need all that and also an audio engineer, grip, and runners for a larger conference.

Do you need a crew if you’re live streaming virtual events? Absolutely. It’s the same as an in-person event, just without the live audience. Even if you just have your presenters tuning in on their own webcams, you want at least a producer and technical director on hand for setup and to fix any technical difficulties as they arise.

Control space

It’s simple, but having enough room for your camera, crew, and equipment is a must. You don’t want people walking in front of your live stream frequently or bumping into your cameras. Work with the venue to coordinate a designated space for your live stream that will be undisturbed and house all the equipment you need.

Graphics package

Branding your live stream is just as important as branding your event. You want people to tune in and instantly know who’s hosting the live stream. To do this, we offer a graphics package that inputs your brand and other value-driven graphics right into the stream. This includes intros, lower thirds, outros, video files, Powerpoint slides/decks (especially for presentations), and other branding elements. Learn more about our graphics packages here.

Preparation

When it comes to live streaming events, you have to prepare for the worst. Preparing for everything is the key to expecting anything. You want to be aware of everything that could go wrong, so you can take steps to prevent it from happening.

You also should test everything before you go live. Test your cameras, audio, lighting, internet connection, stream quality, backup flows, switchers, and anything else you’ll be using during the live stream. Do a trial run to make sure everything looks and feels great before you actually go live. Once you’re live, there’s nothing you can do; so test and adjust ahead of time.

5 types of live streams that show massive success

There are three main reasons you’d want to live stream.

  1. You are hosting an in-person event and you want to extend your reach by offering access to certain aspects of the event from home for non-attendees.
  2. You are hosting a virtual event and want the interaction and connection that live streaming offers.
  3. You have exciting news or information to share with your audience that would feel more genuine live, as opposed to pre-recorded video.

We’re going to give you some examples of live stream topics that have done really well for clients in the past–and that we know you’ll see success with too.

1. Conferences and trade shows

If the event is in person, you can use live streams to show off different booths, product launches, and speeches. If the event is virtual, live streams from each sponsor and speaker are a great way to replicate the personal and interactive aspects of the event. We especially love pairing 3D renderings of booths with live streaming of product releases and discussions to create an immersive experience for the digital participant.

2. Panels and interviews

Whether at an event or you just want to share some information with your audience, gathering some experts in your industry is an incredible way to demonstrate your brand’s credibility, provide value to your customers, and create meaningful conversations between your business and consumer. Live streaming an interview with your CEO or a panel of researchers that designed your product or a table talk of experts is sure to grab the attention of your audience.

3. Concerts and shows

During quarantine, Andrea Bocelli put on a beautiful live stream concert on YouTube that was breathtakingly stunning. Alone in the Duomo di Milano, he put on the Music For Hope concert “for no one,” even though over 39 people were in attendance from their homes. This is a great example that, although concerts are fun live, shows can be equally as impressive, exciting, and experiential through the screen.

4. Training

If you’re hosting a training, you can live stream it to employees in multiple business locations. This allows you to maintain a level of consistency among training while also united branches from across the country or the globe. Many of our clients have seen success live streaming parts of the training, as an introduction from a CEO or an exciting announcement from a team lead, and supplementing compliance or sales training (for example) as a pre-recorded video.

5. Announcements

Everyone wants to feel the excitement of hearing or seeing something as its announced/released. Live stream your announcement so everyone-customers, employees, partners, journalists, shareholders- can see and share in the excitement together. Apple, Tesla, and other major brands live stream all their major announcements and draw huge crowds because they know people want the excitement that comes with a live announcement (more so than a print release).

Pretty much any event, big or small, can be live-streamed for optimal success. If you want to reach a wider audience, live streaming is the way to go.

Want more? Part II will be up on July 14th!

The post The Ultra-Ultimate Guide To Live Streaming Events – Part I appeared first on True Film Production.

How to Make the Shift to Virtual Internal Communication

With 90% of offices making the shift to remote work, communication is vital now more than ever. Traversing the virtual world is a new territory for most. The best way to navigate this new path and keep your team engaged and connected is through the power of video.

Even though video has proven the highest response, engagement, and retention rates of all communication forms, most companies aren’t yet using video for their corporate events. If you make the shift to video, you’ll be at the forefront of the in-house communication revolution. Your team will appreciate and value the effort you put into creating videos for internal communication and branding.

What are the benefits of using video for internal corporate communications?

Video…

  • Communicates complex information in an understandable way
  • Stirs up excitement and engagement
  • Increases response rate
  • Enhances information retention and learning
  • Consistently and quickly disseminates information at scale
  • Connects brand with employees/stakeholders in an authentic, human way
  • Facilitates a forward-thinking environment of tech and communication
  • Shares the emotion and tone behind a message
  • Encourages employees to discuss video’s information with one another

The benefits prove themselves after just one use. So how can you try this out and implement a video campaign for your internal communications?

How to use video for internal communications

There are two ways video can be incorporated into your corporate communication

  1. To record and disseminate information to your team during “remote working”, like filming a training session, or getting a message out quickly to all of your offices.
  2. To enhance an in-person or virtual event, like a training video or product explainer

Here are some instances that video can help with internal communication.

1. Message from the CEO

Now more than ever, it's important that your CEO is at the forefront of communication with employees. This is a time of uncertainty, and the team needs to hear from their leader.

CEOs are busy, so they often don’t have enough time to get face time with everyone on the team. But it’s important for employee engagement and retention for the organization to see and know their leaders on a personal level.

