In Gratitude for Nine Years
With the holidays officially underway, I want to wish you a season filled with peaceful, relaxing and magical moments with family and friends.
During this time of Thanksgiving, the Ann Plans team is grateful to be celebrating our 9th anniversary. On November 8, 2007, 150 friends and colleagues joined me at the AZ Gallery in downtown St. Paul to help celebrate the launch of the business. As I remember the excitement of that day and all the adventures since, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our amazing clients, vendors and other friends who have made the past nine years memorable, fun, exciting, and meaningful.
One of the things we are most grateful for is the opportunity to partner with clients in sharing their mission and stories of lives changed. Events provide golden opportunities for organizations to highlight stories that illustrate the impact of their work. This month’s newsletter focuses on the power of incorporating videos into your event as a vehicle for storytelling.
Maximizing Mileage with Your Event Video
A focus of our work with our nonprofit clients is crafting an event program that is well-paced, inspiring, mission-focused and entertaining. A well-produced video will grab the attention of your guests, share a story or message concisely and with impact, and inspire generosity.
Here are some ways to make the most of your video production resources and your finished product:
- Begin with intent. A key first step in embarking on a video project is understanding the main goal. Are you wanting to provide insight into the breadth of your organization’s work, highlight a particular program, celebrate a person or milestone, or help set up an important fundraising moment? Having clarity on intent will help determine tone, format and who to feature in the video.
- Bring in the pros. With how commonplace videos have become at events and on social media, there is extra pressure to make your video stand out. A professional video production team can help ensure you end up with a high-quality product that creates a buzz.
- Making the budget work. The sky is the limit when it comes to how much can be spent on a video. When reaching out to production companies, seek out ones who value partnerships with nonprofit organizations. A good production partner can help guide your project so it stays within and maximizes your budget.
- Focus on stories. A common saying in the fundraising world is that, “People don’t give to organizations; they give to people.” In scripting this video for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s Encourage Breakfast, we focused on four compelling client stories highlighting different service areas. Whether your video profiles an individual or has a much broader focus, think in terms of helping your audience connect with people.
- Keep it short and sweet. As with any component of your event program, you don’t want your video to run long. For most event videos, we are targeting a length of five minutes or less. A short and engaging video is much more valuable than a long piece that loses your audience’s focus.
- Think outside the box. One way to keep your program inspiring and engaging is to ensure your video is not only well-produced, but also creative. The video which was premiered at Wilder Foundation’s Ordinary Magic event last month met the goal of presenting the organization in a new and exciting way.
- Consider multiple videos! If budget allows, there may be a place for more than one video in your program. Well-produced videos allow you to control your messaging, contribute to the energy of the event, and keep the audience engaged. Lutheran Social Service’s 150thanniversary gala featured four videos including a short timeline piece highlighting the organization’s long and rich history, one that set up the fundraising moment, and a video introducing a new campaign.
- Share widely. When working on the scripting for your video, be strategic in planning for the piece to have legs beyond the event. Share the video in post-event electronic communication, on social media, and include a link on your website. Following their events, videos for both VocalEssence and Wilder Foundation have been viewed over 10,000 times on the organization’s respective Facebook sites.
Celebrating in the Women’s Press
Ann Plans is honored to be featured in this month’s issue of the Women’s Press. Check out our article on celebrating often and with intention.
Welcome Aboard to PRISM!
We are excited to announce PRISM as our newest client. PRISM serves more than 5,000 low-income children, adults and seniors each year by helping clients meet the basic needs of food, clothing and housing. We are partnering with PRISM on their Annual “Taste of the Burbs” fundraising event scheduled for Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Sheraton Minneapolis West.
In closing, the Ann Plans team wishes you the happiest of Thanksgivings and a wonderful start to the winter holiday season.