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Video communications an Integral Part of Business Today, an Interview and Video with Bridgit Bacon of EventStreams

by: Jennifer Peterson, Marketing Director, Galaxy Bright

Jennifer Peterson: What kinds of business issues are EventStreams’ clients solving with video?

Bridgit Bacon: It all boils down to communication and content. Because video is such a compelling story-telling medium and there are so many options right now to deliver high-quality and effective videos, our clients come to us to fill a wide variety of communications needs.

This includes enterprise level companies who are looking for a way to create a personalized approach to share news about company-wide issues when it isn’t possible to reach everyone at a meeting or event. We have case studies and examples from the Coca-Cola Company, Agilysys, Logility, Simmons Bedding Company, Powell Goldstein, WellPoint and others that show how much their employees value hearing from the CEO and senior management about key issues that impact their jobs and the company’s performance.

It includes companies looking to differentiate themselves with creative sales and marketing tools like video testimonials, high-impact tradeshow videos, capabilities presentations and how-to videos.

It includes politicians who want to enable a two-way conversation with constituents about key issues beyond the headlines.

And it includes companies who need to train and educate mobile and dispersed workforces. A live meeting or presentation can be recorded and creatively edited to tell the same story consistently over and over again, or a skit or presentation can be developed and performed specifically for the camera.

Powell Goldstein won an award last year for a series of creative skits they developed and performed in their Atlanta office. Because they can’t realistically get to everyone, we recorded and edited it and now it is available to all of their employees and new hires on their company Intranet. The video helps the marketing team reach everyone with a consistent message, helps keep costs down and introduces the marketing department to the attorneys and associates in other offices.

The Coca Cola Company uses video to document best practices in key markets. In the past 12 months we’ve been to Argentina, Norway and Mexico to interview key stakeholders, record local footage and produce in-depth best practices videos to be shared internally among different business units. They are very effective.

JP: How are YouTube and other consumer video sites impacting the streaming video business?

BB: It’s fantastic! Consumer acceptance is driving corporate growth and video really is everywhere right now. Both our business and the streaming industry have changed dramatically since 2001. We’ve been specializing in on-line video for the past 6 years and the acceptance we’re seeing now is the highest it’s ever been. It’s fueled by the continued growth and accessibility of high speed bandwidth and improving technology.

JP: How do you determine the best format for client videos? Is streaming the right answer in all cases?

BB: No, streaming isn’t the right answer in all cases. We produce videos for all mediums, including streaming, progressive downloads, DVDs, USB drives (or flash drives) and interactive CDs. It really depends on the purpose and objective of each project, and we work with our clients to understand their needs before making a recommendation. A lot of times we develop one piece of content to be delivered in multiple formats. Like a DVD for a tradeshow, an Internet stream for the website and a flash drive to be handed out to clients and prospects.
There is also still some confusion surrounding the best electronic format and how to most effectively deliver a video on-line. Some people prefer QuickTime because they prefer Mac; lots of people prefer Macromedia Flash now because it’s playable on both Macs and PCs - - and with the introduction of version 8, the quality is significantly better.

After lots of tweaking and testing, our preference has historically been to deliver streaming video in Windows Media; this is because our clients are corporate clients and everyone uses Windows…and because it looks better and is more consistent than QuickTime. But in 2006 we started delivering a lot more projects as Windows Media progressive downloads. Streams are great for longer form projects where the audience wants or needs to skip around without waiting for the entire video to download. Progressive downloads take a little longer to load at the beginning, but once they start playing there aren’t any issues with re-buffering. Progressive files are great for high-intensity or high-resolution files that are fairly short.

Regarding video hosting, we either host the project on our end or we hand the files over to our clients to be hosted on their internal network.

We host all of our videos on the Akamai Edge Technology Platform giving our clients access to the world’s largest video streaming network. This gives companies with limited or short term traffic requirements the ability to deliver to an unlimited worldwide audience and provides a great experience to the end-user.

Ultimately it all goes back to the purpose and objective of each project, and working with our clients to deliver whatever makes the most sense for each of their unique situations.

JP: Can any video be put on-line and what are some of the main mistakes people make when converting an existing video for Internet use?

BB: Technically yes, any video can be put on-line once it is encoded, compressed, formatted and uploaded. However, videos with a lot of action, movement or wide angles won’t look as crisp, clean or high-quality as those shot specifically for the Internet. Because of the smaller screen size and image pixilation, close-ups and slower pans and zooms will translate better to the Internet.

JP: How do you handle it when your clients have stage fright?

BB: The fear of being on camera is definitely a factor for some people and it does come up pretty regularly. We have two key advantages to offer: having our own studio where we can record as many takes as we need to, and having our own Emmy-award winning director! Nate Haskell heads up our production team and does a phenomenal job in putting people at ease and coaching them to deliver their best ‘performance’. Our studio is very casual and we understand that a lot of people are nervous when they arrive.

Since we’re a full service facility, we will also travel to the client site if the CEO is too busy to make it to our studio; we do all kinds of field shooting in and around Atlanta and we also work with crews around the world for projects outside of Atlanta.

JP: What is on the horizon for ES in 2007?

BB: More of the same! We’re in a great place and doing great work, and are looking forward to continue doing more of the same.

EventStreams is a full service Emmy Award winning video production studio located in Atlanta, GA. We produce corporate videos for marketing, employee communications and training. Call us to learn more or to discuss your next video project: 404.816.1114.