Utilizing video is a great way for the CEO to share announcements and connect with employees. This builds a level of trust and transparency that resonates with the team. We like to think of CEO messages as virtual events. Your executives are creating a digital experience that tells a story, manages change, and interacts with the audience.

Whether it’s a live broadcast with an announcement, a CEO spotlight, or your leaders just saying ‘hey,’ a video is a great way to create a conversation, spread information, and engender the company culture from the top down.

2. Meetings

Meetings are inherently boring, right? Not with video! Whether it’s a small team meeting, a sales department meeting, or a town hall, video is an effective tool to make meetings more enjoyable. You can add a video before the meeting starts to get people excited and to share the purpose of the meeting in a fun, stimulating way. Or you can transform the meeting into a virtual discussion, with prerecorded information paired with live streams of participants. People will be much more engaged with the material and more likely to collaborate when provoked with an on-topic video and interactive digital tools.

Also, record your meetings. If someone’s missing from the meeting or you have teams in multiple locations, you can disseminate the same information by sending them a link to the meeting virtually, or send a recap video afterwards. This is a fast and consistent way to get information out to your team.

You can also live stream the meeting to encourage collaboration across the country or across the globe. Everyone is in the loop and in on the innovative process together.

3. Board meetings

Do the same thing but for your shareholder updates and board meetings. Your board members don’t want another plain old packet of information. Use video reports to highlight what stakeholders need to know in your brand tone. The professionalism of a video shows the time and care your team puts into the shareholder meetings, which demonstrates a level of care for the business overall. Video is the best way to “wow” your shareholders to show them exactly what they’re invested in (and why).

Have board members all over the country or globe? We love using video for virtual board meetings to disseminate consistent information and include all voices in the meeting.

You may also want to record board meetings for future purposes or record keeping. Some companies even use recorded board meetings to their employees for 100% organizational transparency.

4. Training + onboarding

Make your training fun and engaging. Videos are the most successful way to showcase your values and culture to employees. If you show the culture, people are more likely to reflect their own behaviors accordingly. For example, you might show the CEO and a few employee testimonials to get the culture across, and then use product explainer videos to discuss the details of how to sell a product. Whether it’s new or experienced employees, a “culture video” can help keep people engaged with the brand and what they’re doing in their roles. This can be paired with on-job training or totally virtual.

Also, the majority of people learn better through visual and audio stimuli. Training with videos gets their attention while reinforcing the learning process, so people are more likely to remember and recall what they learned in the training. If you want the greatest return on your investment with learning and development, interactive videos and exercises are the way to go.

Like the other examples, recording your training sessions means you can disseminate training across all departments and locations to ensure consistency and engagement. Prerecord trainings for online classes, or you can also record in-person trainings and turn them into online videos to train other teams or offer online resources.

5. Recruitment videos

You can also use video before you even get employees in the door. Recruitment videos help you cut through the noise of the job search. Just like video works to attract customers, it can work wonders to attract employees too.

Recruitment videos work especially well at corporate events or college fairs to attract talent. Most of your competitors will have flyers and brochures, but your enticing video with employee testimonials and brand values can get people excited about your business. Plus, you can curate the video to demonstrate the type of employee you want to hire and the culture you want to create. So the people you attract will be those interested in the brand culture you’re looking to create.

We also like putting recruitment videos on your careers page on your website to share information with curious candidates. You may even want to create a virtual recruitment campaign, centered on prerecorded videos that intrigue potential talent.

P.S.: Testimonial videos from current employees can be your secret weapon during the recruitment process. They work like customer testimonials, but to sell the “product” of your brand!

6. Investment events

There’s a lot of competition to find investors, especially on investor days or at financing corporate events. Loop videos about your brand and products/services are one of the most effective ways to catch the right investor’s attention. An incredible, emotion-driven video will stay in their minds long after the day is over—when they’re ready to open their wallets.

We offer video boards to make your vision come to life at trade shows or investor days. Check out our vision boards services here.

7. Company culture

Fun clips from your employees can show off your culture in recruitment videos or as marketing clips (if you’re service-based).

Plus, like any event, your employees want to relive the fun times. Creating a sizzle reel of your past internal corporate events is a fun way to keep your employees engaged and happy (which also boosts retention).

A lot of organizations are also seeing success by creating a digital culture. Move your trainings and experiences online–especially if you’re moving more towards a work-from-home sort of mentality. This enables a more global and interconnected team, and your employees will love the tech advancements, quality videos, and virtual interactions.

Ready to use video for internal communications?

If you think right now is the time you can lean on video, storytelling or live streaming,True Film Production would be happy to get on a call–even if you just want to get feedback on your current virtual communications strategy.

Remember that the majority of communication is non-verbal. If you want to take charge of corporate transitions, engage your team, get people excited for updates or changes, and cultivate your company culture, the emotions and tone of your video can be the key to your internal communications strategy.

Do you want to take your engagement, retention, and company culture to the next level, both in-person and digitally?

Reach out to us for a FREE consultation about how to implement videos for your corporate events. Whether you’re live streaming an announcement, sharing information at a training event, or encouraging investors to finance your company, we can help your video visions come to life. We look forward to hearing from you to start brainstorming.

The post How to Make the Shift to Virtual Internal Communication appeared first on True Film Production.

The 2020 Guide to Using Video in Your Event Marketing Strategies

Did you know that the U.S. trade show and conference market earned roughly $16B in 2019 alone? Of course, thousands of events happen every year not just in America, but across the entire world, each needing their own event marketing strategies.

