Attendance Boost

Demystifying the Rise of Short-Form Video for Event Marketers

Demystifying the Rise of Short-Form Video for Event Marketers

How can event marketers leverage short-form video to maximize event registration and boost attendance?
Short-form video content has emerged as a powerful tool for brands to capture attention and drive action.

Trends in short-form video content are shaping how people interact with brands, each other, and the world around them. How can event marketers tap into this gold mine? 

By harnessing the dynamism, brevity, and visual impact of short videos, event marketers can engage, inform, and inspire potential attendees.

In this article, we’ll highlight three macro trends that lay the groundwork for short-form video success, and then we will explore how event marketers should use short-form video to drive event registrations and increase attendance.

Macro Trend 1: Rising Popularity of Short-Form Video Content

Across channels, short-form video content has exploded recently, with platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts leading the charge. Marketers have learned to tap into this format for many reasons, including ease of creation and consumption, versatility, and algorithm preference. 

These brief yet incredibly engaging videos are ideal for drawing viewers’ attention as they browse their feeds. From funny skits and go-with-me videos to dance challenges and behind-the-scenes VIP experiences, short videos make sharing and interacting simple, helping to promote content organically. 

Macro Trend 2: People Are Using Social Media as a Search Tool

The second trend we see is the shift from traditional search engines to social search engines. A recent article from The New York Times shares examples of young people using TikTok’s “powerful algorithm—which personalizes the videos shown to them based on their interactions with the content—to find information uncannily catered to their tastes.” Similarly, people increasingly use YouTube Shorts, TikTok, and Instagram Reels to find and discover recipes, how-tos, movie recommendations, and events to attend. 

Macro Trend 3: People Trust Video More Than (Almost) Any Other Medium  

Aside from experiential marketing, video is one of the most trusted forms of marketing for consumers. Video content is authentic and relatable. Seeing content created by real people creates a sense of credibility and authenticity that is hard for brands to achieve. 

With these trends in mind, let’s explore how event marketers can implement short-form video content to increase event registration and attendance.

Increase Registration with Short-Form Video

Brands see success with short-form content when sharing brief, engaging, shareable videos that capture the essence of their message and drive people to take action. For event marketers, we can glean insights from this content strategy to encourage event registrations and give our teams more peace of mind. Let’s explore various ways for event marketers to cash in on this impactful content trend.

  • Create Captivating, Culturally-Relevant Content
    The best, most successful short-form videos draw inspiration from cultural trends. These trends encompass a vast range of phenomena, from viral challenges and memes to social movements and emerging technologies. Dynamic expressions of the collective zeitgeist reflect the interests, attitudes, and behaviors of audiences. Event marketers should bolster their videos with relevance and relatability to build immediate connections with topics and themes that are currently captivating their target audience. This requires a balance of being on-trend and showcasing the unique value proposition of the event using popular formats, relevant hashtags, cultural references, and trending music.

  • Announce the Keynote Speaker
    Brands that find success with short-form videos often produce collaborative content with spokespersons, industry influencers, and celebrities. Event marketers can use this trend to drive registrations by treating keynote speakers in a similar capacity. Create a video to reveal the keynote speaker, generate buzz, and share details and benefits of attending. A notable keynote speaker brings expertise and credibility to an event, and attendees are more likely to register if they believe the speaker will deliver valuable insights in a high-quality presentation. Keynote speakers can also tap into emotion with motivational messages, making the event more appealing to your audience.

  • Share Testimonials from Previous Attendees
    Testimonies hold significant power in impacting consumer behavior. In today's saturated market, products and services are effectively sold to consumers through compelling product reviews and testimonies, which influence buying decisions more than any other tactic. Testimonies provide social proof, which showcases the product’s value and credibility. By sharing peer reviews, event marketers can also tap into the testimonial tactic to increase registrations. Invite past attendees to produce compelling testimonial videos that share what they gained from attending. These videos will not only increase your credibility but will also spark a wave of enthusiasm that encourages registrations.

