Technology

Two Video Elements to Better Engage Your Audience

Tips for better engagement from Convening Leaders' Media Studio.

Sourabh Kothari; Photo by Jacob Slaton

The use of video during an event can go one of two ways: engage the audience, or bore them. To create videos that will resonate with attendees, Sourabh Kothari, director of advocacy, brand, and content for Signifyd, believes that planners must remember their role in the industry and apply that to video creation. “We own the most powerful engagement medium — face-to-face,” he said during his Media Studio session The Beginning of the End: How Video May Be Killing Your Events. Kothari said that by implementing the feeling of face-to-face interaction within a video, attendees will feel better connected to its content. Here are two elements of video that are often forgotten, according to Kothari:

1. Characters Any video can provide insights on data regarding event’s host organization — but according to Kothari, data won’t stick in the minds of attendees without standout characters to deliver the message. “The character you need to introduce into your videos before, during, and after [your event] is not the character of your organization. No offense. But they already know who you are,” Kothari suggests. “I’m interested in a character like me. Who gets me?” Since meetings primarily highlight real-life figures instead of fictional characters, Kothari says organizations should be very selective in those they choose to feature in videos. “Your events and content are about real things. Numbers and measured things. So the people who are going to be in your videos are also real people. You can’t create characters like you do in an act. You have to pick them. Pick the people that are memorable,” he says. “Unless your executives really want to be sold to, don’t go for the guy with the big title. Go for the people that are memorable. Who in your organization is just like your audience?”

2. Narrative Despite what most of us learned in school, a narrative is not a beginning, middle, and end, says Kothari. “A narrative is a collection of stories layered together to create something that moves you,” he says. “We all expect video at a certain level of engagement and storytelling. Thanks not just to YouTube, but also to Netflix, that’s what we expect when we hit play,” Kothari says. Video, he says, should primarily function as a way to change the behavior of attendees — to prompt a call to action. That is why a video must have a strong narrative that connects with the audience — that moves them not just emotionally, but moves them to act on whatever message the organization is spreading.

Casey Gale