Greater Akron Chamber Annual Meeting Videos
Client: Greater Akron Chamber / Industry: Non-Profit / Completed: March 2019 / Location: Akron, OH
- Develop two out-of-the-box, non-traditional videos to play at the annual meeting
- Create memorable, motivating videos as bookends – one to open and one to close – the event
- Use the “Lead Greater” slogan in both videos.
- Incorporate notable city leaders and local talent.
- Have the capability to be used on social media.
Developing a video for any kind of city or area organization can be a challenge. The videos must be a mix of professional yet creative, respectful yet inspirational. The Greater Akron Chamber (GAC) was no different as they challenged us to take a unique approach towards the city of Akron, Ohio.
We were tasked by GAC to create two videos for their 2019 Annual meeting. While the videos needed to feel different from each other, they both had to incorporate the chamber’s “Lead Greater” theme.
The first concept, which would be used for the opening video, was “Blank Canvas.” This piece was centered around a local artist creating an art piece in real time, starting with a blank canvas. We would draw (pun intended) inspiration from this artistic creation to highlight areas around Akron that were also a beautiful work in progress. The video would conclude with a finished art piece with the words “Lead Greater” in the center.
The second, used to end the event, was “Blueprint.” This video used a more serious and intense interview style featuring several notable figures from the Greater Akron area. They would talk about the current plans of the chamber, show their shared unified voice and encouraged everyone to “Lead Greater.”
For both of these videos, there was a lot of planning that had to go into the video shoots before we could even begin to film. The two most important items for both videos had to do directly with scheduling and talent for the shoots.
For the “Blank Canvas” video it was the need to find a local artists that was both available on the day we needed to shoot and was comfortable enough on camera to let us film them working on the piece. This proved to be a challenge and required our account team to interview several artists before finally finding Nikki Bartel who agreed to work with us on this one-of-a-kind piece.
The “Blueprint” video challenge was finding shoot days that allowed us get as many of our key people on camera within a tight time frame. And with over a 15 people on camera over the course of two days, it was important that we have a well put together outline so we could accommodate everyones very busy schedules.
The shoot location for both videos called for an open, industrial space and, luckily, Ryan and Jeffrey Pritt (Pritt Properties) had just acquired the Historic Carlton Building which had exactly the look we were going for. Pritt Properties owning the building allowed us a lot of flexibility and access to the set for pre-shoot testing and set ups.
The tones for both of these video were similar, but very different. And we know motivation and inspiration are two strong, but difficult, emotions to capture at one event – so we wanted to make sure that both videos invoked a feeling of pride and were filled with impactful footage, strong visual effects and powerful statements to draw the viewer in and make them feel as if they are in the middle of a something great – with something even greater on the horizon.
To show the greatness of the city, the “Blank Canvas” video motivated viewers through a “big picture” video. By using voiceover and filmic cinematography, “Blank Canvas” gave the city of Akron a pulse rarely captured on video, but constantly felt in the community.
Because PEG is located in downtown Akron, we had a lot of footage and a collection of videos and photos from all over the Greater Akron area and even had access to several directories of historical images that really allowed us to show Akron in a unique way. Next, we worked with a local artist to incorporate the subtle subtext to the video that reinforced the colorful changes and fruitful growth the city has experienced throughout the years.
For “Blueprint,” we believed the best way to inspire was to let the leaders say what needed to be said in their own words, with their own voice. This ‘testimonial montage’ gave us the opportunity to work closely with local leaders and give them thematic direction. While we made sure each participant had a teleprompter to read from so they felt comfortable on set, the words in the script were provided by the individuals themselves via a questionnaire prior to filming.
This video went into more detail than the first one because we wanted to clearly articulate what GAC is implementing throughout the Greater Akron region. With dramatic lighting and a unique interview set up, these figures commanded attention, while creating an honest, truthful approach to inspire viewers.
The videos debuted at the annual meeting to great approval. It made viewers feel hopeful about the future and the direction GAC was taking – and they could see how they could contribute and where they could benefit.
The videos were also released on social media so people who live, work and support the greater Akron area could also get up-to-speed on the latest GAC initiatives. Blank Canvas is the most watched video on the GAC Facebook page. Combined, the videos have over 5,500 views on Facebook with over 50 shares.
The success of the videos were largely due to the collaboration and communication with the GAC. We worked closely with GAC on a clear creative direction for both of these videos and worked closely with the client the whole way through the process to ensure the right words told the right story.
In the end, our videos created a one-of-a-kind journey through the city and produced an inspiring opportunity to unify the viewers and leaders alike.