A Review of the Government Video Expo

Last year was the first year I was able to make it to the GV Expo and I really enjoyed it. Although it was small, a lot of people showed up and there were some cool vendors showing off new gear. I was even able to coordinate a lunch with about 12 people all interested in cinematography. I figured the next year would be better but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

Last year when I tweeted “Who’s going to the GV Expo?” I got a ton of responses and most of them were excited to meet up and network. I believe the networking is the best part of events like this. This year, it didn’t seem that too many people were going or talked about going. Even though I talked to a few people, it didn’t have the same spark of conversation as last year’s event. Maybe people were busy this year, or didn’t get much out of it last year.

For my experience, the original plan was to go for a half-day Wednesday and possibly longer Thursday. I wanted to talk to companies and interview them about what they brought or whatever else they wanted to share. I even wanted to interview those attending and get some of their feedback. However, the reason I have no video with this post is because there wasn’t much to shoot. There were a few cool things going, but it just wasn’t noteworthy.

So, I began to think about what could make this event better? Here are a few things:

  • More Interactive Facebook Page
  • Twitter chat using a custom hashtag (more of it)
  • Forum or communication prior to the event
  • More details about each vendor’s objectives or major products
  • A way to follow-up after the event (forum, twitter lists, blog comments)
  • Engaging Photographs
  • Promotional videos with testimonials
  • A place for Q&A
  • A way to organize meetups

To build on the items below, it’s probably good to list a few examples that come to mind. First and foremost, NAB does a great job on Facebook. They are constantly producing content, giving away prizes and encouraging interaction. When you have more interaction on social media, it is easier for people to join the conversation and become part of the event.

SXSW does amazing things for the film community. Just looking at their webpage makes me want to go. Solid pictures of the event and even a Vimeo page with videos from past events. We are in the video field, shouldn’t there be a video to advertise the event?

The Cine Gear Expo does a great job with the video. As soon as you go to the homepage there is a customer testimonial video answering any questions you may have on the event. They also have a Youtube page that has speaker clips from past events.

There is no other event like it in the DC area which makes it even more valuable. People want an event like this to network and see what’s new without flying to Vegas (NAB).

The production market in DC is a good size and the quality of production continues to improve – all the more reason having a solid event in the area is necessary.

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