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 video productions tend to be really good. Here are five of the best event videos.

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 substance abuse; 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 event video 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.

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.

Tough Mudder

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.

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