And if your role is to work on these strategies, where are you supposed to start? How do you make your event memorable and shareworthy? And how do you get people excited to come back next year?

This is where video comes in. By 2021, for example, the average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos. By that same year, 83.4% of viewers around the world will watch digital video content on their phones.

Clearly, your 2020 event marketing strategies won’t be complete — or as successful — without video content.

If you want to pack the most punch with your promotional efforts this year, this guide will show you 16 types of videos that marketers, event planners, sponsors, and exhibitors like yourselves can use to maximize the impact of your event marketing strategy.

16 Videos to Use in Your Event Marketing Strategies

1. Save the Date

It’s as obvious as it sounds: creating and distributing a “save the date” video across social media and your website will let everyone know your event is going to happen.

A useful benefit of this video type is that you don’t need to know all the details of your event to throw together a short, promotional clip for a part of your event marketing strategy.

Just getting your event name and date in front of possible future attendees will make them start to think about it and save space in their calendars. The rest of the details can be released later.

2. Event Hype/Preview

Similar to a “save the date” video, an event hype or preview clip should be an essential part of all your event marketing strategies.

What better way to get attendees excited about your event than by hyping them up with a video about how amazing it will be? You can use shots and relevant content from last year’s footage, (or go shoot new footage, if needed) and combine them into a compelling “ad” for your event.

Don’t forget to create and start using a hashtag along with the video to promote your event on social media. This hashtag should be used every time you post a clip to social platforms, so you can track impact and reach.

3. Event Explainer/FAQ Video

Events involve thousands of moving parts to function smoothly. As such, it’s a smart idea to cover some of these elements in an explainer video where you answer frequently asked questions.

For example, what topics will be covered? Who will be there? What city is the event in? What does the venue look like? What is there to do around there? What does the host have to say about what’s new this year?

This format is slightly different than a hype video, which takes the tone of an advertisement. An explainer video, however, will be more educational and informative by nature.

4. Mission Statement

When you want attendees to better understand the purpose of your event, consider creating a mission statement video. You can include the backstory of how it got started, and what impact it has on attendees, their businesses and careers, and more.

This video can become more robust if you also include interviews with the event’s founder(s), as well as stories from current or past team members, staff, and volunteers.

Sponsors and exhibitors can make their own supplementary mission statement videos to explain why they felt compelled to sponsor or exhibit at this particular event and why it matters.

5. How-To Content

Effective video marketing for events should include new twists on old ideas. So instead of a traditional “know before you go” email or information on your site, why not create short videos covering basic how-to needs attendees will have?

This provides a more dynamic, interactive experience before they even set foot on the event floor. For example, you can explain how to register, how to get to the event venue, how to get your badge, how to interact w/ other attendees respectfully, etc.

Feel free to have fun here, as this type of content is essentially your pre-flight safety video! When done creatively, people will remember it better.

6. Social Video/Teasers

While many of your event marketing strategy videos will already be posted on social media, it’s a good idea to create clips specifically meant for distribution on individual platforms.

These clips can include teasers of the upcoming event, a countdown until the first day, deadline reminders, discount and promotional code information, and more.

The key is to keep these short, make versions tailored to each platform (Instagram, for example, needs square videos), and always use the hashtag you created to promote your event along with the videos.

7. Behind-the-Scenes

Event marketing strategies should always include behind-the-scenes clips. These videos show viewers all the work that goes into setting up and running a successful event, and also provides them a sense of authenticity that real people are behind all the inner workings.

Behind-the-scenes videos can be interviews with and shots of staff and crew as they work the event, or a quick Q&A with panelists and speakers before they present on stage.

Don’t forget to also take pre- and post-event footage if you want to show the event’s full transformation; a time-lapse video covering this change would create some visually-exciting content.

8. Session/Panel Recordings

Every solid event marketing strategy includes recording the sessions and panels that occur at the event. However, it may not seem obvious, but there’s more you can do than simply capturing these moments.

The footage from these recordings can be turned into snippets for social posts, key takeaway videos, recap videos (more on this later), and even used for next year’s promotional videos.

Speakers are also usually very willing to share these clips on their own platforms to further promote the event. Essentially, it’s more free advertising for your event!

9. Live Streaming

Live streaming some or all of your event’s sessions ensures viewers around the world can tune in. Plus, giving non-attendees something to watch can help create a sense of FOMO and encourage them to attend next year.

Also, like session recordings, live streams can be turned into extra content for your event marketing strategies after your event is over. These can be available for download as full streams, or you can cut them into smaller snippets to distribute across social media platforms.

Remember, too, that if you use live streaming software that allows audience interaction, you have someone interacting with the online audience throughout the event.

10. Speaker Interviews/Introductions

Speaker interviews and introductions are incredibly versatile. While their content is straightforward, the videos can be used for multiple purposes in your event marketing strategies.

For example, you can show the video introductions before a speaker takes the stage so the audience becomes familiar with the speaker’s history and the upcoming panel topics, or the interviews can be distributed on social media during the day’s events.

If these clips are filmed before the event, you have even more opportunity to leverage the speakers’ audiences themselves. Encourage your speakers to share their interviews and introduction videos to help build even more interest in the event.

11. Customer or Attendee Testimonials

As the schedule winds down, consider heading out onto the floor and filming customers or attendees in person to round out your event video marketing. Ask them questions like what their favorite parts of the event were and would they attend again in the future.

