Five steps for producing engaging event-recap videos

Just as a basketball game or tennis match gets a highlight package, so too might a corporate or brand event need a recap video. This brief clip is a memento for attendees, while also acting as a “sorry we missed you” message to non-participants—who may be encouraged to join the next gathering. Here are five steps for capturing the essence of an event and recapping it in a memorable way.

Know the story

Everything happens for a reason. So recapping an event necessarily means capturing the who, what, when, where, and—most importantly—why of the occasion. Was it a party to mark a company milestone or celebrate top employees? A showcase of an amazing new product? A gathering to give back to the community?

Once you’ve honed in on the event’s purpose, it’s generally best to tell its story chronologically, as things unfolded on the day. Use evocative expository and narrative visuals, interspersed with brief interviews of organizers and participants. Text overlays (used sparingly) can help fill any remaining gaps in the video’s “plot.”

Be prepared

The adage “Plan your shoot, shoot your plan” is as applicable to event recaps as it is to feature films. Go into the event knowing what to expect—and armed with a shot list of must-capture moments and locations, from guest arrivals to laudatory speeches. You’ll also want to have a decent idea of the b-roll footage that might be useful in underscoring the event’s narrative.

Trim the fat

Then, be ruthless in the editing suite. Few recap videos are more than a minute or so long. Brevity will make your video more digestible and shareable—both for participants and non-attendees. It should simply offer a taste of the event’s (and by extension, the company’s) good vibes.

Get good audio

Unless you’re filming a gathering of Charlie Chaplin impersonators, it’s essential that you capture quality audio to accompany your visuals. So the standard rules for sound recording apply: Equip yourself with a reliable shotgun mic for overall sound, a lavalier mic for interviews, and potentially a portable digital recorder to capture backup audio.

As mentioned above, consider adding explanatory text to complement any interviews and further convey the event’s “message.” Avoid voiceover narration, however, which has become clichéd.

Capitalize on engagement

A good event recap acts as a memento to the people who attended the event. It’s also a way to get them and others excited about the next event—or, at minimum, excited about the brand. That’s why it’s important to identify a strong, brand-relevant call to action. Often this CTA is simply an invitation to share the video or memories of the event on social media, using specific hashtags. But it could also be messaging that increases anticipation and pushes registrations for future events. If the video isn’t driving further engagement with the company or brand, it isn’t doing its job.