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Hosting a Conference? Here Are 9 Steps to Produce a Lightning-Fast Video for Day #2 (Hint: It Features Participants!)

This article outlines how you can use video captured on day #1 of a conference to unite and inspire conference-goers on day #2.

At Dorst MediaWorks, we’re always looking for new ways that our videos can be useful and even inspire audiences.

Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

Most of the time, that means transporting viewers to other countries with documentary-style storytelling—and immersing them in the lives of people that are benefiting from our clients’ projects.

In pursuit of that mission, we’ve left our home base of Washington, DC to go film in more than 50 countries in the past 15 years to tell stories about international development, environmental conservation, and humanitarian relief.

Often, these videos play at events and are meant to educate, raise funds, or inspire. But recently, we tried something completely new for us.

We interviewed people on day #1 of a conference, and then edited a video overnight—in less than 14 hours—with the goal of inspiring participants and building community. How’d we do it?

Here are 9 steps to turning around your own lightning-fast video to inspire participants on day #2 of your own conference. Here’s the video:


1. Make sure your video team knows the content and your point of view in advance

In April of last year, the Sexual Violence Research Initiative and the World Bank Group hosted the Development Marketplace Awards for Innovation in the prevention of gender-based violence. Hundreds of people from around the world attended.

They hired Dorst MediaWorks to produce some videos profiling the winners. As a result, our editorial team got familiar with the content and the way that the partners talk about the issue of gender-based violence. We completed those videos and they all played on day #1 of the conference.

This process helped us enormously, because we learned the content and messaging.

If your video team is coming in fresh to do an overnight video, you might want to write the script and do most of the edit in advance—and just leave placeholders for your interviews—much like a journalist on deadline will write most of an article and leave a few placeholders for quotes.

Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

2. Interview Style: Ensure quality

We recognized that this was a rare opportunity to have leaders from all over the world together in one place. So we wanted to capture their perspectives. But what was the best style? During style discussions, it was suggested that we conduct brief stand-up interviews with people on-the-fly. We strongly resisted that idea, believing we could get better quality with a dedicated room and no ambient noise. This was the right decision.

3. Set up a professional interview room nearby

We sent a one-person crew (camera operator) to the World Bank on the first day of the conference. There, we set up an interview room near where participants were spending the afternoon. Our first priority was to have professional lighting and quality audio—thus the separate room. Then we tasked one World Bank staffer with asking the questions (he knew the content very well and could ask follow-ups if he wasn’t satisfied). A second staffer escorted interviewees to us, just when we needed them. It worked well, since participants had been forewarned and were happy to take part.

4. Keep the interviews short – and note the timecode of the best content

Our objective was to conduct brief, but substantive interviews with about a dozen experts. We asked each the same four questions. The cameraman, who was also the editor, noted the timecode for the best answers. This made editing go faster. (We didn’t follow a typical documentary workflow, where we transcribe all of the interviews and read everything. We chose one money quote from each person and called it a day.)

5. Approach: don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good

Even watching the video now, there are several things I’d improve, but our approach was to do our best given the time constraints. By the time we got back to the edit bay in the late afternoon, we had about 14 hours to do the editing.

Photo by Jaime Lopes on Unsplash

6. Objective: Remember your goal

Our goal was to kick off day #2 with some energy and get people on the same page. That’s why we started the video with prominent text highlighting the big challenge: “Almost one billion women have suffered gender-based violence.” But we wanted to quickly transition to a more hopeful tone, thus the sudden sunrise footage and early musical peak: we wanted to wake people up and get them paying attention. The suggestion is that with all of these thoughtful, impactful people here working together, there’s hope.

 7. Feature crowd favorites to build community

The next 30 seconds of the video featured sound bites from six experts from six countries around the globe. These are some of the leaders, and we chose them with the goal of building some community. Then we included footage and mentioned winners from the past few years to further create a sense of community. These were all people and projects most participants would recognize.

 8. Cut to the music

The goal was to infuse some energy into the morning, so we decided to lay an upbeat music track throughout. This also made editing easier. The rhythm dictated the cut points for the editor.

9. Long-term value

This quick video was the first deliverable. Later, we got the interviews transcribed and our client used some of the best quotes in online articles. They also logged the two hours of interview footage into the organizational video database for future videos.

So there you go. When you organize your next conference, consider using video of participants to help inspire people on day #2. It’s a fast turnaround, but with these tips, you can do it.

Photo by Nicholas Green on Unsplash

More resources:

The 2020 Development Marketplace: Innovations to Address Gender-Based Violence Call for Proposals is now open.

Violence Against Women and Girls Resource Guide:

World Bank Group press release on Development Marketplace prizes:

Sexual Violence Research Initative:

World Health Organization report on violence against women:



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