What To Consider When Recording Your Live Event

Nick Gold 14 November 2022

Organising a live event is a huge undertaking and investment. And when you’ve spent time and money arranging an event, it’s natural to want to make the most of it by recording it. Recordings can help you embed your message with repeat viewings, or expand the reach of your event by sharing it with non-attendees.

But there are other issues to consider when it comes to creating event recordings. It can infringe on intellectual property rights, disrupt your schedule, and even dilute the impact of your event.

So should you record your live event? Here are 4 things you must consider and discuss with your speaker and events coordinator before you hit that record button.

1.  Should you record your live event?

Recording live events is easy. Whether you use a single camera setup or hire a video production company, it’s simple to get a professional-looking video of your event — so many events companies offer it as a default option.

But should this be the case? A live event is a unique experience. While pressing record is a doddle, it’s not so easy to capture the context of the event: the buzz, the atmosphere, the audience’s attitude. So a video can swiftly dilute the power of a live performance.

Also, if you don’t have prior permission, recording and distributing a video of the session may infringe on speakers’ intellectual property rights. In some cases, this can result in criminal charges being brought against you — so make sure your speakers agree to be recorded in advance.

2.  Who can watch your recording?

If you decide to create a recording, you’ll then need to establish how you’re going to share it afterwards. You might choose to put it in the public domain, so the message can reach more people. Alternatively, you can offer it as monetised or gated content.

Unfortunately, speakers often lose out in both these scenarios. If a video of their performance is made available online, there’s less incentive for other companies to book them.

Be aware of the impact of your recording distribution. Don’t just stick it on YouTube unless you have express permission from the speaker. They may allow you to do this in exchange for an additional fee — but this should be at their discretion.

3.  Who owns the recording?

Ultimately, you need to establish who owns the recording. Is it you? The events company? Or the speaker? All parties may have a claim, so this should be decided before any video cameras are set up.

Whoever owns the recording can decide how it’s used. They may agree to licence it to you on an ongoing basis or for a finite period of time. You can then decide if it’s worth the investment.

4.  How long will the recording be available?

No two events are the same. Each performance has its own unique context and experience. And as time moves on, so does the context in which the session is being viewed. Opinions, jokes, and stories go out of date quickly. So you can’t rely on an event recording to be relevant forever.

If you want an event recording you can use in perpetuity, the best approach is to create it as an entirely separate piece of content. This enables you to make sure you get a great recording that will be relevant for as long as you need it — without impeding the live event itself.

This is also much better for your speaker. They can tailor their performance to your specific needs, and quote you a price based on this specific project, rather than tacking it onto another event.

Creating a timeless recording that captures the event experience

If you decide to record your event, or create a separate video you can share in the long-term, you need to make sure your video is professional and engaging.

Capturing the atmosphere of a live event is difficult if you’re not prepared. Here are some tips to make sure your recording portrays your event in the best possible light:

  • Hire a videographer — they can help you with lighting, camera angles, and editing to ensure your video looks professional
  • Choose a great location — hire a space that reflects the atmosphere you want to create. For example, choose a smaller venue for a more intimate atmosphere
  • Capture the audience — set up additional cameras to capture audience reactions, and help set the tone
  • Get advice from your speaker — they’ll be keen to make sure your video is exactly what you want, so don’t be afraid to consult with them if needed.

Speakers always want to ensure their clients get exactly what they want from their event — and this extends to video recordings, too. Be open and honest about your intentions with your video so they can offer you a price that’s fair to both of you, and help you get a fantastic video you can use however you need to.

Have a look at a selection of our speakers and get in touch with us to find the ideal speaker for your next event.

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