Recently, I chatted with Jeffrey Abramson, Co-President for Gen Art, a group that showcases emerging talents in the arts. In our discussion, Abramson emphasized the importance of using video to tell your event’s story.
Tighe Flatley: What is Gen Art? What is its mission?
Jeffrey Abramson: Gen Art has been around for more than 15 years. We’re dedicated to showcasing emerging talent in film, fashion, art, and music. Our audience is young professionals. They lead busy lives, but they are culturally hungry and always eager to learn and experience new talent. We’re here to introduce it to them.
TF: What type of events do you host?
JA: We host a number of signature programs that offer tremendous value to our artists and brand partners. For example, in June we hosted the 16th Annual Gen Art Film Festival. It was held throughout seven days, with film shorts and features highlighted each night followed by an all-inclusive after-party.
These events offer a great focus on the art. Larger film festivals show hundreds of films in a short period of time, and the parties are incredibly exclusive. Our events provide a similar VIP treatment, while making the experience accessible to everyone.
TF: Why is video such an important part of your events?
JA: We want to showcase our artists to an even greater audience. Creating video content associated with and derived from the events, and posting the content online, allows us to engage with people who are unable to attend in-person.
We also capture our event experience for media kits and content for building potential partnerships. I’ve walked into agencies to discuss potential brand partnerships and, after showing a video, started talking about a partnership right away. People see the reactions of guests, and understand their interactions with brands in an organic way. This would not come through in image and text.
TF: When you partner with brands, how do you incorporate them into video?
JA: We incorporate the partnership in a natural environment. For example, when Acura presented our film festival, we had our videographer get into an Acura car and document the director and talent’s ride from the hotel to the premiere. For alcohol or beverage partners, we make sure to have footage of guests enjoying the product. We’re not in the business to shoot commercials. Instead, we provide an opportunity to show an audience how guests organically interact with their brand at an event. Not only do we show these videos online, but we show them on the big screen the next night before the movie premiere so guests can see what happened the previous night, giving our partners more exposure.
TF: How do you measure success?
JA: Impressions are a huge measure of success. But we are also concerned with exposing new artists and highlighting our sponsors in a natural way. We want to get people talking about Gen Art, and provide quality content that rises above the chatter.
TF: What tips do you have for someone looking to incorporate video into their event marketing?
JA: Have an aesthetic. It’s not a news broadcast, so make it personal.
Also, I don’t believe in hosts. I think that some of the strongest videos are ones where the videographer is a fly-on-the-wall and provides a first-person point of view and experience. Consider wedding videos; you never want the person filming to interfere with what is going on during the ceremony or celebration but at the same time you want the perspective of always being in the right place at the right time.
Finally, reach out to your local community. Filming for your event doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of talented emerging filmmakers out there who want to help you create a beautiful piece of film for your event.