The pros and cons of recording conference sessions

If you don’t believe your conference is worth recording, then I would question the value of running it at all.

I
have long held the view that it is a tragic waste, that after all the
effort and resource that gets consumed in producing a conference, the
only people who see it are those squeezed into the room. After the final
speech, it all vaporises into nothing more than memory and scribbled
notes. At best the delegates might get a copy of the PowerPoint, but
let’s face it; this is valueless without the speaker’s expert
commentary.

What matters is the nature of the subject, its
longevity and the quality of presentation. These will all be determining
factors on how widely and for how long the content is shared, the level
of interest it receives and the resulting value it generates. For
example, many of the technical and medical conferences we record contain
priceless, sometimes even lifesaving knowledge. Instead of imprisoning
this knowledge within the four walls of the congress centre and limiting
its life to the few days of the event, it can be widely distributed,
sometimes to a global audience and made available for generations to
come.

Of course, any event owner considering recording must
comply with two fundamental conditions; first that the recording will
support their objectives in running the event in the first place and
second that they have the relevant permissions from contributors.

So, assuming you can say yes to both conditions, why wouldn’t you record your conference sessions?

Well,
not surprisingly, the most common objection is on the grounds of cost.
But allowing cost to be a killer objection can sometimes be a little
short-sighted and miss an opportunity to create value. While it is true
that there will be incremental costs associated with carrying out the
activity of recording, these will be relatively small and the value of
assets generated can far outweigh that investment. With the falling cost
and increasing ease of using recording technology, this is ever more
the case.

It may be, for example, that the recordings have
genuine commercial value that people will pay to watch. Or it may be
that a sponsor will pay handsomely to become more visible to that highly
defined group, your audience. This might be achieved by their brand
appearing alongside session recordings, or their commercial playing ’pre
roll’. But sometimes it’s not all about cash; with some of our
association clients, whose central mission is the dissemination of
specialist knowledge, it is the provision of a library of these assets
that attracts and retains members. For associations, this is their
lifeblood.

Before long, I believe we will stop troubling
ourselves with terms such as hybrid, virtual or online events and revert
to just talking about events. It will become expected that any physical
conference of significance will have remote features, either by
expanding the live audience through streaming, or extending the lifespan
of the event by recording, or a combination of the two.

Conference content represents a mountain of unexploited assets; a fact to which many conference owners are still oblivious.

Any comments? Email jdavis@mashmedia.net

ConferenceNews Guest Author

Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

ConferenceNews Guest Author

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ConferenceNews Guest Author

Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

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