How to Film A Conference; Advice From A Videographer

Are you a professional videographer that is interested in learning how to film a conference event? If adding professional conference video production services to your business is on your agenda, you must first know that it can be very stressful, if you allow it to be. With any type of meeting and event, anything can happen. When filming a conference video, it is mandatory to have good adaptation skills. With these type of events, you do not have the luxury to tell a keynote speaker after his address to do his speech over again because you have to get the camera settings right or did not get pristine audio. It is not easy to complete a masterpiece without an obstacle in-between, but you have to be prepared and be ready for everything not to go exactly how you envisioned it the night before.

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We’re a video production company in Orlando, Florida that has had the opportunity to document multiple functions held at meeting and event venues such as the Orange County Convention Center, Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Rosen Shingle Creek, and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. We’re going to offer you our professional advice on how to film a conference and produce the best quality video for your clients.

Communication Is Vital To Success

Whether you like it or not, communication determines the level of success in any job. When you communicate with your client, don’t forget that they (most likely event planner) have so many things to attend to towards the preparation of the event. They hire you because you’re the professional and know what you’re doing. For a successful conference video production, there is a lot of technical information a videographer must get right before hitting that record button on the camera. I will be listing the three most vital questions you need to ask your client. They will help you know how to film a conference.

  • What kind of video do you need? (Highlight video, full event, each speaker separated, testimonial videos)
  • How will the finished product be delivered to your audience? (YouTube? Vimeo? DVD? Blu-ray? Digital Download)
  • What content do you have to provide us? (Pictures, graphics etc…)

There will be clients that can provide you with all of the answers and there will be some that will go with your recommendations because you are the professional here with the experience. So it is always advisable that you learn as much as you can about the event. Find out who is in charge of projectors, sound, lighting, etc. For example, we have provided video production for a number of events at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, so we know the look of each conference room and ballroom and how they are setup. For any meeting and event venue that you have yet to travel to, performing a site inspection would be a good idea, so you can become more familiar with the location.

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Here are a few more tips on how to film a conference video production.

1. Make sure to contact the audio visual company (could be venue or independent company).

WHY? To introduce yourself and ask questions about their audio setup.

2. Use at least two cameras. One wide shot (WS) of the stage, with the second camera being the close-up (CU) camera angle to the right or left of speaker.

Note: This is another question to ask your client beforehand. Some might only want a WS and some might prefer a CU. We typically do both angles to give us more variety. If a highlight video is included with the package ordered, we use a 3rd and sometimes 4th camera for b-roll and additional speaker angles.

3. Make sure the stage lighting is sufficient for your video. All cameras and lighting aren’t the same, so there is not a specific setting to suggest. If you get to the venue and notice the lighting is too dark for you, definitely ask to see if it can adjusted for it to work out for your client’s video.

4. If possible and this depends on the size of the room, ask for a stage to put your camera level above the audience, so you do not have to worry about heads being in the way or people walking in front of the camera while you are capturing the event. If a stage is not available, the multiple camera angles will definitely mask people walking in your way.

5. Audio is just as important as video. A professional recording performance is vital for any event production. Always use external mic on your camera as well as a direct feed to the soundboard. If the speaker system allows an input as well, you can hook up a feed to that. If you want to be extra safe, you can also place a handy audio recorder such as the Zoom H4N on the podium. Two feeds are ideal, but three would be great. You can never have enough backup options.

6. Have the schedule handy, so you know exactly what is going on.

7. If the presentation has a PowerPoint or videos, don’t forget to get a copy of those files because filming a screen on stage does not translate well to video at all.

When you’re providing conference videography for a client, all the above-listed tips will guide you to success. Knowing what to expect and being prepared for on the fly changes and unexpected moments goes a long way with conference video production. To provide a professional service for your clients, be ready and apply these how to film a conference tips. Good luck!