Getting this type of feedback directly from attendees helps validate the event for future attendees who want to hear from their peers directly, and not just your event team.

Additionally, customer testimonials can result in excellent case studies to promote your event for the following year. Use them as proof the event was a success and provided takeaways for all.

12. Sponsor & Exhibitor Highlights

Events would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors, or without the valuable presence of exhibitors. As such, make sure to highlight their involvement in the event via dedicated video content.

For example, you can show exhibitors setting up their booths and products. as you ask them about what they hope to get out of the event. You can also interview sponsors as to why they were interested in supporting the event.

All of this content can be shared pre-show by all parties involved across social media, on websites, or even via email to supplement your event marketing strategies leading up to the first day.

13. User-Generated Content

Not all video marketing for events needs to be made by you. In fact, it can be just as important to have a user-generated content (UGC) strategy in place as it is your own.

Start by assigning a member of your team the task to watch the hashtag you created on social media. If an attendee posts a great video online using the hashtag, have your team reshare it to your channels.

UGC is invaluable to video marketing for events because it creates a free, organic method of marketing and promotion. Don’t miss out!

14. Thank You/Closing Video

This video is exactly as it sounds: a short clip thanking everyone for attending and for their support.

Its message can be prepared in advance for display on screens on the last day of the event. It can also be shared with attendees via email or social media as soon as possible after the event to keep the buzz going.

Your event’s founder or showrunner provide a personal thank-you to attendees, and sponsors and exhibitors are another good resource to add their own thanks, as well.

15. Highlight or Recap Video

Thank-you videos should be complemented with a compelling highlight or recap video so attendees remember the great time they had at your event (and make them eager to come back next year).

These highlights should include upbeat or exciting music placed over footage from the course of the event. Snippets that include crowds laughing, clapping, or providing a standing ovation are particularly impactful and create positive emotions in the viewer.

The overall goal of the recap video is to amp up attendees for next year, much like a movie trailer does for upcoming films. Event marketing strategies aren’t complete without one.

16. Survey Answer Videos

Of all the videos in your event marketing strategies, this type is probably the most unique, but could also be one of the most important depending on how visually-inclined your audience is.

If you send out a post-show survey that asks attendees if they had any feedback, questions, or concerns about their experience, why not answer them in video format to show you’re actually listening to their requests?

These clips can then be emailed to attendees as a survey follow-up, or hosted on the FAQ section of your site until they need to be updated or reimagined for the following year.

Conclusion

Clearly, video content is a key component to successful event marketing strategies around the world. It’s one of the best ways to ensure you cut through the noise of thousands of other events, and to get viewers excited to attend — and then come back again next year!

With the right plan in place, you can include many if not all of these types of video in your event marketing. Plus, the beauty of many of these videos is that they can be used by all those interested in promoting the event, not just marketers.

This means exhibitors, sponsors, and other participants also have a chance to promote the event, relieving showrunners and event marketers of some of the pressure to bring in attendees and revenue.

So now the next question is this: what type of video will you create first?

Let True Film Production help you get started by setting up a free consultation!

The post The 2020 Guide to Using Video in Your Event Marketing Strategies appeared first on True Film Production.

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)

Animations

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.

Recordings

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:

Zoom

Canva

Webex

GoToMeeting

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.

5. RIPO

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.

7. Bluehost.com

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.

The Ultimate Guide To Transitioning to Virtual Events With The New Norm of Digitalization

How do you transition your in-person event into a virtual event?

The economic situation is in the center of a drastic change right now. In the midst of coronavirus (COVID-19) chaos, events are forced to cancel or be indefinitely postponed. The massive wave of event cancellations is hitting businesses hard, especially those that rely primarily on events to generate revenue.

And it’s not going to stop with coronavirus. Everyone is getting the chance to attend remote events and work from home, and this new digitization is going to have a major impact on our collective psyche. It’s going to become the new normal, at least in part. Virtual experiences are going to become much more widespread and commonplace from this point forward.

So NOW is the time to act. Your business can greatly benefit from leveraging the spur of this digital revolution to your advantage by being one of the first onboard to do it, and do it well.

If you’re in the position of having to cancel an event, you’ve probably run the numbers and gawked at the extensive hit you could take. If you have an event in the next year, you’re probably feeling uncertain and anxious about whether or not to go forward with it. Even if your business doesn’t have to cancel an upcoming event due to coronavirus, you’re probably wondering what kind of impact this will have on corporate events moving forward.

But you don’t need to scrap your plans entirely; just move the event online.

The big giants are moving towards digital events. Microsoft’s Build developer conference in May has moved from Seattle to digital. This announcement followed Google’s complete cancellation of their May I/O conference and the digitalization of their Cloud Next event. There has been an explosion of growth in the digital event realm, with startups like Hopin suddenly reaching new levels of capacity. Some sports events, like the UFC, are even going crowd-less. Even after the coronavirus (COVID-19) social distancing has passed, it’s highly probable that more and more events will move to the online sphere.

Digital events are quickly becoming the new norm. So how do you prepare your business to get ahead of the pack with virtual events?

We’ve created this guide to push your business and events forward in the right direction. You’ll learn how to transition to a virtual event and create an incredible digital experience. Whether you’re holding internal meetings to keep employees updated or hosting a conference for customers and sponsors, we’ll help you figure out how to use the digital world to connect to your audience (and potentially show even more success than an in-person event).

Virtual Events

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL EVENT?

