Boost Your Event Business with a Video Portfolio
When it comes to your event and wedding planning business, you know it’s your portfolio that can make or break many of your deals. Potential clients might like you, but what they really want to know is whether you can plan beautiful, personal weddings, and it’s the pictures in your portfolio that really show off your work.
And when you think about it, there’s no better way to get an inside look at your work than a video. It’s not yet a staple of your average event and wedding planner’s portfolio, but video portfolios are definitely gaining popularity, and with good reason.
Video conveys the full experience of the event or wedding—an experience even beyond that of your average guest, since many video portfolios capture behind-the-scenes moments that lend a little intimacy and personality to your work. A well-edited video can do wonders for your portfolio; like a photo by a professional photographer, a professionally filmed and edited video is a work of art, and one that provides a totally immersive experience.
Using videos in your portfolio can also help prospective clients to get to know your personality a little before they meet you. This sneak peak is guaranteed to deter some clients, of course—you can never please everyone!—but it will also help convince other clients that you’re the planner for them. While the thought of deterring clients can be daunting, it’s worth it in the long run; this way the clients you do get are more likely to be the kind of people you actually want to work with.
Plus, because many event and wedding planners still rely solely on photo portfolios, including videos can help to give you an edge on your competition.
What should my videos include?
Like any event professional’s portfolio, the type of video content you include will depend on your resources, your events, your business, and you. If you’re wondering where to start, though, we do have some tips.
Let’s start with a major mistake to avoid: DON’T think that a slideshow of pictures from past events set to music counts as a video portfolio. Video is a medium best suited for, well, video. A video that just shows images really isn’t the best way to showcase your work. Most clients would rather flip or scroll through photos at their own pace, letting them skip over pictures that don’t interest them while giving them the time to look at the details on those that do.
If you want to get into video, you’re actually going to have to start working with film, which can be a little daunting at first for those of us who aren’t so tech-savvy. Sometimes you’ll get lucky—for instance, if you’re planning a wedding for a couple who want their big day filmed, you may be able to use the finished product on your website just as you would with professional photos.
Along with video footage of your events, you might want to make a video of yourself talking about your business, your inspiration, or why you’re drawn to event and wedding planning as a career. This can help your clients get a sense of who you are, what you do, and why they should (or shouldn’t) work with you.
What makes a good video portfolio?
In a word, quality—specifically, high quality filming and high quality editing. Like we said before, both of these might already be taken care of if your clients have decided they want their event filmed. If not—or if you want more control over your video portfolio—you’ll have to get creative.
In addition to getting professional-quality work, here are some tips for putting together a video to boost your event and wedding business:
- Keep it short. This means being picky about what footage you include—try to trim an event or personal introduction video down to 2-6 minutes. No prospective client wants to watch a feature-film length video of someone else’s event or wedding.
- Make it personal. For a wedding, for instance, this might mean capturing shots of the bride getting her makeup done, private pre-ceremony footage of the couple, and shots of guests eating, laughing, and dancing during the reception.
- Don’t forget the details. Event footage doesn’t have to be all about action—video can be used to capture stunning shots of décor details from all angles.
- Fill in the silence. Make sure your video includes sound, such as wedding vows or guest speakers at events. If there’s no dialogue you want to include, use editing software to layer music over your footage (just watch out for copyright issues when you’re picking a song).
- Try a voiceover. Dialogue can carry on across a video even when the footage has changed. You could show a snippet of the best man’s speech and then layer his voice over other wedding footage, or layer your own voice over footage of your events.
- Experiment with montages. This can be a cool cinematic way of covering multiple parts of your event without lingering too long over any of them. You could also use this during an introduction video to showcase several of your best events.
- Invest in good equipment. If you’re going to be filming yourself, it’s worth investing in some decent equipment (including a camera, microphone, lighting, and editing software). You don’t have to spend a fortune on high-end equipment, but get something better than the camera on your phone.
When in doubt, check out other event planner’s video portfolios for inspiration. We love this gorgeous video portfolio by a New York-based company that specializes in planning Indian weddings.
Pro tip: If you’re short on footage or just wondering where to start, why not look into organizing or participating in a filmed styled shoot?
The technical stuff
When it comes to sharing your portfolio, video tends to be a little trickier to work with than pictures. If you want a portable copy of your video portfolio to show at client consultations you can look into burning a DVD of your footage, but since many of your clients probably look you up online before booking a consultation, you’ll also want your videos up on your website.
An easy way to do this is to upload your videos to a video hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo. You can link to your video channel from your website, but many websites also make it pretty simple to embed your externally hosted videos right in your site.
Still stuck? Don’t worry—there are tons of tutorials online for filming, editing, and uploading videos. So what are you waiting for? Step up into the director’s chair!