  • Showcase the Destination
    Brands are tapping into FOMO. Event marketers can take advantage of FOMO by showcasing destinations in their marketing through short-form videos. As the allure of bleisure travel continues to captivate, your prospective audience is more likely to attend an event in an exciting, luxurious, or unique destination. Collaborate with your venue, CVB, and DMC partners to create enchanting videos showcasing all the city offers beyond the event boundaries.

  • Incentivize Early Registration
    Brands and creators frequently leverage short-form video content to drive early action through persuasive, time-sensitive messaging. By creating a sense of urgency and highlighting limited availability, event marketers can leverage this tactic to gain earlier registrations. Announce a “first movers" rate to create a fresh perception of the value of attending. Don't reveal when the discounted or group pass pricing will expire but communicate that passes are moving quickly to share a sense of urgency.

Keep Registrants Engaged and Excited to Attend with
Short-Form Videos

Successful brands understand that the pipeline doesn’t end with purchase. Audience engagement must remain constant to keep a brand top-of-mind. Similarly, for event marketers, securing registrations is just the first step in the process; the true goal is ensuring attendance. By taking inspiration from brand marketers that effectively utilize short-form videos to engage with their audiences, event marketers can ignite anticipation and minimize attrition. Let’s explore some tactics for using short-form videos to keep registrants engaged and excited to attend your event.

  • Tease Event Content and Speaker Interviews
    Produce short videos that tease sessions, speakers, and educational tracks to fuel excitement for the event. Teasing event content establishes your brand as an authority on various subjects and inspires attendees to attend the event. Speaker interviews are also a great way to increase registrants, as they provide a closer look at the sessions to expect.

  • Feature Exclusive Sneak Peeks
    Once your attendee has registered, provide them with exclusive content they did not receive before registering. This can include sneak peeks of the venue, swag, and special guest performers. You may also offer more in-depth session descriptions at this stage to solidify interest in the content.

  • Highlight Sponsors and Exhibitors
    After a few years of primarily virtual experiences, audiences are eager to interact and network with their professional communities. Sharing videos with your registrants that feature sponsors and exhibitors increases the likelihood of their attendance by demonstrating value, establishing credibility, and bringing a human touch to their pre-event experience.

  • Go Behind the Scenes Right Before Showtime
    Your event is almost here, and it’s a great time to give your audience a peek behind the curtain. Share snippets of executive rehearsals, first looks of the environment, time lapses of stage builds, and brand ambassadors prepping badges with your registrants in the days leading up to your event. This type of content sparks interest and gets people excited about coming. Those who didn’t register for the event will undoubtedly experience some FOMO.

  • Address FAQs with a KBYG Video
    Know-Before-You-Gos are essential pieces of communication for attendees. These typically include things like where and when to pick up your badge, information about the venue, dress codes, agendas, logistics details, event policies, and other resources. Including this information in a video format to supplement written materials is a great way to humanize the experience and ensure that this information is memorable for your attendees.

Tactical Tips for Success with Short-Form Video

  • Include a Clear CTA
    Provide direct calls to action in your videos that direct viewers to register for the event or visit a landing page or mobile app. Share important event information, including dates, locations, registration deadlines, ways to connect with other attendees, and any discounts or special rates.

  • Engage with Your Audience
    Quickly respond to every question and comment on your videos to build trust, promote registrations, facilitate conversations, and address FAQs. Directly engaging with viewers across marketing channels creates a sense of community and promotes excitement for your event.

  • Prioritize Social Proof
    Utilize third-party applications to drive social proof.  When potential attendees see that someone in their network is attending, they are more likely to register themselves. Tools like InGo work as a community referral service allowing users to share that they are attending your event.

  • Invest in a Measurement Strategy
    Once the curtain closes, analyze your performance and adjust your tactics to augment your reach for the next event—track metrics like views, engagements, click-through rates, conversions, and attrition. Analyze the data and modify your strategies depending on the learnings to improve your approach.

  • Start Early
    Producing successful video content takes time. Implement a long runway to ensure your messaging is just right, and start preparing short-form video content for your next event as soon as your current event ends.

In today's digital landscape, utilizing short-form videos has proven to be a powerful strategy for brands to engage with their audiences and drive people to action. By embracing short-form video content and the various tactics that have proven successful in this format, event marketers can stay ahead of changing audience behaviors and drive higher registration and attendance rates.

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