Virtual events are events that happen online as opposed to a physical location. They can be hosted “live” with ongoing webinars and webcasts or prerecorded with video from speakers and panelists. Or, it can be a mixture of the two, with some pre-recorded content meshed with live Q&A and interactions. There may also be written content and communication components as well.

Virtual events are more than just an online video or two. An effective virtual event will create a unique and exciting experience for its digital audience. This means it provides a lot of different types of content, with a number of ways for participants to connect and communicate. Live presentations and webcasts can be pre recorded, with a live Q&A with panelists at the end. Live streams can create huge “reveals” for products or give a one-on-one intimate experience with a keynote speaker. Online chats (text, voice, or video) can allow for networking to find like-minded individuals. Forums and communities can converse about the topics as they’re going on and after the event has finished.

There are endless opportunities to create valuable, high-impact activities in the virtual sphere.

Virtual events are just high-quality events that take place in the digital world.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL EVENTS?

Let’s first address social distancing and quarantines, which is where the surge of virtual events is coming from right now.

With the mandatory social distancing and event cancellations due to coronavirus (COVID-19), more and more companies have decided to move all business operations to the digital world. This includes virtual conferences, company-wide gatherings, presentations, sales pitches, and more. Business can’t just stop, and virtual platforms are helping to maintain productivity while still promoting safety and public health.

Although this won’t last forever, having more virtual options available to us can help keep our economy stable in future crises or disasters. We hope for the best and plan for the rest, and virtual events are the best way to ensure businesses can continue running, people can stay employed, and the economy can continue to flourish—even in times of uncertainty.

Aside from this, though, there are a plethora of other benefits for utilizing virtual events. Even if the virus were completely eradicated tomorrow, a lot of companies would still hold virtual events instead. Digitalization is the future—but why?

  • Virtual events are less expensive to put on and easier to coordinate. You don’t have to pay for a conference center, staffing, set-up, etc. This is especially beneficial for small or new companies looking to get involved in the event world with lower risk and cost to entry.
  • Virtual events also save money for attendees, who don’t have to travel in order to attend. This means they’ll be willing to pay a little premium if they know they’re going to get a memorable, unique experience with your virtual events.
  • Cutting down on travel cost and time also means there’s a lower barrier to entry for attendees. You can get a lot more people to login from home than you can to make it to an in-person event.
  • Your reach is also a lot wider because you’re not limited by physical capacity or number of seats. You could theoretically sell as many tickets as your virtual platform can handle. You could also record the event and hold it again next week, so you can double the number of seats (and so on).
  • You can host an event at any time. Whether there’s a pandemic going on or you just want to host more frequent interactions with your audience, you can create a much faster virtual event launch than you can if you need a physical space.
  • You’re not held to the regulations of a hotel, conference center, or venue. You make the rules. This means virtual events leave a lot of room for innovation and creativity, and they’re a great way to “wow” your audience with a unique experience.
  • You can personalize content—and the entire event—to the attendee based on their interests. Sharing highly relevant and customized information throughout the event tailors their experience, creating an unprecedented level of participant engagement and satisfaction.
  • You can have greater access to keynote speakers. With virtual events, your speakers don’t need to fly in or take a lot of time out of their schedule. This can give you access to a global network of potential speakers and guests, whenever and however it works for their schedule.
  • You can use and reuse the content from virtual events. Record the live webcasts, open up a fresh chat, and you can host the event again—and sell more tickets. You can also share that content for promotional purposes post-event to sell tickets to the next one.
  • You can track and analyze your event’s metrics with ease. You can track behavior during each activity, conduct polls, and capture detailed information that makes it easy to continuously improve your events.
  • Plus, people like the comfort and accessibility of their homes. Parents want to spend more time with their kids, and business owners don’t want to leave for a whole week. Virtual events allow people to attend and be interactive, without interfering with their personal or professional lives in any way.

The benefits of virtual events go on and on. It all boils down to the fact that virtual events save resources while providing a unique, exciting experience that attendees will adore.

TYPES OF VIRTUAL EVENTS TO CONSIDER

What are some events you can move online? (Spoiler alert: You can move any event to the digital sphere!)

Right now there are three primary types of events: in-person, online/virtual, and hybrid events. Hybrid events are those that are both held in-person at a physical location as well as streamed online with virtual platforms.

Here are just a few virtual events possibilities that you can leverage for your business:

  • Webcasts (live audio and visual)
  • Slidecasts (presentation in sync with live audio/visual)
  • Webinars (audio and visual file over internet, either live or prerecorded)
  • Live streaming in-person events
  • Hosting online presentations, panelists, and Q&A periods
  • On-demand content (prerecorded and pre-created media shared at any time with users)
  • Virtual trade shows (sponsors and exhibitors broadcast with multimedia files)
  • Virtual expos (exposition hall and booths that you visit using arrow keys on keyboard; and click on booth to chat with the exhibitor)
  • Online job fairs (like a virtual exposition but used for employers and employees to network)
  • Virtual meetings and conferences (live presentations or even host in a virtual conference center)
  • Virtual summits (trade shows, expos, presentations, meetings, etc. all come together at once for the ultimate summit)

POPULAR EXAMPLES OF VIRTUAL EVENTS

Virtual events aren’t novel along with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A lot of cutting edge companies have been hosting digital conferences, shows, and events.

Check out some interesting examples of virtual events that have been showing success to get some ideas and inspiration.

