Event video production is a curious beast: your event video needs to have a clear cinematic perspective and it needs to have a high production value, despite the inconvenient intrusions of real life. Because event videos, more than regular corporate videos, are shaped and defined by how people behave. Your ‘raw materials’ depend entirely on what happens on a specific day and date, and what people say: you don’t get any do-overs or second chances.
So, they’re particularly hard to get right and that’s why, when they’re good, event videos tend to be really good. Here are fifteen of the best event videos.
The World Economic Forum
What an emotional rollercoaster. This video uses some shocking images of current events with extraordinary sound design. The finished product is fantastic and makes really good use of visual storytelling.
Coachella Thank You
A music festival is many things to many people: an opportunity to see artists new and old; a chance to partake in guilt-free indulgences; a way for stressed-out finance workers, self-taught yoga instructors, and rich teens to cut loose and go feral for a few days.
Coachella’s 2016 Thank You Video is an example of one of the best event videos because it captures this unique, multi-dimensional appeal. It highlights the fun and revelry of attending the festival, seeing the acts, and the communal bond that only those who spend three nights a year getting trashed in a field can enjoy. There are also some fabulous drone shots, and most importantly, the video highlights the best of the festival as a way to attract visitors to attend in future. As we get older, watching this video seems way better than actually going.
IATA and Emirates Airlines Hackathon
There are a bunch of hackathons, and a bunch of hackathon videos, and this is the best one we’ve seen: it merges high production values with cinematic flair.
Now, we think hackathons are cool – they’re breeding grounds for innovation – but this is a bigger achievement than you might think. For all intents and purposes, it’s the kind of event that can look like a bunch of nerds in a room. With beautiful b-roll, slow motion, drone footage, and well-chosen interview footage (at one point, the interviewee is only seen in an extreme wide shot), the producers bring out the excitement and the invention of the event.
The choices made during production add to the high quality of the video – the lenses are beautiful – but it’s just as defined by the choices made in post-production: the soundtrack is fun, epic, and the film is edited to match its beat. This video is about much more than an event – it uses the event to promote Emirates’ core messages of supporting innovation, the customer and Dubai.
In preparation for their 2021 event, VivaTech made this lovely video ad which we think is quite original. Rather than just throwing together a montage of old event footage, they’ve created a little story using stock footage and motion graphics. OK there’s still some montage in there, but who doesn’t love a montage?
League of Legends
In less than a decade, gaming has transformed from a niche interest into a bonafide global phenomenon. Nothing captures this better than the success of multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) such as DOTA and League of Legends – where not only do thousands of players log on and do battle against each other online, but thousands more watch them do it.
The experience of watching someone else play a game might not sound like it makes for one of the best event videos – but this League of Legends video captures what makes it so interesting for so many. Shot with the aim of capturing the experience and perspective of an e-sports fan, it uses slo-mo to create a distinct mood, frequently cuts to team and fan reactions, and uses a skilfully deployed ‘Orange is the New Black’-style match cut of people’s faces.
Google Conference Producer
You gotta hand it to Google: the company has a distinctive brand style – from its multicoloured logo to its funky offices to its famous ‘Doodles’ – and it’s one that it never compromises.
In the abstract, enigmatic, music-driven animated opener to its Horizon conference, Google effectively sets the tone for the event: creating a sense of anticipation and mystery befitting one of the most well-known, yet unknowable, companies in the world.
A different entry from the others, but no less potent, Tough Mudder captures the grit, determination, toughness, and, well, mud, required to participate in this event. It’s a frantic, pacey video that captures the highs, lows, challenges, and rewards of slogging through the course. It feels, on some level, like a very well-built personal trainer yelling at you in a vaguely motivational way, and that is plainly the tone the producers were going for.
The interview style used gives the impression that footage is being digitally ‘fed’ directly from the event, and snappy, on-beat editing contributes to an impactful, adrenaline-boosting effect. Tough Mudder’s unique vibe is well-represented within shareable, bite-sized, social-media-friendly content. If you’re the sort of person who would sign up to this kind of event, in other words, this video would probably convince you to do so.
And then, after a minute and a half of tough, muddy intensity, it rounds off with an encouraging, beautifully narrated, almost-poetic call to action (CTA). It’s an example of event video production at its best.
As we all know, Apple is all about a slick brand image and this is echoed in their September Event Video released in 2018. We love the way it starts off as a first-person point of view shot walking through the Apple HQ towards the Steve Jobs Theatre. What an engaging way to open a video and make your audience feel like they’re part of the event. The best bit for us, however, is yet to come… a Hollywood-style short film set in the Apple HQ is then played on the main stage to the Mission Impossible soundtrack. We love how this introductory video is used to introduce the Apple CEO, Tim Cook, onto the stage and think this is an innovative way of making event videos more fun and exciting!
Another animated event video that made it to our top 15 is the Toyota Concept-I video that opened the CES 2017 event in Las Vegas! We love how they have managed to capture the driving experience in a very minimal way, using very basic geometric shapes. It’s an animation entirely about driving yet not showing a single visual of a car, instead, communicating it all through the motion.
Bits & Pretzels
The Bits and Pretzels 2017 event video is another video you look at and think wow – that’s somewhere we’d like to be! Everything about this video just works, the pace is spot on, the music is epic, the shots are dynamic and the general production value is very high. We especially love how the video starts off slowly and escalates as time goes on.
This animated event video is just so engaging from the start, we can see why Unilever chose to open their event with it in 2013. We love the way the narrative draws you in, how the sound effects bring the animation to life and the seamless swirling transitions between scenes. The whole theme is very epic and futuristic!
Speaking of themes, in 2018 the Semi-Permanent event in Sydney had a theme of creative tension. The opening titles to the event were designed as a representation of what they described as “the story of microorganisms from birth to death”. We love the vibrant colour palette, the swirling transitions, and intricate detail of the animation created by eleven people from different disciplines around the world. Just beautiful!
MWC Barcelona 2022
This event video does more than just promote, it provides useful information about the event logistics. Using motion graphics and voice over, the audience are guided through visitor information, much like an explainer video.
Most music festival videos are great, it’s not hard to capture weird and wonderful footage (everywhere you point the camera), but we think this one is quite special. It’s been edited with a lot of thought and some lovely touches likes black and white photography, hero shots and vintage filter effects. It’s also nice to see some behind the scenes of the bands. We’ve got our tickets for next year!
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