4 Ways Smart Companies Use Video to Fill in for Live Events in 2021

Looking ahead to 2021 it’s pretty clear in-person events won’t be returning anytime soon – at least not until the fall. No kick-off meeting for the sales team, no tradeshows, no conventions, no site visits for potential customers. And of course, no freebie tote bags with chachkas like branded pens and bright colored stress balls. It’s a huge loss. I could actually use a stress ball right now.

Some events will be able to move online. Many will be canceled. The silver lining is that the 2021 budget once spent on in-person events can be used for other approaches with surprising benefits.

Why Video? 3 Reasons

Think about it, your customers still want to know what’s coming next. You still need to get your product in front of prospects. Your team still needs to feel inspired. Video can do all this — and in some cases — do it better.

Which is why now is the time to catch up with other companies that have started replacing their events with video

Video moves people
Not just emotionally – literally. Video can explore the details of a microchip or put your audience right on the factory floor. Tell your users’ stories and share their enthusiasm for your product. With the right combination of scene, soundtrack and graphics your audience will feel energized rather than burned out.

Video never has a bad day
And let’s face it, your CEO is not Beyonce. None of us are. We mere mortals forget the words, get tongue-tied, sneeze at exactly the wrong time, and fail to mute our mics when it’s all over. On the other hand, video never has a bad day. Whether it takes three takes or ten, pre-recording ensures your presenter looks and sounds flawless, when the time comes.

And BTW, no one needs to know it wasn’t live.


Your CEO’s keynote address at the user conference can still create the sensation of live-from-the-home-office while making them seem like a gifted public speaker.

With people’s time and attention in short supply, scripted video makes sure every presentation is tight and every word on-brand. Presentations don’t run long. Every word spoken supports your brand. Video allows you to finish on time every time with a polished and focused message.

Video has legs
Next, when the event is over, that video is a new tool to use and reuse throughout the year and beyond. Edit clips for social media. Post on your YouTube channel. Package and share it with those who were unable to log-on for the live event.

A few more reasons
Still not sure video is right for your event? Worried that it just can’t make up for in-person? First, with video there is no one size fits all. Whether it’s supporting a user conference moved online or replacing the in-person site visit, video can be used to meet your specific needs. Second, high quality can be found in every price range. Simple can be chique. You don’t need special effects and drone shots to move people. Finally, video is more than recording a person talking. Animation, music, graphics are all options video puts on the table.

4 in-person events where video can fill-in

Let’s look at some specific examples of how companies are already using video to fill in for in-person events.


Ah, remember the tradeshow? The noisy, trinket-toting crowds? The lanyards, the hawkers, the demos and sore feet? Sigh. We miss them, too. No really, we do. Because, honestly tradeshows are an invaluable resource for both exhibitors and attendees. Finding new technology, networking with your peers and of course, for many companies, tradeshows are the primary source for finding new clients.

So if you’re finding yourself feeling a little shaky without your tradeshow booth and product demos, fear not. Video can take your customers inside your product to explore it’s benefits and ease of use. . Use animation to illustrate the abstract and make the technical accessible. Give a behind the scenes look at development. Or use video to profile a customer case study in a way that lets the viewer really see and feel the success story.

SAP Ariba used motion graphics to bring to life the benefits of its Spot Quote feature in this Aha! Explainer Video.


Based on the four million people who watched a woman elaborate on the pitfalls of baking sourdough bread, we can safely say a well produced video can get people excited about anything. A product that improves business practices or solves a common industry problem is inherently exciting for your users. Use video to capitalize on that enthusiasm. Turn the spotlight on your customers and let them share their success stories. Don’t miss out on the coveted speaker because of scheduling. Just pre-record at their convenience.

Also the previous note about CEOs applies to customers and experts as well. Things only improve with lots of practice and multiple takes.

McKesson created a whole series of Customer Case Studies, including this one about how one pathology practice group was experiencing great success with McKesson software.


Your team is stuck at home. They’ve clocked in enough screen time to make Gen Z Youtubers look outdoorsy. If they’ve got kids, their attention is a fraction of its normal whole, a measurement they can now calculate because of the third-grade math they’re teaching. Your team is exhausted. They need to be fired up — and a talking head on a “virtual beach” background won’t get the job done.

Here comes video. The get-on-your feet anthems, the dazzling graphics , the message served up exactly as planned. Good video moves people. It captivates, motivates, keeps them talking long after the event. There’s no getting away from Zoom or Teams but video can make sure every moment of your event is memorable.


Before you cancel that award ceremony consider using video. If ever there were a time to recognize outstanding achievement or contribution, the middle of a global pandemic is that time. We could all use a pat on the back right now, so don’t miss the opportunity to strengthen those relationships that make your organization a success. With some pre-planning, direction, and the right lighting pre-recorded acceptance speeches make for an award ceremony people actually enjoy watching.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development had been planning its 2020 Small Business Rockstars Awards Luncheon for April, when the global pandemic made that impossible. Instead, the State turned to Blue Marble to help honor each company with a little help from a Zoom-based Awards Video.


For some businesses, it’s the deal closer. Get a potential customer on site, shake their hand and literally step them through what makes your company the best in the industry. We might not be shaking hands for a while, but a video tour of your facility can take potential customers inside your operations in ways that give you more control than ever before. Curate the perfect experience for your visitors, smiling employees, immaculate facilities and ideal weather every tour.

And given the fact your neighborhood realtor has posted video tours of twenty listings and just branched out into Spanish subtitles, there’s no excuse not to have your own.

Success comes to those who shift quickly
These are just a few examples of how video can help make up for the loss of in-person events. If your bottom line is hurting given the Covid-19 work environment, it’s worth looking into how video can help your business pull through and come out the other side with a new tool to stay connected.

Let’s be honest, while most of us are looking to get back to in-person business, this won’t be the last time we’re grounded at home. The businesses with the resources to shift quickly from in-person to virtual are the businesses that will succeed. Video is an essential resource going forward.

If you’re interested in how video can help your business, shoot us an email. Blue Marble has been supporting businesses through video for more than 25 years, and we’ll work with you to brainstorm possibilities that fit your needs and your resources.

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