So you just finished a great conference. People are heading out the door, full of excitement and ideas. Why not take this opportunity to both learn from the event and promote your business? Just like conducting exit interviews at work can provide useful feedback, conference interviews can result in some great footage with wide-ranging applications.
Place the Camera at the Exit
Set up near the doors and catch people on the way out. If the conference has been well-received, most people are willing to stop and say a few words. The exit is a natural funnel that gives you an opportunity to ask for volunteers. The volume of bodies means no one person should feel obligated to participate, but you’ll have lots of chances to snag someone. Just try to set up somewhere that’s quiet enough to get good audio and won’t block the flow of traffic.
Scan faces as conference attendees approach the exit. Target those with good energy—talk to people who are smiling and look relaxed. Not only will this type of person be more open to chatting with you, but they’ll also give a better testimonial.
Conference Interviews – What to Ask
Keep the questions short and topical. How was the conference? is too vague. Ask which speaker they liked best or what idea they’ll take back to the office.
Ask something that may elicit a reaction. Inquire about the swag or whether the food was good. Did they see the streaker on day one? Asking an unexpected question can be effective for video.
Stay away from yes or no answers. Ask questions that demand elaboration. Formulate your questions based on the conference topics and elements that worked well. If you know what you’d ideally like to get out of the exit interviews, you can ask leading questions.
Keep it Casual
Ask only two or three questions per person. You don’t want the interviewee to feel like they’re being held captive. You asked them to take the time to help you, so respect their time. You’re also more likely to get high energy, quality answers if you keep the interaction short.
Using a hand-held microphone and camera keeps your set-up agile. This approach is less intimidating than a formal setting and people are more inclined to participate. It also omits the extra time it would take to conduct interviews in a more rigid atmosphere.
Try not to be too aggressive. Be friendly with your ask without applying too much pressure. If you rush at people with a camera and microphone in their face, they’ll be less willing to talk to you.