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Filming an Event: 20 Best Practices for a Seamless Experience

This article provides a comprehensive list of tips to use when filming an event. Filming an event can be stressful and exhausting if you do not have a plan. Event videography typically yields a lot of video footage, so it is also important to have a plan for how you will edit footage post-event. In this article, I will be sharing my best tips for filming an event based on my own experience and lessons learned.

What Is Event Videography?

Event videography is a type of video production that specifically focuses on events. There are so many different types of events that utilize video production to capture the full story of what took place. Videographers are often present at conferences, trade shows, corporate events, and also weddings. The primary purpose of event videography is to capture what took place, as well as the overall mood of the event.

20 Best Practices for Filming an Event

How to Prepare for Filming an Event

1. What type of video does your client want?

The first step of the video creation process is to understand your client’s vision. In other words, what type of video does your client want? Does your client want a video that is professional and buttoned up? Maybe your client wants a video that is silly and high-energy. Before you even start the video concept, it is extremely important to understand your client’s vision. Consider scheduling a short call with your client to learn more.

You should also seek to understand the critical moments that your client would like for you to capture while filming the event. As an example, if you are filming a corporate event, there might be critical moments like an award ceremony that your client would like you to capture.

2. Set Expectations Around Video Requirements and Timelines

Prior to filming an event, it is extremely important for you to set expectations with your client. First, you should communicate with your client how many hours of filming you will be providing for the price that you have quoted. It is also important for you to set a reasonable expectation for how long it will take to deliver the video to your client. Ensure that all this is in writing so that you can refer back to it if needed.

3. Set Deliverables Ahead of Time

Similar to setting expectations, it is extremely important to set deliverables ahead of time. As an example, does your client want a 90-second overview video of the event? Are they looking for a longer video covering the event? Maybe your client also wants a couple of short videos for social media, and they might also want you to live stream the event. Filming an event can mean different things to different people, so do not assume that your client knows exactly what you are talking about or what you have in mind.

4. Understand Your Key Stakeholders

When you are planning to film an event, it is really important for you to understand who you will be working with on the client and venue side. To prepare for the event, be sure to make a list of people as well as their contact information on the client and venue side. You never know if there will be an emergency or if you need information for one of these stakeholders.

5. Understand the Rules of the Venue

When filming an event, it is incredibly important to understand the rules of not only of the event but also the venue. It is important to find out if you need to purchase a permit to film at the venue. You should also understand where your team is and is not allowed to film. Outside of this, you should also gain an understanding of who you will be working alongside at the event. For example, many clients will also hire a photographer, so it is important to know who you’ll be working and consider getting their contact information.

6. Scout the Location and Visit Ahead of Time

When possible, it is always important to scout the location and visit the venue ahead of time when filming an event. In situations where you are not able to scout the location ahead of time, ask your client to send videos and photos so that you have a good understanding of what the location looks like before you arrive to film.

A few things to consider include the audio setup, lighting, as well as any constraints of the venue. If you plan to conduct interviews, you should ensure that there is a space to film interview footage, unless you want noisy audio.

7. Determine if Filming Notices Are Needed

Next, you should determine if you are required to put up a filming notice to let attendees of the event know that you are filming.

8. Plan the Video and Create a Shot List

It is important to plan your video ahead of time and to create a shot list. Filming an event is much easier and much less stressful when you know specifically what you need to film and when.

9. Plan Your Music And/or Sound Ahead of Time

It is a good idea to plan your music and audio ahead of time. Some video producers like to select music prior to filming an event so that they can match specific footage to specific sections of an audio track. Additionally, you should plan whether or not you will be capturing interview footage and understand what audio equipment you need and what the constraints are of the venue where you are filming.

10. Determine if You Need Second Shooters

Whenever possible, it is always a good idea to hire second shooters. If you are just getting started with event videography, it may not be reasonable or possible for you to hire a second shooter. However, if the event is big and the client has the budget for it, hiring a second shooter is a great idea. Hiring a second shooter allows you to capture the event with a different perspective. A second shooter will also reduce stress because you are not the only person responsible for filming the entire event.

11. How to Find a Second Shooter

If you are interested in hiring a second shooter but you don’t know where to start, consider leveraging your network. If you know other people who work in the video or marketing industry, chances are someone knows a videographer that they could recommend.

12. Review Your Video Concept With the Client Ahead of Time

Now that you have planned out your video concept, it is very important to review this concept with the client ahead of time. This should be done well before filming an event. While this might seem like an extra step, it is important because it helps to establish expectations ahead of time. The last thing that you want is to move forward with your own vision for the video and at the end of the day have a very unhappy client because they don’t like what you put together.

13. Plan Your Video Equipment

Prior to filming an event, be sure to plan out all of the video equipment that you will need ahead of time. In addition, if you have equipment that you are less experienced with, be sure to practice ahead of time.

14. Bring Extra Equipment When Possible

It is always a good idea to bring extra equipment when you are filming an event. Events happen in real-time. If your equipment fails, this could ruin the project. If a critical moment takes place and you miss it, you typically cannot recreate the moment like you could with a planned video shoot. Because of this, it is extremely important to have extra equipment on hand in case something fails. Consider bringing multiple batteries, SD cards, cameras, lenses, and tripods

15. Plan Your Content Strategy According to the Schedule

When you are creating your shot list it is important to create your video content strategy based on the agenda for the event. This is even more important if the event is not fluid and certain events or activities are only happening at certain times.

