Working Smarter

Growing on the Vine

Twitter’s new six-second-video app is being used to market events and trade-show booths and to interact with attendees. But how much can you accomplish in a matter of seconds?

There are a million different moving parts to every live program. Because it can capture a few moments of the action — six seconds, to be precise — and thereby provide a quick, authentic representation of the experience, Twitter’s new video app Vine is starting to curl its tendrils around the events industry

Launched in January, Vine allows users to film short, looping clips of non-sequential video footage, with a maximum of six seconds per post. It’ s not ideal if you want to film a substantive interview with someone, or if you want to get across any message that requires more than a six-second explanation. However, meeting professionals are finding it a fun way to connect with their attendees.

“With Vine, our approach has been more lighthearted,” said Michael Solms, marketing manager at online marketing agency Go Local Interactive, which uses Vine when exhibiting at trade shows and conferences. “That’ s the viral nature of social media — you kind of have to have a little fun with it.”

Go Local first used Vine at the Copesan 2013 Conference and Pest Control Expo, held Feb. 12-14 at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, posting videos of winding candy trails leading to its booth, and of Go Local employees arm wrestling. “That was our goal, not to be sales-y,” Solms said, “but to be entertaining and make it worth stopping by our booth to have some conversation.”











Vine is less about selling a product and more about selling an experience, he said. “We posted some to our Facebook page,” Solms said, “which gave more of a look into conference life and the conference experience, and then Twitter was more like, ‘Hey, look at our booth, here’s our giveaway. Stop by!’”

Solms said the time constraint allows for more creativity. “A lot of it with Vine happens in the moment,” he said. “You’ve got to have a creative element to what you’re doing, or it’s not going to connect with people.”

Six seconds, on the other hand, can prove to be too limiting for some uses, said Liz King, founder of New York City–based Liz King Events. Vine is not her “favorite tool,” she said, not only because of its brevity but also because of its looping feature.

For interviews with people and to provide content, King prefers to use video-app Tout, launched in 2010, because it allows for sequential, non-looping, 15-second video clips. “You can get a better-quality video,” King said, “and can actually record someone saying something about your event, and put that on Twitter.”

Sarah Beauchamp

Sarah Beauchamp was formerly assistant editor of Convene.