HR Virtual Summit

Hosted by BambooHR, this HR Virtual Summit is the world’s largest virtual HR conference with over 3,000 attendees—and they know how to do it well. This year, the summit is being held on April 19-25, 2020, and they’re one of the only companies that haven’t had to worry at all about coronavirus impeding their ability for the show to go on. We especially love the saying they have on their homepage: “No need for special shoes. With a sturdy internet connection, and the opportunity to learn from the privacy of your own office, you can dance like no one’s watching.”

They offer free sessions from over 60 industry experts, authors, thought leaders, and visionaries. Everything is totally online, but the Bamboo team hosts it from their office in-person. On the platform, attendees can customize their experience, change speakers, switch views, and participate in real-time conversations.

If you’re looking for an awesome example of how to host a summit online, we definitely recommend being a part of this informative and unique (and free) virtual event.

Content Marketing Summit

Although the Content Marketing Summit is also a summit, this one isn’t held live—but it does still have a specific time and date for each event. Neil Patel has recorded over 200 hours of marketing content, including keynote speeches and interactive community opportunities. He also includes a step-by-step guide and other downloadable resources to pair the video/audio with written content for a comprehensive experience.

Since everything is online, users can check the schedule and see when they want to tune in, based on what they want to learn. Neil Patel has worked diligently to make his summit as customized and valuable for his attendees as possible. They’re even looking into ways to make the event more immersive.

Webinar World by ON24

Webinar World is a hybrid event, hosting both in-person and virtual attendees. They gather “webinerds” about marketing best practices, especially webinar marketing. They offer a registration for webinar marketing certifications as well as a full-day conference were marketing experts give presentations and engage with participants. They also stream it online, so online attendees can watch if they can’t make it to the in-person events.

What we especially like about Webinar World is that they put all of the speeches and events “on demand” online to watch after the event for marketing purposes. You can browse their keynote sessions, Master ON24, Build programs, and more from years past. This lets attendees rewatch their favorite sessions while getting others interested in the event (and buying tickets to the next one to get in on the action).

South by Southwest (SXSW)

South by Southwest is a popular film festival that also celebrates tech, business, music, comedy, and entertainment. Every year, they host a live event in Austin, Texas. They also stream keynote speeches and other events online for individuals who can’t attend in person. It’s an awesome example of a hybrid event that uses the digital sphere to widen their reach.

However, SXSW was cancelled this year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. They didn’t have the capacity or bandwidth to move the event entirely online. They also didn’t have a lot of time between the quarantine and their planned event on March 13, 2020. They had previously been doing online streaming, but it’s still not enough. We anticipate that SXSW will start to find even more ways to incorporate live streaming and virtual platforms into their event strategy.

SXSW could have really benefited from having an event partner like True Film Production who could help make a speedy transition from hybrid to entirely online.

Masterclass

Although not technically an “event,” we love the professional platform that Masterclass uses to teach their students virtually. You feel like you’re right in the room with some of the greatest experts in their fields, from Martin Scorsese to Gordon Ramsay to Samuel Jackson. They offer video lessons, downloadable workbooks, and community discussion for each class. Once the class is uploaded, they can continuously sell tickets or subscriptions to their classes for ongoing up-tracking revenue.

Harvard Studio Live is a similar online classroom that does a great job connecting participants with industry-leading experts for in-depth discussions. We like that Harvard limits each “class” size to 60 participants, so there’s a level of exclusivity and urgency to sign up for the discussions you want.

Your events don’t always have to be “live” or chock full of activities. Sometimes a prerecorded video with interactive options can provide the best possible experience for your audience’s goals and wants.

HOW TO HOST A VIRTUAL EVENT

Hosting a virtual event isn’t as easy as it seems, but it also doesn’t have to be hard. Let’s make it even easier for you. We’ll bring you through everything you need to know and think about to transition your event online.

What do you need to host a virtual event?

1. Logistics and planning

The most important thing you need is a plan. Developing a virtual event marketing strategy that aligns with your business and event goals is key to seeing success. The only events that fail are those that the organizers didn’t fully understand the objectives of hosting their event.

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is the purpose of your event?
  • What assets do you currently have?
  • What assets can be repurposed from the cancelled event?
  • Which resources do you need to make the online event happen?

Events work best when they are experiences. You need to build a community around your event. Right now, everyone’s stuck at home and going a little stir crazy. So now is the perfect time to optimize on their desire for more. How can you offer an event that gets them excited and amped up about your brand?

Check out this in-depth logistics and planning checklist we’ve put together for you to ensure you’re on the way to a smooth transition for your virtual events.