16. Align the Event Schedule With the Shot List

Next, be sure to create an event schedule and map it with the shot list. This will ensure that you know exactly what you need to film and at what time.

17. Prepare Your Team Before Shooting the Event

If you are working with additional team members or second shooters, be sure to prepare your entire team prior to filming the event. It is always a good idea to hand out extra event schedules and shot lists so that everybody knows what they need to do and when.

Tips While Filming the Event

18. Arrive at the Venue Early for Set Up

When filming an event, it is really important to arrive at the venue at least one or two hours ahead of time to set up. The amount of time that you need to arrive prior to the event starting really depends on the level of video production you are providing. As an example, if you are working with multiple team members that day and you have a lot of equipment to set up, you should arrive at least a few hours ahead of time. Alternatively, if you are the only one filming the event and you don’t have a lot of equipment to set up, you could probably get away with arriving at the venue an hour ahead of time.

19. Capture a Variety of Footage

Keep in mind the importance of capturing a variety of video footage. You never know what type of footage will make or break your video, so it is always a good idea to capture a variety of content.

20. Keep Your Equipment Set Up Agile

It is important to keep your equipment set up as nimble as possible so that you are prepared to capture important moments on the fly when filming an event.

21. Ensure That Your Footage Is Consistent

If you are filming an event on your own, be sure that all of your event footage is consistent. This means using similar settings for most of your footage. This also goes for when you are working with second shooters. It is important that the footage is consistent, as this will make editing much easier.

22. Film Audience Interactions as Needed

When filming an event, it is important to capture not only the main attraction of the event but also the audience’s interactions. The audience experiences will help to showcase the overall vibe of the event.

23. Don’t Overshoot

When you are filming an event it is easy to overshoot or capture too much footage. As an example, if you are at an event and there is a vendor or activity that you have already captured a few times, then there’s no need to get six more shots. Once you have a couple of shots of whatever you need, move on. Otherwise, you risk overshooting the event and you have way too much footage to sort through when editing.

24. Be Safe!

It is really important to understand the safety protocol of the venue where you are shooting. Understand your surroundings, understand the rules, and know what equipment you are working with to keep not only yourself but everyone else safe.

25. Bring Snacks and Water to Stay Nourished

Most of the events that I have filmed have made for pretty long days. Even four or five hours on your feet can be very exhausting. When I film events, I always remember to bring plenty of water and snacks so that I am nourished and hydrated while filming.

26. Be Professional, Always!

This should go without saying, but remember to always be professional. Even if you are dealing with a difficult client, it is always important to treat everyone with respect.

Tips for Editing Event Videos

27. Take Time to Select the Right Music

If you decided to wait until after filming an event to select music, be sure to take plenty of time to select the right music. Use your time wisely and really determine the appropriate music based on the overall tone of the video and footage.

28. Organize Your Files as Soon as You Are Ready to Edit

As soon as you’re finished filming an event, it is important to organize all of your files. When I edit, this is one of the steps that take the longest. I go through all of the footage that I’ve captured and I determine what is useful and what I should delete. I also rename each clip based on where I want it positioned in my final edit. For example, if I have identified a few video clips that are a good fit for the intro, then I will label them “intro 1, Intro 2, intro 3” and so on.

29. Make the Video Interesting With Different Effects

Event videos are typically a great opportunity to introduce different effects to keep the video interesting and dynamic. Try experimenting with different in-camera transitions when filming the event and effects with Premiere Pro or Final Cut.

30. Adhere to Any Timelines Discussed With the Client

It is extremely important to be compliant with any timelines that you have previously established with your client. This also is a sign of professionalism.

Biggest Challenges When Filming an Event

When I was starting out in video production, I faced a myriad of challenges when filming events. Below are a few challenges that I have experienced when filming an event as well as a few ways to avoid them.

Crafting a Nimble but Effective Kit

When filming an event, I try to find the balance of creating a kit that isn’t too heavy, but also one that is still effective. For me, this means a couple of my favorite lenses, a mic, and a stabilizer. With experience, you will find your own style and be able to create the perfect event videography kit.


When filming events, I used to overshoot every single one of them. The big problem with overshooting is that you end up with way too much footage to parse through once you are in post-production. My best advice is to get a few different shots of each subject that you are filming, and then move on. Unless something extremely interesting happens, try not to revisit subjects that you have already captured.

Feeling Awkward

I used to feel awkward when filming an event. I felt like people were staring at me as I walked around and captured content. I also used to be shy about getting front and center in order to get the shot. After being in business for a while, I now realize that no one cares what I’m doing at an event as long as I’m not causing problems. Also, since I’m being paid to provide a service, I have no problem stepping in and being direct to get the shot I need. This skill usually comes with time.

Tips for Filming an Event: Conclusion

Whether you are brand new to event videography or you are preparing for your first time filming an event, I hope that this blog post helps you. Videography can be intimidating at first, and I’ve learned so many lessons over the years. Below you will also find a few blog posts that may help you as you continue to level up and master your craft. If you have any questions, please comment below!

Helpful Resources

My Favorite Video Gear

How to Use Premiere Pro – A Comprehensive Guide

Green Screen Ideas for Your Next Video Project

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Morgan is a recognized video marketing expert and content creator. She also runs a video production company and has a passion for teaching all things video.