SIZZLE VIDEO: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE

December 12, 2020 by

Sizzle video. It’s not just the sound bacon makes on the frying pan, but one of the most ubiquitous forms of video content out there.

What is also a brief reel for actors, directors, and camera ops to show their work in a snippy form, is also an industry standard in event video production. So from here on out, when referring to a sizzle, we’ll be talking about event sizzles.

An event sizzle is basically a highlight reel. Whether a panel discussion, a corporate conference, a sporting event, or any event under the sun, a sizzle can be made from it. So what’s in a sizzle reel? Your standard sizzle video will be filled with b-roll, interviews, and sound bites from the event itself, all rolled up in a tight, vibrant piece that makes your event’s energy pop off the screen.

Beyond being a way for attendees to relive their experience, sizzle reels can act as an incredibly helpful marketing asset. From social media to company websites to conferences, sizzle reels are becoming a new standard for every event marketer. So what exactly is it about sizzle videos that make them so powerful? We’ll take you through the steps of putting together a great sizzle that will capture the energy and excitement in a single, explosive video.

STARTING OFF RIGHT

Whether you choose to do it yourself, or hire a production company to produce a sizzle video, you want to make it look professional. Being organized and having a goal in mind is a must for any sizzle video. Every event is going to be different. So whether it’s at a giant conventional center, or a single office space, you should have a firm grasp of your surroundings.

Having a Plan

Understanding your surroundings means having a cohesive plan. It may change depending on the scale of the event, but having a map of the premises marked out beforehand can save a lot of unnecessary running around. Likewise, a schedule of sub-events and a map of where you’ll find them is an absolute must.

Like live TV, you only get one take. Structuring a detailed shot list, which you check off as you go, is the best way to make sure you don’t miss anything.

“72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video.”

Having the Right Equipment

As with a shot list, you’ll want to come to the event with a detailed list of the equipment you may need. Any production between a DIY production shot on a mobile phone and a full-scale professional production needs the proper equipment to make the final sizzle video look great.

Your environment should be the first thing taken into consideration when prepping an equipment list. Whether you need lighting or not will definitely hinge on the location of the shoot. That being said, definitely bear that in mind before. 

In a sizzle reel, your shots should highlight the value of your video production. This can be done through framing, lighting, camera movement, audio, or industry knowledge.

Audio Quality Matters

Sound at events is another story. A lot of amateur productions will make the mistake of neglecting the proper audio equipment. For loud, bustling events, it’s best to come prepared with a boom mic and/or LAV set handy for interviews. For events with a PA speaker such as panels, or lecture series’, you’re best off coming prepared with a BNC cable to link up your audio with the house system.

It may not seem like a big deal at the time, but when you’re editing your final sizzle, having crisp, clear sound bites will work wonders for the overall quality.

CONTENT: WHAT A SIZZLE VIDEO NEEDS TO SIZZLE

Tell A Story

When all is said and done, what sizzles really do is tell stories. A sizzle should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, just like any other narrative. 

When you think of your sizzle as a narrative, it becomes easier to sell your idea by generating excitement. Your audience will be more interested in watching your sizzle reel if it tells a coherent and interesting story. You want to make sure that your sizzle’s content is fun, but representative of the event you are showcasing. 

Your goal is to bring your event to life and stir excitement for next year. This can be done using video, sound bites, and music. Content-wise, here’s what you need to breathe life into your sizzle:

Interview Sound Bites

We noted already how crucial audio quality is to your final video. It’s worth mentioning that the content of your audio is just as important.

While editing your sizzle, make sure you keep your sound bites short and digestible. Sizzles often tease a longer video. Sneaking some sound bites in there will make the audience want to seek out the full video. Also, make sure the sound bites are relevant on a broad, general level. Some sizzles make the mistake of diving too far in to specifics of interviews. An effective sizzle is fast-paced, fun, and easy enough to follow for everyone.

Build Action

Much like a trailer to a much anticipated action flick, sizzle videos harness their power through a sustained rise of action. For those filming, it’s important to have plenty of action shots included in the shot list. Many run the mistake of gathering static shots of event. However, it’s in the active b-roll that the video gains its sense of motion.

If sound bites tell the story of the event, it’s the music that scores its energy. The real unsung hero of a sizzle production is the editor who can match music to the event. Sustained energy is key in a sizzle, and the right music can effortlessly carry a video through to the end.

Call to Action

Whether it’s watching other videos from the event, or signing up for the next event of its kind, every sizzle should strive to inspire action.

It’s up to you about how direct to make the call. However, it’s essential to keep in mind what emotional response you want to drive in viewers and where the video is meant to lead them. This could be a web link, a registration page, a survey, or a longer video from the same event.

REACHING THE RIGHT AUDIENCE

You don’t need to fork out a massive wad from your marketing budget to give your video the proper exposure anymore. The Internet opens up so many new platforms for content to live, that there’s now a channel for everyone.

Producing an electrifying sizzle video to capture your event is one thing. Knowing how to leverage it through marketing online or to live audiences is another.

“LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have become great ways to boost your ROI as free promotional tools.

Sharing Sizzle Videos Online

At the very least, the very very least, every sizzle video should live on the company’s website. Whether it’s on the event page, a blog post, or a landing page, having a place for the video to live is a must for sharing purposes. Anything that drives eyes to your site is certainly not a bad thing.

Social media, though, is where your video will definitely get the most bang for its buck. Being mostly free to post, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have become great ways to boost your ROI as free promotional tools.

For those looking to get the most out of their event sizzle, paid ad platforms on social media are intuitive, cheap, and a great way to get tons of eyes on your sizzle reel.

Play it Live!

It’s only fitting that event sizzles play at events. Conferences, expos, and smaller one-off corporate events are great access points for the right people to see your sizzle video.

If the objective of an event sizzle video is to tell the story of and get people excited about your event, it’s in your best interest to show your video to those with immediate in your company. So, whether through a digital audience or a live audience, remember that your video is being made to inspire action and take your viewer somewhere new.

Need a sizzle video for your company? Contact us today for a quote!

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