  1. Decide if you’ll be a hybrid event or entirely online. You’ll have different needs if you’ll be live streaming in-person events or teleconferencing long distance keynote speakers, so choosing your event format has to be the first decision you make.
  2. Select the multimedia format(s) that best convey your message and activities. Does a live webcast with your panelists work best for the Q&A, or do you want a community tab where people can chat and post their questions (or both)? Will you use pre-recorded video and audio or teleconference with speakers? Will you offer 3D renderings of a mock trade show that allow people to navigate through and talk to sponsors one-on-one? If you’re not sure what kinds of activities or technologies are best for your event, consult with an event marketing team like True Film Production to find out what’s possible.
  3. Select the technology and tools that enable the professional use of your chosen multimedia formats. What are the right platforms for your subjects, objectives, and audience? How will you monitor and track audience metrics? What will be most accessible to participants? Visualize each step, and find the right technology platform that can get the job done.
  4. Consider live streaming. There are a lot of options out there, from webinars to social media streaming, so it’s important to figure out what sort of live streaming platform will work best for your content and audience.
  5. Create a clear, compelling story that brings your event together from start to finish. Remember that your number one goal is to create a unique, memorable experience for your digital attendees. That means noteworthy speakers and activities as well as high quality videos, animation, and graphics in your presentations. You want them tuned in from start to finish—and begging for a ticket to your next event.
  6. Digitize your agenda and schedule of activities. An online program reduces waste and can be updated regularly as things change. In person, use a QR code people can scan with their phone cameras; online, have a tab they can refresh for the latest schedule.
  7. If relevant, gather your team of experts from around the globe for a pre-event meeting and planning session. Give all presenters specific instructions about the software and how to use it to interact with attendees.
  8. Get all partners and sponsors on board early. Notify and train exhibitors about materials they’ll need to participate in your online event.
  9. Determine how you’ll handle audience interaction. For example, if you have a Q&A with panelists, will online attendees be able to send their question in a chat box or will they have to email them in ahead of time?
  10. Coordinate the crews and participating parties in every city. Everyone should be on the same page and ready for action the moment your event starts.
  11. Test all of the setup and software at least a day before the event. You are going live, and you don’t want to have a hiccup like with Joe Biden asking if the cameras were rolling. Get everything prepped so you don’t have to worry. (Your production team should be able to help you with this.)
  12. Get a team of web streaming and IT professionals on hand You’ll need several technicians available to ensure nothing goes down during the event.
  13. Record streamed events so you can post and reuse later. Make sure you get permission from the presenters. This will be the best promotional marketing you can use for your brand and future events.
  14. Share, share, share. Get hashtags going about your event and encourage presenters and attendees to discuss on social media and forums. Virtual events need strong marketing too. You should be promoting before, during, and after the event. Use social media, email marketing, websites, landing pages, and anything you can to share the news about your event.

And that’s just an overview! That doesn’t even include all the details and nitty gritty of it.

We know there’s a lot to navigate, figure out, and execute. That’s why a lot of companies make the smart decision not to do it all alone. The best thing you can do for your brand and your event is to hire an expert that knows exactly what every step of the production process looks like, from creative strategizing and storytelling to tech troubleshooting to interacting with audience members and beyond.

Virtual Event

2. Time

For businesses looking to go digital for events due to coronavirus (COVID-19), swift execution is absolutely critical. Even if you’re not on a time crunch, though, time can either be your enemy or your greatest asset when it comes to putting on your virtual event. Opportunity is everything, and moving into position right now is the best way to recover from any cancellations and to prep for what’s coming next.

It doesn’t matter how smart or creative or talented you are. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to creating an incredible, experiential event, it’s going to end up falling flat. It’s important to have a strong plan, but it’s even more important to execute that plan quickly, especially right now.

If you don’t have the time required to dedicate to your event, find a partner who can do it for you. At True Film Production, we pride ourselves in working fast and making things happen.

3. Creative strategy

Too often, brands neglect to define their creative—which is why their events typically don’t go as well as they should or could.

You want to consider how you’ll make the online content interesting, exciting, educational, and branded (in your style, tone, and voice). With an in-person event, you can lean back a little more on the natural “hype” of the environment. But you’re facing the obstacle of creating an exciting environment with virtual events, so this requires extra attention.

This includes everything from how you can transform regular old PowerPoint presentations into powerful motion design and graphics, and how you can utilize video to tell a story that drives home the message of your event.

That’s our main differentiator at True Film Production. We brainstorm the creative first and foremost, and then we infuse that creative strategy into every aspect of the event process. From video scripting to content production to technology usage, our primary goal is to ensure every part of the process is unified in alignment with your brand and event goals. Don’t settle for average. Create an experience that your attendees will talk about for years, your brand will be proud of, and your revenue numbers will love.

4. Video production support

There’s a lot that goes into putting together a quality production. Cameras, lighting, audio, equipment, graphics, technology platforms, live streaming platforms, integrations, landing pages, talent scouting and organizing… The list is long when it comes to putting it all together. Virtual events take just as much planning as a regular event to ensure it’s an unbelievable, unforgettable experience that goes off without a hitch.

And the most important part of the event—the part that creates the “awesomeness” of the experience—is the content. Your content, like videos and live streams, are how you get people excited about and engaging with your event.

That means investing in production is the best thing you can do for your event.

Not only do we have the highest production quality in the game, we also pride ourselves on our extremely fast turnaround for worldwide events. Our team at True Film Production works well with tight deadlines, budgeting, long-distance production, recording video, live streaming events (in-person or remote), and repurposing content across marketing channels.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) will pass, but its effects of moving to a more digital world for business to persist. We’re thrown into a remote, online world, and this shift is exciting for the video production and event marketing industry.

Want to experience the True Film difference for yourself?

Contact us for a free consultation and quote to transition your conference or show into a virtual event that will show even greater results. True Film Production has the experience, the know-how, and the drive to take your virtual event to new heights (or launch it for the first time).

So get your free consultation now. No risk, no pressure. We know you’ll love what we come up with, and we’re ready to take your call. We look forward to hearing from you and working together to create some virtual events magic.

The post The Ultimate Guide To Transitioning to Virtual Events With The New Norm of Digitalization appeared first on True Film Production.

9 Ways to Repurpose Event Footage into Your Social Media Video Marketing Plan

In today’s fast-paced world, social media is an ever-changing landscape but one thing remains constant- a strong digital footprint helps brands and organizations build awareness, increase visibility, engage customers, establish loyalty and reach potential clients directly through their mobile device or laptop.

One of the most effective ways to increase your ROI and leverage the power of your social media video marketing plan is to repurpose event coverage and put its content to work in a series of engaging ways. In the past, brands filmed live events solely as a means to preserve them for their archives without taking into consideration the multitude of other uses the content could be used for. Not anymore! Today the savviest of marketers understand that corporate events can serve as content hubs, affording us the opportunity to plan, produce and capture material onsite to be utilized far beyond the lifespan of the event itself.

When done correctly, video can play a key role in marketing your business. According to The Search Engine Journal, YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google which confirms the stronghold that images have on people. In fact, social media platforms set their algorithms to prioritize video content over text-only posts so chances are by simply employing visuals, you’re likely to boost the amount of viewers that see your post.

Here are 9 ways you can repurpose your event footage into your social media video marketing plan today:

Highlight Reel

Create a reel of captured moments from award ceremonies to product reveals and launches to capture viewer interest and generate buzz. This could also be used as a vehicle to build excitement for a forthcoming product or service launch. A promotional tool like this is best used post-event when you have lots of great content and could be shared across all your social media platforms.

Red Carpet Moments Montage

Create a virtual Who’s Who montage featuring honorees, performers and industry executives from previous events that you can share throughout all your event stages. Post the montage on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to initiate pre-event buzz and build hype for the latest event, play a video clip onsite at your event highlighting past supporters and to showcase your sphere of influence or share it in a post-event social media recap. Don’t forget to tag those included people in the video and provide them with a shareable asset to help build your audience.

Behind the Scenes Look

People love getting a sneak peek about what goes on behind the scenes so let them get a glimpse behind the curtain from some of your past events. Generate some excitement by showing footage of uncorking champagne bottles, setting up tablescapes, band rehearsals, honorees practicing their remarks, anything that gives viewers an insider’s look at the pre-event happenings. These videos can be shared at the event from happenings earlier in the week or that day itself to give attendees a look at all the moving parts that were put into play to pull off the event they’re at. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter are all good channels to post this type of content and by tagging performers, honorees, vendors and the venue itself you can boost the likelihood of your video being shared by the parties involved and gain more views organically.

Live Feed

While a live feed is a great way to build onsite excitement and boost public interest in real time, you can also repurpose that footage post-event across your social media channels, allowing those that missed the event to feel like a part of it.

Share Attendee-Generated Event Content

Create a universal hashtag for your event and be sure to include it in all your marketing materials as well as prominently at the event itself. This is a strategic way to get your attendees to share their own content during and after the event and help build your own content library.

Be sure to search social media for your hashtag during and after your event and share user-generated content on your platforms, crediting the original poster and engaging them in conversation.

Visual Testimonial

Customer testimonials are an effective medium allowing brands the opportunity to humanize their products and services. In a world of “Show Me versus Tell Me”, videos are able to convey your message visually. Whether it’s a moving story about how your product allowed someone to feel better and spend more time with their loved ones, to sharing how your service cut hours from someone’s workload to a feature on how your product makes it way to someone’s breakfast table, video brings your messaging to life so be sure to engage people at your events by asking them on-camera questions or doing brief on-site interviews to build up your content library. You’ll need to put a strategy in place before the event to ensure you capture everything you need to make this happen onsite. These testimonials can be promoted across all your social media channels and be sure to tag the people in your videos too so they can share your work.

Email Signature Line

Put your event coverage to work for you daily by adding a hyperlink to your email signature line with the event highlight video that aligns with your organization’s mission. This is a good way to pique interest and share information with everyone you correspond with via email throughout the year. You might even consider changing the link to feature different footage during the year depending on your calendar of events. For instance, if it’s time for your annual charity run, link your signature line to highlight footage from last year’s run.

Call to Action Directive

We’ve all seen the online directives to Buy now, Register here, Learn More or Make a Difference and Donate Today. What better way to encourage people to take the next step than by showing others who already have? Whether you are using video snippets of families participating in your charity walk, black-tie clad donors waving an auction paddle in the air to support your cause or corporate changemakers making progress, let your visual content from past events drive viewers to take future action. Just to be sure you capture this action at all your events you have it for future use.

Save the Date Teaser

Whether you’re getting ready to announce an upcoming conference, non-profit gala or product launch, a great way to spark initial interest and build excitement across your social media channels is to showcase past event coverage. Posting this type of content will allow you to effectively highlight your previous work while directing viewers to your website for more details about your upcoming event. Facebook,Instagram stories and Linked In are all excellent platforms for this type of promotion.

While these are all great ways to begin extending the life of your event footage, it is by no means an exhaustive list, in fact it is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the myriad of things you can do to take your social media video marketing to the next level. Spending the time in advance of your event to determine the best ways to curate and capture onsite content to utilize for future use can save you both time and money down the line.

To get started, True Film Production would like to extend an invitation to you for a 15-minute complimentary discovery session to discuss how you can make the most of your event content and create more opportunities to utilize it as part of your brand’s social media video marketing strategy. During this interactive session, you will have the opportunity to share in detail what you’d like to achieve and learn how we can help you get the results you deserve.

To book your free session, email info@truefilmproduction.com

The post 9 Ways to Repurpose Event Footage into Your Social Media Video Marketing Plan 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?